So seriously, I’ve refused to listen to books on tape for years. This trip, I borrowed the Lord of the Rings on CD from a friend. (And it’s like 16 discs per book, FYI.) Holy Schmoly. Love. Love love love.
They’re perfect for me. I get bored while driving because you can usually only do one thing while driving. Drive. It bothers me down to my core to not be able to multitask. You can only listen to so much talk radio over the course of a day (or two, if we’re talking driving to Utah). We have satellite radio in the car, but I don’t really enjoy listening to music while I drive, unless I’m in the mood to rock out and sing, which, well, Wyoming just doesn’t do that for me, you know?
But the books! I could drive but have my mind caught up in Frodo and Aragorn son of Arathorn and the Riddermark and the Eye… made the time (and miles) FLY by. Funny thing was, Randy would wake up for a second to ask where we were and I would have NO idea. Because I wasn’t looking at signs. I mean, other than keeping an eye on the gas tank, the driving was pretty mindless. Get on I-80. Drive. Stop when you see the Ski Jump (that’s Park City, where we get off).
I ended up being super glad I had the CDs, because I did the vast, vast majority of the driving, and I would have completely resented it (and Randy) had I not been able to listen to LOTR.
But I do think it will only work for books I’ve already read. Had I not already read The Fellowship of the Ring, I would have been completely lost. In a way, LOTR are the perfect books to listen to as a second “read.” I could listen for the details I missed or forgot from the first time through. I already knew the characters and places, so I wasn’t confused. But the plot line remained interesting, except in a few places. (I love Tolkein’s descriptions of places that are so detailed, but on the second time through, they were a little less charming.)