To be very honest, my 25 Before 25 list might be a little ambitious. I still have time, but with Student Internship being so much more than I thought it would be, I might struggle. I did manage to complete one thing so far, namely reading an audiobook.
I grew up listening to stories my dad made up on the fly, and sometimes I listened to children’s books being read on the radio. I think that is the closest I got to audiobooks, because they are not that “big” in South Africa, except for the South African National Library for the Blind that has a collection on tape. To give you an idea of their scarcity, I know of only one library in my home town that stocks audiobooks, and I have not encountered any libraries with audiobooks in Cape Town.
Anyway, I did this “challenge” with George Orwell’s Animal Farm narrated by Timothy West. It is a book I’ve been meaning to read, and it is short – a little over three hours’ recording.
Starting with the book itself – an excellent story, and not hard to see the parallels Orwell draws with the Communism vs. Democracy debate. One only needs a sliver of an historical background to notice it, understand it and enjoy it. (Since you asked, my favourite character is Boxer. What a sweet old horsey.)
I know there are several audio versions of this book, but I thought Timothy West did an incredible job of the narration. I adore the many different accents he employs when various animals are speaking.
I definitely found it difficult to concentrate while listening to the audiobook – which is probably to be expected. I like the idea of seeing words while I read and I think the problem is that I always listened to the book when I was not doing anything else – which lead to me losing concentration a few times. I think if I had to commute to work, audiobooks would be awesome to listen to – at this point, it is just a five minute walk to work. I might also consider listening to audiobooks while running, but at this point I am so unfit that I wonder if I would be able to hear anything above my gasping breath!
Do I think that listening to a book constitutes reading? Absolutely! Even concepts of neuroplasticity will support this notion, I think. BookRiot has a very cool post about audiobook misconceptions, and Reading Rockets has a cool article about the benefits to audiobooks here.
I think that for now, hardcopy books will remain my preferred medium, but provided the supply increases in South Africa (or I begin to earn a salary so that I can download them), I will definitely try audiobooks again.
Updates on other 25 Before 25 goals:
#7: I’ve cooked one easy dish so far, and baked nutella cupcakes – both turned out good.
#8: I’ve been running three to four times a week, most weeks. Even in the cold, guys – that’s tough. I’m definitely feeling better, my body is more tones, and people are noticing.
#9: Still eating too much chocolate. This one is HARD.
#11: I sewed a button onto my favourite shirt! Now I need to replace the millions of buttons on my winter coat (winter is supposedly over but it is still cold in Cape Town).
#17: I’m paying attention to anatomy in every rotation and making special notes for it. This is going well, slowly but surely.
#20: Of the 15 books I’ve read since 19 June (when I posted my goals), six were books I own as physical copies.