The Joy of Audiobooks: How I’ve Learned to Love My Commute

audio2If you read my last blog post then you know that I’m currently driving….A LOT. Between my new job and home I sometimes spend between 1.5 – 2.5 hours on the road every day depending on the traffic. On a typical day I leave for work around 10am and don’t get back home until 10pm, at which point I usually collapse into bed and fall straight asleep. While I know this is just temporary until we find somewhere closer to our jobs to live, it’s still super depressing. I miss getting coffee with my friends after work, eating dinner with my husband every night, and my quiet time spent curled up with a book right before bed. Luckily, I’ve managed to find a way to solve at least one of these issues: I’ve started listening to audiobooks!

 

It’s amazing how much a good audiobook can improve your mood when you’re driving! I know some people are skeptical of the experience listening to a book versus reading it, but a good audiobook can be just as absorbing, if not more so then an actual physical book! Plus, it beats listening to the same Rihanna song on the radio 20 times a day! The kilometers literally fly by as I become invested in a story, and there are times when I actually don’t want to leave my car until the chapter I’m listening to is over! There have even been a few occasions, where I’ve been listening to an audiobook that was so good I actually looked forward to getting in my car and driving!

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That isn’t to say, however, that all audiobooks are worth listening to. In fact, there are a lot of horrible ones out there. The key to a really great audiobook is hands down the narrator. If you are going to sit in a car and listen to the same voice for the next 8-12 hours then the narrator’s voice has to be one that you enjoy. I’ve started some audiobooks only to stop them 5 minutes in after becoming annoyed by the sound of a narrator’s voice.

For many, the sound of a female narrator impersonating a male voice, or a male narrator impersonating a female voice is a bit odd at first, but if the narrator is good, these small details often fade away as you become absorbed in the actual storytelling.

Here are a few things I’ve learned since starting to listen to audiobooks:

1. Borrow about 2 or 3 audiobooks at once from the library, in case the book you were hoping to read ends up having a really horrible narrator. Give the narrator a good chance to win you over, but if you aren’t feeling the love then you can quickly switch books and start something new!

2. Always have the next disc for your audiobook ready to go and within reach! There is nothing more frustrating (or dangerous) then trying to get a disc out of an audiobook case while keeping your eyes on the road and speeding down the highway. I usually go through about 2-3 discs during my daily commute!

3. Keep track of what disc number your on. There is nothing more upsetting then realizing that you just listened to the last disc and the book is over. Unlike an actual book you don’t have pages to tell you how close to the end you are!

 
All in all audiobooks are a great way of “reading” when you have a crazy schedule. Listening to audiobooks has helped me feel like I’m still tackling my to-read pile, while also filling my craving for words and stories. I’ve become so hooked on audiobooks, I actually think I’ll miss them once my commuting is over!

Have you ever tried listening to an audiobook? Do you have any awesome audiobook recommendations for me? Let me know in the comments below!

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6 thoughts on “The Joy of Audiobooks: How I’ve Learned to Love My Commute

  1. The narrator really makes a difference. I also commute a lot and appreciate audiobooks: now I’m struggling through grossman’s magician’s trilogy because the narrator is terrible (one character is Australian and he butchers her character) but I loved the goldfinch narrator, David Pittu (although didn’t love the book) and Jim Norton was probably the only reason I was able to make it through Ulysses — which I did as a combo of print and audible.

  2. I agree the narrator makes all the difference. And I also don’t want to get out of the car until the chapter ends. LOL

    At least you found a way to make your commute better. Hope you find a closer place soon!

  3. I totally get this! When I was doing Middlemarch as audiobook I always made sure I had at least three discs in my cd player! I wish I had read more audiobooks but you know me and the number of books I have to read. I didn’t want to add more books on that list! Ah well. I ended up “reading” I WAS HERE by Gayle Forman with the audiobook and even though I didn’t necessarily love love love the book, I really liked the narrator. In fact, even though I had the print book, I still listened to the book instead of reading it. I’m SO glad listening to audiobooks is helping but I know it’s hard to commute. Still thinking good thoughts for you!

    • I’m listening to I WAS HERE right now!! I totally forgot that you listened to it as an audiobook! That’s hilarious! I actually really didn’t like the narrator at first. I gave her 3 chapters though and she finally won me over and now I’m really enjoying it! Her voice when she does the mother still bugs me though. I only have 2 discs left and don’t want it to end yet!

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