This summer has flown by. Hasn’t it? For some it’s prime reading time outdoors under the sun. There’s no better season to stretch out on the beach with a good book or staying inside during a summer storm hooked by that title you always meant to get in to.
Now, however, the days will start to get shorter and colder (finally!). This may seem like an end to enjoying the outdoors and all the reading that could be done there. Thankfully, as it happens, you couldn’t be more wrong. There’s still a way of getting a daily dose of literature and the outdoors. For the time of enjoying nature and reading are never over. There’s a way to hit the tales and the trails at the same time!
As much as I love reading words on the page, I cannot sit still for all that long. In class, I’d always stretch my legs or back. Not even ten minutes in, I’d be itching to get up and walk around. In the car, I’m miserable if I don’t have enough leg room to extend my knees. It’s one of the worst things about finding a passion for writing and literature: I have to sit down all the time to do it. Or so I thought. Audiobooks brought to me a new element to multi-tasking.
I listened to the Harry Potter series on audio before when doing chores or playing video games. It was hard to bring them out of the house, until I uploaded them to my phone. When I came across an advertisement for Audible.com, the world (both in Nature and in Fiction) became my oyster. I discovered I could get through books faster by listening to one for as little as an hour (the average length of walking time from job or school to home) than I could by sitting down and reading for the same amount of time. I am a very slow reader; I like to imagine everything that happens in a scene as I read. I thus branched my listening library beyond the Potter books to the Song of Ice and Fire series. Because I was in one of my Game of Thrones HBO cravings between seasons, I wanted to get to know the book versions. I’m glad I did. It added such a richness to Martin’s world and the show now that I knew things many non-readers of the show didn’t.
What is more. I’m an auditory learner. I’ve found I could sit through a lecture and enjoy what I’m being taught much more than I could from a practical lesson. Perhaps that’s why I enjoy films so much too. Aside from the visuals, I pay attention to the sounds of movies; a sizeable chunk of my iTunes library consists of movie scores. Why then wouldn’t I take advantage of stories that are read to me with such great voice actors? What is even more is that I love the outdoors. I love getting outside and letting Nature show me what the world truly is supposed to be (even the man-made marvel: cities). Now I have a way of catching up on my reading and being outside.
A match of two seemingly polar elements.
Does this mean I’ll stop opening actual books? Of course not! There’s nothing like cracking open a new (or used) book and smelling the tome full of conflict and intrigue. I just wanted to share one way of experiencing story if you, like me, find it hard to commit a few hours of your time in a day to reading the stories we crave.
Cheers and happy listening.