Listening vs Reading

Since discovering that audio books make my commute better, I’ve listened to some truly fascinating books. Non-fiction is easiest for me to listen to because there’s no plot, so I’m finally getting around to those books I’ve always wanted to read but was always kind of turned off by the non-fiction part.

I really am very interested in learning, but fiction is typically way more fun to read, you know? But listening to non-fiction is like listening to extended NPR segments. I dig that.

My current listen is The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It’s fascinating and infuriating. I’m also reading Breasts by Florence Williams so it’s like a double dose of science. (Other recent really good listens: Quiet by Susan Cain and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg — both were psychology mixed with business with anecdotes mixed with self-help.)

The downside of listening instead of reading is that I don’t remember as much later. I still catch on to the big points, but there’s no underlining available and it isn’t alway easy/possible to bookmark an audio book. (Which is why sometimes I make sure to listen to books that I know are enjoyable but won’t include interesting facts I want to use later to sound smart.)

So why am I writing this? Because I think I’ve figured out a solution. If I listen to books I already own then I can glance through the real book at red lights! Just kidding, I’ll wait until I’m parked.

20120531-222908.jpg This is something I was avoiding before (the listening part) because I felt that I had wasted money on a paperback of something that I then wasn’t going to read…but now it will all be OK. I will find a way to not have thrown my money away because I will still carry that darn book around with me everywhere I go!

It’s late. I should probably go to sleep now. If none of the above made sense, it’s because I shouldn’t have been thinking and typing this late at night…oops.

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