Audible is My Gym Membership

My daughter turned me on to Audible a few weeks ago. I trust my kids to steer me to the best technology of the moment. They're always right about this stuff, and they can always help me figure out how to use it if I get stuck. (Like when I finally traded in my 6 year old flip phone on an iPhone and couldn't figure out what to do with it. Lauren simply said to me, "Mom - it's all about the home button." Such wisdom. So helpful.)

Audible is an Amazon service that provides streaming audio books. And it's easy. I haven't actually needed help with it. Lauren got me started by sending me You Are a Badass, by Jen Sincero. I wasn't sure this was my kind of book, but I downloaded it, popped in my single earbud (I like to hear the world around me) and headed out the door for a walk. I walked through seven chapters. I didn't want to go home. I just wanted to keep reading an walking - at the same time.

I finished the book in three days, which absolutely never happens. I find time to "read with my eyes" at bedtime, which means I'm already tired and about to fall asleep. I read maybe two pages, the second of which I can't remember anything about the following night and have to read all over again. Reading and sleeping go hand in hand in my world. Words on paper at night are like a sleeping pill.

But reading with my ears is a whole other deal. I can read while I walk to the grocery store, and even while I'm shopping. I do pause to interact with other humans when necessary, but for the most part, I can just do my thing and ignore the bad supermarket music.

I use Audible a lot at home too. I work here, and I never turn on the TV during the day unless it's to balance the dreariness of relentlessly gray skies with the crackle of a cozy virtual fireplace.

When I write, I listen to music, usually classical, and rarely anything with words. The words on my page need to be my own, after all. But if it's a day for knitting, or cooking, or cleaning the floors, I get a lot of reading done at the same time I do all those things, thanks to a bluetooth speaker that eliminates the need for headphones. Oh, beautiful technology, and sound waves flinging themselves through the air!

I lean towards the you-can-do-it, self-helpy, inspirational genres these days, so I tend to listen to most of my books more than once. Matter of fact, I listened to You Are a Badass twice, then bought the paperback, and am giving it a third go-around, highlighting my favorite bits as I go. I've also gotten a lot out of Year of Yes, by Shonda Rhimes, and How to Be an Imperfectionist, by Stephen Guise.

I bought Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic in hardback the moment it came out, and found it somehow comforting and encouraging during the time I spent with my dad in his last few months. I was more than a little bit lost then, faced with knowing I would soon be losing my beloved hero of a father, and completely unable to focus on myself and what I was doing, or wanted to be doing. Months later, this same book, now on Audible, nudges me forward, back into my own life.

What can I say? It's been a rough year. I need a little cheerleading, and I've found a way to get a whole lot of it. To say that I'm grateful is so insufficient.

Maybe, at $15 a month, there are cheaper ways of listening to audio books, but when I think of it as a gym membership rolled in with continuing education and personal development, it's a damn good deal.

Don't get me wrong. I love holding a real live book in my hands, and turning pages and reading the words for myself, but I'm also enjoying a big new world of knowledge and information, thanks to my darling daughter, who once again has sent me to just the right place.


  1. I am with you, I love audible. Reading books while beading or quilting or cleaning for me. I still love to walk with just my thoughts.

  2. It’s strange, but it’s been an exceptionally tough year for me too. Due to some recent health concerns, I have had to try and find some way to get more excercise into my daily life. I despise exercise and gyms, but walking is okay. I have a walking buddy at work during the week, because I found it hard to walk alone. I never thought about utilizing audible books! What a great idea to inspire me to keep at it on the weekends. Thank you!

  3. I have no idea why this post re-published itself almost 2 years after I first posted it. Maybe I need to renew my Audible membership! I let it go during our move and remodeling phase, but now it seems like a good idea again!


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