This year, I got hooked on audio books. Except it wasn’t really my first time.
When I was 5 years old, my grandparents gifted my brother and I a dramatized audio version of the first half of Pilgrim’s Progress, done by Jim Pappas. Since my mom had started reading the book to us already, we were absolutely tickled pink to hear the story come alive through the audio cassettes. Eventually, part two (Christiana’s Journey) was released and we got that as well!
Over the next 20 years, we listened to the complete, beautiful story over and over again. We could repeat the entire thing from memory and even tried to recreate our own dramatized version with some of our friends. Eventually, the cassettes gave out and sadly I didn’t get the CD versions before they were no longer available.
We loved listening to Pilgrim’s Progress on tape, but I never jumped on the audio book wagon. Cassette tapes were bulky, and I found some narrators voices grated on my nerves. Plus, I could devour entire books in one sitting. Who needed audio books when you could do that?
Working a mentally demanding job, keeping up a house of my own and toddler keep my hands busy now. I rarely devour books like main courses these days. Adulthood, motherhood have changed a lot about the way I consume words. And for a long time, I felt starved for the comforting words of my favorite books.
Then my smartphone met libravox and loyalbooks. With the premise that books should be free, both sites have hundreds and thousands of books in the public domain put to audio. The books are recorded by volunteers, and there are a wide range of voices and skills. But I’ve found a treasure mine of resources to feed my craving for words.
I have saved dozens of titles to my library. Some for me, and some for my toddler. I’ve been playing through my old favorite, Wind in the Willows for the last couple of months. I put it on when I’m working. My hands and eyes are busy, but my brain is free to listen!
There are usually several versions of each book available. That means you can pick a narrator that you enjoy listening to the most. I picked this version because I really enjoyed the way this narrator added a little character to each voice. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed hearing my favorite parts again and it’s made some of the tedious parts of my job so much more tolerable.
I’m very much looking forward to listening my way through a couple of classics that I haven’t heard in a really long time once I finish the last few chapters of The Wind in the Willows!
I’m not sure what took me so long to finally get on the audiobook wagon, but I’m really enjoying it.
Now I really need to know. What’s your favorite audio book?