I’ll be the first to admit that I am so far behind the curve with the audiobook craze it’s semi-sad. I always said I didn’t think I could get into audiobooks even though people like my mom were into it. I recently figured out that the iPod Touch my wonderful boyfriend got me is perfect for ear-reading.

The first book I ever tried to read via audiobook was Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses. It was for a summer class, and I had a really hard time getting into the book, so I thought I could help myself out by getting the audiobooks from the library to follow along with. Even then, cassettes were a dinosaur means of listening to anything, so I unfairly judged all audiobooks based on a book that was not for me on a medium that no one used anymore. (That was the only class I ever dropped.)

Ten or so years later, I realized that audiobooks were available in a digital format, available on Overdrive from my library (since I am not a bjillionaire who can afford the ridiculous price tag publishers put on audiobooks), and amazing for specific activities, and way better than simultaneously reading and ear-reading.

  • RUNNING: I wish I’d discovered audiobooks back when I was training for my marathon. Now that I live in Texas, running outdoors doesn’t happen all that often, and audiobooks are what keep me sane running on the boring old treadmill.
  • WEIGHTLIFTING: Yep, this is my favorite activity of all time ever. Yes, I am being sarcastic, but it’s an important part of the ole regimen, and listening to an audiobook is a great way to lose count of reps. Not really.
  • SEWING: It’s one of the primary ways I distract myself when I should really be writing, but adding audiobook listening to the mix does at least make me feel a little more productive.
  • PUTTING AWAY LAUNDRY: It might be my least favorite activity of all activities, but I don’t want to delegate it in the event that the clothes don’t get put away in the right place. Dammit, dog, why won’t you pay the same kind of attention to *clean* underwear? Sorry – TMI. My point, audiobooks make it more tolerable.
  • VACUUMING: Yes, you could listen to the buzz of the vacuum, but an audiobook is much nicer.

Not-so-great activities: riding the bus. You’d think it’d work, but it’s a surprisingly crappy experience.

I felt the same kind of ambivalence before I got into e-books, but when I took up e-books, I began reading 2-3 times the amount I did with paperbacks. Now that I’ve added audiobooks to my repertoire, it’s more like 3-4 times what I was reading before. I’ve read 49 books this year, and I feel like a multi-tasking ninja!