Audiobooks: An Internal Struggle

People love audiobooks. And for years now I’ve wished that I could be one of those people. I really and truly want to try and love audiobooks but no matter what I do they just don’t seem to mesh well with my brain and reading style.

It’s funny because I’ve had this struggle for my entire life. I remember trying to listen to the Harry Potter audiobooks when I was a kid and giving up on them before I made it to the second CD. They just read so slowly! (Maybe this plays into why I hated the Order of the Phoenix for so long!!) And then I couldn’t control the speed of their talking so I just had to read at a snail’s pace along with the narrator.

I want to say that I tried audiobooks for the second time sometime during the end of high school once I had my own car. I’m a little foggy on if this was actually during high school or if this was during my first summer after college but I want to say it was during high school. I figured I might as well try to listen to books while I drove to and from work (like my 15 minute “commute” across town was enough time to get in some good listening lol). But again, it was just never enough time and on most trips, if I wasn’t going to work I had someone else in the car; usually my sister because I was always her go-to chauffeur after I got my license and car.

In college I learned about Scribd and Audible thanks to BookTube, Whitney from WhittyNovels in particular always influenced me to try audiobooks again because I always saw her getting so much reading done with Scribd! I used many, many free trials and never finished a single book. I always thought, “Oh! I can totally use this while I’m cleaning or doing something that requires my eyes but not necessarily my whole brain power.” And then I’d be 20 minutes into the section I was listening to and could not understand any of the story because I’d zoned out from concentrating too hard on cleaning or whatever.

This year I again tried audiobooks after a few years of giving up on them and wow, they yet again sat in my car completely untouched (I checked some out from the library) because I always turned on music when I was driving instead.

Now when I watch reading vlogs where audiobooks are used, or hear about how many audiobooks people listen to I feel oddly jealous. I wish that audiobooks worked for me but they just don’t.

When I’m doing idle work, I like listening to Youtube videos, music, or podcasts. Those never seem to cause me any problems, even when it’s a pretty information heavy educational podcast. So that constantly makes me question why I can’t also pay enough attention to audiobooks to know what happened by the end of it! I can even pay enough attention to Youtube videos to understand what is going on in them while I’m also reading a book but for whatever reason I don’t mesh with audiobooks at all!

I also have a slight aversion to e-books so maybe it’s just some deep seated prejudice towards electronic “reading” that keeps me from utilizing audiobooks. I would love to try a Kindle again but I haven’t decided if I want to go for it or not. I’d love the ease of traveling with a small e-reader and have seen that one of the newer Kindles is waterproof which I think would be an awesome feature.

Audiobooks are amazing and I think that it’s really cool that they’re becoming so innovative with them; like when they have a full cast of people for the characters or just the fact that they’ve become so easily accessible with apps and subscriptions. And while they might not be my cup of tea I do like seeing them become more and more popular as the years go on. I think they’re a great way to encourage reading for those that don’t actually enjoy reading, or even for those who can’t use a physical book.

For now, I think it’s time to set aside my need for wanting to find a way to love audiobooks and just move on and keep trucking with physical books. I’m sure someday I’ll attempt to use audiobooks again but for now, I’ll just take the time to sit down and read even if it does mean I can’t multitask as well!

Do you “read” audiobooks? If so, what’s your favorite part about them? What’s your least favorite part? What is your overall preferred way of reading?

I Fear Boredom: Revisited

Back in April of 2017 I wrote a post about how one of my irrational fears was boredom and empty time. I decided that I wanted to talk about this again because two years later, this is still a really prevalent issue in my life.

In trying to get over this “fear” of boredom I spend countless hours doing meaningless things. Scrolling through social media and doing absolutely nothing. So even though I’m being “busy” I feel horrible about how I spend my days. I feel guilty about the amount of pointless content I consume and yet I can’t stop doing it.

In the past few months I have been trying to be more meaningful with my time. Making sure that I prioritize doing things like blogging and reading and going for walks. I started playing Pokemon Go again and obviously I started using this blog again. I’ve posted consistently and even started reading books again. But then a lot of nights I end up scrolling through Twitter and reading the same tweets seven times in a row because I can’t concentrate enough on what I’m doing to actually consume the media I’m trying to consume.

