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Reading with your ears

I just finished listening to my Kindle read one of my own books to me. As I have posted before, the Kindle's robot voice has its limitations, but it also has its strengths. For one thing, it never gets bored or tired. For another, it reads exactly what it finds on the page (except for mispronouncing selected words, as mentioned before).

Now, keep in mind this was a book I had already “edited.” I was happy with the story, the dialog, the pacing, etc. And to get to that point, I must have read the m.s., on the screen and on paper, at least a dozen times. But somehow, what my eye sees and what my brain understands are two different things. I could read a sentence and think it sounded fine, but when my Kindle read the same sentence, I noticed right away that I had left out a word, or put in the wrong word. The smaller the word, the easier it was to not notice it was wrong or not there at all. My eye sees “in,” but my brain makes it into “is” because that's what needs to be there for the sentence to make sense. Likewise, when a small word is AWOL, like “at" or “of,” my brain just fills it in when I read with my eyes. But somehow my brain catches on as soon as it hears the sentence read aloud.

In addition, certain word pairs are the bane of my writing existence. I always have to check if I mean breath or breathe, choose or chose, lose or loose. But when I hear that my main character is trying to catch his breathe, it stands out right away.

I know there is software that will do this on your PC or Mac, but quite frankly, I don't want to sit and listen at a PC for hours at a stretch. It's not as comfortable as sitting in a recliner or on the sofa, which I can do with the Kindle just fine. Of course, that does mean I need to translate all my Kindle annotations into corrections in the Word file on my laptop, but, as Joe E. Brown says at the end of Some Like It Hot, nobody is perfect.

Now if you'll excuse me I have some corrections to make.





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Comments

( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
tracy_d74
Sep. 20th, 2010 11:00 pm (UTC)
Your trouble words. I also have a homonym issue. Homonyms are my nemesis!
karen_w_newton
Sep. 20th, 2010 11:05 pm (UTC)
If they sound alike, the Kindle is no help at all. Its and it's are equal in its eyes, as are their and there.
tracy_d74
Sep. 21st, 2010 03:05 am (UTC)
Part of my comment got axed...by me when i was typig. I meant to say, your trouble words are mine as well. Yeah, the Kindle would not help with the homonym issue.
karen_w_newton
Sep. 21st, 2010 03:26 am (UTC)
but it does catch the things you ear can tell apart. I have no idea why I would see "Her said" as He said" but I must have because I missed that over and over.
bogwitch64
Sep. 21st, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
That is wicked COOL!
karen_w_newton
Sep. 21st, 2010 01:18 am (UTC)
Well, it helps. But I can't wait for the software to get better so the robot-- I think I'll call him Robbie! -- can pronounce things better, get the pacing better, and warn me about things like "their" when it should be "there."

I don't want too much, do I?
bogwitch64
Sep. 21st, 2010 01:20 am (UTC)
Ok, Kar, now you're just playing god! Ha!
karen_w_newton
Sep. 21st, 2010 01:29 am (UTC)
Playing? Who's playing? -)
bogwitch64
Sep. 21st, 2010 01:30 am (UTC)
Mwhahahahahaa! I knew it!
peadarog
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
Very clever. Great idea.
karen_w_newton
Sep. 21st, 2010 11:50 am (UTC)
I did notice that making the Kindle read aloud runs the battery down one heck of a lot faster than just reading, though.
jongibbs
Sep. 21st, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
Sounds like a useful tool. I thing Word does it too.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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