One of the first volunteer events I did through Hands On Bay Area was with Books Aloud. Last week I auditioned for to be a reader for them, since I have time now to do that kind of thing.
For the audition I had to read 10 minutes each from a kids' book and an adult book, my choice. The kids' book was a no-brainer: The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my all-time favorites for reading out loud. Choosing a specific piece of it, though, was trickier. I eventually went with Chapter 5 ("Short Shrift") not because there was much exciting action going on, but because there were a few different voices, so it would be a good demo. For the other book, I chose The Once and Future King, specifically the amusing scene in Chapter 7 with King Pellinore and Sir Grummore meeting, discussing fewmets, and jousting. Anyway, they both went over pretty well with the committee and they decided to let me start recording for them.
I had my first real recording session today. They assigned me Flush, by Carl Hiassen. (They start all new readers out on kids' books, not that I mind in the least.) It's a decent book, though I have a bit of an issue with how the moral of it seems to be undermined at the end. It works well for reading out loud, though. It's definitely different reading in a little studio into a microphone, rather than actually reading to someone (the recording engineer in the adjacent room doesn't really seem to count). And I have to be a lot more conscious of little mistakes, compared to reading live, so we can go back and fix them. But it's still fun, and it'll be really neat to do a whole book and then be able to send it out for a blind kid somewhere to enjoy.
Unfortunately, their recording schedule is fairly full, so they may mostly be using me to plug up gaps from cancellations for a while. Plus I'm going on two trips in the next two months. So it may take kind of a while to actually get a book finished. I'm hoping to be able to put in more time on it at some point, though, since it's something I won't be able to continue once I eventually start working again.