Audiobooks can be a great alternative to TV

Published on April 08, 2024

We have been doing a sort of experiment lately. My SO had eye surgery a few weeks ago and the first days se barely opened her eyes and even when she could open them blue light took a toll and make her eyes dry and tired really quickly. Since I still had to work and she had to rest, I suggested her to try out listening to an audiobook. She was a bit skeptical at first, but gave it a try.

I got her Yumi and the nightmare painter; she already read Tress of the emerald sea a few months ago and wanted to read something else from the same author an I got the feeling that this one was good for her too. I had a long plane trip ahead of me at that time too so I tried it out as well, though in my case the book wasn't new to me since I read it last year when it was released.

She loved it, both the book and the experience, and finished it in a couple of days. Even asked for more! Since Yumi and the nightmare painter is a short book and self-contained, talking to her we decied to try out a longer series together. A friend gave her Steelheart for her birthday last year, so we decided to start The Reckoners.

Plappa running on my phone playing the last Recokerns book, Calamity

What happened since then? We have been reading listening to chapters almost every day. I don't remember the day we started, but we have gone through Steelheart, Firefight and we are 75% through Calamity. That's 35 hours of audiobooks in less than two months.

We replaced TV during lunch/dinner with audiobooks, which in our specific case means we can sit down together at the dinning table instead of the couch since not all our furniture aligns with the TV; We also listen to audiobooks while doing chores -making them less boring-, when we sit at the desk doing each his/her own thing and sometimes before going to bed if we are not too tired and can pay attention properly.

Why do we like it? We are spending more time together, we are reading more, we are enjoying the books we are listening to (would be weird otherwise, yes) with the benefits books have: we are not given everything on a silver plate because we need to use our imagination and that sparks more conversation than just watching TV since we not only discuss what we thing will happen next or how something came to be, but how we imagine the characters, the places, etc. Our heads and past experiences are different, so we have different ideas on how things are in these imaginary worlds.

The result? We haven't watched TV in almost two months and it doesn't seem that we are going to start watching TV regularly again.

Full disclosure: While I haven't watched TV with her, I have watched a few episodes of series I'm following on my own, but I have been watching way less TV than usual. A man needs his Solo leveling.

We are enjoying audiobooks a lot and already planning what to listen to next.

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