I listen to audiobooks. I started this when I had a 140 mile-3-hour commute every weekend. It kept me awake while music put me to sleep. Just enough engagement of the mind to fight off exhaustion from the week and sleepiness. Last year I asked for an iPod for Christmas. And that device and Audible.com have been my friends for the past year. Now I can listen to audiobooks without fighting with multiple cds or tapes and finding a place to store all the boxes. I still read. But this extends my ability to read.With my iPod, I broadcast books through all the radios in the house. So I can "read" while I clean or cook or just sit in front of the fireplace and watch the fire. I can listen in the car. I can listen while I walk around Greenlake (yes, I do live in Seattle).
It's luxurious to be read to. It slows the experience down. I read too quickly. And I cheat. I skim. I skip backward, I skip forward. This way I must concentrate and be in the moment with the story. With a very good reader, it is a wonderful experience. And with a good book, a bad reader is tolerable.
My best listen of the past few months. Rohinton's Mistry's "A Fine Balance." Devastating. Hopeful for people, if not for society. I recently listened to his second novel, "Family Matters." More later.