I have struggled for so long to listen to audiobooks. At this point, I have finished only a handful. It’s due to what I imagine is a common problem for people: I’m not sure what to do while I listen to a book.
If I listen before going to bed, I fall asleep and lose my place in the morning when it’s hours ahead. If I listen while cooking, I inevitably get distracted and mess up amounts for the recipe. If I listen while exercising (on a jog, for example) my headphones constantly fall out, or I eventually can’t hear it over my own wheezing breaths.
I really struggle to find ways to make it work, but I so want to! There are some that are truly incredible. Stefan Rutnicki is a godsend for narration, and he has made Orson Scott Card novels that I love even better, which seems like it should be impossible. There’s a copy of Lord of the Rings that someone recorded just for fun, and it’s amazing. It has a musical soundtrack, different character voices, and sound effects. It’s so immersive that it was a rare one where I didn’t lose focus!
I play online role playing games. It’s my other main hobby after reading. Sometimes in those games, I fly around gathering resources (farming) to use for crafting or to sell for gold. It’s a pretty easy, mindless thing to do.
This weekend, I made the revealing combination of farming while listening to an audiobook of The Joy Luck Club and wouldn’t you know IT WAS AMAZING. The narrator did a great job, and the book itself is fantastic, so those played into the success of this strategy. But I took two kind of mindless things and combined them to make a wonderful wholly entertaining item. I get to read and hear a story while also relaxing and farming gold. There is no downside to this, and I’m elated that I can finally enjoy audiobooks consistently!
Plus it makes me feel so productive. I’m not just gaming, I’m reading. I’m not just reading, I’m making gold.