It’s difficult to admit to past failings, flaws, and insecurities. But today, I must make a confession.
Outwardly, one might assume I have it all together, when most of the time, I actually don’t. My calm demeanor masks an internal struggle with demons as paralyzing as anxiety, as well as lesser nuisances that bubble to the surface leading to social hiccups and faux pas. These embarrassing moments, which have speckled my time on this planet, won’t easily be forgotten.
Anxiety is a serious topic, and one that I may address in a future post. But for now let’s keep things a bit lighter, and hone in on one of those “social hiccups” I just mentioned.
A few years ago, I met up with my book club buddies to discuss that month’s reading selection. Not to excuse myself, but it is important to know that I had just finished a difficult shift at work a couple of hours prior to the get-together. The way I remember it, I was still wearing my work scrubs.
Anyway, my book club friends and I had a great discussion. We did some catching up. And once the conversation turned to the novel we all had read, there was solid agreement that it was a great choice.Everyone seemed to enjoy it. And as the evening was winding down, we began to discuss other bookish topics, and in particular, audiobooks. One of our members happened to be a big-time audiobook fan. She stated that she found audiobooks to be a fun and entertaining way to get some reading time in with her busy schedule. She also mentioned that when she counts the number of books she’s read during the year (an act solely performed by us bookish folks) she includes audiobooks on that list.
Let’s stop right here for a moment, because I must request something of you all, my faithful and steadfast followers. Please, when reading the rest of this post, keep in mind that no one is perfect. If we were all judged by our lapses, most of us could not withstand the scrutiny. That being said, I have trust in the relationship we have established with each other, over these two and a half years. So I shall proceed with my story…
In response to what my friend had stated, there were nods and words of agreement around our small circle. But, of course, I had to chime in with my two cents, playing the role of Devil’s Advocate. “But is listening to an audiobook really considered the same as reading the book? The content is being read to you, of course. But are the two experiences, reading and listening, equivalent? Do they share the same value?”
I regretted my words as soon as they haphazardly flew out of my mouth. It was similar to an out-of-body experience. I was standing outside of myself, listening to myself sound like a pretentious snob. It left me with an icky feeling. Luckily for me, my book club is made up of some amazing women whose wisdom I often draw from. My audiobook-loving friend responded to me in a way that showed no offense had been taken. She simply smiled and reminded me that a great story is a great story no matter how it’s delivered. And in that moment, I experienced what one might call a gentle, yet effective, dressing down.
I am happy to report that since my social hiccup I’ve undergone quite the reformation. Though my preference will always be hardcovers and paperbacks, I have started to include audiobooks in my reading schedule. They’re wonderful companions on my commute to and from work. They help me manage an ever-growing TBR list. And when the voice acting is top notch, it adds so much to the overall power of storytelling.
This post is in part a mea culpa. A confession of my past inflexibilities, for which I do apologize. But primarily, this post is a salute to all the readers out there. In whatever book format you have chosen, the fact that you have carved out space in your life for reading is a beautifully enriching practice. And an admirable one, as well. Never let anyone throw shade on that.
P.S. booksandbevs7.org is currently working on ideas for a freebie to offer followers. A printable book planner is in the design phase. It will include a book log, space to write book reviews and notes, as well as a contact list to input your book club members’ info. If this sounds like a freebie you may be interested in, leave me a comment below. And happy reading.