Sunday, April 18, 2010

A University on Wheels

I drive a university on wheels. A book writer and reading junkie, I have about as much free time to lie down and read the old-fashioned way as I do to make a castle out of matchsticks. First I became a speed-reader, and this cut in half the time I need to devour a book. And yet, this was not enough to absorb all the information I´m hungry for. So, I resorted to books on tape, then on CD and now on my Ipod. I listen to books while driving, running, cleaning or doing any other mindless chore.
I listen to books at night when I´m too tired to read but not relaxed enough to fall asleep. Now commutes seem shorter, my runs more productive and I even look forward to doing the dishes or vacuuming because that´s when I get to listen to audio-books.
The choice of books is personal, of course, and so far the only novel I´ve managed to listen to on audio was Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (she has a beautiful voice). For fans of personal improvement, I recommend any audio book by Wayne Dyer (he is also a great lecturer), Caroline Myss or Jack Canfield, to name a few. The advantage of listening to motivational books in addition to reading them, is that new information is processed every time. Also, listening to self-improvement methods on a daily basis and especially at night, if done consistently, helps to do eliminate the negative mind-chatter.
Keep it up and eventually you stop needing the crutch of an audio-tape, and motivational and positive thinking becomes second nature.
What do you think of audio books and which have you listened to?


  1. L,
    I've listened to "All's Quiet on the Western Front" about two years ago. I read the book years ago, but the audio had much more impact on me. So I say, it is a must 'read or listen to'. But, beware, there is not a happy ending.
    I'd rather read a self improvement than listen. My experience has been that the voice does not live up to the text. Have I listened to those mentioned above? No. Maybe I have something to learn. But, your entry is not going to motivate me to go out of my way to listen to those you mentioned.
    On the other hand, I recommend that you get away or share time from self help reading/listening. There is so much out there that adds to life. For instance, listen to Julius Caeser, on tape and accompany that with the text. I know that you will find it a nice break from self help or self improvement.
    OK. So maybe you think you don't need a break from self help or/and self improvement (sh/si). I don't know, by experience, but I want to tell you that too much sh/si could drive any person to an irritable state (or crazy) ( that is an American term that is not to be meant as really crazy but just upset or beside themselves)(because , I know you grew up in Spain).
    I suggest that you listen to other genres.
    Try comedy or Shakespeare or Mark Twain. Or other productions that your friends or family might/will suggest. For instance, I could recommend a good tape for beginning Spanish for and American English speaker or an intro to Calculus. Let me Know.

  2. Well, here´s the thing - in trying times, for me listening to non-fiction (maybe I should have reworded that)has helped cancel out the craziness that can be brought about by worry and brooding, and convert it to more productive trains of thought and action.
    Freakonomics I also enjoyed, as well as Social Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman.
    You are right about the voice of the reader. Brian Tracy is one of those motivational speakers whose voice puts me to sleep!
    On the other hand, when I´m driving I find it very hard to concentrate on a novel, for example. In my case, I´d rather read Shakespeare, whose complete works I had to read at the British school I attended, than listen to it. Same goes for Twain, etc. Maybe it is just a question of getting used to it.
    Your input is, as usual, thought provoking! Thank you.

  3. Lorraine,
    I clicked on some of the hyperlinks and I was directed to Amazon. I felt excited because of the many choices that Carolyn Myss offered.Her titles excited me. I felt like I was missing out on good reading or tape listening. But, on the other hand, it seems like self improvement could lead to being a crutch or maybe to a classic narcissistic belief in oneself. Do you struggle with this question? I know I don't. But I like to seek out ways to improve myself. And I'm at the age when the best way to live is to become wise. Wisdom. I want to live the rest of my
    life as a person who is wise and continues to grow wiser as the days go by. Does self help do that? Or does self improvement get one through the day or month or year or crisis?
    Are you wise? Are you wise, yet? Or, do you ,just, try to get yourself through the day? Or do you write 'just to get readers through the day?'.
    I had more time today to respond because my assignments were not as demanding as usual. Or, else, I know that I would not be able to make this entry.
    Friends and supporters of Lorraine tell me what you think? Take your time. I know you need it.
    ps Lorraine, yes, I am picking on you. But there are some things that I want to say and that should be said.
    I'm going anonymous. But you know who I am.

  4. Matt, self-help or self-improvement methods are no longer a crutch for me. They are a lifestyle. All I know is that the more I know, the more I understand what I don´t know! Sometimes I do just get through the day, and sometimes I soak up every minute. I am happiest when I´m in the flow - when I´m writing what I want to write, when I´m playing with my kids without thinking of anything else, when I´m dancing or learning new steps ...
    Happy studying to you!

  5. The more I know, the more I know that I don´t know! Self-improvement has become a lifestyle for me. Sometimes I just get through the day, other times I´m in the flow - like when I´m writing what I want to write, when I´m learning new dance steps, when I´m reading a good book, enjoying time with friends ... when I am here and now!