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Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A is for Audiobooks: My New Love Affair



I recently saw two friends, Rob Zimmerman and Deena Schoenfeldt, talking about audiobooks. I was puzzled. When did they listen to them? How did they find the time? Audiobooks seemed to be more time-consuming than actually reading, since I can read a book in half the time it takes to listen to it, and I was already unsatisfied with the amount of time I had for books.

Rob said he listened while shovelling snow. Deena said in the car.

I live in Australia. No snow. I catch the train to work, and while I could certainly listen to audiobooks that’s my writing time. I do drive a bit, but mostly I have small, noisy kids in the car. No cigar.

Then, I suddenly found some snow I could shovel!

I walk from my car to the station, and from the station to my office, nearly half an hour each way, or an hour a day five days a week. I was listening to music, but since I prefer to sing while listening to music, and I couldn’t really do this walking in public, this wasn’t really ideal music listening time. Why not listen to an audiobook?

Once I found some time to use, I decided to give audiobooks a try. That was January 12. Since then I’ve listened to 7 audiobooks, in addition to another 3-4 books I’ve read in ebook format. It’s the most books I’ve read in a 10 week period in years, and I’m loving it. 

I started with listening while walking. Then it was while doing the chores, if the kids were in bed, and my husband was otherwise preoccupied. As books grabbed and held my attention, I scrounged for more time for the stories. While exercising at 5am in my house. Doing my exercises to repair my abdominal separation (a staggering 1500 of them a day). 

Then it was in the car, to and from the station or, even better, en route to pick up the kids from my mother in law’s, or home from my parents on a weekend evening, as both kids slept in the back seat – both trips of a good forty minutes. Finally, it was the gym. 

The gym was a good move. After nearly a year at the gym, and some 18kgs of weight loss (with ten still to go) my motivation was flagging. Audiobooks suddenly gave me a new incentive to go - if I go to the gym, I can listen to the book, I told myself. Now I celebrate the nights I go to the gym – I can find out what happens next! 

I am not addicted. Honest. Just a little in love. 


This is an A to Z Blogging Challenge post. For more information about the challenge, check it out at A to Z Blogging. If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to check out my previous posts if you haven't already. If you're finding yourself here often, you might like to join as a member, sign up to the blog through RSS or email, or sign-up to my newsletterCheck out my March Newsletter if you missed it.  

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24 comments:

Amanda Sawyer said...

I've never actually listened to an audio book before, but so many people are raving about them! I should probably give them a try, since I love going for long walks and sometimes music doesn't let my imagination wander the way a book would.

Great post! I will be stopping by more often during the A-Z challenge!

http://amandasnoseinabook.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/a-z-challenge-day-1a-about-amandas-nose-in-a-book/

safireblade said...

Girl, I swear you have a love affair with Audiobooks that get real close to fetish ;) I have a problem with audiobooks because the narrator's voice or accent can just not fit with the book (in my opinion) and that just kills it for me. Still you have kicked butt reading more now.

*~MAJK~*

A-to-Z Challenge 2014

Mighty Minion of Co-Host Nicole Ayers

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Stephsco said...

I also love audiobooks! I mostly listen while driving, and some books like fantasy or very wordy literary cannot hold my attention in that format. Nothing against the books, I just need a certain kind to listen to while driving. I've listened to so many from my library I'm now recognizing narrators!

Sydney Aaliyah said...

I don't know why, but I am afraid to even start with the audiobook. I would probably really like it and then miss actually reading a book. I know I will break down at some point.

2014 A to Z Challenge
Nicole’s #atozchallenge Mighty Minion

robertlampros.com said...

Core strength is important but I'm pretty sure doing 1500 of anything is extremely unhealthy. I've been meaning to get the Book of Acts on audio for years. Good music keeps coming my way though, so I read. So I read...

Lynda Dietz said...

Audiobooks have been a favorite of our family for years. They've gotten us through long car trips and made the time fly when at the gym. I don't blame you for being addicted.

