A recent transfer doubled my weekly commute. I was distressed because nine hours a week on the road would really limit my reading time, or so I thought. As things have turned out, I am reading more than ever. How? Audio books have been my salvation. I am currently "reading" The Girl Who Played with Fire by Steig Larsson. I downloaded this audio book to my MP3 player from the Pima County Public Library's Overdrive digital download service.
Don't get me wrong; I will never give up reading print books. Nothing beats a book and a cup of mint tea for entertainment, but I can tell you that I am less prone to road rage when I am listening to an audio book. Good narration can add depth, warmth and color to a book. One of my favorite narrators is Barbara Rosenblat. The characters of Radcliffe and Amelia Peabody Emerson come alive in the Amelia Peabody mysteries by Elizabeth Peters through the talents of narrator Barbara Rosenblat. I can travel to Botswana and meet Precious Ramotze as she is portrayed by Lisette Lecat in Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I am transported by Will Patton's smooth southern accent to the Louisiana bayou to fight crime with Dave Robicheaux in the books by James Lee Burke. My commute seems much shorter when I am listening to an audio book, and I arrive at work a much happier person.
The library has audio books on compact discs and also subscribes to two digital download services. With so many audio books available, I will spend many happy listening and commuting hours. So if you see a woman speeding down I-10 in a white Camry who is still smiling after being almost sideswiped by an eighteen wheeler, that's me, and I am reading.