For my birthday, a friend of mine gave me an iTunes gift card.  I used it a couple of days ago to get an audio recording of Stephen King’s On Writing.  I’ve listened to audiobooks before, but only a small handful.  The first one was an abridged Seamus Heaney recording of his Beowulf translation.  The small number might stem from me growing up thinking reading is a visual act (looking at words on a page) rather than an auditory one (listening to words on headphones).

Now, for the record, I do have a hard copy of On Writing.  Which writer doesn’t?  But I also take daily walks ranging from thirty minutes to an hour or longer.  I usually listen to music, but August has been a very stressful month, and I felt like I needed a different kind of company besides Marilyn Manson.  Audiobooks are great in that they you can multitask to a degree while listening.  Walks and drives are the best time for them, I believe.  I’m also a slow reader, so listening to a book means I can fit more of them in my year.  If this sounds like you, $20-30 downloading recording might be worth your while.

I’m not saying I’m abandoning printed books altogether.  Some of the books on my shelf had personalized messages in them.  Others are just too damn good to part ways with.  If you want my cope of Harry Turtledove’s Tosev novels, you’ll have to pry all eight of them from my cold, dead Eye-talian hands.

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