The Return of an Old Friend

wm_store_audioAs summer holidays officially begin, I find myself returning to one of my most favourite routines.  It starts with successfully recalling my public library username and password, followed by an online search with the following filters ~ “available”, MP3 version, known authors (Baldacci, Patterson, Brown to name a few)  and ends with the successful completion of all steps involved with downloading a selected audio book to my iPhone.

Ball cap holding back my ponytail, sunglasses poised, running shoes tightened, earbuds securely in place and I’m ready to hit the trails and press the play button.  The narrator’s voice, like that of an old friend, begins and within minutes I’m transported from the trails to the setting of the novel, as if no time has passed from the last time we were together.  And although my eyes are peeled on the trail, avoiding any potential pitfalls, my imagination is alive with visions of fishing charters, Monasteries, war-torn countries, exotic islands, state capitals and every other setting that my favourite authors select for their opening scene.  I find myself getting lost in the creative vocabulary and twists and turns woven into the phrases ~ hoping to recall some of them to use in my own writing.

These days my reading diet is relatively well rounded in terms of what I’m digesting and my intake methods.   My day usually begins with my social media snacking ~ Twitter and Facebook articles which I send to my organized lists, retweet or share.  My non-fiction “appetizers” include recipe books, magazines, newspaper articles ~ paper copies which I can skim and scan and quickly make my way through. For my professional reading (entrée) it’s good old-fashioned paper copies, with new spines ready to be cracked, which I find myself wanting to re-read, highlight and fill the margins with connections ~ these take much longer to digest.

So, in continuing with the reading diet theme, I would have to classify my audio books as dessert. The plot lines are predictable; usually including a good guy, a bad guy, an investigation, a love interest, a plot twist and a relatively happy ending.  And just like dessert is one of those guilty pleasures when it comes to my daily intake of food, my audiobooks bring great pleasure to my summer hikes.

The value of listening to Audio books has certainly garnered mixed reviews.

Your Brain On Audio Books: Distracted, Forgetful, And Bored

The Benefits of Audiobooks

Knowing how much I enjoy this summer pleasure, I have to wonder why it stops when September rolls around.  Maybe this is the year that I continue to treat myself to audiobooks well into the school year.

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Come write with me….

8 thoughts on “The Return of an Old Friend

  1. Great advice and I’ll count on your for a reminder or two as we venture back into our “busy multi literacies” work schedule. But until then, let the easy living continue. Time to hit the trails 🙂

  2. 10 km a day ~ Amazing! I’m in awe and admiration of your dedication to fitness. Good luck with your first audio book~ the selection is vast!

  3. When my children were little, we did the same thing ~ although back in the day, it was cassette tapes with matching books. To this day, when my daughter, now 25, and I step off an elevator, we look at each other and giggle, “One, two, three step”. It’s a line from a Sesame Street audio tape ~ one that seemed to receive a great deal of play time. Maria was taking Ernie shopping for a gift for Bert and she repeated that phrase to ensure that Ernie safely disembarked from the elevator. Last week, I read that Maria was retiring about 44 years in Children’s Television ~ what a tremendous on impact on several generations.

  4. I have to admit, that if I’m in the middle of a good part in one of my books and I just can’t wait for my hike, I find myself inserting my earbuds and enjoying parts of the story as I work around the house. Yesterday, I was able to enjoy a number of chapters as I vacuumed and washed my vehicle. I love the fact that you still read to your children. What a gift that is for all of you.

  5. Summer time and the living is easy in part because it is all about the time summer affords us once on vacation. And I’ve always found that time has a great impact on my diet. Why do most of my involved well prepared meals happen on the weekends and my feasting on quick efficient leftovers happen midweek – time! My friend I put it to you that during your busy multi literacies work schedule you don’t have the time for a regular diet of dessert and yet like so many other things we want to add to our plates it is a matter of choosing to make the time . Whatever you choose this fall , I hope you spend a long lazy summer enjoying the the joys of your dessert that this time has allowed you to rediscover.

  6. I, too, am a fan of audiobooks, both for my children and for myself. We have listened to The Golden Compass and most of the Harry Potter series while driving (I had originally borrowed CDs from the library for a long car trip, to alleviate the boredom and backseat shenanigans, but I found that we were turning on the CD even on our 10 minute drives just to hear a bit more, and we even sat in our car when we arrived home to finish the chapter). I also used my drives last year, while I was driving to Toronto to complete my M.A., to listen to audiobooks, both fiction and non-fiction. And I think that there’s something very interesting about listening to a book. There’s something about the reader’s voice that seems to fire different neural pathways for me. Perhaps my strength as an auditory learner kicks in here, and this may not be the same for everyone, but listening to a book burns it into my brain. Fiction becomes a little more haunting and moving for me. Non-fiction (which I must admit is never my favourite) becomes more palatable and interesting, as if I’m listening to the author have a (one-sided) conversation with me. Perhaps this is why I still read to my 14-year-old and 12-year-old: because I continue to experience for myself the power of listening to a book.

  7. My answer!
    How timely, thanks Sue. I’ve been getting back into a summer routine of running outside and have challenged myself to 10km a day for 10 days. My husband asked facetiously…what happens on day 11?
    I’ve hurriedly downloaded a podcast or two before dashing out the door, but hadn’t considered audiobooks!
    I love your analogy of the reading ‘diet’ and snacking on Twitter in the morning- I do the same. I also find being home more allows for more actual snacking, hence the 10km running challenge.

  8. Audio books are a favourite of ours in the summer too. We usually digest several over the course of numerous car rides. They are a great way to keep the kids occupied and from fighting in the car. My three kids have some similar books tastes, but often choose different genres. They take turns selecting and wr all grt exposed to nee themes. It is great! Enjoy your summer listening, I know we will 😃

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