I am not the best reader. I am often pretty darned slow at getting through books, mostly because after a page or two, I fall asleep. Maybe I am bored, or just tired, but it happens and I am over it. Sometimes, I will read paragraph after paragraph without actually reading the sentences as sentences, and end up having to go back again to read it the next day because I forgot what it was about. Pro tip: Don’t read when you are tired. I’m a picky reader, too, which doesn’t help, and if I find a book I don’t like, chances are I won’t finish it. I’m ok with this, and I don’t get upset or anxious if I don’t finish it; I will simply just put it back on the shelf and move on to something else. I am rarely envious of people who always have a book to read before bed or on the train… because honestly, if I go to bed without a book, I will just fall asleep. Cripes, I fall asleep after two pages even when I have a killer book to read!
As a post-doc, I started getting into audiobooks, because a) I sometimes do mindless things that take a lot of time (e.g., mechanical testing, dissections) and b) I am not good at staying involved in reading (see above). Maybe it has something to do with all the journal articles I read, or maybe I am just lazy/tired. Either way, whatever. I got into audiobooks, and I am now content with Audible, of which I subscribe. I download one audiobook a month (sometimes more if they are having sales) and try to get through it before the next month’s credits come along.
The first audiobook I downloaded was ‘The Eye of the World,‘ the first book of fourteen (15 if you include the prequel written in 2005) in the Wheel of Time series originally written by Robert Jordan. Jordan passed away in 2007, before he was able to complete this series… however, it has since been completed by someone hand-picked by Jordan’s wife who reflected on Jordan’s massive collection of notes to write and wrap up the last three books. My husband started reading this series after finishing ‘A Dance with Dragons,‘ the recently released book from the series A Song of Ice and Fire (the series that HBO’s hit series “Game of Thrones” is based on). Anyway, I also read and enjoyed all of the ASOIAF books (I know, right?), and my husband mentioned that I may like Wheel of Time, but it was not as intense (read: sex-crazed) as George R.R. Martin’s series was. And, unfortunately for me, it is a long series (14 books in total) with not-so-short books. Yes, the fourth book has over 1,000 pages. That is a lot of pages. But, I started to dig fantasy, and thought ‘what the heck’… I might as well give it a go as an audiobook and listen on my long drive to Tennessee and back (16 round trip hours).
The audiobook was 30 hours. After my road trip, I was still completely hooked with the WOT audiobook. The writing was descriptive and engaging, and completely enjoyable. The story captures the lives of five unique young adults living in a town called Emond’s Field, which is detached from the rest of the world, so to speak. There is good and evil, light and dark, and monsters and magic. It’s an exceptional story with a descriptive fantasy theme to portray the coming-of-age of individuals who are “woven into the pattern” by the wheel of time.
After I finished audiobook, I read out-right (no audiobook necessary) the second book, “The Great Hunt,” which was even more engaging. The story just keeps getting better and better. Unfortunately, since I am so slow at getting through books, and these are not little books, it will be a while before I actually find out what happens to the Dragon Reborn and the Aes Sedai. I commend the narrators of the audiobook for their great work; plus, I get to correct my husband when he mispronounces Egwene’s name.
If you are into fantasy, then this is old news and you’ve probably already read WOT twice over. But if you are interested in exploring a new genre, and aren’t afraid of dedicating the next 14 books to this engrossing storyline, I highly recommend it. It helps that the last book, “A Memory of Light,” just came out, so you don’t have to worry about a series that never gets completed. Rumor has it that Brandon Sanderson does an exceptional job at finishing it out. Our copy was ordered on Amazon last night, although it will be a while yet before I can put my hands on it. I am only on book #3: “The Dragon Reborn“!