I used to have a snobby attitude about audiobooks. I didn’t judge other people who read them, but I just had this sense that they were inauthentic and I needed to really read.

Then things happened.

I started a business while I was raising two children. My hands-free time for reading went way down, but I still had huge demands for non-fiction reading (medical journals). I also started spending a lot more time washing dishes, cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. I started listening to the news more and more when I couldn’t hold a book, and the news was increasingly becoming a source of stress about things that were genuinely out of my control. In the late 2010’s I stopped listening to news and started listening to free short stories from librivox while my hands were engaged with manual labor — especially as my children got older and no longer wanted my full attention all the time. Then I started reading audiobooks.

I not only found it an enriching experience, and a way to get to a lot more of the fiction I craved, but I also realized that audiobooks weren’t just someone reading a real book, but were an art form in themselves with narrators engaging in genuine artistic performances. Now I enjoy many audiobooks I buy from libro.fm (I avoid Audible, because they DRM your books so you don’t actually own them) and borrow from my local libraries. I’m also retired now so I’m back to reading a lot of books in print.

Life is good.

—2p

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