I was talking to somebody today about audiobooks. Unabridged audiobooks strike me as a fantastic way to pass the time during long road trips, or while doing housework, or yardwork, or just about anything. One of my favorite things to listen to on long drives is the original BBC radio production of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. But I’ve listened to that many many times and know parts of it by heart. So it’s easy and fun to listen to.
My problem, as I’ve grown older, is that I seem to have developed a 5-second attention span. (I blame the internet. And television. And everything that was invented after 1935.) It’s not such a problem with paper books, probably because I’m long accustomed to flipping back and forth between pages. But this has led to some retraining efforts as I take audiobooks for a spin.
Unless I’m careful to avoid distractions, my forays into audiobooks usually go like this.
The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Book 1. Chapter 1: A–
ZOMG there’s a huge woodpecker clinging right to that tree. Look at that. Hey, red! Hey, Woody Woodpecker!
The Fellowship of the Ring, by J. R. R. Tolkien. Book 1. Chapter 1: A Long Expected Party. When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced–
ZOMG that dog has the puffiest tail I’ve ever seen. What a silly looking dog. Poor thing. I wonder if the other dogs make fun of it. I hope he isn’t lonely. That reminds me, I need to write a letter to– oops. Oh, yeah. *rewinds*
When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party–
Wow. That’s really old. What year would it be if I reached 111 years? Let’s see… Oops. Oh, yeah. *rewinds*
–be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of of special significance, there–
PICK A LANE, YOU MORON.
And so it goes.