Abraham Verghese at the NY Times:
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how).
Ideal would be on a houseboat in Kerala, motoring down the backwaters with my own cook and boatman and sipping toddy; or else under an umbrella at some warm beach while digitally disconnected. But I’ll settle for an uninterrupted hour or two wherever I can find it, and that’s typically late at night, or often on a plane. During the height of the Covid pandemic (whose only silver lining was what it did for reading and for baking sourdough bread), I was biking or walking to work and I got into audiobooks. I could seamlessly pick up where I left off on the physical page the previous night. Listening to a book has made me even more attuned to the sound of what I put on the page. It led me to audition for narrating the audiobook of “The Covenant of Water.” Happily, I got the role. (It’s harder than most people realize: One has to perform the book and convey who is speaking using pitch, tone and accent but without overdoing it. Five hours a day for two and a half weeks and communicating by sign language in the evenings to restore the voice.)