I feel a flutter of activity around me and sense a low hum of noise as I finish up my signature dish: the much-loved buttery noodles. I know my kids are close by, and I can tell by their faces – and the wrestling – that the boys are not happy with each other, but it hardly phases me. I’m right in the middle of the best part of the book.
I love to read. I mean, LOVE to read. Always have. I constantly have two or three books going on at the same time, but with everything going on in just every day life, there’s less and less time to get through just one of the books. I hate that.
I recently joined the social networking site, Goodreads, which is like Facebook for book lovers. There are tons of things you can do with the site, but one of the best is “friending” others and seeing their “Already Read,” “Currently Reading,” or “Want-to-Read” bookshelves – it’s a great way to find a new book. I really value my friends’ comments on a certain book and make it my go-to if I’m searching. It really helps weed out the junk. Love it.
Well, I started noticing that one of my Goodreads “friends” and (thankfully) real-life friend, Smarty Mom Adrienne Matthews, is constantly updating her “Read” bookshelf. She was literally flying through books. I know the girl has a lot going on – between two kids, a husband, and a prosperous sewing biz, C&K Design, I just could not understand how she was so prolific. Her comments usually included something about “listening” to the book – was she getting audio CDs and hooking them into her jam box, I thought?
I quickly messaged her: What’s up with these audio books?
She replied right away: Audible.com.
Well, I got online right away to figure out what it was.
Have you heard of it? It’s a book-loving-multi-tasking-mom’s secret weapon. It’s our kryptonite. It’s life changing.
It’s an Amazon-owned company with thousands of audio titles. Prices are listed as 30% off retail. Choose different levels of membership – pay monthly and receive “credits” that you can rollover from month-to-month. With my current plan, I get one credit a month, which is basically a free book. Return the book if you don’t like it – no questions asked. Seriously – I’ve started and returned three books already without any problems at all.
If you have a Kindle (which I don’t – I have a Nook), some of the books have the Whispersync for Voice technology where you can listen to the book and pick up where you left off on your Kindle and vice versa. Amazing.
I downloaded the Audible app on my phone and now plug in my ear buds and listen to books any chance I get – doing laundry, unloading the dishwasher, cooking, picking up toys, making beds, sewing, watching the kids play at the park, running, and even while driving (with the phone on speaker). My bestie in NYC downloaded it and now listens on her commute – she flies through the books, too.
Most books are divided into three parts, so you download one part at a time on your phone to keep it from hogging too much memory. Once you’re done with one part, you can delete it from your phone before downloading the next part. My iPhone can still send and receive texts, emails and get on the Web while I’m listening. Serious multi-tasking, right!?
I don’t feel like I can actually sit and listen to a book – that’s way too indulgent plus I would probably fall asleep if I actually sat down – so I’ve found myself getting more done. Yes, sometimes my kids and husband might have to ask me more than once for something, but they’re getting a more educated mama in return. It’s a small price to pay.
I still have my bedside books, which I read before passing out every night, but I [heart] Audible.com. It’s given me extra time in the day for ME. I “read” three books since joining Audible.com last month (I bet Adrienne read ten!). All while doing my day-to-day living.
The library also has downloadable audio books, but I haven’t tried those yet. Adrienne has had great luck with them, though, so definitely check out the Charlotte Mecklenburg library’s web site for titles.
And if you haven’t tried listening to a book lately, just give it a chance. I promise it’s worth it! And Audible.com is where it’s at, Smarties!