I’ve always got a big stack of books (or several stacks) laying around, waiting to be read. Historically, I am really bad about actually picking them up and reading them. There are several reasons for this:
- I tend to read at night before bed, when I’m likely to fall asleep two sentences in;
- Netflix…watching Friends reruns is more relaxing than actually using my brain to take in new information or stories;
- I read a lot for my job, so often my eyeballs and brain are tired and not inclined to further use in my free time;
- The books I want to read (like the ones in the picture above) serve a purpose beyond mere entertainment…I want to get something out of them, and sometimes I’m just too emotionally exhausted to put in the work.
During a very long solo road trip recently, however, I discovered something I should have thought of long ago: audio books. I figured I would have to be alone but awake and alert for so many hours, I should download some books to listen to as I drove. I’m ashamed to admit that I bought two audiobooks that were already part of my “to-read” pile. I double paid for them (and audiobooks are expensive! Why?), but by gosh, I finally got them read. I listened to Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin and Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg as I drove, and I completely loved both of them. The sense of accomplishment from finally getting two books out of my towering stack feels great, and my enjoyment of these two books has fueled me to keep moving through the stack. I finished the actual paperback version of Daring Greatly by Brene Brown today. I also downloaded the Goodreads app to keep track of what I have read and want to read. It’s so energizing and gratifying to read (or listen to) books of substance and value, rather than just watching endless Netflix loops.
To be sure, there is still plenty of Netflix in my life. But it’s so nice that the simple shift of trying a different reading format has rekindled my desire to read. I’m trying not to buy any more duplicate audiobooks of books that are physically sitting in my stack, but I’m excited to seek out more audiobooks to add to my virtual Goodreads stack. I do have one question though…what is the deal with audiobooks costing 3+ times as much as hard copies?