Voices in the dark

As I cross the landing, even in the middle of the night, I’ve got used to hearing Stephen Fry in Daughter’s room. Sometimes it’s Nathaniel Parker, but usually Fry. They’re not just there to send her to sleep, which I suppose makes them sound boring, but to keep her company whenever she’s awake at night.

Those audio books are a blessing. They are so dreadfully expensive, but when I consider how heavily used some of them are, the cost per hour must be quite low.

At first they were mainly used for the children either before they could read very well, or to provide more complex “reading” than a book. Now, they are simply companions. Some were made to be listened to, like The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Son listened to that at an early age, and can still quote far too much from it.

Now he has a nightly diet of old radio series, regular crime and classics. Some you can no longer buy, which worries me for the day they collapse and they can’t be replaced.

Daughter has listened her way through most of Jacqueline Wilson, before settling on a very steady diet of Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl. But they are lovely boys, so I see no harm in it.

The bookwitch, who has steadfastly refused to read the Lord of the Rings, or for that matter to see the films, has listened to all thirteen episodes of the excellent BBC radio dramatisation of the book. So, I sort of know what it’s like.

With Harry Potter day approaching, I’ll need to fork out for the last in the series with Stephen Fry. But for the first few days, at least, we should be kept busy with the book book.

Then I’ll just have to do a lot of ironing.

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