Monday, August 30, 2010

I don't think there is a 12-step for this.

This past week I developed an addiction to audio books.  It's bad.  Really bad.

Audio books are not totally new to me.  In fact they have frequently been a source of annoyance between pterodactyl an I on road trips.  We will pick up a good one before a long trip and no matter how much I like the book I am just not mentally stimulated enough to stay awake.  So within about 20 minutes of hitting play I am passed out in the car, mouth hanging open, most likely drooling.  I will stay like this for another half hour.  When I come to I promptly hit the power button on the radio and ask pterodactyl to summarize what I have missed.  Understandably this makes him crazy.

However, a few weeks ago I thought maybe I should try listening to a book while running.  I don't like talking to anyone while running but sometimes music makes me a little bored, so an audiobook made sense.  So I bought "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", threw it on my ipod and it was really good.  So I thought I would try listening at work being that the projects I have prioritized on my desk right now are little more than glorified data entry.

The workday just flew by.  My eyes and fingers and one tiny portion of my brain went on auto pilot while the rest of my brain and my ears took in the story.  At one point I had to run to the bathroom so I paused the book, pulled the earbuds out of my head, and then had to remember where I was.  It was AWESOME!

Although I have discovered a few flaws in this my new metaphorical workplace heroine.  First, it can get a little awkward when the book suddenly takes a turn in a racy direction.  "Dragon Tattoo" gets a little messed up at times and I found myself remembering where I was and start looking around to make sure no one was standing behind me, only to remember that I am wearing headphones and no one else can hear what I am listening to.  Second, when it comes to books and movies I am kind of a sensitive little snowflake.  Last week I also listened to "Water for Elephants" which is the perfect flavor of melancholy to entice the most bitter of sobs from me.  So here I am, at work,  trying to be all professional and what not, typing away at the keyboard, looking straight at the computer screen, hoping against all odds that my cube-mate will not need to grab my attention for at least another 5 minutes cause I am choking back tears like a champ.  I am prying my eyelids open and wide as I can and looking through my top lashes so the tears won't actually leave my eyes.  I am carefully controlling my breathing through my mouth so no one will hear how sniffly I have suddenly become.  It was truly pathetic.

Now running out of audio book at work is like the worst thing that can happen to me.  I get bored and drowsy immediately.  I get super distractible.    All of a sudden I need to check my email and my calendar every five minutes for NO REAL REASON.  I also get so anxious to go home that my skin begins to crawl.

So I did the only thing I could do.  I got a library card (I buy lots of books instead of borrowing, hence not having one previously).  Sadly, the closest branch of the library does not have a very good selection so I am going to have to relearn how to request book transfers etc.  But that also means I need to develop a list of books to "read."  So I am open for suggestions.  Right now I have some random FBI thriller and "Light on Snow" by Anita Shreve.  So that should get me through this week.  Any other suggestions?  Please pass them on......


  1. If it's more audio you crave you might wanna try giving a google a spin. There's tons of free stuff if you know where to look (not that I have). haha
    I am a big audio fan too. Blew through all the Harry Potter books that way. And btw...I count it as reading a book when you finish it. So there world!!!

  2. My family and I are all signed up on where you can see what your "friends" are reading and how they rate stuff, it's kinda neat. I just finsihed Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and Mockingjay (the third in the Hunger Games series). Both of which I would recommend.

  3. So funny-
    I had no idea G w/ DT was going to be what it is-
    Anyway you can read my post here

    but I would like to add that I took the monkeys to the water park and was reading the book there when after about an hour it turns messed up and I start feeling super selfconsious about reading it in public YET can't put it down!

  4. I'm not sure how it works around there, but here I can request books from all over the state (those usually take around a week?) and the ones from the same library take a couple of days. Generally you can request them online, if you search your branch, do a catalog search and then request with your card.

    So really, anything that you might be interested with the exception of new releases should be available : )

  5. The Historian, The Outlander series, I'll think of more... :)

  6. great post!
    I have a friend who is addicted to audio books. She finds excuses to drive her car so she can listen while driving...
    I've yet to discover the joy...

    Hey, I like the changes to your blog. You new profile pic is very nice...

  7. The cure is simple - start writing them. I'm serious.

  8. I'm like this with podcasts! (I'm in love with This American Life, especially because internet is really too slow here to stream my old NPR faves). I think I would love audiobooks just as much. I think I would like them running too, but I generally listen to music (whenever I'm running sola).