Books on tape

A few months ago I started downloading books from the library to listen to in the car. No matter that all of this is happening in some magical way I don’t understand, the books going from a repository of sound god-knows-where to my phone, I still call them books on tape, and talking about books on tape in class the other night, I thought, how much longer before students have no idea what I’m talking about?

Listening in the car started after I listened to Serial and realized my commute was something I really looked forward to rather than a twenty-minute list-making session about all I had to do. Since I finished that podcast, I’ve listened to a number of books, all of which have been collections of essays. I’ve listened to novels and stories in the past, but somehow, essays seem more suited to the job right now. So far this year I’ve listened to Lena Dunham’s Not that Kind of Girl, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, David Sedaris’s When You Are Engulfed by Flames, Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck, Nora Ephron’s Wallflower at the Orgy, and Anna Quindlen’s Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. Clearly funny, feminist-friendly books are my bag in the car.

While I love listening to these books, and they’ve helped up my numbers for the year (19 books read) I really do miss being able to highlight or mark passages I like. This was especially true in the Anna Quindlen book when so much resonated about female friendships and how we look at generational divides. In a way, I think this makes me pay more attention in the moment, knowing it’s not something I can easily come back to so I have to be sure to take it in while I can.

What about you? What kind of books do you listen to, if you do? And if not, why not?


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