Forget the Phone Book, Richard Armitage Has to Read This Book

Did I get Geneva?

Do cheetahs run fast? Do Leopards have spots? Is the Pope Argentinian?

However, I don’t want to put it on before bed, set the timer, and fall asleep. It’s what happened lately to my other audiobooks and I don’t want it to happen to this one, especially not this one. While jokes run wild about Mr.Armitage narrating the phone book, I had a reference question making me think now this is the book he needs to narrate. Granted, I made the joke to myself and now I share it with you, dear readers in the blogosphere.

Two young men came up to me and showed me a copy of “An Introduction to Project Management” by Kathy Schwalbe, seventh edition.

“Does this come in audiobook?” he asked.

No joke, it was a serious question, and I have learned to never make an assumption. The young man added he makes a 45-minute commute to the college and it can do two things at once: Pass the time and get the reading done for class. My gut however said, “Audible wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole.” I had a look and Amazon had a kindle edition, its price making me do a double-take.

It was $66.82. The book itself retailed for $83 dollars. When it comes to eBooks, much like audiobooks, you pay for the right to use it not necessarily own it. In any case, the book does not come in audiobook and the price of the Kindle edition costs a few dollars less.

“Well, I can pay a guy to get it to me for less,” he said.

“I will pretend I didn’t hear you say that,” I replied, laughing as if making a joke. In fact, I was unsure, but in case it was a joke, an idea came into my head.

“You could pay someone to read your book, put it on an MP3 and you can play it on your commutes. I don’t think it’s Audible’s thing as far as a thrilling read.”

“I would rather read a phone book,” quipped Richard Armitage’s voice in my head.

“That’s a great idea,” said the guy’s friend. “We can charge $66 and make money.”

“Uh, it’s against copyright,” I gently reminded the young man’s friend.

“We just get lawyers and fight it in court.” said the young man who initiated the question.

They left laughing and feeling sure about their chances, perhaps thinking first come, first served, for the audiobook since the author didn’t do it. I told the story later to our copyright officer, who laughed at the story, especially the self-assured nature of young men and Googled knowledge.

“Yeah, they could go to court,” she said, “and they will pay more for their mistake in the end.” I hoped it was all a jest, a little fun in a school year still finding its feet in person after two years away.

Richard Armitage has read literature, romance, and thrillers but never a nonfiction title. It’s too bad since some titles read like novels, titles such as Five Days at Memorial or Into Thin Air, yet pepper facts in addition to the meeting of the people and events within the book. I remember one interviewer asking what was on his nightstand and replied with one of Mary Roach’s titles. (This is one woman who tackles a lot of interesting subject matter in her books.)

Geneva remains queued up on my phone to play later, most likely while grunting on a treadmill.

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