Today brings another long road trip and a quarter of a day held captive in the car. Therefore, today I am thankful, very, very thankful for Audible and Audiobooks.
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Years ago our local library began stocking books-on-tape. Mostly they were produced by Recorded Books. Mostly they were classics. And mostly they were not my cup of tea.
From the first my daddy was a fan, a BIG fan. He listened to them in his car blaringly loud practically every time he went anywhere, much to the chagrin of his daughter-passengers who preferred to listen to WABB on the radio and the latest pop music offerings. He listened to them on his walk-man with his headphones on, oblivious to the world around him, while mowing the grass, cleaning the pool, or working in his garden. He listened voraciously and still does, even though the books are no longer on cassette tapes and the walk-man has been retired to a desk drawer once the iPhone came into his life.
Now that I’m no longer a teeny-bopper and concerned with keeping up with the teenage Joneses, I’ve come to appreciate listening to a good book. As a bibliophile who has lost a great deal of the time once occupied by reading a title of my own choosing to the demands of middle-age adulthood, it is a way to fill the weekly wasted hours spent sitting in a car or standing at the ironing board and get a few more books checked off of my To Read list on Goodreads. But the allure isn’t merely time-saving. I’ve found that some books were simply meant to be heard, like Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories narrated by Flo Gibson, although the book should be kept handy to view the illustrations referred to at the end of each story.
So as I prepare to embark on another road trip in the failing light of a Friday afternoon, I’ve charged up the iPad, queued up the Audible app and selected the title, Jan-Philipp Sendker’s The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Perhaps I’ll arrive with my sanity. The chances are much improved since I’ve saved myself hours of nothing-do, listening to the same one-hour pop music playlist over and over and OVER ad nauseum and the grating sound of the inevitable back and forth bicker of the children trapped together in the backseat.
Hmmm. . . perhaps I should find my daddy’s walk-man.