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  • Jenny

My Venture Into Audiobooks

With the holidays coming up and all the busy-ness associated with juggling that, children activities, a personal life, trying to get back into writing and so on, it's becoming increasingly difficult for me to carve out my precious reading time. So when a friend recently recommended a book and I only had a few days to finish it in time to make it my book of the week, I decided to finally break down, join 2021 and try listening to it instead of reading it.

Turns out, listening to a book is simply just not for me.

I thought it would help to listen while I walked, or drove, or played in the background while I did my PT exercises or worked or cooked or did pretty much anything of a multi-task nature, but it just so happens, I am one big walking distraction and found myself constantly zoning out away from the narration. I developed an ADD I didn't understand.

That is not to say that the book wasn't well done or anything. It had nothing to do with the actually quite lovely British voice that narrated it. Or the content itself; what I did force myself to pay attention to, was intriguing enough to hold my attention.

The problem is, listening is not the same as reading.

Yes, you can still enjoy the author's work, but for a bibliophile like myself, nothing replaces holding an actual book in my hand and touching the pages as I excitedly turn to the next page. I should have predicted this--I'm not even a big fan of kindle reading for the very same reason. I've learned to adjust to using a kindle at times, but at the end of the day, I am still a paper girl. I think I always will be.

I think it also comes down to personal learning styles. Some people are visual leaners, some are auditory, and some experiential, and even more a combo. For me, I am a visual, hands-on learner. I cannot absord information or even communications with others verbally--I retain it better when I read or write, and my communcation preference is the written word over the spoken word. Just ask friends and family how often they hear my voice.

So, it makes sense that perhaps our reading style mimics our learning style, and why I find myself struggling to adapt to audio books.

I mean, I could give it another try, but here's the thing: I could not pay attention. My mind would wander and I'd miss two minutes of the chapter before I even remembered I was "reading" a book. My brain didn't process the words as well as it would have seeing the black ink--and let's not forget that I can't exactly dog-ear an audiobook or quick read through to find that phrase that inspired me.

What I expected to be a brand new world opening up, where I could enjoy a book while performing mundane responsiblities to save time, ended up being just a validation of what I've known all along about myself: give me paper, give me text and give me visuals. It's the only way for me to fall into the magic of the words the author so painstakingly wrote to touch my heart, mind and emotions.

Curious though, for those who love audiobooks--what about them works for you, and do you find that it is connected to perhaps a preference for auditory learning?


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