audiobooks and the best way to get them

My history of listening to audiobooks goes way back. I was an Audible member many years ago, back when Audible was a separate entity and not inextricably integrated into the Amazon infrastructure as it is today. I enjoyed listening to audiobooks on my walks, but when I found The Great Courses I liked their thirty-minute lecture format and the conversational tone of most of the lecturers. I ultimately cancelled my Audible plan.

AudibleAs much as I love The Great Courses, I have run through pretty much all of the courses in which I am interested that are suitable for an audio-only format (and a few for which I should have purchased the video version) and in fact have listened to a number of courses more than once.

So these days I have switched back to audiobooks, but have been getting them from the Santa Clara County Library System. I am reluctant to pay Amazon the $14.95 a month they want for Audible. I am not opposed to the fee in principle, but I have enough monthly subscriptions as it is; I don’t really need another one.

Still, there are limitations to using the library. I find myself borrowing books that I might otherwise not listen to as the newer, popular books are usually checked out. This can be good, in that I very much enjoyed The Olive Tree and Padma Lakshmi’s Love, Loss, and What We Ate, neither of which I would have been likely to listen to otherwise. On the other hand I hate being restricted in that way.

There are other disadvantages to the library as well. Library books must be turned in within a specified time frame. The point for me in having an audiobook (or a Great Courses lecture series) is to have something to listen to when I am out on my walks or when I am doing yard work. Since I have a time limit on audiobooks from the library, I find myself listening to them at other times as well. That’s not entirely bad, I suppose, but I do feel somewhat pressured.

So the answer? As the (misquoted) Jack Benny phrase goes, I’m thinking, I’m thinking.

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