Not that I have recently discovered the joy of Audiobooks. I was a fan a long time ago but as time went by my need or desire for them waned because of circumstance which will be more apparent below. But, having just finished one yesterday and purchasing my next one today and loading onto my mp3 player I am reminded of how much I like them.
I have always been a reader. I read mostly science fiction with an occasional fantasy or regular fiction thrown in from time to time. The problem is that since I am older now with a big family I just do not have the time and energy to focus on curliing up with a good book. Gone are the days, at least for now, when my evenings and weekends were mine and I could throw myself into reading for periods of time.
But I discovered, some years ago that audiobooks fit in perfectly. Many years ago I had a commute from hell in which I drove 1 hour each way to work. Two hours of my life spent sitting in traffic. Life sucked and I was prone to a simmering road rage. At the time, downloadable content was not really available. But, there were stores that sold and rented books on tape and CD which someone recommended. I was hooked. Where I once had little time and energy to read I now found myself able to devote at least 2 hours a day "reading" a book. Granted, I can read faster than they can read it to me but the net result is key. I was a fan for quite awhile and went through much of the sci-fi content that was available at the time.
However, life changes and it was not too long before I had different jobs which were only 15 minutes or so for one leg of the commute. My consumption of audiobooks ended rather suddenly simply because of the hassle of managing them for only a 15 minute gulp just was not worth it.
But as I say, life changes. A few months ago the location for my department changed and I find myself with a 30-45 minute (per leg) commute. Funny thing was, when I knew this change was coming I found myself regretting the additional time away from home, sleep, etc. but I also secretly rejoiced because I immediately remembered my previously solution to the dreary prospect of a commute.
So far, over the last three to four months, I have "read" more books (unabridged, is the way to go) than I could naturally read in a year. Eventually I will run out of titles that I am willing to "read" but hopefully that will not be for awhile.
Not only do I get to enjoy great stories, but I now could care less about the jackass who cuts me off or drives too slowly. Incidents that without some of my thought focused on a book would have in the past simmered and caused me to behave badly. I am sure you know what I mean.
As for the books themselves they for the most part are great. Some only come as abridged versions and these tend to be Star Wars or Star Trek type of books. But most of them, actual sci-fi novels or other types of novels are unabridged and contain the exact text of the printed book. I prefer the unabridged versions because I want to savor all the detail and impact of the story. Occasionally they will be read by a narrator who is rather dry and does nothing with their voice or vocal inflections to differentiate between the various characters that are speaking etc. I am sure some of that could also be attributed to the writing style of the author not lending itself to be readily apparent who is speaking unless you see the quotes and line breaks. However, most of the narrators do a good job of making it obvious who is speaking and the emotion behind it without it being over dramatic or cheesy.
Anyway, enough about this I think. I wanted to post this before I shut down my laptop, packed up, jumped into my car to face the terrible traffic while I start listening to what will most likely be another great story.