Audio Salvation

Sometimes, you just have to admit when you’re wrong.

These times are few and far between, but they happen. One of these times was when I decided to give audiobooks a serious try. I’d been teasing my sister for years about the sappy, ridiculous romance novels she insisted on scattering around her car. These were on tape – in the 2000’s. Yes, her car still had a cassette player. They were cumbersome, annoying, and required constant flipping and changing. Why would you ruin a good book like that? Then the books switched to cds. it was a little less annoying, but still – no.

Then I joined roller derby, met my friend (and derby wife) Tam, and she raved about audiobooks. That’s how she consumed all her reading needs. But, she liked good books – wait, are good books available in audio format? Like actual good books.

Yes, she proclaimed in that way she does when she’s excited. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, Room, all these are just sitting there, at the library, waiting for me on audiobook.

But, I pushed back, what do you do when you’re listening? A book is read that’s all you’re doing when you’re reading it. If it’s an audiobook, aren’t you just staring into space while you listen? How do you focus?

‘Stop arguing, throw it on your ipod, and just do it’ was the eventual end to months long back and forth.

And so I did. I can no longer remember what the first book I tried was, but I was hooked. I now listen to audiobooks everywhere – on the bus, at the grocery store, at the gym, at work, in the car, folding laundry. The list is almost endless. I can’t remember the last time I listened to the radio. Menial tasks now become a reading opportunity. I’ve doubled my book intake. It is glorious!

Don’t get me wrong, they’re not all great. The narrator will make or break the book. I’ve listened to books I would never have read. I’ve stopped an audiobook and switched to the paper copy and vice versa. But, I am in love with the audiobook. It has wraps me in its comfy, auditory arms and I’m never letting go.

*Plug for my local library. For those of you with EPL cards (or check your own library), use the Hoopla service. It’s free. It’s fast. It’s streaming audiobooks with no wait time.

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