Subscribe to The Horn Book

>God bless audiobooks

>I spent two hours this afternoon undergoing a root canal with only novocaine as my friend. And an audiobook, Sophie Kinsella’s Confessions of a Shopoholic, really very dopey but just the thing for the circumstances. I had wondered if I would be able to concentrate enough amidst the drilling and tugging and ER-like passing of pointy instruments between the dentist and his assistant, but it was eerily easy: what was actually going on in my life during that time so was so completely alienating and out of my hands that I escaped quite thoroughly into the story. You should try it.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. Elizabeth says:

    >I read what is perhaps my favorite children’s novel, The Long Secret, while having my legs waxed last week. It was wonderfully distracting, and I appreciated the irony–I was supposed to be scoffing at the shallow lifestyle of Beth Ellen’s mother (who takes “Beth” to a day of beauty at Elizabeth Arden’s) while I was in fact undergoing a beauty treatment only a masochist could love.

    And if you haven’t read the Long Secret in a while, it’s a great book to read or reread during the summer. And something I noticed this time is that I can’t think of a more truthful scene of childhood anger in any children’s book than Beth Ellen’s “tantrum” near the end of the story.

  2. >Agreed, Roger. Couldn’t live without ’em now.

  3. GraceAnne LadyHawk says:

    >Audiobooks, my Little Pink iPod, and noise-canceling headphones save my life on airplanes. I am one of those people who cannot read while flying (it’s like trying to read in a moving car for me). Paris last year was Half-Blood Prince, Seattle this year was Golden Compass. I expect to do Amber Spyglass on the family trip to Las Vegas in June.

    Yes, Roger, we are going to Vegas. I am going to see the Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil show. And I am turning 60.

  4. >audiobook at the dentist, huh? i’ve had twelve root canals and i don’t think i could focus on anything but what the dentist was doing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    >Elizabeth, so there with you and the Long Secret. And Roger, make them give you codeine in the large economy size. I’ve had root canals and labor and all in all, I think I prefer labor. You deserve big treats. Pain is no fun.

  6. Brian Selznick says:

    >On Monday April 23rd Roger wrote a little post about the audio of my book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, wondering how in the world that could work, considering the book is almost half pictures. I just want to say that I wrote a really long answer to his question and it can be found in the comments after the April 23rd post. I’m listed as “anonymous” because I don’t post very often and couldn’t figure out how to do it at first, but then afterwards I got my name in there. So, if anyone is interested as to why we tried to make an audio of Hugo, the answer is there…

  7. >I have the same operation scheduled for this afternoon. Maybe I’ll try an audio book next time.I know they help on planes. Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom seem especially distracting.

  8. Anonymous says:

    >jod, I was thinking wisdom teeth, not root canal when I said worse than labor. Got the two of them confused. Root canal, not fun, but not big deal really

  9. MotherReader says:

    >Well Mr. Selznick, now we know why. Because someone might need to listen to the book during a trip to the dentist.

    Roger, I’m surprised at your audiobook choice – and I think I like you just a little bit more now. I hate the dentist, and I will try this audiobook thing next time.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    >Ok, I reread my old paperback copy of Is That You, Miss Blue? during a colonoscopy yesterday. I defy anyone to top that. And the book is already very funny, but with the drugs I was on it was HILARIOUS.

  11. Mama Squirrel says:

    >Hope your mouth is feeling better by now!

    Mama Squirrel, veteran of two root canals (sans audio distractions)

  12. Roger Sutton says:

    >Gotta go back today 🙁 But I think this is the painless part.

  13. >I can’t believe I never thought of that! I’m going for the second half of (get this) re-doing an old root canal (not enough to get it done once) next week and will take my audiobook. Thanks!

    Jeanette Larson

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind