Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Mobile University

Living in KL means a lot of time spent in my car. Fortunately I have a consolation: audiobooks. For the past few years, I think I've listened to more books than I have read.

Not only have I "read" many of the latest non-fiction--Malcom Gladwell's Blink and Outliers, and Tim Wu's The Master Switch among others--through the audio medium, I've also sat through many lectures in subjects as diverse a the philosophy of religion, Russian literature, history of classical music, the human body and movie appreciation. My car has become my mobile university; driving is no longer a chore, it is something I even look forward too these days.

I also listen to a lot of poetry--Yeats, Shelley, Dylan Thomas, Edgar Alan Poe. I even sleep with my iPod: my favourit bedtime listening are philosophical talks on religion by Alan Watts. I've been using my first generation iPod for maybe 7 years now and it is the best investment in gadgets I've ever made.

What joy it is to be able to carry a whole library of wisdom right in your breast pocket. Listening is so easy--you just plug in your earphones and lo and behold, the author talks in your head.

Whenever I need a bit of break, in between heavy sessions of academic lectures, I'll dive into my portable collection of classical music--Chopin, Mozart and a bit of Baroque music will usually put me into a very relaxed and blissful state. Ah, instant knowledge, instant relaxation!

I used to buy audio cassettes and have a huge collection of audiobooks in cassettes. But nowadays, I get my audio content from Audible, commiting myself to more than RM500 of audiobooks every year as a Gold subscriber. I have more than a hundred books in my audio wishlist, and the list is still growing.

Unlike many of my IT friends, I'm not exactly an Apple aficionado; It concerns me not if the latest iPhone is thinner, lighter, comes with bigger screen and supports LTE. The iPod is all I care about. With the iPod and Audible, the world's knowledge--the pleasures of life--is always an 'earshot' away.

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