I am an incurable multi-tasker. One way I found to multi-task was listening to books on CD while I drove. It was very enjoyable, since listening to a book on CD is very different than reading the words on the page. The reader makes a huge difference. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a compelling novel, but SimonVance’s strong and distinguished voice made the story resonate within me. By listening to books on CD in my travels, I was able to absorb more books than I could by reading them. I felt I was accomplishing more than just getting from point A to point B, though my safety in driving was never affected.
You will notice as I speak about this, I am using the past tense. This is why.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to an audio CD in my car that was Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter, which coincidentally is in itself multi-tasking. The book combines historical data with whimsy, sort of like 2 books for the price of one. When the CD ended, I tried to eject it, but it wouldn’t cooperate. No matter how much I pushed the eject button, the CD continued to play.
This isn’t right, I thought, as I turned off the radio.
My husband saved the day by removing the CD from the radio without damaging it. However, that was the end of the radio--it was permanently broken. This was bad news-- no longer would my travels be enhanced by listening to the latest Michael Connelly novel, not to mention now I wouldn’t know how ALVH ended.
The next day I had to drive without the radio and I wasn’t looking forward to it. The first few minutes, the silence assaulted me. I was positive that my travel would be endless and torturous.
After a couple of miles, I began to notice that the silence wasn’t a hindrance, but rather a nice change. I was unplugged from the constant noise of modern life. With this absence of noise distractions, I noticed that my mind felt uncluttered. I readily spotted the same model cars on the road as I was driving, creating my own version of punchbuggy without the punching and the buggy.
I also began to enjoy the random thoughts and ideas that would pop in my head. Being a writer, these mental morsels are essential, and I appreciated this rolling, quiet think tank.
I know soon the radio will be replaced (my son is missing listening to the top 40 music!) but I can’t say for sure if I will go back to listening to books on CD again while I drive. Maybe I can be a reformed multi-tasker and enjoy focusing on one thing at a time.