Story & Place: How Audiobooks and Locations are Tied Together in My Mind

stereoIt’s usually smell, isn’t it?  That mighty, mighty memory trigger.  But, interestingly, for me, the biggest connectors I have are audiobooks and locations; that is, a story that I listened to will forever be tied to the location where I heard it.

* If I drive out to my friend Caitlin’s home, there is a place on the road that I can’t help but think of Going Bovine— and not only the book, but even a specific part.

* In the parking lot of the Super8 on 41st in Sioux Falls, I think of Perry and Aria from Under the Never Sky.

* Out by the DMV– not my usual one, but the special one where I have to get an updated MVR for work every year– I think of The Mortal Instruments.

* I think of Saving Francesca any time I drive out to Plymouth to meet my friend Elyse.

* If I even think of Watertown, South Dakota, I think not only of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, but also a specific part (highlight for spoiler: when Ron comes back and Hermione is so irate that Harry has to cast a shield charm between the two!).

It’s quite fascinating to me, honestly– I won’t even be thinking of a certain story at all, and then, like the flip of a switch, something about the location will trigger the memory of that story.  It’s a little like unwittingly driving right into a story.  And I quite love it.

Of course I do.

Which two things are tied together tightly in your mind?

Related posts:
Sometimes the audiobooks are better.
Things That Make Life Easier for Readers

3 thoughts on “Story & Place: How Audiobooks and Locations are Tied Together in My Mind

  1. Jackie, You have quite the interesting brain :). I have never heard of anyone having such strong association with words as you do! Very cool. For me, it’s definitely smells. One whiff can transport me, vividly, back in time.

  2. Oh my goodness, I love that you posted this… Every time I commute to school on HWY 12 (specifically a spot where there’s a big red barn peeking through the vibrant leaves), I think of Scorpio Races! Plus, I had the “Leaves” Bath and Body Works car scent at that time, so that smell is forever associated with Puck and Sean.

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