When I got my new job and told people that I was about to start commuting 2-2.5 hours a day, just about the universal reaction was, "podcasts." (There were occasional exceptions along the lines of, "books on tape," or "that sounds awful." Actually, most of them started with, "that sounds awful," and progressed to "podcasts," or "books on tape.")
The truth is that I don't mind driving. And I never intended to listen to podcasts or books on tape. If I'm going to read a book, I want to see the words. I'm much more a visual person than an auditory person. If I listen to a book on tape, I suspect that I will zone out and miss a large section and have to rewind. (I know, we don't rewind anymore. I'll have to go back, however we say that now.) I might as well just read the book and catch the whole thing.
I listened to music and jammed along in my car for six weeks.
And then, on impulse, I switched from music to NPR last week.
So basically I'm smarter now than I was a week ago. My brain is being trained in listening, and I know all the things there are to know that are going on in the world. Brains.