There is nothing I love more than curling up on the couch, in a blanket on an overcast day with a warm beverage and reading a book.
The familiar smell and the feel of the pages in my fingers as the story unfolds.
I could get absolutely lost in those stories. So much so, that I remember my parents actually grounding me from books.
You heard that right.
I would take any opportunity to sneak away and read. Not that I needed an excuse, but generally, this was around about the time I had been asked to do the dishes, clean my room or fold the laundry. Sometimes it was while we were driving to our destination on a family vacation and I was not paying attention to the Sequoia National Forest or Pacific Coast Highway as it flew by my window.
This was my modus operandi for years. If I had any spare time, you can bet I was curled up somewhere, reading.
Then I had kids.
There Went My Free Time
I knew there would be sacrifices when becoming a parent, but I was not prepared for the lack of free time. Or quiet, for that matter.
But we know that where there is a will, there is a way – and in my search for a conducive means to feed my need to read, I discovered Audible.
I had grown up listening to books-on-tape (and later CD) during long trips. We had an old Victrola with a small library read-along-records. I used to listen to sermons on tape when we went into town with my dad. Audible was just the next logical step for me.
I am not sure I can claim to be an early adopter, as Audible technically started in 1995 and then was purchased by Amazon in 2008. Although I didn’t come on the scene until about 2014, I have never looked back.
I have 275 books in my Audible library that consist of fiction, non-fiction, children’s books, self-betterment and even some college level courses that have been translated into an auditory learning platform.
Listening, Listening and More Listening
This medium has come in clutch for me so many times. These days, I listen to a book during almost every household chore. Doing laundry or dishes, making dinner or organizing my kids’ rooms, I am listening to a book. It has even proven an effective mitigator of road-rage for me. I don’t mind a commute when I feel productive instead of just trying to get from point A to point B.
One of the most important times I remember, however, was when I was at home with both of my babies.
Being a stay-at-home-mom is one of the hardest jobs out there. My babies were 21 months old and one month old when I was laid off from my job. I found myself a stay-at-home-mom whether I had planned for it or not.
I love my babies, and being at home was a treat I will never take for granted. But with two-under-two, I was lonely. I tried listening to music, and pretty soon I just turned on a TV in the background to hear adult voices. I called my husband about three times a day while he was at work, just to have someone to talk to.
Audible Saved Me
Once I figured out that I could listen to books or courses during the day, it was an absolute ray of sunshine. I had something to keep my brain sharp while I did the everyday diaper duty and feeding regimen. Housework turned less mundane when it had a different soundtrack to it each time. I even started looking for opportunities to take on new tasks around the house, as it gave me an opportunity to listen to my books.
One time, after I went back to work, my husband came home to find that I had done every stitch of laundry in the house, organized our closet and rearranged our room. While listening to my book on the way to work, I couldn’t put it down. So, I had called out sick and driven home to listen. Since Audible is hands-free, I found myself busying my hands as the author read.
These days, I still listen to books or courses while I am doing chores or on road trips. It came in handy to have books available when my kids were learning from home while I was working. I could have them clean their rooms while listening to books.
If you still prefer the tactile experience of reading a physical book, I understand. I was not a true believer until necessity propagated the experience for me. But if you are up for something new or needing to spice up the quarantine life, give it a try. Libraries have audio books to check out, Audible offers a month free and there are multiple platforms out there to try.
Literacy is freedom, seize it.