Falling in love with audio books

I’m happiest when I’m in the middle of reading a good book. Lately, life’s been busy between work and home, and it’s felt hard to find time to squeeze in reading. It’s not always the time, after a full day in front of a screen, spending a couple of hours with my face a foot or so away from text doesn’t sound all that appealing.

But the flip side is being able to count on two hands the number of books I’ll read this year, which means an easy calculation to the number of books I’ll read this decade. I find that idea really sad — just think of the sheer range of ideas, stories, and worlds missed out on by not making enough time for reading.

This year I decided to give audio books a shot. It’s taken a little while to get used to, but with the quality of narration on Audible, it isn’t just fun, it’s allowed me to read books I never would have made time for otherwise.

So far I’ve read (yes, it’s listening, but it still feels like reading), Kevin Smith’s 2012 memoir on Clerks, his filmmaking career, and getting into podcasting, Tough Sh*t, Esther Perel’s follow up to her excellent book on relationships (Mating in Captivity), The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity, and I’m now onto Satya Nadella’s book on empathy, leadership, and Microsoft’s recent renewal, Hit Refresh.

It feels like a whole new world of reading has opened up. It’s freeing up so many parts of the day where it’s otherwise impossible, or wildly dangerous to read a book:

  • While driving
  • While walking
  • While jogging
  • While working out at the gym
  • While doing the dishes
  • While shopping for groceries
  • While sitting in the dark
  • While at lunch (without getting food all over your book)

I still love curling up on the couch and reading a good book. But I feel like that isn’t the only way to devour a novel… and now, I’m starting to think that maybe I won’t miss out on so many great books.