One of my goals this year is to read more books. With my busy schedule, it’s sometimes hard to find the time to read and I end up trying to read at bedtime which means I get about three pages in before I start nodding off. A 250 page book ends up taking nearly three months to finish. That certainly isn’t going to help my Goodreads goal of 14 books in 2018! (14 books doesn’t sound like many but it’s two more than my goal for last year. I achieved that goal just under the wire so I’m attempting to read nearly 20 percent more books this year than last year. Doesn’t that sound more impressive?).
It is now the end of February and I’ve completed four books so I’m ahead of schedule. Yay me! I’ve achieved this miracle by finding moments here and there to read rather than just at bedtime or only when I have more than an hour or two to devote to the goal. I’ve also gotten lots of extra ‘reading’ in by subscribing to Audible. I used to listen to Audible many years ago and then stopped. I’ve recently restarted my habit and absolutely love the service.
With Audible, I can read when I’m putting on my make-up and styling my hair. I can read while I’m walking the dogs or cleaning. I can read while driving to and from my errands. Listening to books is a great distraction while chopping endless vegetables for all the vegan meals I make. I have found a way to get more reading in. When there’s a will, there’s a way.
Sure, one may argue that I’m not really reading–someone is reading to me, but my brain is definitely getting a workout as I imagine the scenes the author describes. I’m sure listening to someone tell me a story uses a different part of my brain than just reading with my own eyeballs, but maybe not.
I also love listening to the author of the book read to me because only he or she knows exactly the tone of their own writing. For example, I listened to You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero which was far funnier listening to Ms. Sincero’s snarky tone than anything I could have come up in my own head. I also could tell when she had changed from snarky and was instead my cheerleader–something she does throughout the book. Listening to her made me feel like maybe I am a badass! I’m not sure I would have gotten the same feelings from simply reading the book to myself.
My book club is currently reading Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan. If you’ve never heard of Jim, he’s a comedian. I first heard part of his stand-up routine on Pandora’s comedy station, and he’s always made me laugh. Now that I’m assigned the task of reading his book for next month’s meeting, I get to laugh all over La Costa Valley while walking my dogs. I can only imagine what people are thinking as they drive past me. “Wow, look at that lady–she seems to be having more fun walking her dogs than I do. I wonder what her secret is.” Well, I’m here to tell you, the secret sauce is Jim Gaffigan’s book. I’m so glad that someone had the courage to suggest this book at our book club, or at least that’s how I’m feeling today. I’m on chapter 26 of an 87 chapter book. Hopefully Jim can keep me laughing for 61 more chapters (yikes). Perhaps it’s a good idea to pace myself, take breaks, and not partake in binge booking.
One feature of Audible that I really like is that I can increase the speed of the reader. When I was having a hard time finishing the last book club selection, I opted to have the reader read at 1.5 times the normal pace. It’s funny how quickly your brain can learn how to keep up. At that pace, I was able to finish my book at 11 a.m. on the day of the book club meeting which is far better than December’s book which I finished in February! I tried 2 times the normal pace but then it gets kind of ridiculous.
I am happy to have found a way in which to achieve my reading goal for 2018. The biggest obstacle now may be finding books I want to listen to. Fortunately the people at Instagram have my number and have shown me interesting ads while I’m perusing cakes, cats, and snow on their site. For now, I have three books on my list, not including the books already selected by the book club. At this rate, I should be able to reach my goal easily and early even while incredibly busy.
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