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Friday, 7 October 2011


I'm an addict.

I'm addicted to books.

Not a single day goes past without my 'fix'.  I need it to survive.

My month's supply

I'm not fixated however on a single genre. I'll read Science Fiction, Science Fantasy, Fantasy and Military History.  I''ll even read Mysteries and Detective books, Travel books, Humorous books and  Short Story collections.

But it is getting worse.

I've re-discovered Audio Books.

My Beloved and I have often listened to an audio book on long car journeys, and it definitely helps to pass the time, but the supply of books on CDs was limited from our libraries and we quickly ran through the ones we liked from their collection.

My beautiful MP3 player

My Beloved bought me an MP3 player as a present last year, and the new radio/CD I just put in our car has a USB and an Auxiliary input.

This meant that I could download my music collection from my computer to the MP3 player, and play it in the car on the way to work.

Then I found the huge collection of audio books on-line. All of my favourite authors and titles; Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robert Heinlein.  They were all available, and for a pretty reasonable price, I could download them and put them in my MP3 player.  I now listen to my books on the way to school, coming back from school, while I'm gardening, vacuuming, ironing, painting, woodworking, even when taking the little shit machine for an evening walk (I always pause the book when I'm walking past our neighbour, just in case she invites me in for "tea").

Always time for Tea

I even listen to the books when I'm watching TV.  If it's tuned to a really bad program at my Beloved's behest (like Criminal Minds, or Coronation St.or even College Rugby) then I can sit happily, keeping my Beloved company while my eyes glaze over as I listen to the next chapter of an engrossing story.

It's also the perfect way to go to sleep.

I always used to read for half an hour or so before finally switching off the light and then trying to sleep, but there were disadvantages.  My shoulders and hands used to get a bit cold, and even if I was feeling sleepy, the series of actions required would sometimes get me awake again.  Bookmarking my place in the book, putting the book away and switching off the light.

But with the audio book, those disadvantages disappear.  I can switch on the player (my alarm clock/CD also has an auxiliary input), switch off the light, snuggle down under the covers and listen to the story while completely comfortable.  The drift off into sleep is so subtle that I don't really notice it until I wake up the next morning, The only disadvantage is having to 'wind back' the recording until I find the last bit I remember, as the player doesn't automatically stop when I fall asleep, and keeps playing for another half hour or so.

Just loving PL

There is one other major advantage, allowed by the advent of the new almost invisible earphones.  I can listen to a good story while all the rest of my colleagues are going through the agony we call Wednesday Professional Learning.

Nobody will ever know.

As an aside, we do have a real addict in Nuova Lazio High School.
He's a pupil.

He's addicted to computers.
he really can't help himself.
As soon as he enter any classroom, his eyes hunt hungrily for a keyboard he can get at, a mouse he can fondle, a monitor he can stroke tenderly like a long lot lover.
He's got it bad.
He's also banned from using them, because he fiddles.  He fiddles with the computer settings, the monitor settings, the network protocols, the administration areas of the computer.

Because the poor wee soul managed to get access to an administrative account, and has been wreaking havoc ever since.
He's been banned multiple times, but he still manages to get back on.  Sometimes he swaps accounts with his classmates, sometimes he jumps onto a machine when a classmate walks over to another desk to get a pen, and when the poor sod returns, he finds his computer occupied by a gibbering maniac in the middle of getting his fix.
The last straw was when he broke open a computer and stole the RAM and damaged the power supply.

We all feel sorry for the lad, but somethings got to be done.
Drastic steps need to be taken.

Stop touching the f*cking computers

Mind you, we could always give him to Ringo, but that I think, could be construed as "cruel and unusual" punishment, and is banned under the Geneva Convention.


  1. Do your Playboys and Penthouses come in audio format too?
    "But sweetheart I was only listening to the articles"

  2. Have you ever used uknova? You can download BBC radio programmes - I find some of their dramatisations good to listen to.

  3. I can identify with that kid. May he tinker and tinker until he forms the company that makes Ipads as redundant as the PC.

  4. TC: I don't know. I don't think a verbal description of a Playboy Playmate would really do the trick. Just imagine. "Jessica is a 20 year old, 36-24-36, bronzed, blonde co-ed from Berkeley. She is reclining sensuously on a satin sheet on a bed. She is thrusting a ....." Hmm Maybe you've got a point. Could be a big market out there. And if you're using an audio book, it would leave both your hands free.

    Shackleford_Hurtmore: Thanks for the tip, I'll have a look. I've tried to download audio files from UK sites before, but some sort of copyright issues blocked the download.

    Second: No, you really don't want to identifiy with him in any way. He'snot evil, just almost completely disassociated form our reality. Ask Richard[of RBB] ho he betrayed his trust.

  5. I enjoy the way you ramble.

  6. dbs: No fairer praise has any literary genius been offered, apart from perhaps:

    "Shit hot writing"
    "You are the greates writer since f*cking George Bernard Shaw"
    "You're even funnier than Alan Coren, and he's dead"


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