posted by Matt W on April 16th, 2014

I like to listen to something when I drive. There are times when the quiet solitude of a car ride is refreshing, but I’m usually listening to something to pass the time. And over most of my adult life, three things have been the majority of my car listening experience: books on tape, phone conversations, and NPR.

Books on tape are great, with the huge caveat of, “If the narrator sucks, STOP, and get a different book.” Over the years, I have listened to hundreds of books on tape and I can assure you that a good narrator can make a bad book pretty good, and a bad narrator can make a great book suck. A good book with a good narrator adds up to a great listening experience. One author that I have always enjoyed on tape is Walter Mosley as he always writes an interesting story and always gets great black actors to read his books. Amazing. My son and I have listened to many of his books together in the car over the years. My favorite book on tape of all time is The Good Earth, by Pearl Buck, but I can’t find the copy with the narrator I liked to find out who read this classic (but I keep trying). I would sit in the driveway and listen for an extra 15 minutes each evening just to see what O-lan was going to do next.

Lately, I have been talking on the phone a great deal. I usually call my father 4 or 5 times a week and just chat and usually get to talk with Joe A. once a week on the drive home as well.

And then there is NPR. Whenever there is down time from chatting or listening to great books, there is always NPR. I like all their quirky shows, I enjoy Jazz and Classical music, and I have come to enjoy listening to the news through all the unique “NPR” voices from the station. Many years ago, my wife came home and said “I donated to NPR today just because it seems like we’re NPR people.” We have gladly donated every year since then. And as a loyal donor, I have the right to say, “Donor Week Sucks!”

Donor week, or as I like to call it, “the week I try out different stations,” is the definition of a necessary evil. I realize this is one of the major fundraising activities for the network, but wow is it boring. So, as I like to be a solution guy, here is my solution. When you make your donation, your gift is an app that makes it so you get to listen to normal programming the rest of the week. The earlier you make your gift, the earlier you can get back to “All Things Considered.” As I have enough NPR coffee mugs to last a lifetime; a gift that I don’t need extra storage space for would also be refreshing.

The “Skip NPR Donor Week” app would be a sure hit. Now if I only had a smart phone.  Oh, well.

Remember to donate to a worthy cause, they need it.

File Under Mr. Cool