I read a lot more books when I was a teenager. My commute to university was an hour on the bus, so I had a choice of reading books or listening to music. In the days before smartphones and streaming music services, that meant listening to the same music over and over until you grew tired of it. Books don’t burn out so quickly.
As a grown-up you have to make time for books. An hour with a book is an hour you’re not working, or socializing, exercising, doing laundry, or sleeping. I slept a lot more in university, too.
But time is hard to make, and impossible to find, so we divide what we have between the stuff we absolutely have to do and the stuff we truly enjoy. When people tell me they truly enjoy sitting on the couch and reading a book I’m a little jealous. But then I truly enjoy my work, so life’s not too bad.
For the last eighteen months I’ve been walking to work. That’s a story for another day. Three miles each way, two hours a day in the sun and the city. Just me time. Great as it is, my legs are doing all the work while the rest of me is idle.
And that’s where audiobooks come in. I tried podcasts, of course, but there are so few nuggets of genuine gold out there. Listening to a bunch of white guys tell you their opinions about tech gets old pretty fast. But books? Skilled authors exploring topics in depth! With research! And an editor! And professional voice talent! It’s refreshing, and I’m glad to be back on the book train.