Thursday, August 18, 2011

housework vs. a good book

There's nothing to match curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house. ~Joe Ryan

I wish I liked cleaning better than I do.  I hate housework.  I love a clean home, I just don't want to be the one to do it.  Unfortunately, working off of library wages means I can't afford a maid.  I only work a couple days a week anyway, so it's not like I don't have time to clean my house, I'd just rather do other things.  With kids and their accessories (toys, books, crayons, etc.) living in my house, it means mopping the floor is a bit more involved.  Right, right; I've heard it before, eventually the children move away and you miss their junk scattered all over the house.  I look forward to that day.  I may regret saying that in a few years, but for now. . .

I got an Ipod for Christmas.  I haven't used it for much other than Sudoku, to be perfectly honest.  I have some of my CDs (okay, 1/2 of them are kids music) downloaded to it, but I rarely listen to it.  Last week I finally downloaded a book that I really wanted to listen to.  (Okay, it was a book club book that I didn't want to read while trying to finish Pillars of the Earth.)  I finally set myself up to listen to it yesterday.  Oh My Stars, by Lorna Landvik was the book.  I had read it several years ago, but really didn't remember much about it.  Yes, I could have read it a lot faster than it was read to me, but I wouldn't have gotten nearly as much done. 

The master bath is now spic and span, like it hasn't been for months.  I sorted through some bins of clothing, and found some stuff to pass along to other girls in the family.  The basement shows remarkable improvement.  You can actually walk from the bottom of the stairs to the ironing board without traversing an obstacle course.  The kitchen got cleaned.  (And it was well before midnight!!)   I don't think I even thought about how much I hate cleaning while I was doing it.  Hunh.  Who knew I'd be able to get so much done while being entertained.  All right, our library board president has been doing this for years--I don't know why I didn't listen to her words of wisdom sooner.

Listening to a book is a bit different than reading it for yourself.  I didn't have to pause every time I came across the leading man's name to think about how it sounded.  Kjel: pause before you get to it, pronounce it SHELL and move on.  Someone at book club mentioned they had to do that, and I didn't.  Of course, I didn't completely finish listening.  I have now spent some time going back and forth between listening and reading, and have found that I have to do the same thing when I come across that name while reading.   The way people talk isn't left up to your interpretation, but someone else's.  You know that when Berit asks her mother, "Why don't I help you out in here?" it's because she's been lovingly asked to leave the room and she's trying to save face.  Many years ago, I listened to Frank McCourt reading his book Angela's Ashes.  I thought at the time that the book would be awfully depressing, but listening to the author read his own story shed humor on it, where you might not have read it in the printed word.  There's a different feel listening to someone reading a book than reading it yourself.  Not bad, just different.

So, I'm a convert.  I will now regularly download books and clean my house.  Probably.

If the shelves are dusty and the pots don't shine,
it's because I have better things to do with my time.
~Author Unknown

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant idea: I just gave my middle child a book to listen to while cleaning her room. Maybe the next time I got up there she will actually be tidying up instead of laying on the floor, book in hand.