Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reading With Your Ears

For the past five years, I have been gradually working toward my Master's Degree at Baylor University. The reason it has taken so long is that I live north of Fort Worth, and every time I need to go to class it takes a minimum of two hours to get there and another two hours to get back. In that amount of time, my listening tastes have gradually evolved. At first, I listened exclusively to music. After exhausting all of my music radio stations and iTunes playlists, I switched over to talk radio. This was alright for a while, but I grew tired of hearing the same voices every morning. Then, a year ago, I discovered the very best in non-visual entertainment: Audiobooks. I resisted this trend for a while, because I am a purist when it comes to books. I like to hold a book with all of its papery goodness. However, I have given in, and it has made my commute quite the positive experience.

Recently, I listened to a great book by Dennis Lehane (he also wrote Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone, and Shutter Island). It was called The Given Day, and it is a novel that takes place during and around the Boston Police Strike of 1919. I highly recommend it.

I have gotten into this type of listening because of a service called If you are at all interested in audiobooks, this is the best service out there.

Another new discovery is that I can use my iPhone as a Kindle! This is another medium that I had resisted until recently because of my staunch traditionalism about books. I like the feeling of paper in my hands as I read. In spite of my Fallwellian fundamentalism toward all things literary, I have been won over to the digital book. I am currently reading Nick Hornby's High Fidelity on my phone/Kindle, and it's pretty stinking cool (although it does make my eyes hurt a little if I read for too long).

Anyway, I suppose I'm saying all this to say that it has been quite a liberating experience to overcome my preconceived ideas and prejudices toward various mediums of reading. My fears and trepidation were doing nothing but paralyzing me from experiencing all there was to be experienced. I have found that I have never gained anything from being closed-minded.

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