I know that a lot of this comes from my depression and it makes me hate my mental health problems even more. I feel guilty for not doing things but then I feel equally guilty for actually doing things. I haven’t watched any TV shows in months because I feel like it’s not worth my time to watch anything, so I end up just watching YouTube videos of Vine compilations because I’m so anxious I can’t watch anything else. And yet the list of media I want to consume just keeps getting longer and longer… And longer.

If I do actually do something, I feel guilty for doing it. Why go for a long walk and play Pokemon Go and enjoy the fresh air when there is laundry at home to be done? Why watch a new TV show when you could write a blog post? Why spend a day reading when you could do literally anything else? Why, why, why??? I even feel guilty picking out what book I want to read next because I want to have just read them all already. It feels nearly impossible to truly enjoy myself when doing anything because I always feel like nothing is truly worth my time.

To try and combat the way I feel about my time, I’m trying to just do things. I’ve basically stopped using social media except for Twitter. I’m going to try and watch The Haunting of Hill House sometime soon and Black Mirror season five was released this week so I’ll be watching those three episodes this weekend because even though I have issues with it, I’m obsessed. I’m trying to go to the library for a little bit every week to work on writing and just for browsing and people watching. I’m just picking whatever book I sorta want to read and then reading until I feel like switching to a new book or when I’ve finished that book I first chose.

The next thing I want to do is try to break the idea that I need to monetize my hobbies. I’m going to get back into painting and coloring because I need some color in my life and I’m going to refuse to let myself think I need to be doing something that will make me money. Too much of my life has to revolve around money and it makes me really sad.

Struggling with idleness is a really difficult thing to struggle with. Almost everything makes me anxious no matter if I’m doing something or not doing something. I really wish that it wasn’t like this but for now I’m stuck with it.

So I guess there’s my update on fearing boredom. I hope this wasn’t too depressing for your Friday read. Hope y’all have a good weekend.

Our Final Invention: AI

So do scientists really think that super intelligence is a good idea? Or are they just really really stupid?

Like honestly. In any way shape or form does it even seem okay to have technology be smarter than we are? People may think it’s okay, but I’m going to drag some movies into this.

Exhibit A:

Smart House, made by Disney. Here’s a promo for it:

And oh, what’s that? Some of the technologies are in our everyday lives now?!

Okay, cool. All seemingly harmless pieces of technology, right? Well how long until something is invented that will actually control an entire house, something that is intelligent on its own… And how long until that piece of technology turns bad?

Exhibit B:

So I don’t know if you’ve heard this or not, but scientists have supposedly isolated dinosaur DNA… WHAT

AND THIS

Like I can only see this taking one path

jurassic-park.jpg

There are literally four movies now that show how dumb of an idea this is.

I just honestly cannot comprehend how anyone could want to create something that could have the potential to kill us all?

I take that back. People are really that stupid; as can be seen with all of the nuclear technology the world has created.

Well…

Okay. So I’ll just move on past the stupidity of the invention of strong AI and just talk a little bit about some fun (?) things.

So first off, my professor was talking about how if we were to invent robots that were lifelike then we would create them as adults. Then he asked if we could imagine little seven pound robots and all I could think about was this:

Robots.jpg

I then took way too long thinking about how what if this movie was like some weird post human world that could actually exist someday. And then I made myself stop thinking about that and just enjoy this children’s movie as is.

Because honestly? This movie is freaking hilarious. And the world concept is so cool. As can be seen in this scene.

Next, I wanted to share with you a thought provoking video from Crash Course involving AI and personhood.

I thought it was quite interesting to think about. And also a topic that I really don’t like thinking about either. It’s just so confusing and mindboggling.

Okay, so lastly, I want to recommend a book that I read earlier this year called Illuminae. This book is so uniquely written and also had a very central character that is AI. I would highly recommend it if you’re interested in science fiction and AI and really unique books!

After seeing all this information, what do you all think about the seemingly inevitable invention of this insane technology? Will it blend in? Or will it destroy us all?

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Don’t let the inevitability of a robot takeover get you down.