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Today we have another LoveReading member and reader reviewer ambassador chatting about her booky thoughts. Katie Mead-Green was our last contributor, and she wrote a fabulous article about how we judge books by their covers. Now Kerry Bridges takes over the reins and discusses reading and audiobooks. I love how honest Kerry is, and in particular that her opinions about reading have altered since she changed her reading habits to fit in with family life. I personally agree with Kerry, whether we read or listen we are absorbing the wonder of the book, but I will hand you over to her, so you can experience her reading story. Thank you Kerry!
Name: Kerry Bridges
Bio: Kerry is a 50-year-old mother of three, a Maths teacher and wellbeing advisor. She has always seen reading as part of her self-care routine and would describe herself as having been "most definitely a book snob”.
Since having her own children, Kerry has realised that there are all sorts of readers and reading of any kind is to be encouraged. She has written reviews for LoveReading and Netgalley and has a particular love for a good thriller, although a bit of science fiction and magic don’t go amiss.
As well as reading, Kerry enjoys running and swimming and spends her spare time helping others look after themselves in a positive way by encouraging self-care and finding time to do the things you love. For her, reading always has been (and always will be) at the top of that list.
Ever since I was little I have always loved reading, but I do admit to have been rather a snob about it. When other people said they did not like reading, I was just not at all understanding and when they said they read comics, magazines and graphic novels I would think to myself “that’s not reading!”
I have continued to read throughout my life (and can probably count on my fingers the number of days where I have missed a read before bedtime), although when my children were small that could well have been a quick 10 minutes before crashing out. Fortunately, I have realised how wrong I was when I thought that reading something other than “real books” was not real reading. This quotation from J K Rowling really brought that home to me:
“If you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found the right book yet.”
I still like to read before bed, but I don’t have a great deal of other time to myself when I’m not doing something else, so I needed a way to be able to exercise and read or even read on the way to work – the answer has come to me in the form of audiobooks.
Again, my younger self would probably have said that listening to a book is not really reading it, and I know that there are some people who are still of that opinion. For me, though, audiobooks are not a replacement for sitting down and savouring the words, they are a marvellous addition.
These days I can listen to a book on the way to work and back in the car, when I am out for a walk or a run and even when I am swimming I use my waterproof MP3 player. I feel really privileged to be able to access even more books in this way and a good narrator can absolutely make the story come alive. Recently, I have listened to some books which I actually feel probably lend themselves to the format (“Lanny” by Max Porter being a wonderful example) and I am in total awe of the skill of some of my favourite narrators (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Davina Porter and Thomas Judd to name but a few) who add another dimension to the story by bringing an enormous range of characters to life; having me believe that there is more than one person behind the microphone in the way of the very best one man band or character shows.
I am not saying that I do not read books to myself still, because I do, and I am not saying that I would stop reading entirely (unless I had no choice). What I am saying is that audiobooks can really add to the experience of devouring a good book and should certainly not be dismissed out of hand (even if you are a book snob like me!).
You can find books narrated by some of Kerry’s personal favourites here on LoveReading:
If you liked this, check out our other blog posts. We share our thoughts on books we love and reading in our Book Chat category and we have an epic selection of reading recommendations in our Collections section.