04 August 2008

My new loves

Not too long ago I was lamenting the fact that it is sometimes difficult to come by audio-books. Many libraries have at least a small collection, but it varies from library to library. I know there are places online where you can buy audio-books, but the problem with that is the buying part. If I'm going to buy a book, I want it in my hand, with the ability to turn pages, read passages over and over, tuck it snuggly in my purse for boarding the aircraft and to cuddle with in bed. I only buy tangible books.

I love audio-books for car-rides, for listening to while I do housework (as opposed to the radio or music on my mp3 player), and most importantly, for listening to while I do tedious work on a computer.

As I lamented the lack of audio-books in this world, I thought that it would be a pretty cool project for folks to work together to create audio-books for works that are in the public domain. That is, there are lots of books out there that can be re-printed in any form because they were published so long ago. (I think the law in the U.S. is 75 years.) People could volunteer to read books aloud, and then those files could be held by some large database so folks like me could listen online or download the mp3 files.

Then that thought left and didn't come back until Thursday. And it came to me that such a project probably did exist, and if I used Google properly, I would find it. A quick search for "free audio books" led me to LibriVox.org, which is exactly the project I just described. LibriVox, which means "Book Voice" is really awesome. I started listening to The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde last week, but I wasn't really crazy about the guy's voice and the book wasn't as captivating as I wanted it to be.

Then, this week, I was listening to NPR and they did a quick piece on the one hundredth anniversary of Anne of Green Gables. The lightbulb went off in my head. I jumped over to LibriVox, found the files and began listening. I'm on Chapter 9 so far, and I can't wait to read more.

I'll write a full post about it once I'm done. Suffice it to say I love LibriVox. I love Google. And I love NPR.


Erin said...

I'll definitely check out the online audio books. btw, bought everything to make the sun-dried tomato pasta sauce. will let you know how it turns out.

allicat4 said...

Maybe you should try being a voice actress for audio books!! I bet you'd be really good at it!

The Dad said...

Hi, Angela's dad here, I think you meant Librivox.org, yes?