Tuesday, May 23, 2017


I always loved reading.

I have been reading constantly since I got my first library card at the age of 9, and yes .. reading graphic novels count as reading!

My reading always peaked when I was out on sea: Books I would not have peed on if they would have been on fire, suddenly became attractive because there was nothing else in the ships library

So I had my fair share of pulpy, men`s adventure novels like the "Destroyer" or "Endworld" series. Funny enough: I never have been on a ship that did not have a Larry Niven novel on board.

However, this was before internet or ebook readers were available and I could only carry a few books with me, or shop for some extra ones at the airports book shop before I signed on.

But on a 6 month contract that was just a drop in the sea.

Later, after I finished the Officers College with my Master ticket, I had to start my officers career at the bottom as 2nd Officer on the 00-04 and 12-16 watch. With other words: I worked and had off when everybody was asleep or worked themselves.

These watches were boring...alone on a dark bridge with no one to talk to for hours. Reading? Forget about it!

My eyes had stay on what happened outside and I had to take care of my night vision.

Then my best friend made me a gift that actually changed my life: 

Terry Pratchett`s "The Fifth Elephant" by Terry Pratchett on CD.

Wow, that changed everything!

My watches maybe not flew by but became tolerable, and I still could focus on the traffic.

I ended up buying more CD sets, mostly other Terry Pratchett stories but also other writers. As we finally got internet on board the Search And Rescue Vessels I ended up on, I finally bought my first laptop.

Mostly to stay in touch with my then-girlfriend and now-wife but also to watch movies and...you guessed it: Buy audiobooks online and download them.

I have been customer at Audible.com ever since, and probably bought over 200 books over the last 9 years.

For me as a 80`ies kid who had only a mono cassette player for some kid`s adventure tapes....it is still magic that I can have all these books/stories on a MP3 player not bigger than my thumb.

A story just becomes more dimensional when a gifted narrator reads a story for you..especially if it is in a native African, British or Carribean dialect: Anyone listening to Christoper Moore`s "Fluke" and not having belly cramps of laughter when a jewish, white rasta from Chicago tries to speak rasta patois is just not alive :-)

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