I love to read. I have always loved to read. I remember the days when I would sit down in the morning, crack the spine of a fresh novel, and read straight through until I reached “The End”. I usually remembered to eat. Usually. Those were good days.
They were a long time ago.
These days, I have manuscripts to write or edit, along with my full-time day job. My kids have homework, or gymnastics, or a project that requires considerably more skill (and trips to the craft store) than makes sense for a third-grader. And when my kids go to bed, that is the time for my husband and I to watch the sort of television you don’t watch with a nine year-old. Game of Thrones, for instance. I realize watching TV together isn’t going to win us any awards for clever romanticism, but it’s our thing. The point is, my days of checking out for hours at a time to immerse myself in a book are nothing but a sweet and distant memory.
Enter audiobooks. I love audiobooks, and here’s why:
I listen to them in m
I feel like I should shout that: I LISTEN TO THEM IN MY CAR!
Am I the first person to listen to audiobooks in the car? Did I invent this? No, I did not. But I still feel ridiculously clever for figuring out this guilt-free loophole for finding time to read.
I will admit, it took me awhile to catch on. The first time I listened to an audiobook in the car was years ago. I was driving to Chicago (a four hour drive), by myself, to visit my grandmother, who was terminally ill. The prospect of all that time alone in the car with my thoughts on the way to her house was not appealing. At the time, my library offered a limited selection of audiobooks on CD, and I checked out Nobody’s Baby But Mine, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. (If you are not a fan of SEP, you should be.) It lasted the whole way there and the whole way back and I was laughing out loud by myself in the car. Thank you, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, for making that weekend a little bit easier, and thank you, Narrator-I-don’t-remember.
It was wonderful. It was also several years ago, and the only way to check out audiobooks from my local library was to trek downtown to the main branch and browse through the AV department. So I didn’t listen to another audiobook for a good long while. I guess I just wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realize how times had changed until a couple of years ago. My husband convinced me to take the (terrifying) leap and have laser eye surgery. It was a little more traumatic than I had expected it to be. (Not sure why I thought eye surgery would be anything but, but that’s neither here nor there). My husband had some guilt–okay, lots of guilt–and he was very attentive during my recovery. While I was lying on the couch with my eyes closed, bored out of my ever-loving mind, he signed me up with an Audible account. He set everything up on my iPad–even picked out an historical romance for me. It was very sweet.
He also let me know that he had signed me up for some sort of introductory freebie, and if I did not cancel my Audible account within a certain period of time, I would be charged a monthly subscription.
Sooooo….one day several months later, I received an email that I had accrued five unused credits on Audible. Crap. I had forgotten to cancel. When I went online to the website, I discovered I had to use my credits before I cancelled, or I would lose them. So I used them. AND I LOVED IT.
I have been a loyal Audible subscriber for nearly three years now. I have a twenty-five minute commute each morning that can become as much as forty-five minutes in the evening. I am also regularly driving to collect my children from one place or another. I love listening to audiobooks on my drive.
It is the perfect example of efficient multi-tasking. I tell you, I am beating the system, people. What else could I be doing? I am alone in my car. I’m not choosing between a good book and my to-do list. I’m not sacrificing time with my children or my husband. I am alone in my car! I can’t parent, write, or clean while I am alone in my car! I have the Audible and Overdrive apps on my phone, which connects to my car’s Bluetooth, all of which make my CD experience of years ago seem like something out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel.
Perhaps you are laughing, because you have all figured this out already. Good for you. For those of you who haven’t…this is simple genius. Mark my words. Try it. Most libraries have a growing collection of audio ebooks. Try it there first. You won’t regret it.
In case you are wondering what I’ve been listening to on audiobook, I just finished Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. It is narrated by Rosalyn Landor. I am a huge fan of Ms. Landor as a narrator. My next audiobook adventure is Outlander. Yes, I am the last person on Earth who has not read or watched Outlander. I expect to be listening for some time. Unlike most romance novels, which last 11 or so hours on audiobook, Outlander is something like 36 hours. I am certainly getting my money’s worth. Need a recommendation for historical romance audio books? Try my Beginner’s Guide to Historical Romance.