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Monday, July 23, 2007

Two great sites for a better life

I've been meaning to mention these sites for a while, but keep on forgetting.

They are both widely known, and one is even referenced on the other. I've known about them for some time now, thanks to Leo Laporte and Merlin Mann of the TWIT Network / 43 folders.

The first is www.lifehack.org - It's not just tech stuff, there's some valuable life lessons in there too such as this and this.

The second is Audible.co.uk / .com.

This last year has been the Year That I Have Discovered the Book - and what a revolution it has caused! The only problem is, is that I put so much emphasis on the other areas of my life that I seldom make the time that I desperately want to make to read a book. Yet books are incredible, they can revolutionise your life, give you the skills you need to make your dreams a reality (or bore you silly if you pick the wrong one).

As the author of lifehack says:

A book is incredibly powerful because it gives you leverage. The author could have spent years of his or her life studying a subject, reading everything that had already been written, learning from the best, summarizing different theories, and simplifying complex ideas. After ten years of research, thousands of hours and millions of pages can be condensed into a concise little 200 page novel, and little old you comes along to get it for $10.


So what do you do when you don't have time to read a book a fortnight? get the book read to you! And that's where Audible comes in.

I have subscribed to their monthly service, which allows me to download 2 audio books per month to my computer (for use on MP3 player etc). Oh, there's a free trial too, so you could get your first two books without paying a penny. I'm not sure why, but
I ended up getting three for free, which means I am the lucky recipient of £120 worth of audio books having only paid £14.99.

This has been a true blessing. One of the books I downloaded was one I bought the paperback edition of six months ago - and have yet to open the front cover. Then, last Monday I was able to listen to the entire (7 hour) book, word for word read by the author, as I went about my embassy errands in Tokyo. Talk about making good use of the precious little time we have!

I'm so that Leo Laporte mentioned Audible on the TWIT podcast (this was before they became sponsors of the show!). Now I can be sure that my education will never cease and I can stop feeling a little sad at 'not having time' to read books!

(n.b. Harry Potter not available yet!)

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