I used to be a dabbler who only listened to audiobooks on road trips. Since I get motion sickness, they were pretty much the only form of entertainment I could indulge in. But in the last few years, as options for accessing and downloading audiobooks have proliferated, I’ve become a pretty hardcore listener. Not only do I read more thanks to audiobooks, but I have discovered that they can make a variety of unpleasant tasks much more bearable.
Audiobooks Cure Road Rage
I live in a suburb of Seattle with a huge commuter population. A lot of people who live here commute into the city, and a lot of people who live in Seattle work out here. The result is terrible traffic, and a drive to work that should take me ten minutes can more than double if undertaken at the wrong time. But if I have a good audiobook in the CD player, I actually don’t mind being stuck in traffic. Sometimes I’ll even sit in the car for a few minutes when I arrive, just to keep listening! (The other secret to conquering road rage is snacks; don’t drive hangry!)
Audiobooks Get Me Off My Ass
I used to be all about the music while I was exercising, because focusing on a book is pretty hard during brisk cardio. But recent knee problems have really slowed me down, and right now my primary form of exercise is walking. Depending how my knee is feeling on any given day, sometimes it is really more of a gentle saunter around the neighbourhood at a geriatric pace. Some days I can just relax and enjoy the scenery, but other times the pace is frustratingly slow. Audiobooks give me something else to focus on, not to mention that they help me convince myself to get up off the couch and out the door in the first place. (The other thing that keeps me honest here is my FitBit.)
Audiobooks Keep My House Clean
We’ve all seen the various memes where a woman looks at all the household chores that really need to be done, and then decides to read instead. When my clean-freak instincts are warring with my laziness and preference for reading over most other tasks, queuing up an audiobook allows me to appease both parts of myself. When I don’t have an audiobook on the go, laundry goes unfolded, and clean dishes sit in the dishwasher until they absolutely must be unloaded. This one goes beyond household chores and applies to pretty much any mindless task that has to get done.
Audiobooks Get Me Through Migraines
A bad migraine can lay me out flat for an entire day. At the worst, I can’t do much of anything but lie in a dark, quiet room, and tell myself it will pass. But when a migraine is just coming on, or starting to ease, it can be really tempting to try to carry on as usual, even though I know that screens, lights, and reading can all make things worse. Audiobooks can be a distraction from the pain, as well as a way to convince myself to stay in bed when I know that is really where I should be.
Audiobooks Help Me Indulge in Rereads
During my six years of university, the better part of my leisure reading during the school year consisted of rereading my favourite books over and over. I was doing so much reading for school that I just didn’t have the bandwidth to process new books for fun. But since leaving school and starting my blog, I’ve largely focused on reading and reviewing two new books every week, which has put a big damper on my rereading. Audiobooks help me sneak in rereads while still keeping up with my posting schedule. And if the audio version has a good reader, it can be almost like reading a favourite book for the first time.
Are you an audiobook lover? How do they make your life better?