The playlist with the far-away version and the close up version: https://soundcloud.com/naomi_sternstein/sets/alice-and-the-mouse
Besides the obvious fact that the closer sound has a much higher volume than the farther away sound, there are many perceived differences between the two sounds recorded at different distances from the microphone. For instance, the closer up recording is much more rich than the farther away sound. This recording focuses in on the sound on the voice only, but the voice is a little muffled and could be more clear. The farther sound, on the other hand, is much more clear and crisp. But for this recording, the general noise from the seemingly silent room is also present throughout the recording and detracts from the voice. For this reading, a story with a childish and imaginative theme, I think that the closer recording is more suitable. It is more intimate and inviting, like being read a story before going to bed.