Wait! Even if you don’t, hear me out and maybe you’ll be willing to give them a try. They’re not just for the car anymore!

I first tried audiobooks on a cross-country road trip. I had to flip over the cassettes, if that gives you any idea how long ago this was. It may have been the book, it may have been that I was unused to listening while driving, but whatever the reason I found myself losing track of the story until suddenly I was twenty miles further and had no idea what was going on. It was an all-around unsatisfying experience and it led me to decide I was just not an audiobook person.

Fast forward a decade or so and I had a job with a daily commute of 1.5 hours. Suddenly my reading time was drastically reduced and I was really chafing at all the wasted time I was spending in the car. I decided to try audiobooks again and while it wasn’t instant love, once I figured out my listening tastes I became an audiophile. I eased in with some non-fiction titles that I might not have gotten around to in print, like Unbroken: a World War II story of survival, resilience, and redemption or Nickel and Dimed: on (not) getting by in America. Then I tried some classics like Watership Down and Brave New World that I also figured I wouldn’t try, no matter how long they languished on my to-be-read list. Next thing you know I’m doing new releases (library insider secret: the holds list is usually much shorter or even non-existent on the eAudiobooks!) like Allegiant and The Book Thief.

Photo via Tom Wigley http://www.flickr.com/photos/amphalon/2244136934/in/photostream/
Photo via Tom Wigley http://www.flickr.com/photos/amphalon/2244136934/in/photostream/

Today I find myself without a daily commute, but still hooked, so I’ve had to get creative to squeeze listening time into my day. I’m glad to move beyond the cassettes and CDs, because I now exclusively listen to library books I’ve checked out on my smart phone (did you know we have three different ways you can check out audiobooks digitally? Find out more here or attend one of our emedia classes). No flipping tapes or scratched discs, and the book is always with me. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in the car, I bet there are other places in your day that would fit an audiobook. Here are a few of the more unusual places I find myself listening:

• Gardening. I can spend much longer periods of time fighting back the bindweed if I’m riding out a particularly exciting part of a story.
• Brushing my teeth. Don’t laugh! That’s 4 minutes a day of quality listening time, 6 minutes if you’re making your dentist proud.
• Chopping, cooking, baking, or doing dishes. If I’m in the kitchen, I have a book going.
• Hardware store shopping. Nothing says “really, I don’t need help” like headphones in your ears.
• Any household chore that I want to pretend I’m not doing (ie: cleaning the litter box, toilet, really anything where I have to deal with feces).

What do you say? Will you give them a try? Or maybe you already read while managing dental hygiene?

Erin Kirchoefer has been working in libraries for 8 years, and has been using libraries since library cards had a little metal plate in them. Poudre River Public Libraries are her favorite libraries, but don’t ask her to pick which one (as a substitute librarian, she works at all three)!

Feature photo by Melvin Gaal https://www.flickr.com/photos/94379417@N00/4808475862/in/photostream/