No time to read?
If you are like me, you have a long list of books that you want to read — may be you have already bought them and put them on your bookshelf — but can never get to read them. Juggling your time between your job, family, myriad things to take care of at home, and — not to forget — piles of junk mails and bills to pay, you have probably pushed your book-reading dreams out of your mind.
Is “reading” the only way?
This was my plight for a long time, until one day, the thought of listening to audio books while driving to and back from work occurred to me. I quickly searched online for audio books. There are several sites that offer free audio books, such as Audiobooksforfree. The collection is reasonable, but they are all mostly older books. You will find some science fiction classics like H.G Wells’ Time Machine, and Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth. These are in the MP3 format, and just about any MP3 player, and many cell phones can play them. While I enjoyed these, I could not find any of the new books here.
It was then that I discovered Audible.com, that offers an amazing array of books, including latest best-sellers. Audible offers different levels of paid subscription plans. The books come in Audible’s proprietary format, and can be played on the AudiblePlayer software that is supported on a large number of MP3 players, cell phones and smartphones, including Palm Treo and the iPhone. Once you sign up, you get monthly “credits” that you can use to buy and download the audio books, newspaper digests, Harvard Business Reviews, and so on. Among the books you will find best-selling fiction and non-fiction, including self-help books, teach yourself language books, books on poetry and other literary works. You can also accumulate credits up to a limit.
Does it really work for you?
I have been listening to Audible books for almost a year, and I am happy to say that I have managed to read, er, listen to over 20 books so far, that realistically, I would never have had the time to read. My typical commute is about an hour every day, and these days, “being parked on a freeway” due to slow traffic doesn’t frustrate me any more 🙂
Of course, your listening doesn’t have to be limited to when you are driving. You can do it while commuting by train, or working out in the gym, or waiting to pick up your kids from their karate class.
Audible.com is just one of the many online companies that offer a good collection of audio books. My Audible book collection has grown since I discovered how practical it was to listen to books, and I have posted reviews on some of them.
A word of caution
Needless to say, just like listening to music or radio, or talking on your cell phone, listening to an audio book can distract you from your driving. So if you are thinking of using your driving time to catch up with your books, think about the pros and cons, and make an informed decision for yourself. End disclaimer 🙂