Monday, February 13, 2017

for the love of audiobooks

For the third year in a row, I reached my book goal! Because unless I have something to push towards, I can tell you that I would likely never pick up a book and absorb a single word...

Okay, let me stop here and further expound on this point, lest you call me out on whatever you'd call me out on. I use Audible. I'm an audiobook junkie... in fact, my first audiobook ever was a Christmas story (A, not The) on cassette I randomly obtained in college. It was the story of a girl who lived on the wrong side of the tracks, and was picked on by some of the more popular girls, and somehow was given an assignment to be a secret Santa to one of the popular girls... so because she had very little money due to her family not being very financially sound, she ends up making Christmas presents for the girl. And she ends up bringing joy to an otherwise shallow young lady, by making the gifts thoughtful (like, a basket with the girl's favorite things in it, or a scrapbook documenting her cheerleading career, etc).

This movie is amazing. The original from 1957 is likely a better film,  but I
enjoyed this movie so much more
I don't remember the name of the book, the author, and I'm not positive it wasn't a shorter story as a part of a Christmas collection, but there ya go. I remember being all excited about letting my friend Allyson listen to it so she'd enjoy it as much as I did, and she was like "Yeah, its great". Thanks, chick. To be fair, she did the same thing - before falling asleep - when I made her watch Showtime's version of "Twelve Angry Men" in 1997, so perhaps we didn't see eye to eye on what made compelling storytelling. Digress, I do.

When I moved to Birmingham, I visited the library one day (for you millennials, the "library" is a place where you can "check out", or "borrow", or even "free rent" books and other types of media, with the agreement that you return it in a set amount of time) and discovered this huge array of books on CD. So I visited 2 or 3 times per month, checking out anywhere from 3 or 4 to 8 or 9 books on CD at a time, importing them into my iTunes. Some loaded easily, with track names, others had tracks that were about a minute long -- some books literally had 100s of tracks to them. "Kingdom Keepers", I'm looking at you.

Some years later, after I had 100+ audiobooks loaded into iTunes, I discovered My first book ever was "Walt Disney" by Neal Gabler, this 35 hour epic biography, which I blew through in a few days. I was hooked... not only was it just a few files (four 8-hour tracks) but no CDs to deal with. I bought a few more books here and there, and realized that the 1-credit per month plan was not enough. I bumped it up to 2-credits per month and have had that ever since.

The real debate rages on... does listening to audiobooks count as reading? I say yes. Many say no.

The real answer? Who gives a rip. I call it reading, you call it listening, let's call the whole thing off, amma right?

Without, I wouldn't touch a book of any kind. Why? I'm just too busy. Through audiobooks, I can take the book in so much better... see, when I read, I have a bad habit of scan-reading. I don't mean to, but I do -- I'll even read a paragraph and have to go back a few pages to get a context of what I just read, as I may have scanned over it. The Lovely Steph Leann says I do this with emails, though I don't know what she means. Wink wink nudge nudge.

Without Audible, I would have never gone in-depth into the Steven Avery case, as documented in "Making a Murderer" on Netflix. Without Audible, I would have never discovered the benefit of the Purple Cow as per Seth Goins. Without Audible, would likely have never revisited (re-read) the downfall of the WCW in the 90s as a part of the Monday Night War. Or known what the true difference is between the movie and the book of "The Running Man".

Or gone through all of the Harry Potter novels for a 5th time. All 119 hours of it, by the way.

I had a goal of 43 books this year... and 42 of them were listened to via my iPod, thanks to Audible. This is not a shill for Audible, necessarily, they just happen to be who I dearly love.

Incidentally, this was the opening part to a three part blog post about the books actually read in 2016... and so that comes tomorrow.

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