How Do You Decide Which Books to Hear?

A writer for a major national newspaper called me today; he’s working on a story about how couples now negotiate which audiobooks to listen to in the car the same way they negotiate (argue?) which movies to rent from the local video store.

It’s an interesting concept, and I’ve had my own experiences with my wife when we go on road trips. We usually agree on taking one book each that is “ours” and a few that we can listen to together when we’re both awake. What I remember is that we could only listen for 20 minutes or so before we’d get into an argument about what we were hearing (mostly self-help type books).

If you have stories on how you select books in the face of competition from another listener, I’d love to hear them. And I’ll put you in touch with the writer so you can get quoted in the paper.

Here’s my father’s opinion on this matter:

After 47 years of marriage, I find that arguing in a marriage is best avoided. We have been listening to audiobooks for many years.

Tapes and CDs. However, we have different interests. Last year I purchased 2 inexpensive mp3 players (512 MB). I now rip a few audiobooks at the lowest bit rate in mp3 format to “hers and mine”.

For audiobooks, a higher bit rate is really not necessary. We are now both listening simultaneously to our own mp3 players. My wife uses two headphones. I (always the driver) use only the right ear pod. Instead of an earpiece connected to my cell phone, I use an earpiece of my mp3 player.

Same scenario when traveling with grandchildren. They are listening to their expensive Ipods. We are listening to our audiobooks on our mp3 players. Everyone is happy.

1 thought on “How Do You Decide Which Books to Hear?”

  1. My car has an audio-in jack that I can plug my iPhone into directly. Better than headphones for listening while driving, but of course, listening over the car stereo, creates more marital strife. Thanks for the creative solution!

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