I’m in the car a lot, as I imagine most of us are these days. I have a long commute, and while I love cranking up the Taylor Swift tunes, sometimes a podcast or a book are better ways to keep a driver alert and engaged behind the wheel.
I’ve purchased some books on CD at Half-Price Books, and even though they’re used and therefore discounted, they’re kind of expensive. I recently downloaded the Audible smartphone application, because the first audio book is free. After that, the subscription is $14.99 for one book a month. To me, that’s really not worth it. I can get books much cheaper from Amazon, although I can’t read a paperback whilst driving. I’d say go for it if you are a truck driver or have a long road trip in your future, but for the daily commuter, it’s probably not worth your money.
Podcasts, however, are free and there are so many good ones.
I love true crime, and the best in that genre are Generation Why, Truth and Justice, The Vanished, The Unresolved Podcast, Crawlspace, Crimetown, Cults, Suspect Convictions and Undisclosed. Users “subscribe” via their smartphone and episodes – usually between 30 minutes and an hour – appear about once a week.
Most of these podcasts take you through a single case – interviewing family members of the victim or the suspect or even the convicts themselves. They also pick apart documents and interview investigators who worked the case. Others, like Cults and Generation Why, dig into a different case each week. Most of these podcasters have other “real” jobs and the amount of time they put into research is staggering. I listen while driving and frequently am disappointed when I reach my destination and still have a few minutes left in the show.
I understand that not everyone is a true crime junkie – that’s also the name of yet another podcast – and trust me, there are options for you, too. There are dozens of sports podcasts, pop culture podcasts. Heck, there are podcasts devoted to breaking down and discussing each episode of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” if that’s your jam.
Grace Bible Church, the church in College Station where I grew up and was baptized posts their sermons weekly, so I always catch up on that. There are also podcasts on politics, technology and cooking. Definitely there is something for everyone.
So I think that for now I am content to stick to my podcasts, actual books that I can hold in my hands and, of course, loud music that I can sing to like nobody’s listening.
Let me know what your favorite apps and podcasts are! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.