Discovering audio book CDs

Posted: March 15, 2007 in audio book

I have been doing a decent commute to work and back, daily, and when I did not have a driver to drive me to work, I would listen to the radio while commuting. From the time I got the driver, I would try to read and catch up with work, on the laptop.

However both of these activities are not the most convenient to do, in a moving car. So often, I would end up listening to the radio inspite of having a driver.

Sometime back, I thought of replacing the radio with audio book CDs. That way, I figured, I will also cover up on my reading backlog. And I managed to get a few audio book CDs.

And then coincidentally, I happened to take a vacation by road, that involved more than 30-35 hours of being on the road, totally. I used the opportunity to take the audio book CDs that I had invested in, and ‘read’ through all but one, of them. In case you are wondering, how I could do that, when I must have had others in the car, while on vacation, it is this way:

a. I was the driver on the vacation, and all others in the car would go off to sleep, after an hour or two of the drive!
and
b. There was at least one audio book (“The Long Tail”) that even the family enjoyed listening to; it had fascinating cases of real-life and current stories, which they did not mind listening to.

Anyway, at the end of the trip, I was hooked to the audio book CD concept. I am going to work on getting more and more titles. I have been able to put the car drive to great use, I have been able to cover up on my reading, and I have been able to do it, in quicker time, than I would, by reading the printed book!

In case of the print book reading, I tend to often stay at a page, and start thinking about what I just read, visualising it, etc. But with an audio book CD, since the ‘page’ keeps moving ahead, I have to focus and keep listening. Sure, the stop and visualise aspect is good, in many ways, and gets the content ‘inside’ me, much better, but this is a fair compromise to get through a book quicker and cover up on the reading backlog.

Oh, the titles I covered on the trip included The Blue Ocean Strategy, The Long Tail, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and I am now listening to The World is Flat.

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Comments
  1. USC Trojan says:

    I am a HUGE fan of audio books too, for the same reason. My commute went up from 5 minutes to about 30 minutes and especially in the mornings, it is fresh mind ready to accept fresh ideas, so it works perfectly.

    But just for your information, audio books on CD’s are one thing – the next step is audio books on ipod/other mp3 players and of course, the equivalent of magazines are podcasts.

    Podcasts are wonderful because most of them are free and you can find pretty much anything under the sun you want. They are short, and work like episodes. They get updated on the mp3 player and you can get a dose of business, news, sports, talk, politics, education, bartending, etc. on the way to work, in the gym, etc.

    Reading is so passe now! 🙂

  2. SPM says:

    I am hearing you. Ipods, mp3 players and especially podcasts, sound very interesting.

    Do podcasts have RSS like feeds? You don’t need to go and fetch them?

    The only challenge I see is that I hate to listen to anything with earplugs or earphones. Its creepy for me. So the next thing to do for me, would be to get an iPod with attachment to give output on the car speakers!

    They’ve got me now 🙂

  3. SPM says:

    Hey, another thought..
    There needs to be a disruptive force like iTunes to allow downloading of audio books, at lower costs than the current CD level prices. Perhaps it already exists and I don’t know about it yet. After all, I am only a recent convert.. !

  4. USC Trojan says:

    @spm: Remember the tape converter for discman? The tape has a audio connector at its end, and it goes in the audio out of the discman. It used to be handy in those days when CD players were not available in cars, but tape players were.

    The same device (< $10) is a great connector for ipods/other mp3 players. As for services for audio books – check out http://www.audible.com. They have a subscription model which entitles you to 2 books/month (or something like that) for $10/month. As long as you are a subscriber your files are available to you.

    And yes, podcasts became cool simply because of their RSS-type nature. You don’t need to keep going to the source to get new episodes – you just “subscribe” to the feed and it keeps downloading newest episodes whenever you are online and you open up itunes or windows media player or such. Very cool!

  5. SPM says:

    USC Trojan:
    Awesome!
    Its great input and will put all these on the to-do list. And will check out the audio book download site too..

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