Why Do I Like Audiobooks So Much?

I’ve noticed that people generally have a love/hate relationship with audiobooks.  Being both a reader and a writer, I’m obviously a lover of books, and I definitely come down on the side of loving audiobooks.

There are a number of reasons I enjoy them, but at this very moment, the major reason I’m enjoying an audiobook as much as I am is because it’s a wonderful distraction.  You see, next year we’re going skiing again. 

What on earth is the connection between being distracted by audiobooks and skiing, I hear you ask?  A little background.  I can ski, and even snowboard a bit, but I’m a physiotherapist, and I know it’s supremely important to “get fit to ski.”  Particularly if you’ve had a previous injury and you’re not quite as young as you used to be.

You see, a number of years ago, the two ends of my anterior cruciate ligament parted company while I was skiing, resulting in a reconstruction, six weeks off work and quite a detailed rehabilitation program.  I have snowboarded (once) since then, but this time we’re going to Canada to experience (hopefully) more snow than I’ve ever seen in Australia.  As a result I’ve taken up jogging for the first time in years.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been walking and climbing hills and swimming in the ensuing years since the injury, so there’s been no lack of exercise, but I want to be properly ready.  I’m a swimmer by love and habit, so hopping in the pool and churning out the laps is usually pretty easy for me, but skiing requires leg strength and endurance.

To be honest, I’ve never enjoyed jogging, so the whole process is painful, and that’s where the audiobooks come in.  Most people exercise to music, and while I love music (I’m an enthusiastic amateur musician), I don’t like to exercise to it because it doesn’t distract me enough, and I can’t sing along while I’m puffing at the required rate.  Consequently, I listen to audiobooks.  Huge, long, engrossing audiobooks.

When I participate in discussions about paper vs eBooks vs audiobooks, I always try and remind people that it’s not about the packaging, it’s about the words.  (Having said that, I think my cover art is absolutely the best – thanks Emma Llewelyn!)  But a story, not matter how beautifully packaged, always comes down to the words -the words and how they’re connected together.  A good author has the ability to draw the reader  wholeheartedly into their world, so that the reader/listener is waiting breathlessly to see what happens to the characters and how the story plays itself out.  This is precisely what I need when I’m “running.”

Currently I’m listening to Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings,” which is forty five (yes, FORTY FIVE) hours of listening pleasure.  It’s one of my favourite books and I’m currently waiting impatiently for the sequel.  Hopefully this one will see me most of the way through the painful process of regaining my ability to run for many connected minutes.  Who knows?  I might even try out a fun run at the end of it all.

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