Reading By Ear
Four years ago, I resolved to get more seriously into shape. This least literary of decisions soon opened the way to the greatest revolution in my reading habits since I discovered books without pictures. The new regimen demanded many more hours on treadmills and bicycles, hiking up mountains and walking dogs. To make the exercise time more endurable, I bought my first iPod and my first digital audiobook. I had listened to recorded books for years, but only in the car, and I hated the ride-delaying or life-threatening fussing with cassettes and disks. The iPod promised to put an end to all that.
As it did so, it altered the habits of a lifetime. Through my adult life I had always read a single book at a time. Now I was reading two, one on paper, one in the ear. No longer did I tuck a bound volume under my arm whenever I left home or office. I just dropped my iPod in my pocket and could go anywhere without the haunting fear that I might be stranded in line somewhere without anything to read.
About the Author
David Frum is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a columnist for National Review Online.