When my husband and I were dating, we decided to have a book club. It was a very exclusive book club — just the two of us. After reading two books, we decided our third book would be an audio book we could listen to together during a road trip.
We were driving back to Albuquerque from Las Cruces on a Sunday night. We were silently listening. Focused. Our heads tilted, leaning in, trying to understand. We had been listening to the book for 45 minutes and I was refusing to admit I was lost. Not lost IN the story. Just lost. The characters weren’t making any sense. The plot was hard to follow.
We pushed pause on the audio and decided it was a good time to discuss the book. My husband talked about the author’s unique style in flashing back and forth between the past and present. He thought he was clever. While offering him a piece of my Kit Kat bar, I mentioned that the abrupt transitions throughout the text paralleled the disruptive events in the main character’s life. I thought I was clever. I reminded him I double majored in English and Psychology in college, and I knew how to analyze literature pretty well. We felt like brilliant literary minds, and our interpretations and analysis of the text continued for an hour.
We decided to resume the book. We turned the audio book off of pause, both of us glancing at the screen and realizing, at the same time, that we weren’t as smart as we thought we were. Not even close. We had been listening to the book on the “shuffle” setting. Our book club ended that day.