Day Seventeen: My Addiction

I don’t remember when it started. I can’t tell you exactly how it started or who started it. All I know is that I can’t stop. When I’m not around it, I think about. When I finish one I want more. It is my addiction.

Headphones in. Audio book on.

My name is Jessica Kyle and I am addicted to audio books. Since I got my Audible app at the beginning of the year I have listened to audio books for 15 days, 14 hours and 9 minutes. Audible awards listeners with “badges” when they have done something extra-ordinary. Some of the badges I have achieved include: “Audible Obsessed”, awarded because I listened for 7 days in a row. “Weekend Warrior”, because I listened for at least 24 hours total on a weekend. “All Nighter”, I listened for at least 8 hours at night. “High Noon”, for listening at least 4 hours during lunchtime. And my latest badge is “The Stack” for having at least 50 books in my library.

At some point, over a year ago, I bought my dad a three-month subscription to Audible. He voraciously tore through books; his headphones were never far from his ears. At the time, I was driving a lot for work. As a Peace Corps recruiter, my territory was in South Carolina but I was based out of Atlanta so about 10 weeks of the year I would travel to colleges and universities in South Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. During these weeks I would drive anywhere from 4-20 hours depending on where I was going and how many days the trip would last. I started out listening to music but there is only so much Brittany Spears and Bruno Mars I can stand played on repeat by all the top 40 stations. Then I discovered podcasts. I loved listening to David Platt and Tim Keller but once I went through them all, I had to wait a whole week for a new Sunday sermon. My dad suggested I download Audible on my phone and that’s where it began.

My dad selects the books. We have every Vince Flynn and Brad Thor book that exists. We’ve listened to Joel Rosenburg and now we’re on a Ben Coes series. These are not books I would pick up at Barnes and Noble on my own. In fact, this genre of “political thriller” is probably something I would have actively avoided. But hey, I thought, I’m stuck in the car for 6-hour stretches, what else am I going to do?

They are not always my favorite books. Sometimes there is language or descriptive violence that I do not appreciate. However, what I absolutely love about these books is the connection that they have created between me and my dad.

My dad and I have a lot of personality similarities. But we are also extremely different. We have different worldviews. We have different priorities. And am I alone in thinking it’s difficult to relate as a late-twenties woman to an almost sixty-year-old man?

The typical “dad” look I get when talking about anything but audio books. Basically, “Are you for real? You liberal wacko”…to paraphrase.

In steps audio books and viola, instant conversation/connection. I love it! We talk about the characters and how we were surprised by something. Or we discuss the accents and how each narrator keeps changing them. We talk about what we would do in the situation that the main character finds themselves in, etc. Mostly we can just talk. Conversation is easier and less awkward than in years past. It may just be my imagination, but I think my dad and I have the best relationship we’ve had probably since he left for the Gulf War when I was five-years-old.

So yes, I am addicted to audio books. The stories are entertaining; I sit on the edge of my seat each time I put my headphones on. I usually tear up when someone dies and I cringe when someone is being tortured. I become involved in the books as I listen in the car, while I work out, when I grocery shop and while I get ready for work in the morning. But I don’t do it for the book. I could take or leave that. I do it for my dad. I will listen to any and every audio book to keep that connection going.

Categories: 30 Day Challenge, Pre-Departure | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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