Commute Time - Need Good Ideas for Things to Listen to While Driving?

Updated on October 07, 2010
T.A. asks from Sacramento, CA
23 answers

Hello Everyone in Mamapedia Land =0)

I was wondering if anyone would care to share what they listen to other than the radio during their daily commutes. I was thinking about getting some CD's and maybe looking into checking out some books on CD through the local library. My commute itimes are: 30 minutes to work and 45 minutes home. Has anyone done the books on CD thing while driving? Was it too distracting to listen to while driving? What about CD's? Any good picks out there? I was thinking about getting a Faith Hill CD? I would like music CD's that are child appropriate as well since I have the kids w/me during part of the drive time home. I like pretty much all types of music (except rap) inclduing jazz. Any and ALL suggestions welcome =)

Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to "hearing" from you!!!

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So What Happened?

You guys are AWESOME! Thanks so much for responding. You've all been a huge help. I went down to my nearest library and I couldn't beleive how many audio-books they had! Tons! I selected one of them and listened to it before picking up the kids. It was a little strange at first to have someone "talking" to me. It took a little getting use to but it really made my commute time fly by. I wasn't that impressed with the novel itself so I'll be exchanging it for another one soon. I can't imagine how the commute would have flown by had I been listening to a book I was really into! It's like have company along for the ride. I never realized I was lonely & bored before during the commute, LOL! I also plan on getting some music CD's from the library, I totally forgot that they have them there. And they have CD's, audio-books for children as well. Thanks for all the tips!!! And I never heard of a netflix type service for Audio-books before, I'll have to look into that once we listen to all the stuff from the libary first since it's free afterall =)

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answers from Norfolk on

You are going to laugh at me. (that's ok!)
I go to a lot of renaissance festivals (Maryland Renaissance festival in Crownsville MD has been one of my favorites for years),
and I really like a group called "The Pyrates Royal" and they sell CDs.
When I commuted, I'd listen to sea chantys and pirate songs.

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answers from Saginaw on

Love, love, love books on CD's. My SIL and friends laugh at me about it. I've listened to quite a few Nicholas Sparks books on CD and I also listened to Chelsea Handlers first book, that was so funny. I didn't find the books distracting at all. Sometimes I would get home from work and stay in the car to listen longer.

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answers from Kansas City on

I get books on tape at the library, or I listen to Queen. My daughter loves "we will rock you". :-)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I love to listen to Joyce Meyer on cd. Very motivational! I also have purchased 10 ways to leadership on cd years ago. Go for it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I listened to the Nanny Diary's on cd before it was a movie. So glad I listened to it first it was wonderful. also listened to all the harry potter cd's.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

I love the books on tape (CD) idea and you can rent tons at your local library....anything you would like to read recently but just don't have time?

As far as music is concerned, I highly recommend "Blue October's-Foiled" is one of those CD's where every song on it is great! In my opinion it has a lot of Pink Floyd influences in it...if you like that sort of thing!
And you really can't go wrong with The Greatest Hits CD by Bob Marley!
Maybe some Blondie too?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

We get books on tape/CD from the library, and I love them. Be warned though that sometimes they are a little bit abused and might have some scratches on them--it won't hurt your player, but can effect the quality of the playing. But it's way cheaper than buying.

I listen to non-fiction on the drive to work (20 min drive one way), and when running errands around town sometimes. I don't find it at all distracting because if the driving requires 110% of my attention, I just block out the radio if it's on. For example, I listened to "The Care & Feeding of your Husband" and "How To Talk so your Kids will Listen" on CD.

Your library may even let you search & reserve stuff online (so much simpler!), but they will have a ton of options for fiction, non-fiction, and some music. I would be really really surprised if they don't have some good kids music selections, too.

Otherwise, if you find books/music you like & want to buy, check your 2nd-hand book stores. I think there is also an online book swap site, but I'm sure what the url is.

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answers from Sacramento on

I have a long commute too and what I did was join a site called It is like netflix but for audio book. You can either choose to get CD's shipped to you or you can sign up for the download membership where you download the books and can then burn them to CD yourself or upload them to your iPod. I signed up for the CD's since that seemed simpler to me. I always have 2 books at a time and listen to about 1 per week. Once you are done you just stick it in the mail and they send the next one on your list, just like Netflix. I thought about buying them through iTunes or amazon but they can be really expensive and once you listen to them you don't want them anymore. I don't find it distracting and it makes the drive actually enjoyable. I used to read all the time before I had my son so now I get to listen to all the books I want. This site has over 11,00 titles to choose from so there are plenty of children friendly books to choose from. Good luck!!



answers from San Francisco on

Try the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series (by alexander McCall Smith) as a book on CD from the library. The narrator is amazing, the series is wonderful and your commute will go so quickly you'll find yourself parked in the driveway listening some more. Good Luck, this saved me from my 45 minute commute, now I only commute 10 minutes... miss the books!



answers from Dallas on

I love to listen to books on CD in the car. With my job and kids I find very little time to actually sit down and "read" a book. I use the time in the car for that. I too have children in the car for a portion of my commute so I have found music that everyone in the car can listen to and let the kids choose the music when they are there. I will then listen to the book after I drop the kids off of before I pick them up. Sometimes I will even get a more child oriented book and listen to that with the kids - recently we listened to Charlotte's Web. I find the books on tape fairly relaxing while I'm driving and I find that I can envision the characters more clearly because most readers will say the voices. Good Luck finding what you are looking for.



