For riding in the car, I’ve almost always been a music person. Most of the time my choice is classic rock, but I’ve also listened to my share of kid songs, morning DJs, classical CDs, movie and show soundtracks, even campy Christmas music during the season. I used to complain about having to listen to sports talk whenever Allan drove, and lately I fear I am turning into him. Not sports talk exactly, but talk. More and more I find myself changing the station to NPR for “All Things Considered” or podcasts of Serial and S-Town.
And then there’s the audio books. I’ve become a regular Overdrive customer, and often add the Whispersync feature to books I buy for Kindle. I appreciate it when I can listen to a sample before I purchase or borrow, because the voice does make a difference. What a pleasure it was to listen to Claire Danes’ voice as the narrator of The Handmaid’s Tale, a book I reintroduced myself to in light of these troublesome political times. Several years ago I was listening to The Shoemaker’s Daughter read by an actress with a beautiful Italian accent and lyrical voice. I was halfway through when the narration changed to the author. While she wrote beautiful words, her voice just didn’t do them justice, and it changed my whole experience.
I listen while walking the dog, running errands, and of course on those longer car rides. During the last two weeks I did so much traveling that I was able to finish Cheryl Strayed’s Tiny Beautiful Things and Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. My audio books have become so important to me that I get a little nervous if I don’t have one waiting in the wings. Like now. I am on the wait list to borrow the audio versions of The Sun Is Also a Star and The Hate U Give (thank you Clare and Tammy), two YA novels I am looking forward to “reading.”
I know listening to books is not for everyone, but for me it greatly increases the titles I get through. I read lots of print books, too, but there are so many books and never enough time, so why not capitalize on every minute you can steal to read…or listen.