I love audio books. My commute is only 25 minutes or so, but I get very burnt out on the news (especially now in the presidential election season here), and listen to a lot of them. The reader can make all the difference. A perfect book can become a trial to listen to with a poor reader. Recently I heard a few chapters of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States
as read by Matt Damon. Let me tell you, whatever you may think of his acting, he is not
a good reader. On the other hand, I have had the immense pleasure of listening to (twice now!) the unabridged recordings of the Lord of the Rings series, read by Rob Inglis. These are exceptional and I would recommend them to anyone who has enjoyed the books or the movies. I was surprised by how much those books in particular gain by being read aloud. It really feels vaguely Homeric, as so much of the speeches and description comes even more alive than when read silently. And Inglis' take on the characters is extremely well done.
I find that using my Palm with a 256 meg memory card I can keep many hours of reading on me all the time. It's not uncommon for me to do some fabrication work in our warehouse, and I like to listen to books then too. Sometimes I can squeeze in 5 or 6 hours in a day. Though that's better done with books that don't take a lot of focus, like thrillers, or something that I've heard before.
I also enjoy downloading and listening to news programs like Counterspin
, Democracy Now!
, and others. That way I'm not tied down to the radio schedule.
In my car I use one of those tape kits that plug into your headphone jack, but I've been considering getting one of those iRock FM broadcast tools. Has anyone used one of those?