Inviting Anne Shirley Over for Dinner. (Or, the Answer to Getting Stuff Done Around the House.)

(So, uh, I accidentally posted this a couple days ago. I tried to correct it immediately—so that I wouldn't overwhelm your blog reading too much in one day—but I think it still might have posted in some readers. My apologies for that!)

It's not so much that I minded spending almost an hour or so a day in the kitchen, between cooking and cleaning up. I think it's a worthwhile investment to take the time to see what's going into our food, to get more acquainted with cooking from scratch and to experiment with finding more ways to make our diets healthier. (And besides, I can't complain because Michael makes breakfast for us every morning!)

But at some point, it became boring. Sure, the silence offers a respite to the busy day of working and writing that lets my mind relax and contemplate all sorts of curiosities. But, sometimes, after the counters were wiped down, the dishwasher emptied and our bellies full, I'd look at the clock and wish I could have just a smidge of that time back for something more than routine chores.

And then I remembered a dear chum of mine, The Audiobook. Back before my days of working from home, I had a 30-minute (or so) commute to work and the church I attended was about 40 minutes away. Me and my car stereo got to become pretty tight during those long hauls of trying to pass the time as I drove to and fro over the Cincinnati highways. When my collection of CDs had worn thin and I gave up on trying to find something decent on the radio stations, I started listening to audiobooks during my drives.

This was the way for me to spend my drives more productively, more peacefully, more intentionally. It also was an outlet for me to make my way through some titles that I probably would never otherwise get around to reading. For whatever reason, even though my staple bedside read is nonfiction, I couldn't manage to pay attention and listen closely enough to piece together the information they were
spouting. So, fiction became my book of choice for those drives, and I listened my way through many great books, including like the Chronicles of Narnia series that I'd been wanting to read for years.

And so, the audiobook and I struck up our friendship once again. I've been listening my way through a book while I'm cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or going for a walk, and can make my way through one book in about a week. Which tickles the multitasker in me quite a bit!

Where to Download Audiobooks for Free
One of my favorite sites for sourcing books to listen to is, where you can download for free books that are in the public domain. If you're interested in catching up on any classics, this has been great. I've downloaded and listened my way through all of the Anne of Green Gables books they have available, as well as Alice in Wonderland.

I've also discovered a great many tales that I've bookmarked to come back to: The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield; Paradise Lost by John Milton; The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; A Garland for Girls by Louisa May Alcott; and a slew of other L.M. Montgomery titles that I didn't know existed!

The only thing about using LibriVox is that they are recorded not by professionals in a studio like audio books you'd buy, but by everyday folk like you and me on their computer. Usually, chapters are read by different people, and sometimes there are those people's voices that are hard to understand. But, for the price of free, I'd say the benefits outweigh those negative points.

You can also try your local library. I've noticed more and more books on cd available, as well as some that offer you to download the book directly from the website, but I've not tried that yet.

Other Favorite Sites to Buy Audiobooks
If you're looking for more contemporary or hard-to-find titles, you're probably going to have to pay for them. iTunes has a whole collection of downloadable mp3 books for sale. Otherwise, you can always get the old-fashioned CD kind. has a pretty extensive collection to flit through.

Do you ever listen to audiobooks? Any titles you'd recommend?

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  1. I love it! Audio books have definitely been a key to my productivity some days. I listened to The Secret Garden a few months ago. I'd forgotten what a beautiful story it is. It might make more sense to my husband to see me sobbing with a book in my lap, but it saves time to cry with my earbuds in while folding laundry. :)

  2. I love that visual of you crying while folding laundry! I can't wait to read The Secret Garden, soon, too. I'm quite certain I'll end up bawling while I'm rolling out pizza dough or something like that :)


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