WARNING: EMBARRASSING CHILDHOOD STORY
When I was in 5th grade, my parents declared Monday night: Family Night. To me (10) and my brother Eric's (12) dismay, this meant no video games, no tv and no telephone. Basically, Family Night was the antichrist of our tween lifestyles.
First we ate dinner as a family. Then our weekly Family Meeting was called to order. As the daughter of a German immigrant, I can assure you the meetings were more organized than the Dewey Decimal System.
Dad ran the meetings with unwavering efficiency. First order of business: the family calendar. It was filled with soccer practices, mom's book club meetings, potential weekend sleepovers, birthday parties and the like. Event scheduling was followed by the obligatory "old business" and "new business." And for the grand finale, we rotated the chore wheel. My mom was secretary, in charge of keeping meeting minutes in her official Family Meeting 3-ring binder (which was filled with more sheet protectors than a middle school book report). And my brother and I were the poor chumps missing yet another episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air."
Oh, but the fun didn't stop there. As an added "treat," my dad read classic novels, aloud, to the entire family, for an hour. He picked books like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Two Years Before the Mast, Around the World in Eighty Days, The Count of Monte Cristo and Short Stories of O. Henry. At first Eric and I resisted. We were too old to be read to. But, slowly we became fond of the force fed Twain, Verne and Dumas. Call it Stockholm Syndrome - we were hooked.
To this day, I love being read to. And since my spare time is stretched a bit thin these days, I can squeeze in a good book much easier by listening to it. I can listen while I drive, make buttons, knit, even while I work-out. Audio books give me all the pleasure of reading AND I can be productive at the same time. Plus, since I'm able to do it more frequently, I don't have my usual lapses in reading sessions when I altogether forget the premise of a story. It's also greener and doesn't take up any space in my house.
I'm not "poo-pooing" reading a book, I love hunkering down with a good book when I have the time. There's nothing like the physicality of real pages and committing your undivided attention to it. I'm just sayin' that audio books are pretty dern good.
So for those of you who, like me, love books and stories but just can't seem to find the time to read, here's a great new site: audible.com. It's a subsidiary of amazon.com. They offer monthly audio book subscriptions. Not sure? Well, I suggest you try their free, month long trial where you can get 2 audio books with no obligation to subscribe. And memberships start as low as 14.95 a month. Books don't "expire" so you can store them up and listen when you can.
Listen to any good books lately?