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.