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2015 – The Year of Audible

booksI’ve had a long-standing, if not unsatisfying, affair with books. Basically it goes like this: I buy books, I start reading, I get a few chapters in and then stop reading. Wash, rinse, repeat.

For years this has been been my lot in life. It’s not because I’m not reading books that are stimulating enough. No matter what time of day I try to read, I can’t get more and a few pages read and I fall asleep. It’s a reading-induced narcolepsy that I have been unable to cure.

The iPad gave me new light at the end of the tunnel. I had long-ago stopped carrying books when I traveled — too much extra weight and space for not enough reading. For a time, the iPad helped me get through a few more books. But the problem still remained.

Enter audible.com

audibleAudiobooks (I still refer to them as “books on tape”) have had our own sorted past. More than once I’ve been so engrossed in a book I was listening to while driving that I’ve run out of gas. That’s embarrassing!

But I haven’t listened to many audiobooks recently while driving with the family because of the kids. So even though I knew about Audible I never really gave it much thought. Until I went back to traveling hours and hours in planes and cars every other week.

The result is that in 2015 I “read” 21 1/2 books, mostly on Audible. These ranged the gamut: business, religion, classics, economics, fiction, humor, history, and biography. It’s been great! I love learning and I’ve finally been able to further explore some of the areas of life I enjoy!

When I posted this #humblebrag on social media, I immediately was attacked by “book snobs” who told me audiobooks weren’t really reading (their outrage was only mildly serious) but I paid them no mind. The biggest complaint was that listening to a book while driving or doing chores around the house, etc. was “distracted reading.”

I understand the argument. There were several times I found myself saying “wait, what was that” before hitting the 10-second rewind button a time or two. But that happens in traditional reading as well. We’ve all reread the same paragraph a couple times, either because we didn’t fully understand or, in my case, usually because I’d fallen asleep.

My argument is even if my comprehension when listening to “books on tape” is 50% of that when I’m engaged in traditional reading (I think they’re pretty on-par) I’m still better off considering in 2014 I only completely read 3 books and did partial reads on a couple more. It’s a pure numbers game.

So my goal for 2016 is to beat the 21 1/2 mark set this year. I’m 3/4 of the way through my first book already.