Friday, July 31, 2009

The Voice in my Head

My friend and I were talking the other day about our reading lists and the possibility of us churning out more books, faster than our current pace. We got on the subject of speed reading and how to go about it. She found a site that recommends not sounding out the words in your head to make things go quicker. Her response to this was, "I like the voice in my head." I hadn't really thought about it before but I had to agree. Of course, at the time, I was reading a book translated from Spanish, so my inner voice had an accent.

Cool, right or is it just weird?

So, on my next book, I paid a little more attention to how I was reading with said voice. The next book happened to be The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

The author recounts the story in such a matter of fact way that, indeed, my inner voice became somewhat dry and monotone (the Spanish accent was gone). The characters telling their sides of the story with almost clinical detachment to a heart-wrenching scenario. It talks about time travel as a genetic defect as opposed to something otherworldly, as we are so accustomed to in Sci-Fi books. This is a natural, everyday occurrence for these characters. It is told with such conviction, though, that I start to think, maybe, some future disease could result in our bodies losing their ability to stay in the present time, that cellular malfunction would cause us to dematerialize here and reappear somewhere else in the Time-Space continuum. Or, maybe not. Whatever the case, the book made me cry like a baby, sap that I am.

But, I digress.

Since then I've been reading consecutive books featuring primarily Jewish characters with a little French and Russian thrown in to mix it up. This time the inner voice is struggling a bit, 'cause I'm not so good with Jewish inflections. Words like mitzvah and shekel just don't come out quite right, even in my head. The same can also be said when I sing Bob Marley as I do my house work or rap along with The Roots, Eminem, T.I., etc. I am through and through British Isles Caucasian and it shows, try hard as I might to appear cooler, more worldly than I am. At least I only do this when I am alone, so no witnesses to the atrocities.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to successfully speed read, after all. My imagination is far too vivid, thus the strange and ever changing voices will stay with me along with my mental pictures of settings, weather, whatever circumstance necessary for me to bring a book to life without having to rely on movies to get the job done (though I do that too).

Just don't tell anyone that I'm hearing voices, okay?

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