I for one am a big fan of the written word. When it comes to my reading choices I often prefer the feel of a page turning in my fingers over the swipe of a finger on a screen. I don’t mind that small smell of paper, or chemical, which comes from the turning of a written page. It may not happen with every book but that physicality of the book makes it so much more real when reading. However, I am not one to shy away from the digital format as I have found some great books in that format that just enjoyable to read.
The problem is there is not always enough time to sit and read a book, regardless of format, during the day. Often you will find employers will frown on your reading at work as they want you to do what they pay you for. There is the break and lunch periods that could be used but really is that enough time?
I do need that distraction, something to help focus my mind and shut out the background noise of the cubicle world. This is where headphones and a smart phone come in handy. In my case it’s neither the IPhone nor an Android but a Windows Phone. Yep you read that right as just about all my electronic devices are Windows based. Heck I should see if Microsoft wants to cut a deal for this unpaid for, unsolicited advertising, of their products. I say products as not only is the phone, desktop and laptop all Windows but I even have a table that is Windows based. See I like being able to easily share information across all the devices but that is not the point of this post. Oh anyone at Microsoft seeing this? If so how about hooking me up. (Ha ha in my dreams)
So back to the topic the things I use to help with focus and noise cancellation is the standard music of course. I listen to a lot of eclectic music choices but seem to love the music of 1980’s hair bands like, Def Leppard, Ratt, and AC/DC to name a few. I’ll spare the reader a long list of favorite bands as that in it is another LONG post.
Instead I want to share with people the other things I listen to as I have found in discussions some people have yet to hear of podcasts.
I describe a podcast as a form of television show, and those old enough to know them an old radio program that was serialized. If that wasn’t confusing enough it’s basically a type of program that is recorded and distributed to the world through the internet. A podcast can be ongoing multiple episodes that have new episodes coming out on given time frames. The discussion can be about anything the host(s) wishes to discuss. Another form of podcast is one called a podiobook. In this instance it is a book, often read by an author, sent to the world in the form of a podcast. I know most thing of Audible when they want a book in that format but there is something to a well down podiobook. As you will find later in the post there is a website dedicated to podiobooks which are just as enjoyable as any “book on tape”.
So let me know take a moment and introduce you to a handful of my favorite podcasts and the Podiobook’s site.
First Podiobooks.com is the place to go if you are looking for books in serialized format read often by the author. These are books that come from mainly the same type of authors I review, independent, small press authors. This is a way for authors to introduce fans to their work and some do it very creatively. There are stories out there that make use of sound effects and full casts of voice talent. There are also those that are just well read books with minor flourishes. The books are all FREE to listen to and people have an option to donate to the author with much of that money going to the author. It’s a great source for finding new books that will engage the mind through a great tale and in some cases great sound effects.
Now, as for podcasts there are several more than this list has that I listen to. In truth it’s not easy getting, finding time to listen to each of the ones below but it is something that I can do between reading a book.
The list is in no special order as they came from the Podcast application I have on my phone. I often found out about these podcasts but searching the web, the ITunes store, Podcast Alley or a large number of sites that can help you find a podcast of your choice.
This is one of two shows I’m mentioning that comes from the people at Relic Radio which have many shows that feature a genre from the days when radio was filled with serialized radio shows. They covered so many topics in their network but in this case the show features Radio Detectives. There are shows that may have featured old Hollywood stars but the one thing in common these where detectives. The episodes are often about an hour in length as they will have 2 shows with a small break between them and the narrator will tell you the episodes contents and the programs will begin. In many cases you even get to listen to an old radio commercial.
This is the podcast of the radio show with the same name from News-Talk radio AM1130 out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. This often features about 3 hours of entertainment as they discuss the supernatural. There will be guests, supernatural news, and even take view ghost stories. This radio show is well done and covers a large piece of the supernatural without the commercials in the podcast. The host Dave Schrader can even be found filling in as host on Coast to Coast AM. He has a great cohost in Tim Dennis and the two bring an entertaining show to your ears.
At the writing of this blog post Big Problems is just fresh on the scene with just a few episodes produced so far. It features actor Stephen Tobolowsky who many remember from “Groundhog Day” and other films and TV. He along with his co-host takes listener questions and tries and offer advice to the letter they receive. A will produced podcast and after listening to Mr. Tobolowsky the advice can be taken as well thought out. It’s something that will certainly get listeners thinking about the problem presented and advice given.
This is the second of the entries from the Relic Radio team that in this case focuses on the comedians from radio. Listeners can find shows from Abbot and Costello, Martin and Lewis, Stan Freberg, Bob Hope, and so many other great classic comedians. You know they are doing their job if you find yourself laughing out loud at the jokes presented in the classic radio broadcasts.
This is another podcast that is done by Stephen Tobolowsky and David Chen. In this instance they took their idea for the podcast from a movie that Tobolowsky did where he spoke of some of the events in his life. This podcast involves an introduction by Chen and Tobolowsky is free to do what he does very well share his life with the listener. His stories are engaging and not always fun but can be uplifting. You learn about the trials he has seen in living but at the same time much of the joy he has found. The way the stories are told makes this a must listen whenever a new episode hits my podcast feed.
The last show I’m going to mention is another great program that features the detectives of old time radio. What makes this one different is that the host, Adam Graham, takes time to give the listener an insight into the episode featured. The feed will have episodes in the best order that can be done and will feature a certain detective given the day of the week. He has shared Sherlock Holmes, Johnny Dollar, The Saint, and Dragnet. What set this apart from Case Closed are the introductions that Graham gives each episode. Also this is one show per episode averaging about twenty to thirty minutes per episode.
I do hope readers find and give one, if not all, of these podcasts and see if they help give them that needed focus/distraction. Again, this is a “short” list of the number of podcasts I download and try and listen to. There just is not enough time in a day to listen to them all but enough to get pleasure from what I hear and most importantly keep the mind engaged.