The best thing about the library is the worst part about our dead router

When I started walking about a hundred miles a month, last March, I’d always have my ipod with me. Eventually, I got a little tired of music, so when we checked out an audiobook on CD to accompany our trip to LA for Dan’s Jeopardy audition, I started to check more out from the library and rip them to MP3 so I could load them onto my ipod. At one point, Dan was looking at the library website and realized we were doing a bunch of unnecessary steps: did you know that you can CHECK OUT and DOWNLOAD audiobooks from your local library? For FREE? It’s pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me. I’ve been averaging one a week.

The biggest downside is that most of the audiobooks are only compatible with PC, not Mac, but I still have thousands to choose from – especially if I listen to something that’s older or less popular. In the last few months, I’ve “read” several historical fiction, some silly paranormal thriller/romance, a couple of whodunit mysteries, and many YA dystopian fiction books, all while walking around town. I’ve had a great streak the last several: 1906 by James Dalessandro, City of Thieves by David Benioff, Matched by Allie Condie. All were really enjoyable, both because of the stories themselves and because the person reading the audiobook did a great job getting me immersed in San Francisco during the earthquake, in St. Petersburg during the winter of 1942, in a speculative future where The Society makes everyone’s decisions according to probability and statistics. One of the things I’ve looked forward to about Sunday nights or Mondays is choosing a new audiobook for the week. I’ve noticed that I end up absorbing far more of the story than I do with physical books, because I read so quickly that much of the detail gets lost to my eagerness to unfold the plot. Listening to someone read a book, especially if they’re good at it, is really enjoyable and something I wish I’d discovered all those years ago when I taught myself to read a book and walk down the street at the same time. Though back then, I would have had to listen to a book on tape or something, since I didn’t even own a discman until my high school graduation.

* * * * * *

Our router died toward the end of last week. I’m not sure if three years is a normal lifespan for a router, but ours completely bit the dust by Friday. We spent an hour on Saturday walking between a Best Buy, a Target, and an Office Depot trying to decide what to do about it – and ultimately decided we needed to do a little more research before buying one. I can sometimes get a little bit of signal off a neighbor’s internet from one corner of the couch, and more often get the same signal sitting outside in the yard by the greenhouse. But the desktop computer, where the audiobook downloading software lives, can’t move and can’t get the stolen signal. Therefore, I have to go without a new book this week. And I’m BUMMED OUT. I’ve spent all day procrastinating my walk, sitting in a chair by the greenhouse, thinking about all the miles I should be walking and the book I can’t listen to while I’m doing it. Guess I’ll just go for a bike ride today, instead.

(For those who are invested in the Larry Situation: He didn’t show today, and if he doesn’t show tomorrow – and Dan’s supervisor doesn’t expect he will – Dan’s got a really good shot at permanent employment. So keep sending those vibes and crossing those appendages.)

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6 responses to “The best thing about the library is the worst part about our dead router

  1. Have you listened to any of the Amelia Peabody mystery’s? When Barbara Rosenblatt reads them, so good! The earlier ones in the series are read by someone else, but the mysteries are really fun and the characters are great. Highly recommend once you get your router situation going again.

  2. Our library has the availability of downloading written books as well as audio, and also music CDs. I’ve downloaded a couple of books to my laptop, but next will go to the iPhone so it’s more portable. I’m glad you discovered this availability. Technolofy problems = sad.

    • Luckily, the podcasts that Dan downloads for himself every week have saved the day (or, at least, the few days until we get the router situation figured out). I don’t know if the local library does written book downloads, but since I don’t have a device on which to read them, I think I’ll stick with the dead tree (and the audiobook) versions.

  3. When our router bought the farm we got a new one on tigerdirect.com. Check it out at the library if you can.

    I used to have a long commute to work, audiobooks are what saved my sanity!

  4. Thanks, I’ll check it out!

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