People always say if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. It’s true, to a certain extent, but I’ve noticed that since words have become my career, I spend a lot less time reading than I used to.
When I was a kid, I would become so engrossed in novels that I barely noticed anything happening around me. I read while I walked down the street, I read while I rode the bus to school and I even spent an entire five-hour train ride down Vancouver Island with my nose stuck in a book. I’m sure the scenery was beautiful, but I didn’t see any of it.
Once I started spending all day staring at words for work, though, it wasn’t as relaxing anymore to curl up with a book. I got sick of words. I wanted to look at something else for a while. So I started watching more TV shows, running outside and on my treadmill, listening to music and building my record collection – anything that didn’t involve processing written language, really.
But I’ve missed books. A lot.
I recently listened to a podcast drama – a fictional story, told through half-hour segments of audio. It was interesting and intriguing and it made driving across the county to attend various information sessions and open houses for work a lot more enjoyable. And when it was over, I was kind of disappointed I didn’t have a story to listen to, anymore.
Then I remembered that audiobooks exist.
As a book lover, I have always enjoyed the feel of a paperback open in my hands and the smell of the printed pages. Even as I’ve slowed my consumption of written words, I haven’t stopped buying books. My shelves are covered with unread titles, because I’ve struggled with the concept of eBooks.
Audiobooks, too. To me, they were on the same level as digital music – sure, it’s nice to have the songs on my phone, but that doesn’t compare to listening to the album on vinyl. But I was very wrong. Audiobooks are amazing.
With a narrator telling me a story while I wash dishes, go for a run or drive to a meeting on the other side of the county, I get to experience books again. While reading words after spending all day writing them might be too overwhelming for me to contemplate, listening to someone else read those words out loud is nothing short of magical.
Thank you, audiobooks, for helping me rediscover my love of “reading.”