I may not be the best person to say this, but since I started posting on this blog again (FINALLY), I wanted to say something about how knitting saved my reading habits, but also firmly pointed out who the ableist assholes are in my life.
Shout out to my close friend and teacher (whom I shall call MC), who not only pointed me in the right direction for my future, but helped me get there.
If you haven’t noticed, this blog has gone dead for the majority of the month of April. It’s been killing me all the while, but despite having time to read, I just haven’t had the time to sit down and type out reviews or posts like I used to. Work is packing on more hours because I’m cross-trained and have to train people to take over my spot when I head off to college, and school is pushing everything to the forefront with graduation looming and AP tests right around the corner. I’ve been seriously stressed because of all of this, but being able to type this out, right now, is soothing. So, I’ve decided to let you all know what’s been happening in my life, including a new hobby, and my new love of audiobooks.
So, over the course of last summer, I met with the friend I mentioned above, MC, who helped me write college entrance essays and who I helped get data for her PhD final paper. MC is amazing, because not only is she just helpful all around, but I feel like I can be myself around her. I knew she loved knitting, but it never really crossed my mind until another teacher was giving away knitting needles (I’m not joking) and I was in this dreadful book slump.
If any of you know anything about knitting, or me, you might realize where this is going.
I concentrated hard on learning how to knit, mostly because I thought it was something cool to do, something more than playing video games or reading, something unique. Personally, though, I felt weird just sitting there, knitting, and nothing else. So I tried to add audiobooks into the midst, and this is where things start looking up.
If you follow my Goodreads page at all, you’d have noticed that my reading has increased some. I’m up to 27 books in total, with at least 5 of those in April, which is impressive to me because I’m a somewhat slow reader. So, I’ve been reading but not posting on this blog, because I’ve been knitting to relieve stress of everything that’s been culminating this past year.
Before, when I had tried audiobooks, I had struggled because I had nothing to do with my hands. I don’t drive, because of anxiety, and I really didn’t have a hands-on hobby until knitting came around. I find audiobooks hard to follow without concentrating either, most likely due to auditory processing issues. Adding that to knitting, you’d think, would be a bad idea, because I have to concentrate on knitting as well.
Somehow, though, both of these meshed surprisingly well. I can listen to a book with something to do with my hands, and create new things while I’m reading. Even when I’m unable to pick up a physical book to read, I can still pull out my headphones and plug in an audiobook. Even without my knitting, I can still pull up an app on my phone and doodle or color while listening. Audiobooks and knitting have enabled me to keep reading, even when I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to.
This is where the ableism comes in.
Since I’ve started doing this, listening to audiobooks and knitting, I’ve been getting some weird looks and comments. As I mentioned before, I have to concentrate on audio to be able to follow it, so if I don’t have closed captions or given time to catch up, I’ll be very, very confused. Most often, I just get weird looks from people saying something to me, and me not hearing them and asking for them to repeat it because I wasn’t listening. Or they’ll say I have a funny look on my face, probably from me trying to concentrate on the story. And then I’ll have to ask them to repeat themself because I didn’t hear, and I get to hear the insult straight to my face.
The one that gets me the most is, when people learn I’m listening to an audiobook, them saying that listening isn’t the same as reading. Or that audiobooks aren’t books..
And while I respect those people who don’t use audiobooks because they don’t like them, please understand how ebooks and audiobooks have changed things for disabled peoples. Not everyone can carry around thick-ass books like they’re nothing. Not everyone can handle each different type of book.
Physical books can be heavy as hell. Sometimes people can’t process audiobooks. I get headaches when I read ebooks, so I try to stay away from those but I have to rely on them a lot. And the fact that some ableist piece of shit thinks that one or the other is so much better because the other “isn’t actually reading” is really offensive.
I can basically say that knitting saved my reading habits by way of audiobooks. Even though I have to rewind a few times, it’s still a relief to be able to read again while still doing something relaxing.