Interesting that everyone (it seem on quick skimming of the thread) mentions music....I'm currently listening to "Masterpieces of World Literature" lectures by the Teaching Company (checked out of the library and transferred to my ipod). I listen to one 30 minute lecture each way on my bike ride to work. It's great.
Ah, good point.
I've been listening to real estate podcasts lately.
I actually REALLY dislike listening to audiobooks, podcasts, etc. I can read much faster than they can talk, so it takes much longer to get through, and my comprehension is much lower. Music I don't mind, I'm just meh on. Spoken audio I actively dislike.
And with a 5 minute commute, there's just not much time to listen, besides time (at home, or wherever) specifically devoted to do that (because I find if I'm listening to a podcast and reading an article, I tune out the podcast and suddenly realize I didn't hear what was said the last 30 seconds, so I have to single-task it).
Ugh. But I've been forcing myself to lately for educational purposes.
Also I love your art lover / music lover analogy. I may steal that. :)