Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife or How I Learned to PlayAway

I work in a library, and trust me any romantic ideas you may have about libraries are not what I do. There are few perks to my job with the exception of having more access to books, Cd's, DVDs, and audio books. With that said, I have become addicted to audio books. I love them, they make my commute to work and any jaunts around town better. Plus, I don't feel like such a dolt around my friends when they talk about all these great books they have read, I can now say, me too. One day while cruising between floors in the library I chanced upon a co-worker with a cart of audio-visual material and spotted something new, a playaway. Playaways are like little single title audio books which play independantly of a Cd or MP3 player. They come with a strap and they fit in a purse or a pocket. The one right on top was the Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Time Traveler went home with me that night. I just so happened to be ready for a new book and this one was perfect.
I loved the story, I was expecting something more like H G Wells and was delighted to find characters that were so much more delightful than I had expected. The plot jumps back and forth through time, telling the love story of a couple struggling with the male character's uncontolable leapfroging back and forth through time. The couple, Henry and Clare, span my generation, I feel like I could have danced next to them in clubs or bumped into them at an art opening or shopped next to them at Borders. They were very accessible to me. I laughed with them, cried with them, and waited for every moment I could find to listen to the story. They literally went everywhere with me for two weeks. The book was so popular Hollywood decide to take a stab at a movie version. I don't want to see the movie I loved the novel so much I am afraid it will ruin my imagine of the characters. I may relent on this point.
The book did well with me, the format not so much. I like the idea of the playaway, not the actual playaway. It was great to have the portability, but the open buttons on the playaway were annoying. I kept losing my place and being sent back to go. Unlike Cd's you could not just go back to your track, but on playaways getting back to your place in a chapter required a great deal of back and forthing to get close to your spot. I got really protective of those buttons, don't touch my buttons. In the end, the vulnerability of those buttons made me not want to check out another one, but like the movie, I may relent on that point too.

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