March 9, 2011

Giving Audio Books a Try

Since I spend 5 hours a week driving to and from work, I knew audio books would be a great option for me to make use of that time. Being a visual learner, I was a little worried that I wouldn't retain much. It's almost impossible for me to remember anything from lectures or sermons if I don't take notes. But I recently decided to give it a try. I started the book on my drive to work on a Monday and finished it that Wednesday on my way home. It was really nice to finish a book during time that would otherwise be lost. Since I was driving in rush hour interstate traffic, I wasn't able to fully focus on the book, and there were also a couple times when I focused on it too much and almost missed my exit. Overall, it was a better experience than expected. I would estimate that I retained about 80% as much information as I would have had I read a physical copy of the book.

The book I listened to was Linchpin by Seth Godin. I found it a little disappointing. With a subtitle of "Are You Indispensable?" I was hoping for insight on how to be indispensable in my current job. Instead, Godin says that if your current boss doesn't appreciate your talents, you need to find a new job. Maybe I'm just not the target audience for this book. He talks about how the creators of the Apple computer went three days without going home or showering. If that's what makes you a linchpin, I think I'll pass. The book did help my professional life in some ways though. Listening to it on my way to work helped get me in the right mindset to start the day, and I woke up in the middle of the night once and started brainstorming ideas for a spreadsheet I want to create to make my job easier. I would say it's worth reading for any creatives trying to better themselves in their profession.

Have you listened to audio books? Do you feel that you retain more or less than you do by reading physical books?

Other Books Read in 2011


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