Traveling with Audio books

Jan. 16, 1995
As I crossed from Mississippi into Louisiana I flipped over the first audio tape of “All Around the Town.” Miles passed unnoticed as the multiple personalities co-ed slowly revealed the true identity of the murderer.

In the back of mly mind, I regretted having to wait to finish the book until after visiting my son. Something inside me decided to finish it NOW.

It’s the only explanation I have for it taking me a half an hour to notice that I had missed my exit. When I did, I snapped off the tape and concentrated on finding the right exits and entrances until I was heading the right direction on the interstate before I turned on the tape again. I did concentrate on finding for the exit, but, it was two hours, three phone calls, and a scary trip through downtown New Orleans after dark before I found his apartment.

I did finish the book though.

Then I told my son it was all his fault for telling me to turn right when he meant left.

That’s the only problem I’ve had while listening to audio books. Barton Library’s collection has enhanced my thousands of miles of traveling this year with their abridged and full-length novels. The “Pelican Brief” made my 13 hours of driving one week a lot more entertaining. Maybe someday I’ll take a couple hours to watch the movie. Maybe not though. Movies made from books are so disappointing. My son spent most of his Thanksgiving break reading through the 600 pages of “Bonfires of the Vanities” for his Urban Novel class. I chose to listen to the three-hour abridged version while driving the next week. We both watched the two-hour movie and concluded it was a twisted exaggeration of the book.
He likes a good book while driving as much as I do. I listened to the science fiction suspense story, “A Perfect Day” en route to New Orleans. Then I slept while he listened and drove home. He woke me up about 1 a.m. with all his whooping and hollering as it was revealed that the only people suitable to rule the world were computer programmers (he is a computer programming major).

When I am not driving, I enjoy reading books. When I must drive, I compromise with audio books. Barton still has a few more abridged and unabridged audio books that I have not heard, but not a lot. (Hint, hint. If you are looking for worthy cause that will benefit many people: give an audio book to the library. Give a book, period.)

Over the Christmas holidays, I discovered a truck stop with racks of audio tapes arranged like a video store. Most were unabridged audio books with a rental price that was less than the cost of the cloth bound book.

I am trying to justify driving two hours out of my way – to ensure plenty of audio books for the road. I also am working at watching the road signs and to ensure I catch my turn the first time. Anything is better than being lost, at night, in the middle of downtown New Orleans.