I once was a voracious reader, but that tailed off in recent years under the demands of business. That all changed on June 30, 2007... the day the iPhone came out. I was in Houston as a consultant on a DPZ charrette at the time. After dinner, I drove out to the nearest Apple store, and was able to buy my first iPhone with no wait... lots of people were playing on them, but nobody was standing at the cash register at that moment.

   I had many reasons for wanting one, but the thing I've enjoyed the most since that time was something that hadn't even occurred to me when I bought it: the ability to play audiobooks. I'd bought a few audiobooks before then for my iPod, but I didn't always have my iPod with me. A phone, OTOH, is an entirely different story. Because of the fact a phone is ever-present (except for a few locations, like in the shower) it's really easy to do audiobooks.

   Since that evening in Houston 20 months ago, I've probably listened to 50 books or more. I listen when I'm walking to work, or walking anywhere else. I listen if I'm driving somewhere (very unusual, since I live in a highly walkable place) or if I'm riding somewhere. I listen if I'm doing chores of some sort that don't require much active thought. I've found that I can also listen if I'm working on drawings, so long as they're production drawings rather than design drawings (which require more active thought.)

   Some of the books are recreational, of course... but most are useful in some manner. And there's no doubt in my mind that they've made a huge difference in the character of the ideas I'm working on... it's impossible that it would be otherwise. You simply can't listen to numerous compelling ideas without them having some effect. I'll start posting book reviews here of some of the audiobooks I've listened to.

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