An important part of my recovery has been my insistence on never settling for good enough. As I look back on ten years of clean and sober time, I reflect on the long list of books I have read or listened to that have shaped my recovery.
Over the past five years, I have rapidly increased my consumption of books by incorporating the use of audiobooks. These days, I listen to recovery-related books while I am walking my dogs, on the treadmill, driving, cleaning or even applying makeup.
Technology has come to the rescue in our ever-increasingly fast-paced lives by offering us a way to absorb books by listening to them instead of being stationary while reading them. Activities that used to be singularly focused, such as housecleaning, are now a cathartic time when I can engage in my recovery through the absorption of literature while at the same time improving the condition of my surroundings. It’s a win-win!
There are a myriad of good websites to download audiobooks for cost and for free. I have a monthly subscription with audible.com, which is my current favorite. The subscription cost is $14.99 per month, or you can purchase audiobooks individually. A few other good websites to check out are audiobooks.com, nook.barnesandnoble.com, downpour.com, scribd.com and digitalbookmobile.com.
If you like free audiobook apps, download Overdrive or Librivox to your smartphone. Overdrive is an option supported by many local libraries that allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks from their collection with all the convenience of a local app. Once you are finished listening to the book, it is easy to digitally return your book. Librivox offers access to more than 15,000 free and public domain works.
If you are an all-around bibliophile like me, I also suggest keeping track of what you read or listen to on a site/app called goodreads.com. Goodreads is like Facebook for book lovers. It allows you to keep track of all the books you have read, write reviews, rate them, search titles and, if you like, even create a recovery book group with your sobriety community.
Some suggestions for recovery-related audiobooks are: The Sermon on the Mount by Emmet Fox; One Breath, Twelve Steps: A Buddhist Path to Recovery from Addiction and Recovery and One Breath at a Time: Mindfulness Practices for Overcoming Addiction by Kevin Griffin; and Twelve Steps to Sobriety and the History of How They Work by Glenn Langohr.