An Apology to All the Audiobooks I’ve Slept Through

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Zoe Dickinson

Staff Writer

Zoe Dickinson is a poet and lover of language, as well as a newly minted librarian with her MLIS from Dalhousie University. She now lives in Victoria, B.C., where she works at Canada's largest used bookstore, and gradually adds to her vast cardigan collection. Zoe is a literary omnivore, devouring everything from ancient poetry to contemporary romance to science fiction. The only genre she doesn't read is horror, because she is kind of a wimp. If Zoe had a superpower, it would be the ability to walk and read without bumping into anything. Her two favourite places are the beach and the library. Twitter: @zoeidadickinson

I’ve slept through a lot of audiobooks over the years. They’re my go-to sleep aid, and my life would be a lot more sleep deprived without them. Sometimes, though, I do get a twinge of guilt. All of those perfectly good books, reading their hearts out in my ear, unheard.

I try to keep track, and pick up where I fell asleep the last time. I really do. The sleep-timer on my audiobook app is helpful. But more often than not I fall asleep in the first five minutes, and come back to it the next night with no idea of what’s going on. Eventually I lose all sense of the plot, swamped by mismatched fragments of dialogue, and give up.

So here it is. My apology to all the audiobooks I’ve wronged over the years:

I’m sorry! You all deserve a more attentive listener.

Bhagavad Gita, Trans. Eknath Easwaran

Bhagavad Gita, I’ve wanted to read you for years. Some day I’ll give you the attention you deserve. I may have fallen asleep during your first chapter six times, but that doesn’t mean you’re not interesting! I’m sure that your beautiful, ancient words seeped into my dreams even if I can’t remember any of them.

Dead by Midnight, I hate to admit that I added you to my phone with no intention of finding out who done it.

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Audiobook

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I still have no idea how to organize my life, despite your best efforts. I was really interested, I swear! But I was exhausted that week and I don’t think I even made it past the introduction.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you of all books know what it’s like to doze off. I know you won’t judge. I’ve slept through every minute of your audiobook countless times, but you know that’s only because you’re such a beloved childhood friend.

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Fortunately, The Milk, it’s not your fault that Neil Gaiman’s voice is so mellifluous. He lulled me to sleep before I could find out if he ever made it back home with that milk.

And to all the other audiobooks out there that I’ve dozed through: I just want you to know that even if I never listen to you all the way through, I appreciate each and every one of you.

Your repentant reader,

Zoe Dickinson