21 Signs You’re Addicted to Audiobooks

Brenna Clarke Gray

Staff Writer

Part muppet and part college faculty member, Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature while simultaneously holding two cats named Chaucer and Swift. It's a juggling act. Raised in small-town Ontario, Brenna has since been transported by school to the Atlantic provinces and by work to the Vancouver area, where she now lives with her stylish cyclist/webgeek husband and the aforementioned cats. When not posing by day as a forserious academic, she can be found painting her nails and watching Degrassi (through the critical lens of awesomeness). She posts about graphic narratives at Graphixia, and occasionally she remembers to update her own blog, Not That Kind of Doctor. Blog: Not That Kind of Doctor Twitter: @brennacgray

You guys, I have a problem to confess: I am addicted to audiobooks. It started out with me listening once in a while, when I was all caught up on my podcasts and didn’t feel like listening to music. But now I think about getting back to my audiobook all the time. When I’m talking to people at the office, outwardly I’m smiling politely, but inwardly I am enraged that they are keeping my from my headphones. Any task I can complete while listening to an audiobook now takes four times longer just so I can keep listening.

I’ve compiled some signs of my affliction. Check them and see if you, too, are similarly addicted to audiobooks.

  1. At the grocery store, you use the self check-out kiosk so that you can keep listening without being that rude customer with the earbuds who isn’t listening to the cashier.
  2. At work, you’ve switched all your in-person meetings (where, your boss has warned, you can no longer wear headphones) to email-only so you can keep the Audible browser open in the background.
  • You slow down your run pace. Sure, you can rock a ten-minute mile, but a fifteen-minute mile gives you 50% more listening time.
  • You sneak an iPod into yoga for the shavasana.
  • You offer to walk the dog every night. And not just your own dog. The neighbours are wondering where you keep taking their schnauzer.
  • You walk the long way home from work, even when you really (really!) need to pee.
  • In the car, you avoid taking passengers and offer to run errands for the whole office just to squeeze a few extra minutes of commuting listening in.
  • Every sentence you utter starts with, “Oh, I was just listening to this book and…”
  • Suddenly, you’re totally happy to do the whole family’s laundry, because every load is another chapter (or two!).
  • You’ve stopped chatting with your spouse while you cook dinner because you just seem to be always at such a impossible place to stop when they wander into the kitchen.
  • Your children are beginning to think their names are, “Shhh!,” “I’m trying to listen!,” and “This is due back at the library tomorrow!”
  • You received a letter from Audible mid-way through July asking you to submit to drug testing, because only a doped-up endurance athlete could match your pace.
  • Your iPhone battery has started to sob gently when it sees you coming.
  • You’ve switched from showers to baths so you can keep listening without the falling water obscuring your favourite narrator.
  • You have favourite narrators.
  • The voice inside your head now sounds like Wil Wheaton.
  • You’ve given up napping in favour of Power Listens.
  • You calculate all commutes and errands not in terms of distance or gas or time, but in chapters of audiobook you can get through.
  • Last Thursday, you sat on the floor for 45 minutes because it was near the only outlet and you had to recharge your mp3 player but couldn’t stand to stop listening.
  • You think every behaviour listed above is perfectly normal.
  • You’re listening to an audiobook right now.

    Are you addicted to audiobooks too? What was the first sign for you? Share other warning signs in the comments below.