A.M. Guynes/Annikka Woods said...

I've only got one audiobook. My husband and I use it to go to sleep by. We've already listened to the whole thing three times while we were awake so we're not missing anything. I want more so I have something to listen to during the day.

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Ciara Ballintyne said...

There's a thought! I have a lot of trouble going to sleep. Maybe an audiobook might help...

I highly reconmmend Audible, although it's not nearly as cheap as ebooks. It's the best option for current titles though. For older works no longer under copyright, there are apparently a few sites that offer them free.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Totally make gym time fly. I'm chafing at the bit now for my kids to be old enough to have audiobooks in the car! At the moment you can't even listen to music...

Ciara Ballintyne said...

That's EXACTLY what I thought! But I don't miss reading an actual book. Well, I still do read actual books. I keep audiobooks for times when I can't read, but still read when I can. This does mean I am reading two books at a time (one audio, and one ebook) but as long as you can keep it straight, it's fine. The trick with audiobooks though is good narrators. There are some audiobooks I just can't do because the narrator destroys the book for me. Always listen to a sample before purchasing!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I read a lot of fantasy, so most of mine have been in that genre. 28 hours, wow! But fantasy really needs an excellent narrator to suck you into an audiobook. Rupert Degas and Simon Vance are my favourites so far.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

Go listen to the samples of The Black Prism by Brent Weeks or The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Those narrators really make the audiobook on my opinion - I could swoon just listening to them. DO NOT under pain of EXTREME EMOTIONAL ANGUISH listen to the sample of any Wheel of Time book. I just couldn't do it *sobs*

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I have found my walk flies by now. I, too, used to listen to music, but I had the same problem - it just wasn't a sufficient distraction. A good audiobook and your walk will be over before you know it and you might even consider an extra circuit because, dammit, I need to know what happens next! ;-)

yaykisspurr said...

Hi! Love this idea. I was thinking as I was reading when I have time...? How to you get them - the library or download or what? Cheers.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

I subscribe to Ausible - monthly subscription gets you one free download a month and discounts on other books. It is a bit pricier than ebooks, but they also offer promotions and sales. I have picked up 4 books cheap since January. Otherwise you can get audiobooks from libraries (more so in the States than in Australia) and older works out of copyright can be found online for free.

Amanda Northrup said...

Haha! Yes! I've become an addict, too, over the last year or so. I especially love listening to an audiobook in my headphones while cooking dinner. I download a lot of them for free from the public library.
I look forward to reading more of your posts during the A to Z challenge http://booksaplentybooksgalore.blogspot.com

msl_007 said...

How far is your office from your home? Gotta be far with a train ride and a half hour walk.

Ciara Ballintyne said...

It's about 45km. I could change trains rather than walk at the other end, but the reality is that by the time you change platforms, wait for the next train, travel the distance, and then walk from the closer station to the office, it takes just as long, so I might as well walk and get the exercise. Uh... unless it's pouring of course!

Ciara Ballintyne said...

My kids are really little (4 and 1) so it's impossible to listen to audiobooks while they're around - it's a constant barrage of Mum, Mum, Mum! I look forward to being able to listen more while doing chores in the future!

Sotia Lazu said...

I have practically no time to read, so I listen to audiobooks while I drive and while I cook. I seem to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately...

Stephanie N said...

I discovered these a few years and now listen to them regularly on my way to and from work. I even find myself looking forward to stopping at red lights (an unheard of phenomenon from me) just to prolong the listening pleasure. Now that I've learned how to download them onto my phone, I also listen to them while exercising. What a great invention!

msl_007 said...

Not so bad then. (After I converted to miles) That's about how far my dad use to drive to get to work, and when I cleaned windows for a living, I regularly went that distance. Just seemed longer from your description.

msl_007 said...

Cheers to traffic jams!

yaykisspurr said...

Thanks! I'll look into Audible.

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