answers from San Francisco on

Hello T., the time on the road can be the most wasted if you don't use it wisely.
My husband had a 1 hour commute so he would find ways to relax so that by the time he got home he was 100% all ours. He had lots of books on tape and traded with people, he got to read the entire Bible Old and New Testment while driving, he also had a tape recorder and would make messages of things to do ideas that came to him and even worked on talks for presentations so he knew how it sounded and it gave him a chance to make changes. We have given all of ou children for thier cars the Veggie Tales music, a cd of the songs that they are used to singing at church, the great standby of old Mc Donald and children songs to learn and enjoy, Disney has the best ever collection! They have several volumes of all the songs that go with the movies so since our children know the movies they really like this-- we have the volumes 1-4.
My son has spanish tapes so that his child and he can learn a new language. Have Fun on your quest.



answers from Erie on

Not only when I'm driving, but also when I'm doing housework, I listen to audiobooks from the library, but I also download podcasts from They are free and have a lot of kid-friendly ones. I'm a sci-fi geek, so I like the "odd/paranormal" news ones, and there are quite a few of those, most are kid-friendly. The story podcasts (in the same genre as the old radio shows) are all well done, but listen to them first, some are not kid-friendly.

And, no, I don't find myself distracted by them while I drive, and it always helps to keep the kids from arguing because they have to stay quiet to hear the story.



answers from San Francisco on

I really like books on tape. There are lots at the public library (free) and then the book stores. Warning, you can get hooked on books on tape. If you like Amy Tan most of her stuff is on tape...also Danielle Steel...+much much more.




answers from Chicago on

I have a subscription to which I download books, articles, all kinds of things to listen to on my iPod.

I prefer the iPod and downloading books to CDs because you don't have to try and change the CD while driving, carry a bunch of CDs with you, and you can also use it on a train or while walking or cleaning house, etc.

Our whole family listened to the Narnia series during car trips to grandma and grandpa. Just about all new books are available in audio format- really anything that interests you. My mom loves to listen to biographies of historical people, some people like to listen to the Bible ( there is a wonderful audio version with different chapters being read by many famous actors with amazing voices). I like listening to mystery novels or light fiction while I'm driving- what ever you like, you'll be able to find an audio version of it.

I can absolutely recommend the audio edition of The Help by Katheryn Stockett. Even if you've read the book, the audio version is SO well read- it will keep you listening even after you pull into the garage!

I also download radio programs like This American Life. Go check out

If you are going to be commuting a lot, I think an iPod is a great investment. You can listen to music you enjoy, play Christmas carols in the car, listen to books. If your car doesn't have an automatic adaptor, you can get one that works with your radio for the iPod to plug into at any Best Buy or similar store. If money is an issue, getting books on CD from the library is a great way to start- but if you are like me, you will soon be hooked and want an iPod to listen more easily. Good luck and happy listening!



answers from Sacramento on

I have over an hour commute to work each way and I love audio books. I always get them from the library. It is so enjoyable. I love to read, but rarely have time so this is a perfect solution. I don't find it distracting at all and it actually helps to keep me awake much better than listening to music. It might be weird at first for you to hear voices talking, but soon you will love it. Good luck!



answers from Augusta on

you could get some educational CD's like a language course and learn a new language on the way to work.



answers from Sacramento on

One of my favorites for good listening for both children and adults is Bev Bos. She has CDs available online that are somewhat old-fashioned sounding songs with some nostalgic, but fun lyrics.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Get books on CD! Just anything that you have been wanting to read. It will keep you totally engaged the entire way.



answers from Peoria on

Brian Regan (comedian) is hilarious! And child friendly.



answers from Sacramento on

I did books on tape when I was commuting and it made my drive so much less painful! It does take a little getting used to because you visualize when you drive but you adapt quickly. I did miss an exit or two on occasion. But, that can happen early in the morning anyway!


answers from Dallas on

Books on CD can be pricey and I rarely listen to them more than once. Do you have a Cracker Barrell near you? They have books on CD you can rent. Also, the library will let you check out books and music. (usually nothing very recent though) I like to listen to books narrated by someone famous, especially autobiographies. I loved listening to Presdent Clinton reading his book to me in his own words. It was like him telling me stories personally. I'm a huge nerd-groupie, I know!


answers from Austin on

We can hardly listen to music we are so addicted to books on Cd..
This summer we heard "the Help". and Bill Bryson's "The Thunderbolt kid" is one of our favorites..

I love Stephen King, so right now I am listening to "Under the Dome".

We LOVE David Sederius.. "Dress your family in corduroy was so funny, we had to pull over to the side of the road we were laughing so hard.. (he is rated R)


answers from Houston on

I listen to books on cd as well. I usually go for religious and motivational talks, but I've 'read' Harry Potter and a few others. Not too distracting, but I suppose it depends on the person. Give it a try!

As for music, Faith Hill, Dixie Chicks, Coldplay, Dave Matthews.. all things that come to mind! My radio has been broken for years, so I don't keep up with all the new stuff anymore, so wouldn't know if the radio bands have child friendly language on the cds.

Movie Soundtracks are good too. I really like the first Twilight soundtrack.

Next question: How Do Young Elementary Kids Listen to Music? CD? MP3?

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