The Pleasures of Being Read To

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Last week the New Yorker blog took on the difference between the inner ear and the outer ear. But it does more than reflect on this distinction in the manner of an armchair psychologist. The post runs the two kinds of reading by an actual neuroscientist, V.S. Ramachandran.

John Colapinto, the post’s author, observes that narrators often enhance the reading experience for him. His examples include John Hurt reading Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (a book he’d previously found tiresome) and Frank Muller doing The Great Gatsby. Muller’s readings are so good, in fact, that Stephen King paid his medical bills after a motorcycle crash in 2001. Not all authors are so generous. Colapinto admits to turning off a recording of one of his own books after only a few seconds. The reader’s voice was just too different from the voice in his head.

You’ll find Colapinto’s story here: “The Pleasures of Being Read To.”

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