I recently saw two friends, Rob Zimmermanand Deena Schoenfeldt, talking about audiobooks. I was puzzled. When did they listen to them? How did they find the time? Audiobooks seemed to be more time-consuming than actually reading, since I can read a book in half the time it takes to listen to it, and I was already unsatisfied with the amount of time I had for books.

Rob said he listened while shovelling snow. Deena said in the car.

I live in Australia. No snow. I catch the train to work, and while I could certainly listen to audiobooks that’s my writing time. I do drive a bit, but mostly I have small, noisy kids in the car. No cigar.

Then, I suddenly found some snow I could shovel!

I walk from my car to the station, and from the station to my office, nearly half an hour each way, or an hour a day five days a week. I was listening to music, but since I prefer to sing while listening to music, and I couldn’t really do this walking in public, this wasn’t really ideal music listening time. Why not listen to an audiobook?

Once I found some time to use, I decided to give audiobooks a try. That was January 12. Since then I’ve listened to 7 audiobooks, in addition to another 3-4 books I’ve read in ebook format. It’s the most books I’ve read in a 10 week period in years, and I’m loving it. 

I started with listening while walking. Then it was while doing the chores, if the kids were in bed, and my husband was otherwise preoccupied. As books grabbed and held my attention, I scrounged for more time for the stories. While exercising at 5am in my house. Doing my exercises to repair my abdominal separation (a staggering 1500 of them a day). 

Then it was in the car, to and from the station or, even better, en route to pick up the kids from my mother in law’s, or home from my parents on a weekend evening, as both kids slept in the back seat – both trips of a good forty minutes. Finally, it was the gym. 

The gym was a good move. After nearly a year at the gym, and some 18kgs of weight loss (with ten still to go) my motivation was flagging. Audiobooks suddenly gave me a new incentive to go – if I go to the gym, I can listen to the book, I told myself. Now I celebrate the nights I go to the gym – I can find out what happens next! 

I am not addicted. Honest. Just a little in love. 

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