What in the world did I do before discovering audiobooks?

I came to them quite by accident. A year and a half ago I attended a writers’ conference and listened to one presenter talk about self-promotion. Part of his road to publication involved self-“publishing” his novel in the form of a podcast, chapter by chapter, on his website and iTunes after a whole lot of rejections from agents/publishers. Buoyed by the positive response he got from that, he proceeded to do a print run with a vanity press; his five “extra” author copies he decided to send to the selection committee for the Leacock award for humour – and ended up winning it. From his win, he got a deal with a traditional publisher.

His story got me curious about his novel, and since it was still available for free from his website as a podcast, I decided I’d download it and try it out. At the time I was commuting an hour twice a day for a work contract and I figured I could listen to it then. I was very quickly hooked, and found myself looking forward to the commute, just so I could find out what happened next! Once I finished that one, I went to my local library and checked out a couple more from their audiobooks section so I could continue on listening to books during the commute.

Now, I’ve become so addicted to them that I pull out my iPod pretty much any time I have a long stretch where my body is occupied but my mind is not. Driving; washing dishes; jogging/walking the dogs. Can I just say: I never thought I’d see the day when I’d look forward to washing dishes and getting exercise. I sometimes wish I could bring the iPod into the shower with me. When I’m really into a story, I’ll make excuses to go do chores so that I can listen to it.

It’s pretty much doubled my book consumption rates, since I can have two on the go at the same time. I save all the titles I’m particularly anticipating to read in print, and the titles that I’m waffley on I get on audiobook (since the narrator’s voice makes it a different experience than if you were reading it yourself). If I’ve tried a book in print and can’t quite get into it, I give it a shot on audiobook before giving up on it – sometimes that makes all the difference. The Maze Runner was that way for me.

Audiobooks have become so much a part of my daily routine, I’d have a lot of trouble doing without, I think.

Now please excuse me – I have some dishes to wash.


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