On Audio Books…

May 26, 2009

MT_R1I don’t know where you stand on audio books, but up until recently I wasn’t really sure what to think of them.  I had some great experiences over the years with ‘books on tape’ where a few history, theology, and finance books were concerned but they were few and far between and I generally knew the authors, and their style of delivery, very well before purchasing the audio books.  I’m also more than a little “old school” in the sense that I enjoy sitting back in a recliner, flipping the front cover of a book open, and reading for a couple of uninterrupted hours (or more, obviously, depending on how engrossed I am).  I even love that old musty book smell and truthfully, I don’t imagine anything could take the place of these experiences, but I’ve got to say that I’m seeing things a little differently these days.

Several months ago I moved across the city (we actually call it a “town” in these here parts) and into my first home, and while I love the freedom that having a home affords, I now sport an hour commute both to and from work each day (no worries, it’s more than worth it and the gas-mileage-friendly car helps) so as to better keep my sanity on those lengthy drives I told myself that I needed to give this whole audio book thing a try to see if it might stave off some of the frustration that sitting in traffic and avoiding idiots on the road brings each day.  Well, long story short, I’ve been visiting my local library to check out their selections and have been really surprised at the treasures I’ve been able to find that I probably never would have tried otherwise.  A couple of hours in the car each day has proven to be just long enough to engross myself in a story before arriving at either destination and I’ve found that my outlook on the day changes for the better knowing that I’ve got an adventure ahead of me on the way home as opposed to 45-stress inducing minutes in traffic.  Not a bad deal at all and I hope to bring you that many more thoughts and reviews as a result.

Never thought I’d say it, but I look forward to today’s long drive home.



  1. I agree with almost everything you said: the experience of reading an actual book beats every alternative (reading on the computer, audio books, etc.).

    I also started listening to audio books in the car on my way to work and find that it makes the drive much more pleasant and me a much more patient driver 🙂

    • Thanks for chiming in Ben, anything on the audio book front that you’d recommend thus far?

      For example, I’ve found that Dean Koontz’ books have been a real joy to “read” in this manner, thanks to his life-affirming themes, fascinating protagonists, breakneck pacing, and among other things, some great voice actors.

      • Honestly, my practice so far has been to listen to classic works that I’ve somehow failed to read thus far. For example, I just got done listening to Matheson’s “I Am Legend,” which I picked up because I had never read the book.

        I also just listened to Zafon’s amazing “The Shadow of the Wind.” I read the book last year and loved it and listened to it in audiobook format to get ready for the release of the prequel in June.

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