I really enjoy listening to audiobooks, but have recently noticed that I can't focus on them when I'm running. Not that I run often, but I've been trying to get back into it. This led me to some other discoveries about myself and my preferences.
As always, it's important to remember that what works for me may not work for you, and what works for you may not work for me. But that's totally fine!! As Amy Poehler said so wisely, "Good for her, not for me". An excellent mantra.
Anyway, so I discovered that I can listen to talking when I'm walking. Podcasts, fiction, non-fiction, is best for me when I'm on a walk, or walking on the treadmill. I like listening to them in the car and while I'm doing errands. I also prefer to listen to them faster than 1x. Usually 1.5x or 1.75x. I find a lot of people use a "recording voice" which makes sense, but I like it when it sounds like they're just talking to me in a regular tempo. Of course this isn't a blanket rule, because some audiobook narrators speak faster at 1x than others, and so do some podcasters, so it does take some getting used to in order to figure out what works for you (I really get a kick out of figuring out how much time I've saved by speeding up the speed. Makes me feel like I'm getting more things done).
To go into even more detail, (this is gripping content I'm sure) I've noticed I prefer non-fiction in audio rather than in print, because my mind tends to wander when I'm reading facts on paper, but when it's spoken to me I can remember it. I mostly prefer fiction in print (or e-book), because my brain can easily create the world from the story easier when I'm reading it off the page as opposed to listening to is (Endurance, by Alfred Lansing was so much more compelling than I expected on audio).
I'm a walking contradiction though in my listening to fiction rule because I both enjoy listening to cozy mysteries, and other low stakes fiction stories, especially if the narrator has a lovely accent (see: the Maisie Dobbs series, by Jacqueline Winspear). I also like listening to memoirs when they're read by the author (I really loved, This Will Only Hurt A Little, by Busy Phillips), I have also found that audiobooks can be especially helpful when the book has names or cultures that are unfamiliar to me as the narrator gives me additional information by speaking it aloud, that I wouldn't be able to know from just reading the text (most recently I was grateful to have listened to Stay With Me, by Ayobami Adebayo for the accents I would have had no idea how to correctly pronounce).
When I'm running, at least at this point in trying to make it a habit again, I need loud obnoxious music to go drown out my wailing. I admire people that can listen to podcasts or audiobooks while they run, but I just haven't been able to manage it yet.
Do you have any weird or specific personalized reading behaviors? I'd love to hear them if you do!
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