Listening is the new reading

I am really impressed with adults who (still) read. I remember days in my youth (not too long ago) when I was a bookworm and would relax all day reading book after book without a care in the world. But now, for more than a decade (!) I don’t have the luxury and can’t seem to find the time to read. Even when I do have time, it doesn’t feel like I can use it on the pure indulgence of reading; and if I do manage to convince myself that I can, I will get interrupted because well, mom life. I started getting to a point where I would feel slightly frustrated when people start discussing new books they had just read; and then I would buy a book, read one or two pages and then the books would just sit on the bookshelf.

In 2015 I started to teach myself coding and I discovered a fantastic habit from founder of Free Code Camp, Quincy Larson. He used to run daily and listen to audiobooks while he ran. I was so impressed! At that time, I didn’t really know much about audiobooks. I had never tried it, but was intrigued at the thought of being able to “read” and get something else done at the same time. I downloaded the app he used, Audible (by Amazon) and my life has been changed forever. Honestly, if there was an Oscar for apps…

I know die-hard book-lovers are sitting there shaking their heads in disagreement, but disruption is happening in all industries people; and we as consumers need to take advantage of apps and products that make our lives easier and more productive.

Don’t buy a car, use Über.

Planning a project, use Trello

Planning a trip, use Tripit.

Don’t make food, order Übereats (yes, I am an über activist)

Need your house cleaned, use Sweep South.

Can’t find time to read, listen to Audible.

Thats the reality of life now and its just going to get more advanced with the internet of things (IoT). Honestly, I cannot wait for the day that the bread tin or the milk in the fridge is low or near empty and the fridge knows(!!) and it will send a message to the shop to deliver it to the house. This will be a little piece of heaven for me.

I am not saying that you shouldn’t read books. I genuinely love books. Bookstores are (still) one of my favourite places. Nothing can compare to getting cozy at the fireplace and curling up with a good book, or lazing on the sofa in summer at the beach house (I wish) with a book as you hear the waves crashing and your kids building sandcastles, while somebody (else) is watching them.

I’m talking about the day to day life, where you don’t have the time; and when you do, you don’t have the energy. Netflix is too easy to put on when the kids fall asleep and you need to chill and have dark hot chocolate (yes, its a healthy person thing. You can get it at Wellness Warehouse). Looking at a book, sitting there on the pedestal alone while I choose Netflix, makes me feel guilty; but not guilty enough because I keep doing it.

Using Audible has really been life changing for me because I can finish a book a month. I usually treat myself to it when I exercise and walk on the treadmill at home. You could listen to a book on your way to work  or while you are cooking or doing other forms of exercise; or could just listen to it to block out noise and loud voices. It is such a great solution for book lovers who just can’t find the time to read regularly and also a way to distract yourself while doing exercise.  If you have never listened to an audiobook, try it out in 2019 and let me know what you think. 

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Siham Arieff
Siham Arieff

Siham is a wellness writer, stroke survivor, mom of 3 and coffee lover on a health and fitness journey who recently relocated back home to Cape Town, South Africa.

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