Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Audio Books

I have long held a prejudice against audio books. It wasn't a terribly rational prejudice (are any such things really?), but all the same there it was lurking around in my consciousness. I did make one exception, which was for Lord of the Rings. My husband really wanted me to read the books with him, but I was in school full time, and working the rest of the time, so I couldn't figure out how to squeeze time in for a book that I really didn't care that much for--I know, how could I, but I couldn't get past the language issue. So, in short, he bought the audio book for LOR, and every night before bed, I would lie in bed and listen to the story. I liked it, the book, and the practice. Still, I didn't buy another audio book, well, until last month.

What changed my mind is simple; I have a 20 minute commute to work every day. It takes 20 to get there and more like 30 to get home. The first weeks I would call my mom on the way home (hands free device, I promise); she likes to talk on a daily basis, so I figured it was a good solution to commuting boredom and mom's desires (no offense mom). Still, after three weeks even she was tired of the daily calls. I tried the radio, which never works for me, as my taste in music is a bit off the pop beaten path. NPR gets old, and I commute at off times, etc, etc. So it was, as I was wandering the aisles of my favorite Seattle bookstore (Elliot Bay Bookstore) that my husband brought up the idea of audio books again. On a whim, I bought one. It was a reading of a book, A Wild Sheep Chase, that I've wanted to read for about seven years now, but for one reason or another, I never got to it.

One week after getting the audio book, my husband got a contract at the same place that I was working, so we began commuting together. With each other to talk to, the grand plan of enriching myself on the way to work was cast aside for the more entertaining talk about friends, our house, and our nutty dog. I swear, Mr. Murakami, it isn't you; it's me.

All this lands me to today, when I finally decided to upload the book to my iPod, so I could listen to it while working on some of my more mundane tasks. While uploading it, I starting listening. The book, and the reading, is just brilliant. All of my snobbishness about audio books flew out the window as I found myself drawn into the story within five minutes. Now, I can't wait for tomorrow's commute.


Wylie said...

Podcasts get me through those commute hours (This American Life is a fave). Haven't delved into the realm of audiobooks, but thinking it's about time.

writtenwyrdd said...

I hate audiobooks. My mind drifts off and I keep having to rewind (after tryign to find the last bit I recall hearing) so I don't lose the story. Also, they are ridiculously expensive compared to books.

But, to each their own. Now, if you give me a voice-activated recorder, I can come up with some great story bits and song lyrics while going on my one hour each way commute (on the days I am not car pooling.)

Nicole Kelly said...

You definitely have me beat on the commute, but in my defense, in has taken me over 90 minutes to get home.

As for the expense, yeah, that was a bit surprising to me. Although, my step father rents off of his audio books at the library.

Nicole Kelly said...

I haven't delved into podcasts yet; my iPod is a new addition to my life.

writtenwyrdd said...

My commute is sans traffic. I live in the "big city" population 5500 and drive through Canada and back out on a woods road to get to my job. I see bear, moose, deer, fox and bunnies but rarely any traffic but the occasional log truck.

I've done the horrible commute when I lived in SF and had to drive to the East Bay. Bleh. Stuck on a bridge for 2 hours is bad.