January 31, 2021
Words to My Ears
It has been quite a month. With the pandemic continuing into a second year, schools moved once again to remote learning. This meant my wife, who is also a teacher, and I had to balance our remote teaching with our children's remote learning and still manage to keep the house and home running smoothly. I know we are not alone in this plight, so I am not complaining. I just wanted to share how I learned to cope with a bad situation. Audiobooks.
I have been an on-again/off-again subscriber to Audible (opens new window) since 2005, and while I have always enjoyed audiobooks, I initially found them to be a bit too expensive. As such, my library remained very small; I listened to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy" (opens new window), one of the first books I bought from Audible, so many times I could quote it word for word. But as I got older and money became less tight, I really began to appreciate listening to books. But then, I took it to the next level.
In 2019, I set a goal for myself to listen to more audiobooks. My library had grown substantially by then, and there were many books I had yet to read. I was also unhappy with how much time I spent watching Netflix, and I thought books would be a good alternative. Plus, I could listen while cooking dinner or washing the dishes. So, I decided I would challenge myself to listen to 400 hours in a year. That is just over an hour a day, which in retrospect really isn't that much. But still, it was twice the number of hours from that past two years combined. To make it an added challenge, I would alternate between fiction and non-fiction, and I would only listen to books that I had not listened to before. By the end of December 2019, I had listened to just under 420 hours. I found a new enjoyment of listening to books and regularly listened to books whenever I could. However, this month, I made it an obsession.
During my marathon listening sessions in 2019, I would average about 30 hours a month, with the highest being just under 50 hours. This month I listened to over 80 hours! That is an average of more than 2 1/2 hours a day, with some days being over 5 hours. However, unlike in 2019, I stuck to only fiction and mostly comedy starting with my favorite book of all time "Off to Be the Wizard" (opens new window). I am unsure if I will maintain this momentum, but I certainly wouldn't mind if I did.