Merry Wanderer of the Night + TIME

The Audiobook

I would classify myself as a walker. I love walking long distances, five miles are so, just to see that I can walk that far. Sometimes in the blazing heat I ask myself why I do it, and I want to return home, but I press on. Walking is the perfect way for me to escape from the world and the people who are around me, and it makes me a happier person. I love listening to music when I walk, and I frequently listen to book podcasts, but I had never listened to an audiobook until this summer. I really had no interest in them either, but I knew that my new job (the one I just started this week) was very iPod friendly and I figured I might as well try to get some reading done while I'm at work! So I got my first audiobook to try out, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. I listened to it mostly while I was walking, although sometimes while I was driving, and I actually really enjoyed the whole experience. I'll review the book at a later date, for now I just want to talk about audiobooks for those who love them and for those who are unsure if they want to try them out.

I decided to go with the Bill Bryson book because he narrates it himself. This was attractive to me because I love going to readings to hear authors read their work. It was a really good fit and I'm glad I started out with an author narration. Eventually perhaps I'll move on to a different narrator. One of the main reasons I've stayed away from audiobooks until this point is that I really dislike being read to. I find it extremely hard to follow and feel like I lose a lot of information. When I came away from Bill Bryson's book I didn't feel that way at all, but perhaps that is because it's all about Des Moines, Iowa, which is where I am from so I was very interested in it. I like to think that's not the only reason though. It seems like what I really dislike is being read to badly, because then it's easy to drift off and think about something else. An engaging narrator can hold my interest and make the audiobook feel more like a friend telling me a story at lunch than like a person reading to me.

The place I actually most enjoyed listening to the audiobook was in the car, which surprised me. When I'm walking I have a tendency to think about anything that is bothering me and it's a more reflective practice than driving. In the car I really have nothing to focus on but the road so it's easier for me to lose myself in an audiobook. I think this will be the case with my job as well, because it's a lot of repetitive tasks and I think I might really enjoy listening to an audiobook for awhile to get me away from how mundane everything I'm doing is.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Why or why not? What do you like about them or dislike about them? Where do you listen to them?

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The Audiobook + TIME