The Summer of Audiobooks

It only took a month of driving my 45-minute commute to work each day (Because I’m a granny and I refuse/am too scared to drive on the expressway, OK? Don’t give me that look.) for me to realize I could be spending that time doing something better than frantically switching between radio stations, awaiting my jam to start playing.

Audio books. That’s right. Cue the confetti cannons.

I started with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, because I’m not sure there should be any other first audio book I should “read.” And it was great. Jim Dale became my new favorite person in the world, even though he doesn’t pronounce the ‘t’ in Voldemort. My commute felt like it was getting shorter as I relived the memories I’ve taken to be my own, not just fiction.

The rest of the books I tried? Not so great. I attempted tons. I got really picky and gave up on them because the reader’s voice was annoying, or they didn’t have different voices for different characters, or they weren’t emotional enough, or they just didn’t seem worthy of being recorded and paid for their reading abilities.

I also have the world’s worst attention span, so much of my time listening was actually spent trying to remember what happened when last I paused the book. I may or may not also be susceptible to squealing fits when an adorable family of raccoons crosses the road.

Oh, and my mind wanders. Driving is the only real alone time I get when I’m living at my parents’ house. Those precious 90 minutes of solitude every day held me together all summer. I had a chance to process all kinds of existential thoughts one shouldn’t be too deep in while operating machinery.

Eventually, the audio books became background noise to everything else.

So. I need the real book in my hands. I need to be physically turning the pages and sometimes even following along the text with my finger, like we did in elementary school so we wouldn’t lose our place and reread the same line over and over again. 

I’m sure there are techniques for getting into the mindset to tackle audio books, but I’ll just leave it to the pros. Just know that I’m jealous of you awesome people who fly through them without missing a thing.

Keep on rockin’ through ’em. I’ll be over here reading at sloth speed while my mind wanders.

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