(or – “to what I am listening”, if like me you are somewhat of a grammar snob)
So what have I been doing with all that commute time over the last 9 months if not reading? Well, my commute is roughly 7 mins walk, 2 mins wait for train, 8 mins train, 5 mins walk, 2 mins wait for train, 8 mins train, 3 mins walk. So while it’s delightful to only have a 35 minute commute (by London standards, that’s pretty good), it is Not Conducive to reading books.
Enter two friends: the podcast and the audiobook.
I’ve become a real fan of podcasts over the last 12-18 months in a way that I hadn’t even contemplated could be possible before. My regular listens are Mom And Dad Are Fighting, The Double X Gabfest (both from Slate), Happier by Gretchen Rubin (about whose books I’ve written here, here and here), Ask A Clean Person (yes, it’s a show about cleaning things) from the Heritage Radio Network and No Such Thing As a Fish by the QI elves.
Audiobooks – over the last few months, I’ve listened to all three of the Cormoran Strike books, Gretchen Rubin’s Better Than Before, Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat and Helen Russell’s The Year of Living Danishly, and I’ve started and abandoned Kate Atkinson’s A God In Ruins and Sue Perkins’ Spectacles. Reviews to follow at some point.
I’ve discovered that listening to the spoken word (podcast or audiobook) is just the right amount of entertainment while walking, and perfectly mixed on the Tube with a game of Two Dots (I’ve got rather good at Two Dots). I definitely can’t listen and email at the same time, and Two Dots by itself is insufficiently captivating for the Tube journey.
The podcasts don’t quite come out regularly enough for me – the two Slate ones alternate weeks, so between them there is a new episode on Thursdays, and the other three seem to come out weekly (though Ask A Clean Person is a bit spasmodic and I have actually unsubscribed, though I will re-subscribe). When I’m between audiobooks, that’s not enough material per week.
Fun fact – the QI elves are slowly becoming famous – they got their own TV show, No Such Thing As The News a few months back, and I spotted one of the Elves in the wild a few weeks back – it transpires he lives nearby.
And in case you’re wondering, I get my audiobooks both from an Audible subscription and through One Click Digital, Westminster Libraries’ audiobook service.