Thursday, April 26, 2012

Such a happy mistake...

Never in my life had I ever thought to myself “Brogan. Do you know what you need? You need to buy yourself an audio book!” This is probably because I don’t do much talking to myself.

Okay. That was a flat out lie. I tend to talk to myself to the point of what many of you would consider insanity. Rephrased: I don’t talk to myself like that. That’s much too formal.

Also, and this is much more likely to be the real reasoning behind my lack of past audio booking, up until quite recently I considered myself a book purist of sorts. It wouldn’t be the same if I couldn’t smell the pages. Feel the grit of the paper, the weight of the book itself. And how on earth could I possibly deal without my inner reading voice? I love my inner reading voice. There was never even a hint of desire for audio book listening. Keep your narrator away from my ear drums!

I didn’t know it at the time, but two Christmases ago I would start on a path that would eventually lead to a whole new world of literary opportunity. Exactly two Christmases ago, that would be two years ago on Christmas, my mother gifted me my Amazon Kindle.

With the addition of this e-book to my life, the walls of book purity began to crumble. Make no mistake. I will always love the weight of a book in my hands. Forever and ever will I visit libraries and book shops to catch that familiar smell. But how in good golly Miss Molly could I argue with having thousands of books at my disposal? And all of them at once in the palm of my hand with a tiny machine about the weight of a clipboard. Technology amazes me at times.

Let me take a second here to explain something. I am fully aware that the audio book long preceded the Kindle and its many competitors. This is irrelevant. Before I was shown the light, that is before I was put in the position to give this technological literature a try, I had an inexplicable staunch adversity to anything other than the hard copy in my hands. The Kindle simply allowed me to open my eyes and not be such a closed minded idiot.

My next step towards literary enlightenment came as quite a happy mistake.

Remember that movie Eat, Pray, Love? Whether or not you do, I really don’t care. But that movie was based off of a (what I thought was pretty darn amazing) book by Elizabeth Gilbert. She then followed it up with Committed. For the longest time, I had been meaning to get a copy of the sequel (is it a sequel when we’re talking about autobiographies?) and give it a solid read. Short on time to make my way to the closest Barnes & Noble, I turned to Amazon.

Now it must have been pretty late, or maybe I had sipped a little too much wine that night, but when I ordered my copy I was pretty damn sure I selected the book. A week later and much to my surprise, the audio book was plopped at my door.

Even with all of my recent progress on the technology acceptance train, I still wasn’t super excited for this mishap. I considered sending it back, but decided rather to lay it in the center console of my car where I would probably forget it forever.

Forget it I did…for a little while. In fact, it was not until today when I made the long drive from Tallahassee to my mother’s in North Carolina that I pulled it out and thought “Well, it can’t be any worse than finding new radio stations every thirty minutes for the next eight hours. What the hell?” And with that, I put in the first cd.

My god! Never in all my travels has a lone drive gone so smoothly or seemed to go so quickly as this one I took today. I stopped only once for gas and a tinkle, but otherwise remained on the road and completely entranced by the author’s words being projected around me. This drive, one I have made many times before, while beautiful can be very taxing. But on this day, this was not the case.

So thank you Elizabeth Gilbert for making my eight hour drive feel like only four. Thank you initial creator of the audio book concept for giving me something that will make all future travels even better.

I only wish I hadn’t been so adamant in my refusal to try this new and wonderful thing. It would have been nice to enjoy something like this on every road trip I’ve ever made by myself.

Lesson learned.


  1. The ONE TIME I tried an audio book driving home to visit my parents, I almost died from non-attention to the road. I was so completely drawn into the story I was listening to, I didn't realize I was coming up way too fast on an 18-wheeler in front of me... Slamming on brakes just before impact saved my life. So, I've learned that for me personally, I can't listen to audio books while I drive - at least, not if I want to arrive wherever I'm going in one piece! :o)

    But I'm glad you've discovered a new, happy addition to your travel activities!

    1. A discovery I've made only weeks before I leave my car behind. Though I guess I can always put them on my ipod and listen on the train.

  2. I have the same feeling you *had* about audio books. There is nothing greater than holding the book (or Kindle, which I recently broke down and bought) and letting my inner narrator do its thing. Now I feel slightly obligated to give this audio book thing a chance. I'm hoping I won't get distracted like Dominick. lol I like living.

    Reading your blog is amazing and I look forward to it every week. Keep it up! <3

    1. I'm so happy you enjoy it. And as for the audio book, I promise it will be okay. Just make sure you maintain your awareness of driving. But your love for the hard copy book won't dwindle. This is just another avenue in which to experience the stories we love.