September 21, 2018

On audiobooks

Reporting back to work when my maternity leave ended in April meant one of many things: enduring two-hour stretches of traffic going home in the afternoon, and that's not even the worst of it because I try to avoid the rush hour as much as I can. Imagine those two-hour drives extending to three during rush hour... just thinking about it makes me ill already.

But because Manila traffic is one of those things that, so far, has no ready or apparent solution (ergo, you just have to grit your teeth and bear it), I decided I had to do something with my sanity -- at least on that part, I have some control over. Enter audiobooks.

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Downloaded Audible on my phone and my first listen was Gillian Flynn's "Sharp Objects." Figured I needed a thriller or a mystery, something heavily plot-driven to capture my attention so I won't get bored or distracted while driving. I have to say, I picked the right book because I got so caught up in the story, I actually didn't mind the long drive home.

The thing about audiobooks, though, is that they don't come cheap; they're even more expensive than print or Kindle editions. (Well, at least for those books I actually checked out.) And Audible is a membership app, so you pay membership fees in addition to any books you might want to purchase. I've tried the free audiobooks on other apps like Audiobooks and Audiobooks HQ, but the quality is just different. (Yes, it's poor because hey, free.) Plus, they only have classics and older titles and I'm not really interested in those. I'd probably zone out before I could even get halfway through the ride.

Currently, I'm listening to the audio of Kevin Kwan's "Crazy Rich Asians," a popular book these days although it's not something I would devote my time actually reading. So just to satisfy my curiosity, I thought, why not just listen to it. So far, I'm enjoying the narration because of the Asian accent - something close to home, indeed.

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