Hi there! I thought I would do a post today that my dear grandmother, who turned 91 yesterday, would appreciate. Isn’t she beautiful? This picture was taken a couple of years ago when she came to visit over Thanksgiving. She’s living near Denver now, so I don’t get to see her as often as I used to, but we still keep in touch via email, phone calls, and Skype.
She and I have so much in common and I’ve learned a lot from her over the years. One thing we share is a love of reading. Unfortunately, now that I’ve been blogging, I have even less time to sit down and read than I used to. I truly don’t know how everyone else seems to be able to continue doing while at the same time blogging about doing. Let alone doing the things they don’t blog about (i.e. laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.). Seriously. It’s like they’ve discovered a magic wardrobe that they can step into and get a bunch of stuff done, and then they step out and no time has passed. Right? Or is it just me? To actually sit down and read a good book seems a little, well, indulgent.
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Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. My grandmother has been listening to audiobooks for years, since long before there were CDs and MP3s. She’s always been a techie like that. So years ago, I bought a little hand-held portable CD player with headphones, and started listening to the same books she listened to, and we would have our own little mini-book club, discussing the books that we had both listened to. But those audio CDs could be expensive, and it was sometimes cost prohibitive for my grandmother to obtain them, being on a fixed income. Luckily, thanks to the marvels of modern technology, there are other options now, and they’re expanding every day.
Did you know that many public libraries have digital content that you can access for free from the comfort of your own home? And the list of compatible devices is long and growing. My grandmother doesn’t have an mp3 player, but she does have a laptop, and I showed her how she can download audio to her laptop and listen to it while working on her cross stitch, or knitting, or baking in her kitchen, all of which she does often. Not only that, but they also have books you can check out for your Kindle, if you have one. Or even if you don’t, you can still check them out to read on your computer screen, or any other Kindle app available in a variety of platforms. My grandmother loves her Kindle and frequently reads books this way too. I told you she was a techie.
I ditched my portable CD player and started listening to audiobooks on my iPhone shortly after I got my first one. I love being able to tuck my iPhone into my pocket, put my headphones in, and let someone else read me a great story while I’m folding laundry, or putting dishes away, or any other task that I don’t have to think too much about. It’s easy for me to get lost in the story and forget what I’m doing, and before I know it, the task is done! Talk about making time fly. And I’ve listened to some really great books along the way. Most recently, I listened to Gone Girl for our book club, and I have The Language of Flowers queued up to start next. My all time favorite that I’ve listened to is probably the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I got a serious amount of laundry done with that one!
Okay, so maybe you’re saying to yourself “that’s not technically reading.” But hey, whether the words are entering through my ears or my eyes, they’re still going through my head, right? So does it really matter? All I know is that I would have missed out on a lot of books if not for this format.
I’m curious: do you listen to audiobooks? And if so, what are some of your favorites? Or have you tried and just can’t get past the voices? Do they sound weird to you? I have to admit, it did take me a little time to get used to them, but now that I have, I am never without a book or two loaded onto my iPhone. If you need a little help figuring out how to do it, there are probably any number of websites out there that explain it, or leave me a comment below and I would be happy to post a tutorial.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
P.S. Happy birthday Granny! I love you!