A Sweaty Story Time or Hearing David Copperfield While Working Out

61emr2mr6wl-_sl300_I began Chapter 13 of David Copperfield, setting the timer to 15 minutes on the Audible app, and started walking around the track overlooking the gym at the Downtown YMCA. The walk always starts my work out allowing the book to play and no worries about cars nearly mowing me down, just people walking or running while I keep the inside land.

Richard Armitage narrates the story switching between David’s adult voice and the voice of the neglected child running away to his Aunt Betsy’s place, the same one turning around once she found out her hoped-for niece was a nephew. It’s Dickens, and that means an epically-unfolding story with a fiction population with just enough realism to know a bit of Clara or Betsy in some of the women I know. It also means Victoria-era language, the kind of language saying one thing back in the 19th century and means something a whole lot different now.

Imagine hearing the story, a burst of dialogue happens to end with the phrase ‘he ejaculated.’  The first time I heard it, I snorted out loud in the middle of my lap, luckily nobody heard me. Chapter 13, however, had a lot of ejaculating going on as I tried to keep my face composed but still it contorted into suppressed laughter. There is a teeny-tiny part of me that’s 12 giggling over dirty words in the body of a 46-year-old woman. It’s the same part whispering the joke in my hear that Richard Armitage has ejaculated into my ear around five times already in Chapter 13. Was it five times? Maybe I should take a peek at a print copy. It sounded like this chapter, unlike the previous 12, had so much ejaculating going on these characters need professional help, but then again they’re Dickensian characters.

Usually, I use Hoopla and Overdrive, but Audible picks up the slack for things not available on either library service, like Richard Armitage reading David Copperfield, or during inpatient moments I want to hear a story NOW. (Luckily those moments get less and less.) Audible has a credit program fitting my budget and needs. Every 10th of the month, I get two credits, with most audiobooks costing me 1 credit. Audiobooks can also be returned for a credit back, and I had to do it for Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick, as read by the author. Sorry, Ms Kendrick, your Twitter makes me laugh but not enough to sustain a whole book. I need an audiobook to engage in, and even Whitney Way Thore’s I Do It With The Lights On tested my patience on the YMCA track. The narration is one thing but face it, Richard, as much as I have an ocean-sized crush on you the story better. be. good. Hearing David Copperfield reminds me of the English Novel class I took in second-year university, the one with the

Hearing David Copperfield reminds me of the English Novel class I took in second-year university, the one with the prof reading out passages in between telling us what it means, only no distinct voices. (Lesson 1 learned in university, parrot the prof and get the grade. Lesson 1A, all learning happens outside class unless the prof is excellent.) As a reluctant gym rat, I need something to keep me going, and audiobooks came at a great time. As someone tells me a story, I cycle on one of those spin-cycle bikes, reminding me if I need some kind of Catholic mortification practice a la Opus Dei, 15 minutes sitting one of these bikes will do it.

Once upon a long time ago, I used to sit cross-legged in elementary school, hearing teachers read Judy Blume’s books, C.S. Lewis, and even obscure titles like Nancy Brelis’ book The Mother Market.  Audiobooks are not ‘cheats’ they are an extension of that human need to hear stories. This time I don’t sit cross-legged on a carpet but power walking on a track, pushing myself on the elliptical, or cycling my way to the fat-buring zone on a stationery bike.










4 thoughts on “A Sweaty Story Time or Hearing David Copperfield While Working Out

  1. I’m not sure I could listen to an audiobook while working out, but I haven’t tried it. I like to listen while I’m driving mostly. I liked Anna Kendrick’s paper book- it was a quick read. But I listened to a sample of it in audio format and decided I wouldn’t be able to listen to it.
    I’m sorry you’re finding Copperfield a hard slog. I’ve listened to it more than once and really enjoy it. (I have the same problem with “ejaculated”… it always catches me off guard!)


  2. With DC, I could listen happily for a couple of hours at a time while working on a project (sewing or spreadsheet – anything with words I can’t do while listening to a book). It only took me so long to finish because major life stuff slowed me down.
    After DC, I listened to the dramatized version of Gaiman’s “American Gods” which was good and almost as long. So now when I listen to a regular length novel, it seems to go by so fast!


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