How Do I Use The Droning Voice?
The Droning Voice can assure you this is the most frequently-asked question of all. So frequently asked, in fact that her web master, Mr. Somner, has posted a complete page about it here.
How and where does The Droning Voice acquire her books?
The Droning Voice is a true bibliophile, and has gathered (and hoarded) books for many decades. She has striven to create, in her home, a library that is the envy of her many friends…though same friends didn’t appreciate helping her move the books when she capriciously decided to purchase a residence with even more shelf space. However, like childbirth, her friends have forgotten what a pain it was, thankfully. Copious amounts of alcohol also helped. But The Droning Voice digresses.
The Droning Voice haunts flea markets, antique stores, and used book stores. Her eyes light up at the mention of “Estate Sale” or “Yard Sale”, and she has perfected the air of bored indifference at auctions, even though her heart is leaping in anticipation of acquiring a complete set of the 1944 World Book Encyclopedia for $5.
Lest you think The Droning Voice has more money than brains, she haughtily assures you that she has rigorous standards when it comes to the actual consideration of acquiring of a book – it must be really cheap. Or free.
And really old.
How does The Droning Voice select her material?
The Droning Voice peruses all the titles in a “vintage” section of whatever store/yard sale/auction/dumpster she happens to be rummaging through, and does these Very Important Things:
1) She passes over any books by known authors or famous people. Chances are good that subsequent editions of their publications are still in print, and, even though she would dearly love to drone Mark Twain’s “Puddin’ Head Wilson”, she is deathly afraid of the Twain fanatics/lobby and “cease and desist” orders. Her life is complicated enough.
2) She grabs an oh-so-enticing title, such as “The Maintenance of Municipal Sewage Systems” and immediately checks the copyright date. Dang. 1952. Back on the shelf it goes. (This book really exists, by the way.)
3) She finds another book with an enthralling title: “A First Course in Physics”. She checks the copyright. 1906! Yay!* She searches for the price, then loudly complains to the store manager/yard sale proprietor/whomever is listening about the price of said book. She will vigorously point out that nobody in their right mind would ever purchase this particular tome for any price, and that they should allow The Droning Voice to purchase it for 50 cents before her meds kick in. They nearly always give in to her very rational and well thought out arguments, and are unusually relieved to see her go.
The Droning Voice has been the beneficiary of the libraries of several of her ancestors, and even has early editions of Dickens which are lovingly held together with Duct Tape. However, she will not be reading any works by Dickens, because if the Mark Twain lobby is bad, the Dickens fanatics are worse…and many are in a foreign country: England. The Droning Voice has no desire to be the cause of an International Incident which could rapidly escalate into a scandal involving Congressional Hearings, investigations, and, even worse, being shunned by the Royal Family before she has gotten to wear her “fascinator” in their presence. (Note: The Droning Voice’s fascinator incorporates at least one live parrot – ed).
The Droning Voice will also accept donations of your grandfather’s college textbooks, or any other book, but will only read from those that fall under Public Domain Law. The more tedious, the better!
* A friendly reminder that the physics of today is radically different from the physics of 1906. Einstein and all that, you know.
How does The Droning Voice attain that sleep inducing quality?
The Droning Voice makes every attempt to lull her listeners into a sleepy stupor. To that end, she has scoured the internet exhaustively studying up on what makes a “good” orator (by which she means she spent about 5 minutes speed reading Amazon’s ACX website), and then simply does everything they tell a prospective voice-over artist not to do, including stumbling over words, yawning, and even (gasp) clearing her throat from time to time. Her lack of phrasing is of an unsurpassing artistry usually only found in jackhammers, but with less rhythm.
Of course, part of her artistry is the selection of material to read. There will be no slobbering romances, no books with helicopter chases and explosions. The Droning Voice reads, out loud (and by her own free will) books which she can, with a fair amount of confidence, expect that nobody else will be lining up to read, out loud or otherwise. Indeed, the authors of said books should be thankful that their once obscure words will now live on in infamy, being droned out until somebody yanks the cord on the worldwide web. Or the cloud. Or whatever storage device is now being used to contain all the Wisdom in the World, including the insipid lyrics to songs made popular by whatever boy band is currently making tween girls swoon. Yes, Counterpoint by J. Frederick Bridge will take its rightful place alongside the lyrics to such notable classics as “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies.
You may even prefer it.
Can I Listen to Samples of The Droning Voice at work?
We thought you’d never ask. Click here.
Is The Droning Voice one of those ASMR thingys?
Sure! Why not!! If you are a believer in ASMR (Autonomy Sensory Meridian Response), and The Droning Voice’s recordings help you achieve the “euphoric tingling and relaxation” which helps you go to sleep, by all means , tell ALL your insomniac friends about it!
It wasn’t intended to fill a particular niche, but, hey, whatever works. The Droning Voice wants nothing more than to help you drift off to slumberland.
Is there anything else I need to know?
The Droning Voice will faithfully read, without censorship, the texts which are now covered by Public Domain law. It is important for the listener to understand that there may be phrases used 95 years ago that would be considered offensive or racist today. While The Droning Voice will do what she can to avoid potentially offensive publications, occasionally she is too deep into one to back out. The phrases will be read. Pat yourself on the back for how far we have come in 95 years. Hopefully, you will be off into dreamland before any of those phrases jolt you awake and make you write hate mail to The Droning Voice. You need to trust that she is as appalled as you. Plus, if you are really paying that close of attention, you probably shouldn’t be listening to that particular genre anyway. You should be listening to selections on “Counterpoint”. Trust The Droning Voice.
Who IS The Droning Voice?
The Droning Voice is an occasional insomniac, a musician, a mom, a wife. She lives in America’s heartland close to a small city. She assures you that sounding this boring takes a LOT of effort for her, but she is trained in this sort of thing. The Droning Voice spent years perfecting her technique. It is not for the faint-hearted. Don’t try it at home.
Seriously, no helicopter crashes?
The Droning Voice is speechless (if such a thing is possible).
But of course she does. Read the fine print.
Can I contact The Droning Voice?
You can try. No guarantees. The Droning Voice spends so much time thinking of clever ways to help you sleep that responding to unsolicited attempts to get her attention will be most successful if you make it good and keep it short. It’s a free country; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and see what happens.