Sunday, June 22, 2008

Listening to Books

A few months ago, Olivia began to really like books on CD (gifts from grandparents). Desperate for more toddler distractions in the car, I ripped them onto Itunes and then synced them to my Ipod for use in the car. One afternoon, I found myself browsing Itunes' store for more books for the girls and thought, "Humm, I should buy a book for myself." However, I refrained from the temptation.

On vacation in Germany, I ran into a librarian who told me to borrow books on CD from the library and rip them to Itunes, etc. So, before I left, I hit up the library (on the U.S. Military post) and ripped a couple of books. I finished "Sophie's Choice" as we landed back in Lisbon. I began "The Secret Life of Bees" last week and, sadly (it was so good), finished it the other day. I am hooked. Unfortunately, there is no library (English library) nearby that has books on CD.

I didn't think I could really get into listening to a book. There's something about flipping pages and actually reading the lines and pages of a book. So, I was surprised at how easily I came to really like e-books.

Here's why: As a mother of two toddlers, I cannot sit down to read whenever I want. Often, by the time I get into bed at night, I'm so tired, I read a page and then push myself to finish a chapter through heavy eyelids. It can take me a month to read one book. Since I was a little girl and fell in love with the "Little House on the Prairie" series, and then the "Anne of Green Gables" series, books have topped my list of great life-long loves, stress relievers, etc.

Books on CD (or e-books) have opened up a whole new world to me. I can listen to a book in the car, while grocery shopping, doing the dishes, walking the dog, cooking, etc. My Ipod and, if I can't have ear phones in, my portable Ipod stereo, allow me to listen to a book any time of the day, without having to stop what I'm doing. At night, tucked into bed, I have chosen to read an actual book, saving listening to books only for when I am not able to sit down to open up a book. Now, I am listening to one book and reading another book. Life is good!

The other day, browsing the website of the library I was a member of from childhood until I got married, I noticed they now have an e-library! Score (read: free e-books)!

Not so fast...As I was about to pick up the phone to see if I could renew my membership over the phone or online and sign up for an e-book account, I noticed that library e-books are not compatible with Apple products (read: Ipods). Of course. If Apple isn't going to make money on something, why would they design their products to be compatible with library e-books? Stupid me.

Sorry Apple. While I will not be ditching my Ipod, I will not be purchasing any books from your Itunes store. Instead, when I go home for a visit in August, I'm making a mad dash to the library, where I will inquire as to the ins and outs of their e-library. I will re up my membership. Then, I will purchase a very basic, possibly used, MP3 player that is compatible with e-library books. Even if I have to spend $100 on set-up (MP3 player and some sort of docking/speaker system), it still beats buying e-books online (I could spend $100 on books in a few mere weeks). Oh, how I hope this works with my overseas Internet server! Please let it work!

What do you love? Books? Music? Exercise? Warm baths/showers? What things do you do to relieve stress from work, life with infants/toddlers, etc.?


Angie said...

I started listening to books on tape in college. I didn't have time to read, but I could listen to a book while painting. Allen and I have also always liked them for car trips. We listened to several books on the way to Alaska from Georgia, even stopping at book stores in Canada to buy more. You can often find cheap ones on sale at B&N or other large book stores. It's a bit harder now, because Ashlyn wants to listen to her music. We did manage to listen to one on the way to and from France, inbetween Ashlyn's music and movies. If we could just get her to watch a movie with headphones, it would help.

We've mostly been listening to If you give a Mouse a Cookie lately. Thank you for that! It also helped to get us off Ashlyn's Disney streak at the library, since she only owns the moose book. Along with Fancy Nancy, these are Allen's favorite books.

Natalie said...

I forgot to mention that Matt and I LOVE books on CD. We have similar interests in books and when we moved to AK, we stopped at Cracker Barrels along the way and took out books, returned them at the next CB and so on. We've been hooked ever since. Now, we've only been able to listen to books in the car when we're alone or the girls are napping.

Maybe I'll browse B&N until I, hopefully, get an e-library account set up.

Mouse/Moose books and Fancy Nancy are Liv's fav. books. She's not into Disney...yet.

Kristin & Jeff said...

Hmm never thought about doing books on tape. I should though, since I too, dont have much time. Between work, the boys, "trying" to have a clean house - I really don't have to much me time. When I do its usually a nice hot shower with no kids pounding on the shower door asking me if Im done. And telling me that I need a towell becuase Im wet.

Anonymous said...

Hi there - Just found your blog. I don't usually comment but see you are in search of books to download. I run a Montessori school in the US and parents give me tips all the time. One told me about The website has many children's stories for free download. My kiddos have enjoyed it.

I am not sure how far apart your little ones are but mine are 16 months apart and now 8.5 and 10. It has gotten much easier over the years. Hang in there! Time will go by fast all in all. Somedays I miss those chaotic days when they were younger :) But only sometimes! Best wishes - Shawna