Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | November 2, 2011

Harry Potter ~ And the Beauty of Audio Books

Until recently, the Harry Potter craze had not impacted this household.

I had read the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, by J.K. Rowling, a number of years ago, but never managed to move on in the series.

Many moons ago, Keith had vowed not to be caught up in the hub-bub over the books, and held fast to his stance on the subject.

Late last summer we were gifted with the series in audio book format, and intended to listen while we made the trek from Florida to South Carolina, then to Kansas and New Mexico.

However, we learned that road noise in the truck made it too hard to hear the narrator, and we decided that the concentration required for driving was just too big a distraction from immersing ourselves in the story, so we set the CD’s aside.

Now that we are settled into our new life in New Mexico, and darkness comes earlier in the day, we decided to start the series anew….and we are hooked.

What a wonderful way to experience life at Hogwarts, with Harry and his closest friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, and a host of other eccentric wizards, witches, warlocks, ogres, giants and elves!

We make ourselves cozy on the couch, and the narrator begins…instantly, our imaginations are swept away, and the characters come to life via the dramatic talents of our storyteller.

We don’t have to watch images flashing on a screen, and we don’t even have to hold a book or a Kindle in our hands. The height of laziness, I suppose, but there is something to be said for simply listening.

It takes us back to our childhoods, when we curled up in parental laps for our favorite bedtime story, or the era before television when the family gathered ’round the radio to listen to their favorite show.

We are currently about halfway through the second book, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, which chronicles Harry’s second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

We listen, like children, until sleep overtakes us, and then shuffle off to bed, to dream of flying broomsticks, potions and spells….adventure and friendship…and standing up for what is right, with no regard for the consequences.

After all, isn’t that the true message?….just as in the sagas of Sir Lancelot, or stories of the Wild West? Good guys always win, and evil will be vanquished in the end.



  1. So glad you’re enjoying them! Listening to them for the first time is such a treat — savor every moment. =)

    Jim Dale, the audiobook narrator, is just phenomenal. I’ve listened to the whole series multiple times as I’ve traveled, and as I’ve done repetitive labwork/fieldwork. Many folks (including myself) just start the whole series over again once they reach the end of Book 7! =)

    • I can understand how you can love the series so much, and it’s good to know that the stories remain “fresh” for re-telling multiple times 🙂

  2. I am an avid audiobook consumer & Jim Dale is in my top 10 audio readers! It’s incredible how he can make all the voices so distinct without sounding like he’s “acting.” Glad you liked Harry & friends too!

    • You’re right ~ it is amazing how he can create so many characters with his voice, and how he keeps them all straight is a total mystery to me!

  3. Glad to hear you are enjoying the books. I read the first three aloud to the kids on trips to the island campsite in Minnesota. I would fall asleep before finishing the chapter. It was a lot to read aloud a whole chapter. After that, we would go to the store at midnight to get each kid their copy so they could stay up the rest of the night reading and not fight over the book. What a wonderful series…..I don’t care what the critics say. J. K. Rowlings renewed my kids’ love for reading and I will always be thankful for Harry Potter.

    • Lucky kids! Mine were adults when the series came out, and it was my eldest who got us “hooked” 🙂

  4. […] readers of this blog will recall my post on how much Keith and I enjoyed listening to the Harry Potter books on […]

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