Audiobooks // Life Game Changer


I’ve been having a difficult time trying to figure out what to write after my last entree.  The vulnerability and intensity of the last article really took more our of me than I had anticipated.  And although the comments, reactions, and personal contact I received as a result was greatly appreciated, it was overwhelming.  But I realize that if I don’t write because of the fear of not living up to the last article, than I might never write again.  After all, I don’t want my writing to only be focused on the negative struggles I’ve had to overcome.

So today I am writing about something really positive in my life.  A gift and a game changer.  Something that I take advantage of daily that is simple, easy, free, and has allowed me to transform my view of daily tasks from a chore to a well needed escape.

Today, I am writing about audiobooks.

I love reading.  I love the feel, look, and smell of a new book.  I love curling up in bed and getting engrossed in the chapters and completely losing myself in the characters and plot.  I adore the feeling of picking the book back up  after having had to put it down for the evening and it welcoming me back like an old friend.  And I long for the heavy eyes and just one more chapter promise I make to myself as I read a book in bed at the night’s end.

But, the reality is, since having children, I rarely get to curl up with a good book and lose myself for hours on end.  I still read physical books – sure – but they take ten times longer to read and I rarely get through an entire chapter at night before my eyelids slam down shut like iron gates due to sheer exhaustion.  Library books need returning far before I find time to finish them.  I end up rereading pages over and over due to the distracting nature of being a mom.

A few years ago though, in Florida, I learned that my library had a system for checking out free audiobooks that are downloaded directly onto your phone.  Okay.  Awesome. Game changer.

The program the library used is called Overdrive.  A simple app that you download to your phone and then link to your library account.

I started to use this app for running.  I don’t love running to music because I tend to change my cadence to match the music and while this is okay for short runs or sprints, it really messed me up for long runs.  I burn out easier and cannot easily find a good rhythm.  So audiobooks we’re perfect.  I would often lose myself in a story and find that I actually ran over my expected mileage.  I enjoyed the app a lot and it allowed me to flirt with an old pastime, reading, in a new fashion.  The only time I had otherwise used audiobooks was on long road trips.

That said, my relationship with audiobooks changed dramatically when we moved to DC.  We live in a very small apartment.  It is a 2/2 and is 850 square feet with no patio or balcony.  The kitchen is a small closed off cubicle and our laundry machine is a shared entity located on the other side is the building.  Daily chores that I had to typically done while watching a show or engaging with family now became a rather solitary event.   Additionally, we had sacrificed one of our cars when we moved to the city, so mode of transportation became my feet.  There were plenty of hours that were taken up, simply by mundane tasks.

Enter stage left – audio books.

DC’s library was also hooked up to Overdrive and I noticed quickly that they had a huge assortment of books that I had been longing to read.  Sometimes I could check them out immediately, but for a lot of the new hot best sellers, I had to get on a waiting list.  It was all done digitally and so I filled my hold list, made a wish list, and checked out several books.

The ability to have a story playing at the same time as doing dishes, laundry, or walking miles on end totally excited me.  My list of books ranged between fiction and non-fiction and on a good week I have listened to three books!  They pump me up, encourage me, get me lost in plots, allow me to release emotions, and transport me to new worlds.  I love them.
The best part of listening to the audiobooks is that they have totally transformed the way I feel about doing chores.  Suddenly these tasks that I dreaded are now my little getaway.  It provides me some much needed “Me Time” without any residual guilt.
And as icing on the cake, my brother got me a bluetooth headset for a present last year which has completely upgraded the experience. I am able to place my phone down somewhere safe in the kitchen or throw it in my back pocket without having to be connected to it by a chord.  I always worried about the chord getting caught as I was moving around and then dropping into the sink while doing dishes, but now I have the freedom to move without restriction.  It’s awesome.
If you haven’t already checked in with your own library to see if they offer audiobooks, I’d highly encourage you to do so.  They are free and have been a true game changer in the quality of my life.
Also – if you have any recommendations on books to “read” – leave me a comment!!!  I’m always up for suggestions.
UPDATE:  Someone mentioned data in a Facebook comment, so I wanted to address it.  You do not have to use your data with Overdrive. I download titles offline (using wi-fi) and then they are stored temporarily in my “bookshelf” until I am done or they “expire”.  I believe each book has a “rental” time of 21 days.  And as a woman who is always having to delete pictures of my phone to take more, I still have never had an issue with not being able to download a book.  Hope that helps!
Here are just some of the books that I’ve “read” in the past year and would totally recommend to others:
  • You are a Badass – How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life – Jen Sincero
  • Big Magic; Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Power of a Half Hour – Tommy Barnett
  • Year of Yes – Shonda Rhimes
  • The Power of a Positive No – William Ury
  • Rising Strong – Brene Brown
  • Unlimited – Jillian Michaels
  • I Know How She Does It – Laura Vanderkam
  • Triggers – Marshall Goldsmith
  • The Sweet Spot – How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work – Christine Carter
  • Originals – Adam Grant
  • The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
  • Unlimited Power – Anthony Robbins
  • Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins
  • Joy on Demand – Chade-Meng Tan
  • The Sleep Revolution – Arianna Huffington
  • Leadership and Self Deception – The Arbinger Institute
  • Wake Up Happy – Michael Strahan
  • Do Over – Jon Acuff
  • Spark Joy – Marie Condo
  • Salt Sugar Fat – Michael Moss
  • The Practicing Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
  • Essentialism – Greg McKeown
  • Spirit Junkie – Gabrielle Bernstein
  • #Girlboss – Sophia Amoruso
  • Conquering Fear – Harold S. Kushner
  • A Life at Work – Thomas Moore
  • Become Who You Were Born to Be – Brian Souza
  • Pretty Girls – Karin Slaughter
  • Little Deaths – Emma Flint
  • My Husband’s Wife – Jane Corry
  • Today Will Be Different – Maria Semple
  • 1984 – Orson Welles
  • All The Missing Girls – Megan Miranda
  • Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty
  • A Piece of the World – Christina Baker Kline
  • If I was Your Girl – Meredith Russo
  • Summer Secrets – Jane Green
  • The Girls – Emma Cline
  • One Second After – William R Forstchen
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette – Maria Semple
  • The Last Anniversary – Liane Moriarty
  • Unbecoming – Jenny Downham
  • Big Little Lies- Liane Moriarty

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply