I am frequently late to parties.
I am not one of those keenies who arrives at the very beginning of a shindig, with a bottle of something extremely drinkable in one hand and a gift for their host in the other. No, I am more likely to have forgotten the invitation almost as soon as I opened it, only remembering that there is something I should be doing when I see others shouting about what a great (or terrible) time they are having at the party. And then I will hurriedly pull on some glad rags - if I can find any - and join in late with proceedings, probably asking any number of annoying questions of my fellow party-goers as we dance.
See? I know how to arrive late.
My most recent 'late to the party' thing is audiobooks. And I'm not so much late this time, more revisiting an all-night rave that I once attended but left around midnight (before it got good), and I've now found it has been going on without me all this time. I used to listen to books on CDs in the car - my daughter and I worked our way through the Harry Potter series (read by Stephen Fry) during long journeys. I even listened to a couple of my own stories on CD, which made a refreshing change, But I didn't consider audiobooks as a replacement for actual books until a few weeks ago.
I blame Carrie Fisher. When she died, I suddenly wanted to read her books. Except that I wanted more than that; I wanted Carrie Fisher to read me her books. So I used one of my many unused Audible credits and downloaded Wishful Drinking, so I could listen to it while I walked my dog.
I loved it. I enjoyed Carrie's dry humour and eccentricities. Feeling bold, I tried The Princess Diarist, also by Carrie Fisher. Before I knew it, I was listening to The Girl With All the Gifts, by M R Carey. And I was hooked - I stayed up until 2am, absorbing the story in the same way I would if I was reading it. Now I'm onto The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith, and I love that too. A lot depends on the voice of the reader but I am careful to check out the sample before I buy. I listen as I walk the dog, in the car, while walking home. One of the things I like best is that it's harder to skip ahead, to find our what happens next faster. I simply listen and enjoy. And maybe dance a bit, if no one is watching, because audiobooks are a great party. I'm glad I got there eventually.
How about you? Do you prefer print books or audiobooks? Are you even later to the party than me?