I have a very long commute.  Over the course of a week, I spend upwards of thirty hours in my car.  That sucks, and not just because of high gas prices.  It’s also uncomfortable, frustrating, and a huge waste of time.  Not to mention boring.

I’ve always been sort of anti-audio books, because my mind tends to wander pretty easily (not the best thing when driving) so I assumed that trying to listen to one while driving would either a) distract me from driving or b) take forever for me to finish, because I’d have to keep rewinding to find what I missed.

But recently, in an effort to vary my routine a little, I gave in and checked out The Golden Compass.  I’ve tried a few books on CD in the past, and they’ve been ok, but I have had a few problems paying attention to them and have had to do a lot of rewinding.  So far, this has not been the case with Pullman’s novel.

Here’s the thing: I have tried at least three times to read the book.  I’ve never gotten past the first chapter.  I want to read the book, I’ve been interested in the story since I first heard about it.  But for some reason, I just can’t READ it. 

But now that I’ve got it on CD, I’m ENGROSSED.  I have that hungry feeling I get when I’m reading a book and can’t quite get enough of it.  It’s occured to me to sit out in my car after I’m finished driving so I can listen to more.  I think the accents help.  They definitely add a dimension that I can’t manage myself (though I usually do try).

After I finish the first book, I may try to sit down and actually read the second and third (after all, I did shell out the money to actually buy them), but at the very least, I know I can always turn to the audio book if I can’t seem to get through the rest of the trilogy on my own.

And can I just say how much I want an armored bear?

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