Reading Behind the Wheel

When I moved to from Eau Claire to Chippewa Falls nearly two summers ago, I began to wonder what I would listen to on the ride to work.  Previously, my commute only took 10 minutes, which was fine for fiddling around with the radio.  My new route, however, accounted for a full hour driving each time I went to the library.  I needed something more engaging to listen to than music and radio ads.  I decided to give audiobooks a shot, even though I had my reservations.

BossypantsThe first audiobook I checked out was Tina Fey’s memoir Bossypants.  To my delight, I was able to sink into the story within minutes, often smiling or laughing out loud as she described some painfully awkward, yet hilarious situations.  I soon discovered that I had no problem paying attention to the road while my ears listened along.  I came to realize that it was far easier for me to follow a storyline than to talk to another passenger while driving.  After Fey, I decided to stick with some other author-narrated audiobooks, such as memoirs penned by Amy Poehler and Jim Gaffigan.  Their voices matched their personalities and, as such, made the material that more enjoyable to listen to.

Lean InI finally decided after a bit to give nonfiction audiobooks a try.  You see, I was hesitant.  I envisioned a narrator who spoke in a monotone and droned on and on without changing pace, inflection… or… (there goes my attention!)  However, I settled on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In:  Women, Work, and the Will to Lead after seeing her in an interview.  Although the work was not narrated by her, I was pleasantly welcomed by a voice actress that read in such a genuine and earnest manner that I felt as if Sandberg herself was reading.  I did have to make a little more effort to pay attention to the content, as it was not a rollicking fiction book or a humorous account of someone’s own life.  The experience was rewarding, though, and I learned much that was serious food for thought.

Since then, I have come to love finding a good audiobook and embracing the extra time spent behind the wheel.  I used to groan when I knew I would have to stop at a few places along the way home from work, but now, I fist-punch the air and think “Yes!  More time to listen to my book!”  The downside of this, though, is when I pull into the garage in the midst of a revealing conversation or pivotal moment in the story and think to myself, “I’ll simply have to wait until tomorrow…”

1 reply
  1. Larry
    Larry says:

    Your comment, “embracing the extra time spent behind the wheel,” describes the feeling I’ve had when traveling with an audiobook especially well. I don’t have much of a commute, but I enjoy audiobooks while cycling on one of the local bike trails. Keep on listening!


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