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  • Writer's pictureRyne

"University on Wheels" - Day 15 of the 30 Days of Thankfulness

Before Rachel and I had kids, when we would go to Des Moines to visit her brother Matt and his family, we would often stop by the library and check out an audiobook - not the audiobook of today on Audible or another streaming platform, but the ones that came on four or five CDs.

On one of the trips before our second embryo transfer (the one that lead to Anders and Linnea) Rachel and I listened to the audiobook 1776 by David McCulloch. It was listening to that audiobook that sparked the conversation that ended up leading us to the name Anders. It was also a book that triggered in me the desire to continue learning through audiobooks.

It has been difficult for me to regularly carve out time to sit down to read a book. I love learning new things and I’ve always enjoyed reading, but the practice of slowing down and investing time in reading isn’t always the easiest to incorporate into my schedule. Audiobooks have helped to blur those lines for me. What I learned on that trip to Iowa five years ago was that I could enjoy the story an author was sharing and still do something else at the same time.

And that continues to be reinforced today. Brian Tracy in The Psychology of Selling says that your car should be a “university on wheels.” Audiobooks (and podcasts) have allowed me to take that philosophy and turn my lawn mower and saw into a university as well.

Listening to audiobooks then transitioned to listening to podcasts over the last few years. Today, both long-form audiobooks and shorter-form podcasts are regular places I go to learn more about Jesus, writing, officiating, history, and being a good dad and husband. I feel like Rachel is always hearing me sharing something that I learned from a podcast or an audiobook I was listening to.

If you are also on board, I’m glad that you’re there with me. If you haven’t yet dabbled in either the audiobook or podcasting world as a listener, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past five years.

[Note: I’m a nonfiction enthusiast. I am sure that there are some awesome fiction audiobooks and podcasts, I just haven’t gotten into that space yet.]


  1. Audiobooks read by the author are really cool. I’ve often found that the audiobooks that have been read by the author can add more than even reading the book can add. Instead of reading a story that Jon Acuff wrote in his book, I now hear his voice and the inflection, excitement, or disappointment as he shares the story.

  2. Most audiobook players allow you to adjust the reading speed. I’ve often sped up the reading speed to keep me more engaged. I have a buddy that tries to get faster at listening to audiobooks and adjusts the speed often.

  3. Audiobooks are available in many different places. We’ve had an Audible subscription at times. Authors, in preorders of new works, often give the audiobooks away. Many public libraries let you check out audiobooks either on CD or through streaming services.

  4. Audiobooks are great for long trips. Have 12 hours you’re going to spend behind the wheel of a car? That’s easily going to be enough time to listen to 95% of all audiobooks.

  5. Audiobooks help you grow in knowledge while also doing something else. When I work in the garage I often am listening to an audiobook (or podcast). The same goes for blowing snow and mowing. I would be thinking about random things anyway, so why not learn in the process?


  1. Some podcasts have new episodes daily or weekly all year long.

  2. Other podcasts are written in seasons. A pretty standard season is somewhere around 10 episodes, but many are longer than that.

  3. Podcast lengths vary greatly, from under 5 minutes to hours long.

  4. Podcasts usually have ads in the episode, if listening for free. Most of the time there are ads at the beginning (or close to the beginning) and somewhere in the middle. Most of the time, the ads are read by the podcast host.

  5. Podcasters will ask for reviews and shares. That’s how people find out about the podcast and are drawn to the content they produce, so if you like the content - share it! And review it.

I’m really grateful that I live in a time when this form of learning is possible for me. I’ve always loved learning and I know that stories are powerful. Audiobooks and podcasts make both learning and storytelling so attractive and accessible.


How about you?

Are you a fan of audiobooks and podcasts? If so, which is your favorite?


An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

- Proverbs 18:15


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Previous 30 Days of Thankfulness posts



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