This is not a review of the book. I shall do so after I’m done listening to it.
When i was a teen, i bought an audio Mills and Boon audio book by mistake at a sale. The package it came in was shrink wrapped into a book form and I didn’t pay attention to the details except for the author and the title. When I went home and opened the pack, I found two cassette tapes instead of a book.
Curious, I played one tape and found it really enjoyable. It was like someone telling me a story. I would say I enjoyed hearing it as much as if I were to have read it, and even had a momentous skip of the heart at the end. That was the only experience I had with audio books, until now.
Eckhart Tolle’s book had been featured in Oprah’s book club and she had even conducted lessons on this book in her website. Mom bought this book on the recommendation of a friend and told me ‘it was very good.’ This was similar response to the readers who had Skyped in to Oprah’s show. ‘Life changing’, ‘eye opener’ etc. I’ve never had any life changing experiences, except with marriage and the births of my sons, and even those were nothing that spectacular.
The first chapter in any book is very important to capture the reader. I tried reading it two years ago and couldn’t continue beyond page 2. A few months later, I tried again and still couldn’t. Last month, I read an article in O magazine about this woman, who is usually very frantic but was actually calm enough to know what to do after witnessing an accident while driving. She attributed it to this audio book that she had been listening to moments before.
What a great idea! I thought. Instead of reading it, I shall listen to the book. Our NLB stocks a wide array of audio books and Eckhart Tolle’s books can be found in many branches. The moment I came home on a late Saturday night, I put the audio book discs in my stereo, with the intention of listening to it in bed. 5 minutes into the book, I was sound asleep.
I thought I needed a discman with earphones. How do people do this? Sit on a desk next to the player? I decided to do what the lady in the O magazine had done – listen to it while driving. Mike was worried. Would the book put me to sleep while driving?
So far, this method has served me well. Even Aaron listens to it in the car. The book is read by the author himself, Eckhart Tolle. He reads with a hint of German accent, in a low voice that requires me to turn my volume up to 28 (normal radio is 15). Sometimes, the droning voice drifts off and I have to force myself back to the presence, which is essentially what the book is trying to advocate. The thing about audio book is, when you miss out a part, or when you are not clear about a particular sentence, you can’t re-read it like what you do a book. At least with a cassette tape, you can rewind, but not with a disc. I have to just let go and continues with the rest.
There are 8 discs and I am onto disc 4 – making good progress before the due date (which is one week earlier than a normal book for NLB.) The book had affected me somewhat and I am more conscious to the presence. I had even a few discussions with Bee, Aaron and Mike about it. Bee thinks it’s too philosophical for her. Aaron identifies with some points. Mike just listens to me without any opinion.
As Tolle reads on, I could associate what he describes with some people i know, before I realise that’s not what the intention of the book. The book is to be conscious of myself, and not for me to critique others.
I’ve yet to be awakened to my life’s purpose, but then I’m not done with the book. Hopefully, I’ll be enlightened after listening to this.