Things I Learned to Love in 2020: Audiobooks

Screenshot of Libby containing book cover for Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

I was never a huge fan of audiobooks, or audio CDs I guess they would’ve been when I was younger, cluttering shelves in the Chapters nearest to myself. I didn’t have a need for them, or a want to listen to them. I was willfully, and youthfully ignorant and insensitive.

Yet one of my fondest memories is from high school, hanging out in the dark room, developing photos while a friend and I listened to Harry Potter, as read by Stephen Fry. He did it well.

So when it was suggested I give audiobooks another go later on in life (much later), I was not really ready for it. Until I was also informed that they could be found on Libby, an app I love, and it was pointed out that I could “read” while cross stitching.

It was like everything stopped, and the world became full of possibilities. I knew I could watch TV and cross stitch, but I seemed to have forgotten that audiobooks exist. This is what started my love for them, from Lin-Manuel Miranda reading Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, to Joe Jameson regalling me with Boyfriend Material, one of my favourite books of 2020.

The more I listened, the more I wanted to listen, and then the thing happened.

In the beginning of December I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and with that diagnosis, and my new medications my vision began to fail.

I couldn’t cross stitch because I couldn’t see well enough to do so, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and WordPress all became an exercise in frustration. Trying to work, to read emails and write emails and keep up the pace, which I normally have no problem with became tasks ruined by tears and the anxiety at trying to use accessible programs.

But Libby and audiobooks were there. I could close my eyes, take a deep breath and sink into a story as easy as I used to be able to read it on a page.

And that is why I love audiobooks. So buy them, listen to them, support your favourite authors, support the people who read those words aloud, and those who listen to them.

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