How audiobooks became “acceptable” was a case of necessity being the mother of revamping my values. Bedtime has never been a smooth process in our household and I spent a lot of time sitting in the dark waiting on the girls to go to sleep. After a while, I realized that this less than optimal parenting situation could at least provide some additional reading time – so long as the lights stayed off. That’s when I looked into and joined Audible.com. Even then, it wasn’t until I got hooked on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Simon Vance’s narration that listening to audiobooks morphed from something I only did for a little while each evening to something I did whenever reading print was impractical. Once it’s more than casual diversion, you begin to develop preferences and a new passion starts to grow.
From a reading and blogging perspective, 2010 has not been the best. I nearly broke under the weight of review copies and ARCs. From there, my desire to read in print took a nose dive beginning in the late spring. When my grandfather passed away in August, it was more than a month before I picked up a book with any real verve. Looking back on 2010 for the obligatory year and review post, I noticed something I hadn’t given much thought to before. Through it all, I kept on audiobooking.
- In 2010, I’ve read 75 books thus far. 22 of them were audiobooks. Without audiobooks, This year would be my least prolific reading year since 2006.
- Audiobooks more than anything else I read this year is where I most expressed my desire to read deliberately. With the exception of one audiobook, not a single one I listened to came with any strings attached. I was free to select anything I desired from Audible or the library.
- Audiobooks have gotten me started into the world of series. I started both The Hunger Games trilogy and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series that way. I ended up preferring print over audio for The Hunger Games series, but I sincerely doubt that I’ll read any of the Outlander books without Davina Porter. She’s fabulous.
- My book blogging highlight of the year was having the opportunity to interview the man who quickly became my favorite narrator, Simon Vance. It came about during the height of my blogging malaise. Devourer of Books sponsored an audiobook theme week. I took a leap of faith and decided to send him an email requesting an interview. I will never forget when I found out he said yes. I then understood and fully embraced my audiophile geekdom. The interview excited me as a reader and as a blogger just when I needed it the most.
- When my post about Grandpa Dodde prompted Simon to write about his own grandfather (including a picture of Grandpa), it meant a lot. I still haven’t left a comment on that post because I just can’t put my feelings into words. In my eyes, he did me the great honor of making Grandpa famous for a day. Grandpa would have liked that. I certainly did.
- Another benefit just occurred to me – audiobooks in the car have cured me of a really bad habit. I don’t pick up my current physical book to read in snatches at red lights anymore, meaning that I spark much less road rage in my fellow travelers.
None of this – from the 29% boost in my reading to my interactions with Simon Vance – would have happened had I not given audiobooks a chance a couple of years ago. That is why I say that they saved me this year. Even if that is a touch melodramatic, sometimes it takes a bold statement to adequately get your point across.
Thank goodness I opened my mind to audiobooks. I can’t and wouldn’t want to imagine my life without them.