So it’s no secret I love to read. Over the last decade or so, I’ve also picked up the audiobook habit. If I’m walking around the streets, or on the bus on the way to work, odds are I’ve got my headphones in and I’m listening to a book. Over at Goodreads, you can see my audiobook list (as of right now, at almost 400 books long), which has a number of classics I’ve always wanted to read but never got around to or wasn’t able to get into in text form. I’ll also pick up dramatized productions and old radio shows.
All in all, it’s become a thing I really like. Now, I understand it’s not for everyone, but you might want to give it a shot. If you head over to Audible, you can sign up for their program, which is where I subscribe (and yes, if you do their free try-out through that link or the one to the right, just below my currently reading list, I do get a credit, but that’s not why I’m mentioning it). For me, the main thing is I hate being trapped in my own head without a distraction. For a long time, it was music, but there was always something.
The invention of the Walkman probably saved my life. I have a really hard time just going for a walk with my own thoughts so the idea of listening to something on the road was and is a great help. I’ll never quite understand people like Rasa, who, when we’re on long road trips and I say “do you want to listen to something?” responds with “No.” And then we’ll drive for miles (which is even longer in kilometers) in silence. I mean, sure, if we’re having a conversation, that’s fine, but the silence terrifies me. When she leaves the house to go do something, I’ll always remind her to bring her book or headphones or something and she always looks at me like I’m crazy. If she remembers, fine. But if she doesn’t, for her, that’s fine, too. Me? I can’t do it. When I go to the movies by myself (something I’ve done for decades), I always bring a book with me and I’ll sit in the theatre, reading until the lights go down. So now I just have more options. In my bag, especially when I travel, I’ll have an e-book reader of some sort (iPad or Kindle), a printed book (at least one, but more often two, in case the battery on the ebook runs out) and my phone which has a number of audiobooks downloaded and ready to listen to. And this is for a three-day trip.
And now, with new technologies, the options are more varied. Not only are there audible audiobooks, which, by the way I listen at 1.5 speed. This makes everything sound a bit more natural than the stilted recording voice, with inordinately long pauses, of most narrators. It may take a few minutes to get used to it, but it really is, for me, the best way to do it. But beyond books, I have a list of podcasts I listen to, usually at night while trying to sleep. I used to listen to the radio, really softly so I’d have to focus to hear everything and that focus would help me sleep. Been doing that since I was a kid.
Of course, now that doing things like podcasts is so relatively easy, it makes me wonder if I should do one as a creative outlet. The thought is there, but not really developed. I think I have a decent enough voice (I was a radio DJ and have done numerous voice overs and things since coming to Lithuania) and I think I have things to say, but so far, the “big idea” hasn’t yet materialized. Maybe soon. Until then, I’ll just keep listening to my “stories.”