A week or two ago I ordered Andrew Lycett’s biography of Ian Fleming from Amazon and started to read it. I’d decided I wanted to know more about the man who created one of my favourite fictional characters. I sat down with it on the sofa in my usual way. It’s a very well-written biography, and the text flows very well, although the academic in me doesn’t think he cites his sources enough. However, the problem I had is, the text on the page was too small: my eyes were struggling, and it was taking ages for me to get through it. I found myself wishing I had someone around who could read it to me, as I once got my dad to read to me.

In desperation, yesterday I gave up and decided to look online for any PDF versions I could put through my screen-reader. That’s how I came across Audible, Amazon’s online audiobook site. It had the book I was trying to read on there, so I signed up for the thirty day free trial and decided to give it a whirl.

Not that I want to sound like an advert, but so far I’m impressed. Listening to the book is much easier, and I have always thought hearing the words being enunciated adds something to them too. I let the audiobook play while I have the book open on my lap, reading along. I have got through an entire chapter already today, after only reading four over the last couple of weeks.

I’ll be onto the next book I want to read, Matthew Parker’s history of Goldeneye, within a couple of weeks, which is also on Audible. At this rate, I might well sign up to pay when my free trial ends, especially if there are lots more books I want to read on there. The problem is, I’ve had a few issues with amazon recently, signing me up automatically for things I didn’t want, so I’ll need to keep an eye on it. Nonetheless, I’m pretty thrilled with my new way to read things I want to read quickly and easily.

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