I am a bookworm. Or at least, I used to be. Before kids and work, I read three or four books a week, sometimes more. I read everything from non-fiction to sci-fi and fantasy including poetry and prose. After college, it took me some time to get back into the habit of reading for fun. I’d spent the better part of five years reading what someone else told me to read. But once I did, I was every bit the voracious reader I was in high school.
Enter the full time job, the mortgage, and the kids. After work, if I wasn’t feeding, changing, cleaning up after, or cuddling one child I was reading to or doing homework with the other. By the time they were both asleep, I was so tired that reading wasn’t really an option. TV or sleep was the name of the game.
Just when I thought I was never going to have time to read again, I found…
While it’s not the same as reading, I have found that listening to a book gives me a new perspective on the story. As with any performance art, the narrator adds his or her own unique interpretation to the reading of the story. Inflection, character voices, and even the speed at which the words are read all serve to color my own perception of the story in a way that’s decidedly different than either reading it myself or watching a live-action interpretation such as a movie. As an added bonus, I can listen to books at the gym, while cooking, or even while working on some less thought-intensive tasks.
Audiobooks will never replace printed books for me, but for this season of life, they’re one of my favorite new distractions. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to my new audiobook.