Reading vs. Podcasts

A bit of a break from the music thing…

I became a podcast whoooore when I returned to school in early 2009.  I started listening obsessively to This American Life, to Hometown Tales, and to odds and ends here and there.  They entertained me while travelling to and from class.

I wanted to read during the long commutes but for some reason my brain was completely uninterested.  I would yawn uncontrollably, very little kept my attention (I’ve done a weird switch from Fiction to Non-Fiction, but even the most interesting books tired me out), and I read page after page without absorbing anything.

Recently, I found a way to increase brain-interest.  It’s called Kobo.

My roomie recently has found himself working with the fine folks at Kobo, and procured a first generation e-reader from them (I currently could not afford any kind of gadget…I was lucky enough to use one for free)

I was skeptical: the screen does weird things when you change pages, and I’m so used to the feel of paper and the weight of a book I thought it would be weird to read off of a little plastic slab.

So far…it’s enjoyable!  I’m not struggling to keep the pages open, or a book on my lap…people bump into me but it’s not a big deal…I can travel from streetcar to bus to subway and back and not have to force my book into a backpack, or fear of losing my place.  Also…if the book gets boring for one reason or another, I have dozens other waiting to ‘pick up.’

I’m reading ‘Musicophilia‘ by Oliver Sacks for now.  I’m tempted to check a few other music books once this one is done.  Feed my brain, perhaps?

I can’t figure out which I prefer.  Podcasts are great…but they’re almost a lazy form of entertainment.  Someone else did the work for me, so I sit and stare and listen.  I feel when I go too long without listening, Ira Glass, Gene and Bryan get lonely!  Books are more likely to help me expand my brain but sometimes are a pain in the butt to read while surrounded by noisy kids and angry old ladies.

Do you have a preference?  Do you use an e-reader and do you like it?  Are there any podcasts that catch your attention?

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