Problem #1: You’re at the gym at the 15 minute mark on the elliptical, desperate for a distraction that will take away the tedium. The magazine in front of you just isn’t cutting it, and what’s worse you’re getting blurry-eyed from trying to read while bobbing up and down.
Problem #2: You’re stuck in the car with three squabbling children on the way to school, and traffic is heavy. Or worse, you’re on a long road trip and they can’t agree on a movie to watch.
Problem #3: You’re grocery shopping, and you’re stuck listening to bad ’80s music from their sound system. Before long, you catch yourself humming along. As I’ve explained to my humiliated daughter, your hands are occupied and there’s nothing else to do.
SOLUTION to problems #1,2,3 : Audible.com !
Remember when you had the luxury of time as a kid, and your parents would read to you? Audio books are convenient and make good use of your time.
Audible.com is an Amazon company that offers a huge selection of downloadable audio books, speeches, plays, lectures, magazines, newspapers, and periodicals. Included is a substantial Audible Kids section, and many categories of fiction and non-fiction. Downloading your selections is a snap, and the book remains in your account’s library forever.
Each book is priced according to its length, and it can get costly. Membership is definitely the way to go, since this reduces cost and you gain credits towards free downloads. It’s best to start with the basic membership, which costs $14.95 a month. Each month you earn one credit, which can be used on almost any book of any length. If you need more materials, the prices are far more reasonable with the membership.
TIPS****** 1- Audible.com often has promotions where you can join for free with a limited trial period. Check the website for details. I will also try and keep you up to date.
2- Every week the site posts new specials on select materials.
3- DON’T GIVE UP! It may take a bit of time to find your groove. Not everything on paper translates as well to audio, but the reverse is also true. If your first selection is a bust, trust me on this: Don’t give up! You will find the narrators that speak to you, and the type of materials that best translate to audio. Remember, the pay off is huge! If you need a bit of a push, here’s a list of some selections enjoyed in my family:
1- THE GRAVEYARD BOOK BY NEIL GAIMAN. Narrated by the author, and he’s a wonderful narrator. This is actually an adult book, but it carries over well to the tween/young adult crowd. Really, I recommend anything by Neil Gaiman.
2- THE HUNGER GAMES BY SUZANNE COLLINS. Surprised? OK, this is not great literature, BUT I’m talking about pure entertainment and distraction while I’m on the elliptical. It does the job!
3- GENGHIS KAHN AND THE MAKING OF THE MODERN WORLD BY JACK WEATHERFORD. My husband vouches for this fascinating and well-narrated work of non-fiction.
4- THE ODYSSEY BY HOMER. Sweating to the Classics – why not?
5- THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET BY PSEUDONYMOUS BOSCH. Another one for the early tween/young adult crowd that my daughter could not put down.
This brings me to another big advantage with audio books: Can you say: Educational babysitter? There are books for younger kids too.
If you try this out or have tried it out, I would love to hear your experiences and recommendations. Please share in the comments section.