My husband and I met because we love books, reading and good writing. For a long time, we had a long-distance (4000+ miles) relationship, and we'd talk about the things we wanted to do when we were finally able to be together every day. Reading to each other was at the top of the list, and now that we've been married for over a year, we've decided to make reading to each other a nightly routine.
Our first book was The Shipping News, a book my beloved husband R. had told me I had to read, so I'd picked up a copy at Grounds for Thought (my favorite used bookstore/coffeeshop in Ohio) and it had been in my TBR pile ever since.
I know that the experience of reading it myself would have been quite different; I probably would've sorted out the characters much sooner. I would've had different voices for them in my head--and because R. spent some time working with a bunch of Newfies, he was able to give accents where appropriate.
I can't say I'm crazy about the end of the book; it seems too abrupt, too much like the author was meeting a deadline and thought, "Well, I'll just tack this scene on and that can be the end." But I loved everything leading up to it--the characters are wonderful and fun-- and the beginning of nearly every chapter starts with a knot from The Ashley Book of Knots. I do recommend reading The Shipping News*, if you haven't already.
And if you can get someone to read to you with the accents, I highly recommend letting it be read to you.
*I watched the movie once, but remember nothing about it. Husband swears it's nothing like the book.