Okay, so there’s no competition going, but since I’m a card-carrying reviewer, here’s my choice for BEST BOOKSTORE BATHROOM. It’s the Bookmans Independent Bookstore on Speedway Blvd. in Tucson. They boast a spotless bathroom filled with art, all tile counters and floors, automatic no-touch “facilities,” and real paper napkins for drying your hands, not just hot air. Ergo, the place rocks instead of blows. Now for the kicker: What I have just described is the MENS bathroom. I can’t imagine what NIRVANA of pampered delights exists next door, for women who ACTUALLY NOTICE such things. Kudos to Bookmans. Now, may I have my next signing there, guys? (Ah, but not in the bathroom, unless it’s a humor book.)
1) Because Americans have been sitting too long within easy reach of potato chips and liquid candy, and they need to go outside for some fresh air and exercise before their heart attack, which is coming up right after the next commercial break. (Audiobooks can be also enjoyed while walking, jogging or “while planting bulbs,” too, as author Jayne Ann Krentz suggests). . 2) Because we all need to read more, but can’t seem to find the time, and this multitasking aspect of audiobooks provides a solution, although there may be no solution for sports addicts glued to ESPN. Other than a stomach staple. . 3) Because you can save a tree by downloading an audiobook off the internet. Trees are great fans of audiobooks, just like cows who recommend going vegetarian. . 4) Because the most important organ in the human body in the brain, which runs on imagination. Something you can’t get watching a TV screen, even PBS. (Anyway, TV sure would be more tolerable without so many commercials for junk food, wouldn’t it?) . 5) Because the movie playing in your mind is always more entertaining than seeing the half baked adaptation that emerged from some Tween Hollywood screenwriter’s Freddy Kruger shaped cookie cutter. . 6) Because audiobooks are performed by talented actors (and everyone knows actors are more important than non-actors. Well, except for sports gods. And talent show judges. Or Kanye West. If you don’t believe that, just ask Kanye. . . West.) . 7) Because eyestrain also adds to your potential health care costs, (and, remember, Medicare won’t be around by the time Congress finishes reading all the fine print in any bill they might agree on, if they could read. Or add.) .
8) Because if you read a print book while on vacation you might miss your plane, or the boat, or that girl in the bikini who just winked at you. (Not to mention the scenery. In which case you could run straight into a tree, as one reading jogger I saw do.) . 9) Because, like Bill Clinton, authors often read their books themselves, (although, granted, some of them just want to hear their own voice, and really don’t care how they get your money. Like Bill . . . Clinton.) . 10) Because trying new things gets you out of any rut or habitual bad habits, and doing something–ANYTHING–differently can force change to happen. (Of course, whatever it is, it’ll probably happen anyway. . . but only for the WORST if you don’t change it yourself. Remember, the 2012 Election is slated for just before the End of the World.)
True, it is subjective. And there are loads of Top 10 lists online, and hundreds of bloggers saying this or that is “the best,” meaning in reality their own favorites. But what exactly do they mean? The best self help titles? The best mysteries by the few authors the blogger has encountered? The most popular bestsellers? In my own case, as a reviewer for over 16 years for various publications, I have listened to literally thousands of audiobooks, and sampled thousands more. Furthermore, I care not at all about how many copies were sold (nor should any legitimate reviewer). By “best,” then, I mean most powerful, original, memorable. Put another way, if a gunman cornered me in an alley and asked me to name my favs, this is what I’d stammer or stutter. Of course there are many fine performances not on the list, but I wouldn’t want to keep the gunman waiting, he’d think I was stalling. And now HERE is that list. I have done my duty to God and Country. Not to mention you. Enjoy.