First, a confession: for breakfast this morning, I had two cups of coffee and two oatmeal-raisin cookies. This was bad.

Second, another confession: sometimes when I say I’ve read a book, what I really mean is that I listened to an audiobook of the book.

Third, more about the second confession: I work at a desk for at least 7.5 hours each workday. After work, at least several times a week, I work out. This is not optional; if I skip it, my energy levels reset to zero and I feel miserable. After working out, I have to find food and eat it, and then there’s usually some household task that needs doing, like grocery shopping or washing dishes or doing laundry. On days when I don’t work out, I try to socialize, so I might go to a happy hour or something. It’s a rare day when I leave work and go home and have quiet time to sit and read. I know you all can relate.audiobook2

But I still want my stories! I want lots of them. So, I get some books in audio format, which I download to my phone. And I listen to these while cooking, doing dishes, sweeping, going for walks, etc. Between audiobooks, print books, ebooks, and the various storytelling podcasts that I follow (This American Life, Snap Judgment, The Moth, Radiolab), I am able to consume stories almost nonstop. This pleases me. (But it might not be good for my hearing.)

This weekend I finished the audiobook What I Was. Afterward, I thought about how taking in the story via audio instead of reading it subtly changes the experience. And I decided it would be good to identify the format when reviewing books. So I’ll start doing that.