Audio Books

A couple years after Kristi and I were married, we lived in suburban Detroit. As we were young and in an adjacent state to Wisconsin, we were expected to come home to Wisconsin on many weekends throughout the year. The shortest trip to either family was at least 8 hours long. There is only so much that you can talk about during extended car trips. We needed to find something to take our minds off the long, monotonous drives. At that time, we discovered that you could rent “books on tape” (yes… they were on cassette tapes back then) from Cracker Barrel restaurants across the country. You could pick them up at one restaurant and return them at another in less than a week for only $2. Let me tell you, nothing makes the time fly like a Sue Grafton detective story or a Lawrence Block mystery.

Over the years, we have continued to listen to books as a family in the car on long car trips and even on the shorter trips around town. In more recent years, Kristi has checked out many children’s stories on CD at the local library. I don’t even want to guess how many books our family has listened to over the years but we sure have experienced some wonderful literature.

Six years ago, I switched to job that has a half hour commute one way… and that is on a good day. Around that same time, I signed up for an Audible account as well. Audible allows you to purchase audio books and download them to MP3 players and other electronic devices. While I don’t listen to audio books on every trip to and from work, I will usually listen to one or two books a month depending on their length and my mood. Lately, I have begun to listen to some of the classics; books that have been around for generations that I have not had the opportunity or drive to sit down and read. I have made my way through The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer, Ivanhoe and The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott, The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie, and several Agatha Christie mysteries. And yesterday I finished The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

Although I love to physically read books and I usually am working on one book or another, I am convinced that I probably wouldn’t have ever experienced these classics pieces of literature in their written form. I’ve always wanted to read them but given their dubious status as school reading list books, I have always passed them by. I am so glad that someone else can read them to me and help me to forget the craziness of rush-hour traffic at the same time.


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