As enormous as one can make their music library, some prefer hearing conversations instead of music during their drive to and from work or while doing housework . To be taken away by a great story or a 20 minute podcast is convenient, especially if you have Amazon Echo (Alexa). I usually have an extensive collection of podcasts to fit my moods and audible books ranging from romance, money advise, experiences to best sellers.
I have Audible Premium with its $14.99 a month subscription which gives me 1-2 credits a month towards a book, which pays for itself. Once you’ve started the service, you can actually put it “on hold” for 3 months at a time without getting charged. I find this service a plus since sometimes I just cannot find a book I feel like hearing. With Kindle Unlimited you are basically trading 10 books at a time and the selection is limitless. But, I am going to check out OverDrive which is through the local library where one can borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free the only drawbacks are you have to return the books within 21 days and you may be put on a waiting list if your selection is not available. But it’s worth looking into. All you have to do is dust off your trusty library card to register.
On days I feel unmotivated, which is usually in the beginning of the week, I tend to listen to podcasts from various personalities. Usually the interviews are with fascinating people from all walks of life and I enjoy the question and answers that are administered. During the week I do enjoy listening to the news but am picky at the commentaries leading up to an opinionated view. The Daily by the New York Times gives you what is happening without being contumacious or callous and Michael Barbaro has a soothing voice which makes for a pleasant experience. His approach is also unique as to where he starts off giving the listener a bit of the back story or some audio of the situation itself capturing your attention and makes you want to know more . Nowadays, there are so many podcasts that it becomes overwhelming, but navigating through those waters is not so difficult when you know how to search and if you just happen to not enjoy a particular podcast it is as simple as a swipe and it is gone from your library. Many of my favorites at this moment are The Mind Body Green podcast, The Rich Roll Podcast, Wanderlust Speakeasy, Best Self Magazine and Marie Forleo Podcast and for added measure Coffee Break French if I one day feel inspired to learn a language.
It is difficult for me to be loyal to any podcast because in most of the podcasts it becomes a bit verbose with the material or you have heard it somewhere else before. Some podcasts regurgitate guest speakers to the point where you just do not want to follow them anymore. But my least favorites are the businesses disguised as an inspirational podcast. It starts off fairly well but then the tone changes into a continual talk about how successful they became and call out their brand twenty times in a 10 minute span. It becomes so frustrating and if you hear them often enough it becomes obvious that there are just advertising for themselves and their brands. So buyer beware and make sure you do a little research and look into their ratings and reviews.
When it comes to audible books and some Amazon Kindle audiobooks it is a different story. I always enjoyed good storytelling but I highly recommend listening to a sample of the audio before purchasing it. You may wonder why, well in my last audible book I kept getting annoyed with the male voice due to the fact that it was overdone. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that there was a male and female voice but the male voice was just so aggressive which I understand was part of the character, but just his voice got to be a bit much for me so for that reason I decided to return the audiobook without finishing the book. The best part is Audible allows you to return the book you are not pleased with and credit your account. The wonderful part of Kindle Audiobooks is that you can choose to hear it or read it for some books. I do both, I swap back and forth and it is always where I left off no matter which format I was using last. The last Audible book I listened to and enjoyed was The Wife: A Novel by Meg Wolitzer and narrated by Dawn Harvey. Other novels that I have downloaded and are next on my list are The Whiskey Sea by Ann Howard Creel, Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders and From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. Now on the non-fiction side, I have Daily Self-Discipline and How to Build Self-Discipline to Exercise both by Martin Meadows for added motivation to exercise. Other items on my list are Mel Robbins’ The 5 Second Rule, Tim Ferris, The 4 Hour Work Week. I’m starting to see a pattern here.
As convenient as the alternative are, I still enjoy holding a book and dog-ear the pages or even using a beautiful bookmark that can be purchased at an actual bookstore like Barnes and Noble or Simon and Schuster. My favorite books to buy are still cookbooks. There is nothing like purchasing a book and putting it on a shelf to remind us of the good old days and reach for it when you feel inspired to create something different or just going to your shelves where there is a lineup of books purchased long ago and re-reading a favorite from the past. Still, cookbooks are a source of comfort and beauty ans some of my favorites are Clean Slate by the Editors of Martha Stewart and Eating Purely by Elizabeth Stein are my choice for healthy organic recipes not to mention the photos that jump out at you, for Italian food my go to is Lidia’s Favorite Recipes she has been around for so long and her recipes never disappoint, for Indian recipes Lord Krishna’s Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian the book was originally printed in 1987 but is back in print, the recipes are simple and satisfying.
Thrift shops are another great source to find treasures. Most of the stores are overflowing with books now and you can get a bargain for usually less than $2. There is a great article from CBS news on-line regarding the differences between reading a book on a screen versus a printed book. It touches on the science behind how the brain reacts towards both and how the feel and smell of a new book or even an old one seems to trigger a nostalgic factor that provoke positive rections and several studies link reading on paper with helping with memory retention and with focus. The article also mentions that reading on a tablet before bed reduces your melatonin production it is worth taking a few moments to read the article.
Overall, no matter which avenue you take when it comes to a published piece, the brain becomes stimulated in a much more positive way than if one binge watches television for several hours. A book always allows your imagination to envision the characters to your liking , not to mention, allowing you to be the director of your own mini movie that is only in your mind and as an added bonus becomes your great escape if only for a small fraction of time out of your day.