Sunday, 8 January 2012

Listen up? To audiobook or to not audiobook

My husband bought me a subscription to Audible for Christmas. I'll confess I have - despite my many years in publishing - until now never listened to an audiobook. I have to also confess that I am not sure I like it!

I selected a title on a historical palace which we are visiting on vacation in a couple of months. I figured it would be a good way to engage with a subject that was likely to be pretty dry.

I was wrong. Rather than be more engaging than the printed version, I find myself missing large chunks of the content when my mind wanders ('hmm I wonder of that guy knows he's snoring really loudly...oh that is a nice coat...etc etc'). Not very good when you're trying to digest lots of facts about a location!

My plan for my next title (the sub gets me one free book a month) is to try a language book. I am thinking that an audiobook geared to learning a language should be better suited to my short attention span on the train. I also think it is the kind of thing I might find easier to listen to than read in print. The benefits of hearing the language spoken are pretty obvious.

I also have plans for book no. three: There are a huge number of titles by celebrity authors reading out their own books. Now that might be well worth a listen...

Any audiobook recommendations?

Monday, 2 January 2012

Fired up

So I recently succumbed to the temptation of an iPad. I had a sense it would improve my productivity at work, and make my home Internet use easier too. Two months on, how is that going?

- I have used the iPad regularly meetings, taking electronic notes and emailing them immediately back to myself to add to my to dos - time saved, and actions logged more effectively.
- I have been able to print less and review more whilst in meetings through having the documents on my iPad instead.
- I have been able to email someone a file while in a meeting to aid discussion (obviously this only worked because they had an iPad as well; potentially a downside).
- I have been able to review website content for discussion as part of meetings - easy to share and view.

- i-player in the kitchen/bedroom/wherever is like having tv in every room in the house - amazing
- Internet browsing is now immediate and mobile. No more lugging a laptop around, or waiting for it to turn on.
- It has also found itself useful as a kitchen aid. With a portable stand it now doubles up as an extension of our recipe books. A great beef bourgininon was achieved this weekend :)
- We now also have Apple tv, so can stream music and video through the tv.

However, was I too hasty in my purchase? Having just read a lengthy review on Mashable of the Amazon Fire, I'm feeling that creeping sense of doubt. Will I be lusting after that soon too?

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Hello January

Welcome 2012. In the end, 2011 was a mixed year for me. The highs were moving into a wonderful new house, some great learning experiences at work, and some great times with friends. The lows were spending three months at the end of the year with a neurological condition that was unpleasant and is still not fully gone, but thankfully was not life threatening.

I have two goals for 2012: to be well, and to be happy. Broad brush, but I intend to do a lot within those two chief statements.

Firstly, that means learning and maintaining a healthy work life balance. On the whole I push myself hard which I know I can no longer do without it affecting my health. Learning my limits and making time to rest is going to be a tough one for me!

Secondly, on the happy front, I'm going to be looking out for some great new books to read: it's been a while since I last devoured a great story. Recommendations are welcome.

More monthly goals and missions will be set. A happy New Year!