The first things I did was read some of Dubliners online. I found that is was difficult to read some of Joyce's stories online. When I read things online I find that my mind is not as focused. There are many distractions. I check my email or click on facebook a few times while I am reading. I also found that I skim more often when I am reading online. In short stories, skimming is never a good idea. Every line is important. The stories that I read online I had a harder time remembering what they were about.
After my experience reading online I decided to try listening to Dubliners. I couldn't find a free version of Dubliners to listen to so I had a roommate read some stories to me. I thought this was a good idea to engage with those around me. It was different to have someone read to you. She would use different voices for the dialogue as well as stopping to ask a question or say something about the text (which you don't get in the audio format). She said it was a little difficult to understand because of some of the words that were used. I am not sure if it is the culture or the time period that caused the different in word choice but it left both of us confused about certain points.
Later, as I was reading by myself, I tried to understand more about Dubliners. There was some controversy when Dubliners was first created. It was almost not published because of the themes and language that was used within its pages. There were a few stories that I could understand might offend people but for the majority I could not see what was so offensive. While I was thinking about this I tried to see why this would happen. I went to a family even this evening and when I was there my aunt and I started talking about the book. During our conversation I realized a little why people would be offended by some of the other stories. Dubliners is often described as a dissection of "dear dirty Dublin". Some individuals do not want to learn about the unpleasant parts of their neighborhood. They want to hear pleasant, happy stories. I felt that I had a small little break through by trying to understand the Irish people. I don't fully understand how they would Dubliners but I know I am on the right track.