By Heather Hogeland & Kim Grimm
These days there are so many options to enjoy your favorite authors. I am still a fan of a good old fashioned book, sitting down and turning the pages. Sadly, that’s not always practical. Even when you get the opportunity to do so, you might find yourself falling asleep after the first or second page!
Books on tape have been around for years and they have come a long way from the days when there was a rack in nearly every truck stop. In the early days, you would rent your favorite books, listen to them and return them miles down the road; rent a new title and enjoy hours of listening to a murder mystery, a drama, western or war story, even a love story. It was the forerunner to today’s Redbox.
You can spend the money and find many good titles that are still sold in most truck stops and swap with friends on the road. If you don’t have the money to create your own audio book collection there are other places that you should investigate. Most libraries will let you check out audio books just like you would a paperback and they usually give you a couple of weeks to listen before needing to return them.
Some companies have racks in their lunch rooms or drivers spaces that will let drivers leave books for others to listen to and bring back so other drivers can share the same book.
We found when you get hooked on an author it made for many hours of listening that helped us cover thousands of miles while entertained. I, Kim, enjoyed the Sue Grafton alphabet murder series. I enjoyed the P.I. character Kinsey Millhone narrated by Judy Kaye. To me she became the voice of Kinsey in her adventures in the fictional California town of St. Theresa. We look forward to the next book coming out in any series. They become so addictive. The characters become members of your own friendly circle!
Now, in the digital age, it has become even easier to get the books you love to “read”. If you have a smart phone or tablet it’s as easy as installing an app called OverDrive. You can use this free service if you have a local library card or through your Facebook account. The app has linked libraries from across the country, all over the world in fact. You can access audiobooks and ebooks, download them to your device for listening while you are connected to the Internet so that when you are away you can listen to them and they don’t use any data. You can keep the books for a couple of weeks and if you don’t renew them, OverDrive will automatically remove them from your device on their due date. You do have the option to renew.
If you want a certain book and it isn’t available, you can put your name on a waiting list and when it does become available they will notify you, just like any other library service. The cool thing about this particular service is that as drivers, we just don’t always have the option to get back home to the library like average folks to pick up and return books. With this type of digital service, we don’t have to worry about that any longer!
Roger and I used to check out 10-12 audiobooks every time we went to the library! It took up a lot of space and we actually began to run out of books to listen to, with this service, I can’t see that ever being a problem. Listening to a good book is a really good way to keep you wide awake and alert, especially if you are driving overnight. We highly recommend this form of entertainment as a way to occupy your mind and keep you safe.
I know from experience that listening to a good book would, literally, make the time just fly by while keeping my blood pressure down. It’s a win-win. Give it a try. We hope you end up enjoying it as much as we do!
Stay Safe Out There And Keep It Shiny!
Heather Hogeland and Kim Grimm are CDL holders and longtime friends with a combined 75 years and 7 million miles of driving experience. Both are writers and have a love for everything trucking, as well as, furry, four-legged friends. Kim is currently a full-time owner-operator and part-time writer. Heather writes for various trucking publications and enjoys traveling with her husband Roger.