I've always loved reading. It's been a way to escape reality and live in my imagination. I've been able to imagine what it would be like to live at Hogwarts, travel to Narnia, go to Mordor. I've been able to imagine myself as Anne Frank and as Alexander Hamilton. Yes, I read the Ron Chernow book. Yes, it was long!
When I was younger, I didn't really like audiobooks. I tried to read "Lord of the Flies" on audiobook, and I couldn't get through it. It was mainly because of the narrator's voice. But also because "Lord of the Flies" is dense, and not my cup of tea normally.
All through grade school and high school, I couldn't read audiobooks. Now though, as a college student, even though I want to read books for fun, I find that I really struggle at it.
I read plenty for school, but that isn't the same. Reading for school doesn't take me away to another world. Sorry professors, but reading textbooks do not make me super excited.
I was talking with one of my friends last semester, and she said that she had read roughly 200 books last year. I was flabbergasted. She has so many reading assignments, so I assumed most of those books were for class, but when I asked her that, she told me I was wrong; the 200 books were just the books she read for fun. She commutes between campuses (our Lake Shore campus and our Water Tower campus) almost every day. She told me she would listen to audiobooks that her library had on an app on her commutes. Over time, the books added up.
Over the summer when I got my own library card, I downloaded that same app. For my internship, I had roughly an hour of driving to and from work. While I was there, I had a lot of microscope work or computer work. I had between 5-8 hours of listening time available. I flew through books.
I reread all the Harry Potter books. I read memoirs by actors that I like. I read the Game of Thrones series. In the 10 weeks of my internship, I got through about 20 books, each of which was roughly 30 hours long. It was amazing. I hadn't been able to get through the Game of Thrones series before because of how long the books are. I was too busy with school to read consistently enough to remember the stories.
Audiobooks have changed that. I'm currently reading "Wild", and I feel myself walking the Pacific Crest Trail right along with Cheryl Strayed, as I'm walking around campus.
I think printed books will always be my favorite versions of books. There's something about the smell and the feel of a paper book. I love feeling the weight of the book in my hands as I read.
Right now though, audiobooks are my friend. They may not always be, but I'm so happy I've found them.