Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Memories—Rivals


Thanks to Lanita’s excellent suggestion, I’ve been listening to Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. My goodness, what a book. It’s about the men who contested Abraham Lincoln for the Republican nomination in 1860 and then joined his cabinet. Though it has 36 discs, I’m really enjoying it and look for opportunities to listen to it—yard work has never been so anticipated and walking Seemore tonight I considered an extra lap or two . . . though only briefly. Although audio learning is not my primary learning method, I’m slowly getting more adept at it.

I love to pleasure read, but I do have a stigma attached to it. I think it comes from childhood, for though my mother was a reader, if we were found reading a book we were fair game to run errands for her—“Run to the fruit room and get a couple of cans of green beans.” “Run out to the shop and tell your dad supper is ready.” “Come burn the trash.” “Come put the clothes away.” However, if we were watching TV or playing a game of jacks, it was more like we were on base—without a dvr we couldn’t pause the show and a stalled game of jacks made two mad kids instead of one—hence it made the most sense to give the reader the chore; therefore pleasure reading must be a second rate, less important activity.

Unsound logic, I know. In fact I consciously corrected it with our kids and chose last the child who was reading to run errands, so academically I understand that I should throw out the notion; it’s intellectually debilitating. But pleasure reading still nags at me emotionally when there is work to be done. Rival thinking in one brain. Remember how Abe Lincoln’s father used to get mad at him for reading books when he should have been working? Poor boy. Poor dad. I see both sides. In the name of Lincoln family harmony, that family needed audio books.

Do you listen to audio books? When? Where?
Which books are your favorites?

10 comments:

Hannah said...

Ah pleasure reading, it does feel rather indulgent and growing up- my mom would send the reader on the errand as well.

I too love the audio books, they appeals to my mutli-tasking nature and make me feel like super woman "I vacuumed, folded laundry, pulled weeds, ran 5 miles AND got half way through my book." Heee

Barb said...

How many times did I hear my mom say, "Get your nose out of that book and come help me!"

deidra said...

We reserve audio books mainly for long, long drives. Harry Potter saved our sanity on a cross-country drive and the Chronicles of Narnia made long trips to northern Montana more bearable.

We actually bought the Harry Potter set (since we were moving Chris cross-country) and it was pretty pricey. Hooray for libraries!

Kathy said...

I also struggle with a guilt complex while reading in the midst of a chore ladden life. I have listened to audio boods. How do you listen as you garden, IPOD? or wha? I used to haul my CD Player out with the extention cord, I haven't done that this year, no book on tap. Thanks for the reminder.

HeatherM said...

I've become so addicted to Podcasts, that I think my audiobook days are over. I did listen to the Left Behind series on audiobook, and maybe an O'Reilly book or two. Now it's "How Stuff Works", "Stuff you missed in history", "Stuff your mom never told you", and "Dave Ramsey" podcasts. I guess now, my pleasure reading has been mostly replaced by pleasure listening!

Cassidy said...

Aunt Marcia gave me Pride and Prejudice on CD back in college and I still listen to it on long road trips!! We also have Patrick McManus audio books that are fun.

Becky said...

I am in the minority in these comments thus far...there are few things I dislike more than an audiobook or talk radio. Books are so personal to me that it is hard to listen to anyone read them out loud to me (even when Jeff and I read the Harry Potter series and took turns reading it out loud I *had* to sit real close to him and read along). Plus, I would rather have silence or music when I work...I wonder what makes me so different!

There are some things that are worth multitasking but I actually have tried really hard to focus on one activity at a time (whether pleasure or work)...I may get less done but I feel better! :)

That book sounds interesting--I love anything to do with Abe Lincoln!

Jill said...

I listen to audio books on my iPod when I go walking or when I'm working in the house. It feels like I'm getting away with something when I do that.

I love pleasure reading though and don't have much guilt about it, perhaps I should.

Cali said...

I liked this question, mom. It made me think. I like books on tape, but I also like to make notes in books. So, I guess I like books on tape, but only if they're fluff books. Otherwise I'm not by paper to write down my thoughts about a quote. I enjoy hearing the thoughts you're having while listening to this book.

Lucy said...

I've always been caught reading when I should be doing other things. I'm so glad that, in that way, I'm like Lincoln.

I saw this book in my local bookstore the other day and thought of you. It's huge! I'd love to tackle it someday, though. Doing what he did, surrounding himself with various points of view, is commendable, in my point of view. And rare.

I should listen to more audio books, but I have a book review I'm about to do that will explain why I don't think they'd help me get much done.