This past week, I rolled up my shirtsleeves and decluttered my house. From the tip-top of the roof to the dark corners of my basement. (Well, that one corner of the basement I left alone. I’m afraid there may be a body hidden under all that stuff.) I sorted through the books, then attacked the trunks and the plastic totes. I made piles; piles for me to sort through, piles for my kids to sort through, and piles for my husband to sort through. There was no excuse worthy enough to get them out of their given tasks. I was waging war.
I sorted through everything: baby clothes (and my baby is now 14 – there comes a time when you must just let things go), quilting supplies, basketball trading cards (which, unfortunately, he refuses to part with) and winter gear. We have given things away to friends, sent loads of stuff to the charity shops, and even more loads to the recycling bins at the transfer station. And I feel great! As I decluttered my house, I decluttered my mind and body.
You may be asking yourself where all this is going. I will tell you, but first I have a confession to make. I do not like computers. I am not comfortable with all this technology and how public our lives have become, but recently I have discovered not all is bad. I have purchased a “smartphone.” I did it begrudgingly, but my children are involved in sports and coaches rely on Facebook to communicate with the teams and their parents. I found it difficult staying on top of schedules as I do not carry my laptop around with me, so I finally caved, and now I am “plugged in.”
Bear with me – just one more item before I get to the point of all this rambling on. I love audiobooks! My absolute favorite audiobook is The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak and read by Allan Corduner. I think Mr. Corduner’s reading made this book come alive in ways I would have missed had I read it myself. Now, you do have to be careful with audiobooks, too. Some readers can really destroy a book, but when you’ve found a great narrator it seems like the colors in the fictional world are just a little bit brighter and the characters are a tad bit clearer.
Finally, to my point. My smartphone can play audiobooks!! Some of you have been enjoying this ability for ages now, and I wish I had made the discovery sooner. For me, it feels like opportunities have exploded right before my eyes. Through my Topsham Public Library, the online resource called Maine InfoNet Download Library is available to me for free, and once I downloaded Overdrive (the app used to download the audiobooks) to my phone, I had a whole library at my fingertips! When I was cleaning out the attic, I listened to Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and read by Simon Prebble. When I was ridding the basement of spiderwebs (ewww!), I listened to Watership Down by Richard Adams and read by Ralph Cosham. Not once did I have to stop what I was doing to change cds. Not one of the cds skipped or stuttered at the most exciting moment because there weren’t any cds to skip or stutter. In my car, or in my garden, or in my kitchen, I can listen to audiobooks. Now, that is progress!
If you need help downloading an audiobook or an ebook (No, I don’t have an ereader and no, I don’t want one, either, but some people love them. We are all different and that’s why the Topsham Public Library is great because it has something for everyone!) we have a volunteer, Trisha, who is available Tuesday mornings from 9am-11am, to help you get set up. Check it out!!
I look forward to doing my chores now that audiobooks can go with me wherever I go.