Thursday, September 22, 2011

Falling in Love with Multiple Reading Mediums, by Tracey Devlyn

For years, I read two to three books a week and sometimes four or five. I would devour an array of lighter Regencies before turning to the more primitive Medievals. When I ran out of knights to swoon over, I would plunge myself into a world of vampires and shape shifters.

On and on it went—until I started to imagine different endings to the stories I was reading. Before I knew what hit me, a new passion had slipped into my life. Writing.Let me start by saying that I love everything about the writing process. Well, I didn’t love the am-I-good-enough-to-sell-a-story phase, but I adore the rest. I enjoy the challenge writing presents and the creative outlet it provides. Writing is exhilarating, frustrating, tiring, and amazingly satisfying.

But somewhere along the way, the writing process killed my enthusiasm for reading. Yeah, I know. I was as shocked as you when I recognized this.

Two years slipped by, then three, then four before I realized how little I was reading. Between work, family, friends, writing, and sleeping, I had little time left to enjoy what used to be my greatest pleasure. And when I did find time, I would analyze every word, every turn of phrase, every chapter hook.

At one point, I couldn’t read beyond the first page because I would see techniques that I had been told I shouldn’t do or couldn’t do or if you do you’ll remain in the slush pile for the rest of your pathetic life! :)

Earlier this summer, I couldn’t take it any longer. I missed reading. I missed the simple joy of losing myself in heart-pounding love story.

So I tried something new—audiobooks. I’m lucky to have a library nearby that has a large selection from which to choose because I would not have been able to afford to buy them like I’ve always done with print books. For my first audiobook experience, I selected The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick.

Not only was the novel outstanding (was there ever any doubt?!), the new medium helped me fall in love with books all over again. Hearing the narrator read the story took the focus away from the actual words on paper. This method of reading didn’t give me an opportunity to pick apart a section over and over. If I tried to analyze a particular turn of phrase, I would quickly get behind in the story.

With my long commute, I’m able to finish an audiobook in two weeks. Given how little I’ve read in recent years, I consider this a wonderful gift. In addition, I found, which is an affordable way to download audiobooks to your computer.

After reconditioning my brain to follow the story and not the words, I’m able to read print books again. Not only am I reading a couple of chapters each night before going to bed, I’m now reading novellas on my Android.

This, my friends, is called Reader Heaven. I’m smack dab in the middle of it and I hope to never leave again.

Thanks to audiobooks I got my reading mojo back. And I want to bear hug publishers like Sourcebooks who strive to provide platforms in every shape and color to reach every potential reader they possibly can.

How about you? Do you use multiple mediums/platforms to read books?

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Tracey Devlyn is an award-winning author of historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). Her debut novel, A LADY’S REVENGE, hits bookstores April 2012. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at or




  1. I had to paint a bedroom, and I thought maybe an audio book would help me get through the chore more quickly with something enjoyable to do. I was only part way through Allison Brennan's book, when I had finished the bedroom. But I hadn't finished the book! I was ready to paint the whole house!

    I've been hooked ever since, so listen to them on my way to work and sometimes have to bring them inside to at least finish the cd I was listening to before I can get some writing done when I get home at night. I still read books too. It's a toss up whether I read a book at night before I go to sleep or write another scene in one of my books. :)

  2. Good morning, Tracey! I have just discovered text-to-speech on my Kindle, which is fantastic. It's not the same as listening to an audio book because it has a rather automated sound to it, but in a pinch, it's great. I can just push a button and listen to the book right on my Kindle.

  3. Great blog, Tracey! I did try listening to an audio book once...with disastrous results...I was so engrossed in the story that I ended up on the wrong road, headed in the wrong direction!

    I've donated a couple of E-readers, but it's not in my budget yet, so until then I'll stick with my paperbacks and hardcover books.

    I love to read and re-read the keepers on my shelf. Right now I'm re-reading Patricia Rice's Magic series. :)

  4. I love audiobooks! They're great in the car, especially when we make the 7-hour drive to Montana to see the kids. And after my surgery, I couldn't hold a regular books - so audiobooks were a godsend!

  5. Tracey,
    I'm probably the only writer who doesn't have an e-reader. I still read from print books. Like you, I no longer have the time to take a whole day and read a book, but I read most every night before turning out the light.

  6. Terry--

    LOL. Yes, I can see how that would be a problem. I listened to Allison's Carnal Sin. Great book.

    Listening to a novel is a great way to make the commute go faster!

  7. Tracey, I love audio books too. Since having my daughter, I have less time for them, but I'm sure that will change eventually,. I think they're great to exercise to.

  8. Adrienne--

    Thanks for stopping by! I love the text-to-speech function on my Mac. Adrienne's one of my fab critique partners, and I've used this function to listen to her chapters. It's a great way to pickup on little nuances of a story that you might miss while reading.

    Folks, if you love romantic suspense, be sure to look up Adrienne's MAN LAW and A JUST DECEPTION. This lady knows how to write alpha males!

  9. Colleen--

    Getting absorbed in the novel while driving is definitely a hazard of audiobooks. LOL

    I don't have an actual e-reader yet either, but I do read from my phone and computer.

  10. Joanne--

    So glad you found audiobooks for your big trips and while you were recuperating. I bet it was helpful when you drove through the plains and radio reception wasn't so great.

  11. Amelia,

    I confessed earlier that I don't have a dedicated e-reader either, but I do read from my phone and computer. Similar but not quite the same. Maybe one of these days....

  12. Shana--

    Oh, I didn't think about exercising to audiobooks. Hmm, that might be because I don't exercise. LOL

    Hope you can find time for them again!

  13. I'm like Amelia. I still like the feel and smell of a brand new paper book!
    I grew up listening to books with my grandmother on her "talking book" that the blind foundation loaned her. It was pretty awesome to have someone read books to us every evening and I'm sure that was the forerunner of today's audio books!

  14. Carolyn--

    That's an awesome memory to have. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Tracey, your observation about reading a LOT less when you started writing for publication is interesting and I suspect a common experience. When I drive long distances, I always bring some audio books with me, but I seldom listen to them. If I'm lucky, some uppity lordling and his exasperated lady crowd into the truck with me, and next thing I know, we're half way to Kansas...