Friday, May 26, 2006

Reading While Driving

By Darvell Hunt

My favorite time to read is while driving my car.

No, I don't have a paperback novel perched atop my steering wheel, which, I’m frightened to say, I’ve seen plenty of people doing. Instead, I “read” audio books.

I have a long commute and I get a surprising amount of reading done while driving my car. My driving time is now my primary reading time. It’s even gotten to the point where I don’t mind my commute at all; in fact, I look forward to it. It’s amazing how many books I have audioread over the past couple of years while driving my car. (Yes, I made up the word audioread. I’m considering getting it trademarked.)

I also have an audio book playing in my car when I’m just bumming around town. Who needs to waste all that time listening to music when you could be getting some good quality reading time instead? I save listening to music for during my workday, when I can’t concentrate on listening to a story. I also find myself listening to background music when I write.

I’ve often been asked where I get my audio books, because they are generally much more expensive than print books.

I buy most of my audio books from eBay for discounted prices, but you can also sometimes find good deals on audio books at truck stops (where I often stop during my commute). Books stores will often have close-out prices on audio books they have had for awhile. I don’t usually buy the latest books that have just been released, unless they are my favorite writers. Audio books can also be checked out from the library, but I find that I like to keep them after I listen to them and most libraries frown heavily upon that.

So next time you get in your car, forget about listening to The Beach Boys, Celine Dion, Fiddy Cent, or Mariah Carey; instead, listen to Mark Twain, Nora Roberts, J. K. Rowling, or even Stephen King. Your mind will thank you.

And in the process, you just might find that your writing improves through increased reading, even if someone else is doing the actual reading and you’re just listening.

With "Reading While Driving" now mastered, I think I'm going to try "Writing While Driving."


JWH said...

When you master the writing while driving part please pass it on! I get my best thoughts while on the go, and sadly while I sit in front of a blank computer screen I can think of nothing except really corny crap. I tried keeping a recorder with me, but with it sitting on the passenger seat every time I slam on my brakes (Washington traffic) the recorder hits the floor, and of course with my adrenalin now flowing I get my best thoughts - and the recorder is outta reach.

Darvell Hunt said...

Sorry, once I've mastered "Writing While Driving," I'm going to patent it. You can't be too careful these days.

Maybe you need a visor clip for your voice recorder!