Free audiobook

I’m a long-time listener of Slate’s Political Gabfest podcast. One of the commentators – David Plotz (Slate’s Editor)- recently published a book…Good Book. Well, Audible is a sponsor of the Gabfest, and they give new subscribers a free audiobook if you go to Since I’m a long-time Audible subscriber, this never benefited me. But, the Gabfest must have gotten enough complaints about this, because David Plotz is giving his book away for one week.

So, until Friday, May 29, 2009, you can download Good Book from Audible for free. Here’s the link:

I’m halfway through it and have been totally entertained, all while feeling only slightly blasphemous. But I recommend it. And you can’t beat FREE. Here’s the NY Times review of Good Book. I’m normally NOT a fan of the author reading his/her own work for audiobooks, but this one is so far, so good.

Library vs. Audible

I love my iPod nano. It’s cute and perfect and holds a million hours of entertainment. It fits in my pocket. I love love love it. This is why I thought I’d love Audible.

In theory, I do love audible. I always have my iPod with me, so I thought having the audiobooks I’m listening to on there would solve the problem of always having to listen to audiobooks in the car. First of all, my son understands (perhaps ‘repeats’ is a better word) curse words now, so lots of books are out. Second, he gets tense and whiny when there’s a tense scene in the book. Not good. Plus, he loves air guitar and drums, so I’d rather let him enjoy music.

In comes Audible. I can listen to my book anywhere. Except, I’m really picky. I check out two or three audiobooks from the library each trip. I usually only listen to one all the way through. If I don’t like it, or I’m not looking to listen to the next installment, I give up on it and return it. With Audible, I feel like I have to choose so carefully because I’m paying for it. My first selection was Atonement and I could care less about it. (To be fair, I’m only on chapter 5 or 6, so I haven’t really given it a chance.) Now I have another credit sitting in my Audible account, and I’m kind of gun shy. I don’t want to waste it.

My first idea was to try out books from the library, and then, if I love the book, use my Audible credit to get it. But with the last audiobook I listened to, The Expected One, I felt like I already had it for free, and it would be wasteful to return the free book just to purchase the same book from Audible.

There’s one other problem. Lately, when I have the chance to listen to my iPod, I catch up on episodes of Slate’s Political Gabfest, This American Life, or Real Time with Bill Maher. Which is also why I haven’t given Atonement it’s proper attention.

So is the problem time? Maybe. How do I best use my time?

How do people deal with these dilemmas?

Please understand that I appreciate the bounty of my blessings as I write these things. I know there are people who can’t read, who don’t have books, who don’t have libraries, who can’t afford iPods or Audible accounts. These things don’t really help me. They just make me feel guilty.