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Time to Listen – A Dyslexic love of Audiobooks

A writer reads…

audibleIt is an old axiom, that in order to grow as a writer, you need to do two things:

  1.    1. Write
  •    2. Read
  • In the world that I live in, there never seems to be enough time to get anything done. I work a full time job, and then I come home and spend another 4-5 hours a night working on blogging and growing as a writer. Not all of that time is spent writing, there are other, less fun things that have to be done, too. All together, it can be excruciatingly time consuming. Add to that all of my other fun hobbies, like beating people with foam swords and staring off into space pretending like I am contemplating the secrets of the universe.

    Of course, it isn’t the only thing that keeps me from reading. I do still manage to wrangle together some free time every now and again, and I could fill that time with books instead of any of the other crap things I do, none of which are really productive. It’s slow, though, and always has been because I have to re-read some paragraphs over and over again. Once, I spent almost an hour on one or two sentences. It’s not because I’m a bad reader, I’m not, I am actually a very fast reader.

    It’s because sometimes words don’t make sense to my mind.

    I suffer from dyslexia.

    Books on Tape

    I’ve been a pretty big fan of Amazon and it’s products for a long time now, and one way back in March, I happened to be searching through all of its service and came across Audible. Audio books can be fairly expensive to buy, and a pain in the butt to get from libraries, and you can pretty much only get them on CD that way. Audible is priced quite a bit lower than I’ve seen books on CD for at brick and mortar stores, and they offer a handful of different formats to download them in. They tend to have some pretty good sales, too, and if you only want a couple of books, that’s probably the way to go.

    I consume books, though, like they’re my primary food source. Back when I had the time and focus to read continuously, I’d burn through two or three books a week. I hate waiting to start a new book. If I was buying books one at a time from Audible, I’d be spending probably $500 a year on books, easily. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to.

    Audible has a great program for $15 a month ($7.50 for the first three months). As part of your membership you get 1 credit/month, which can be used to buy most of the books available on the site (some of them cost two if it is a really expensive audio book). In addition to basically getting a half priced book each month, there is also a fairly large selection of excerpts, short stories and interviews available for free to members. Of course, there are also other incentives and promotions, but those two selling points are the big ones for me. I’m not too big into having a free audio subscription to the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, although those are complimentary in my Audible membership.

    I haven’t checked out their collection of radio shows yet, either. I’ve been meaning to, but I’ve just got too many books on my wishlist before I get to that point. Maybe in a few months, or more likely years, I can do a review of those as well. So far, I’m enjoying being able to absorb books again in general, usually while I’m driving to and from work.

    It’s like I’ve added an hour of reading time a day to my life, and I personally think I’m better off for it.

    Check it out, they even offer a free book as a trial for the membership plans. What could it possibly hurt to add one more book to your noggin, right?

    Published by M.A. Brotherton

    M.A. Brotherton is a writer, blogger, artist, and fat-kid from the suburbs of Kansas City, Missouri. He’s tasted a little bit of everything the Midwest has to offer, ranging from meth-tweaking rednecks in massive underground cave complexes to those legendary amber waves of grain. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time screwing around on the internet.

    8 thoughts on “Time to Listen – A Dyslexic love of Audiobooks”

    1. Sara Olson-Liebert says:

      Do you know that I have dyscalculia? It’s dyslexia with numbers. Anyways, it’s really AMAZING that you’ve conquered dyslexia with pursuing a passion of writing and reading. Some people would let the fear and the disability cripple their self esteem so much, they just wouldn’t dare. This is sad because a lot of them have great stories to tell. Just like you, Brotherton.

      1. M.A. Brotherton says:

        I actually learned that I have dyslexia after I realized I had dyscalculia. That part of my brain is pretty torn up in general, actually. I have the thing where I say one words but my brain thinks I said a different word, too.

        My parents, for better or worse, never let me know that I had these problems. Instead they just raised me thinking everyone’s brain worked like mine and I had to over come it.

        I don’t know if that was for the better or worse, but I do know that one part of me that my depression had never tried to strike at is my learning disability. It might be frustrating at times, but I conquered it.

        Dyslexia is my bitch!

        1. Sara Olson-Liebert says:

          Like I said, most people would just say “Reading? WRITING? Fuck that noise. I’m gonna go play some Grand Theft Auto.” Instead you were like “This may not be normal but I con’t care. Gonna get past it, which loads and loads of people don’t ever do. I go back and forth between my thoughts of not letting on to your kids that they aren’t ‘normal’. In a way, you want them to be safe but then again, they do out in the real world where they are totally NOT safe from knowing these things, so there’s value to truth in doses. Dyslexia is your bitch and the worlds pretty badass because you conquered it, dude.

          1. M.A. Brotherton says:

            There are times when I think, “Man if I had known, I could have gotten help on the ACTs, or I could have performed so much better on this report,” but for the most part, not knowing never hindered me, and I think knowing would have. On the other hand, there are times when I think about all of the problems I had that went untreated and think, “Where would I be if I hadn’t been so lost back then?”

            The answer is obviously, “Someone else,” and that means life went exactly the way it was meant to.

    2. Patti Murphy says:

      Wow. Matt. What a thing to have overcome. I’ll have to look more at the audible site too. Listening to books can be done during crap jobs like housework. I could up the reading time that way for sure.

      Both my daughters have learning disabilities that affect their ability to write and process what they read. Hearing your story helps me to ease up a bit on the worry.

      You have great tips and advice here and in such an engaging style.

      1. M.A. Brotherton says:

        I’ve been really happy with the service since I started using it in April. I wouldn’t have finished any books this year if it wasn’t for audible. The best part is that the Android app is very easy to use, and makes it easy to sync my books.

      2. M.A. Brotherton says:

        Also, I know it’s hard, but try not to worry too much about your kids. Learning Disabilities make life difficult, not impossible. We develop coping skills. Just be supportive and let them figure out some of those things on their own. Very few doctors actually have the LDs they are supposedly experts about.

        Not every trick works for everyone, and most of the time, people find their own ways of doing things, and learning to think around limitations is a great skill to have.

        1. Patti Murphy says:

          Thanks, Matt. I’m working on that whole “relax” thing 🙂

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