Friday, December 19, 2008

Redeem the Time

As we close the year 2008 and come near to that time of New Year's Resolutions, here is an idea for you. If you are as unlucky as myself to have to commute every day to work, then redeem the time. I have at various times while driving to/from work listened to: sermons, lectures on philosophy, home brewing podcasts, audio books, plays, TV shows, and more. It is much more interesting than listening to the radio, and it's possible with a $30 MP3 player.

"How do you find great sources?" you may ask. Here are some tips:

  • My county library system has an online audiobook library. I can checkout and download audiobooks for free. There are WMA books, but surprisingly there are also some MP3 books!
  • Check out Project Guetenberg, in addition to the computer read books they also have human read books, and some of them are excellent quality. In particular I can recommend the renditions of Sherlock Holmes, they are absolutely wonderful...and free!
  • Find some podcasts you like. There are excellent podcasts on all sorts of topics. I have picked up podcasts on Ruby, home brewing, technology news, science, business news, and more. There are also some TV shows like 60 Minutes that have a podcast replay of the entire show commercial free. A site I like for managing podcast subscriptions is PodNova. They have a downloadable aggregator that works on Linux.

So why not listen to some of those books you always wanted to read? Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald, J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis Carroll, Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Voltaire...they're all here. Listen to the Bible read to you. Fiction or Non-fiction, be creative, learn a new language, or a new subject. It's easy and free.

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