I love audio books! they are compact, convenient and to me they are my companion on the road. I travel a lot, logging thousands of miles every year so what I do while I get to point A to B is to listen to a good audio book to make my travel time much more enjoyable. Throughout the years I have gone to a respectable list of self-help and non-fiction audio books. My car is my classroom so my entire travel time I use it to educate my mind and enrich my spirit. I spend no time in non sense talk radio or even the news. Why bother listening to radio? everything seems to be negative anyways.
My source for audio books is a place that is little known to some, but a gem to others, the local library. There is a vast selection to choose from in about any subject and the best of all, it’s free. I started about 10 years ago, my first selection was in the self-help area with Zig Ziglar’s “See You at the Top”. Zig’s teachings really opened my mind to new standards and it is the blue print of who I am today. I enjoyed so much that I listened to this series 16 times in a row. Every time I listened I picked up something different, a new angle, something I may have missed before. I can literally recall it verbatim and hold Zig Ziglar as my favorite motivational speaker. My quest for knowledge and journey of personal development had begun and there was no turning back to my old self. I was listening to other series of Zig Ziglar and then onto other authors and motivational speakers in just about any subject of personal growth, leadership, money, spiritual, biographies and much more. Speakers like Tony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, Og Mandino, Dalai Lama, David Bach, Joe Vitale, Brian Tracy, Dennis Whitley, Richard Branson, Wayne Dyers and many more quenching my thirst for knowledge and re-programming my mind with positive material. This changed my Life!
It wasn’t too long until too much self-help material over loaded my mind. So I turned to non-fiction audio books for entertainment between my “learning sessions”. I like medical thrillers of Michael Chrinton, military novels of Tom Clancy and classics like Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne to name a few. However there is nothing out there that entertain me more than The Harry Potter series by J,K. Rowling. I must have listened to the entire 7 series about 3 or 4 times each. One time on my way to Mississippi, I listened to book 4 of the series for the entire trip non stop. That’s 15 hours straight. Any audio book can be interesting, but to me the narrator plays a huge part in creating a picture to the words and making the book much more interesting, much more real as if I was really there. My personal favorite narrator is Jim Dale. He narrated the entire H.P. series in such detail and exquisitely that it is inspiring to me. He has won many awards for his work creating 137 voice characters for the H.P. series. His narrating style is such rich in vocabulary, so vivid, so engaging that to me it clearly conveys the author’s message. Reading the 800 plus page book without Jim Dale narrating will be in my opinion dull and a headache. Listening to Jim Dale narrating it, ah, it makes it all worthwhile. It feels as if I have been taken away to a world of fantasy and adventure, my worries disappear and by the time I reach my destination, I don’t want to stop listening, don’t want to leave this magical world. My daughter likes the H.P. series too. She can’t understand what Mr. Dale says but his voice tone and his characters make her laugh and she seems to be engaged into it at least for a little while.
I was so impress and inspired with Jim Dale’s talent that I began to look for more of his work. Soon I was downloading other series and novels right into my Iphone ( thanks again to my local library): Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Peter Pan by J.M Barrie, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and others. I also started to read to my daughter using different voice characters for fun. She laughs and thinks I am silly and maybe I am, but I love to read her stories every night.
Listening to audio books have changed who I am and have helped me become a better person, father, husband, friend, entrepreneur and above all, it has awaken the child in me.