This is one of the best blog entries I have read in a while: Automatically Read A Book Per Week Without Taking Any Additional Time Out Of Your Day. There are a lot of sites on the internet where you can download books for free, or others besides the mentioned Audible.com– such as open culture (that link over there on the sidebar under Blogroll). You can also get them from podcast sites, usually under the category of spoken word.
You might think of listening to audio books as sort of copping out, right? I did, too. You should sit there in a nice comfortable chair and read the amount of pages or whatever that you give yourself for the time you have. But then, there is all those other pesky things that more urgently demand your attention, so “frivolous” things like reading go away down further on the list of things you want to do but don’t have the time to do. Especially the classics, books you have always meant to read and those ones that all your friends read and said were so good.
I used to think this way, too. But there are sooooo many books out there. And there is sooooo many other things to do. And you wouldn’t believe how many little areas of time when you do other things when you could be listening to a book, as well. I tend to listen when I am cleaning, especially, and doing repetitive things and things that can get really boring (again, cleaning), and, for some reason, taking the garbage out, which is the parking garage three flights down.
I just download them and stick them in my iPod and go. I ride the bus anywhere I need to go where I cant walk, so I get a few more minutes in to and fro. There are some people who like to listen to books and other stuff while they walk or run, but I find that distracting- I’m a little afraid that some crazy person riding their bike on the sidewalk is going to come from behind and run me down.
You could do this with language tapes, too, only you might want to be careful where and when you repeat what they say. People might look at you and wonder just how crazy you are.
Of course, I still read books, and I still would recommend sitting down and reading. After all, there are books that aren’t out in audio form. And there are others with photos, illustrations and charts that are very useful, especially when you want to get at info quickly.