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Rediscovering Audio

When I was a preteen, one of my favorite activities was to plug my earbudheadphones into my purple boombox and put in a CD of either Lord of the Rings or a Narnia audiobook (actually, I think we even had one Narnia book on tape.) I would draw or knit as I listened.

Then for a long time, I never touched an audiobook again. For a few months right after we were married, I tried audiobooks again–my first “reading” of The Hunger Games was audiobook–but I just couldn’t get into it. Then I discovered Doctor Who and Firefly and a bunch of British detective shows when we got a subscription to Netflix, and audiobooks went out the window again.

Until this year.

Our two apartments were both small enough that I could see the tv from the kitchen (where I admittedly spend much of my time when I’m not reading) or, if I had to be in the bedrooms, I could hear it. I watched countless tv episodes while cleaning the house and left my reading for when I was nursing Toby.

Then we moved, and in our new house, the TV is tucked into a corner of the living room, across the house from the kitchen and downstairs from the bedrooms. When we got our desktop, I put Justin’s old laptop in the kitchen, but found it hard to hear the shows with the laptop audio. So I didn’t bother, and stuck to reading while Toby nursed.

Then he stopped nursing as much.

This wouldn’t be a big deal, except that I need to have my brain engaged. Sure, I can brainstorm plot ideas, but my brain sometimes needs a break from that. I can listen to music, but I’m not into that as much as I used to be.

Then I discovered Audible and podcasts (I know, I’m late to the game), and I remembered how much I previously enjoyed audiobooks. It entertains me like the tv shows did, but it engages my brain more, and I feel like I’ve “read” more than I’d normally get to in a day. An added plus is that I now look forward to household work, rather than putting it off as long as I can, and my house is definitely the better for it.

At the moment I’m alternating between podcasts from The Creative Penn and the audiobook of The Way of Kings (which, at the risk of sounding like a commercial, was a really awesome deal. Normally it costs close to $50, but I got it for $15 with my Audible subscription.)

So what about you guys? Do you like audio at all, or would you rather read from a print/e-book?

About H. A. Titus

H. A. Titus is usually found with her nose in a book or spinning story-worlds in her head. Her love affair with fantasy began at age twelve, when her dad handed her The Lord of the Rings after listening to it on tape during a family vacation. Her stories have been published in Digital Dragon Magazine, Residential Aliens Magazine, and four anthologies: Alternative Witness; Avenir Eclectia Volume 1; The Tanist's Wife and Other Stories; and Different Dragons Volume II. In December 2013, her short story "Dragon Dance" won Honorable Mention in a Writers of the Future contest. She lives on the shores of Lake Superior with her meteorologist husband and young son, who do their best to ensure she occasionally emerges into the real world. When she's not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skiing, or hanging out at her online home, hatitus.wordpress.com.

One comment on “Rediscovering Audio

  1. I listen to podcasts in the car, and sometimes at home. Haven’t done an audiobook since I stopped, but I’ve enjoyed them.

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