I am writing today to rave about one of my favorite things to listen to. You might think it would be Christmas music, or music in general but you would be wrong. I love listening to books. They engage the mind while one does mindless work. Of which I tend to do a lot. However, in the economy today audiobooks tend to be extremely expensive. If you are a college student (like me) and you make very little income (like me) and you think that it’s just not worth your while to spend so much money to listen to a book that you could read aloud yourself, although you don’t want to (like me) then you should look in to Librivox. (I know, that was the longest run-on sentence ever.)
Librivox Recordings takes books that are in the public domain, like Crime and Punishment, or Aristotle’s works, and has volunteers record them. They are available on iTunes for free. Yes, that’s right, they are FREE. Because of this they are listed as podcasts, but if you type ‘Librivox’ into the search box the podcasts will pop up. I have listened to North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, part of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and part of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Right now, I’m listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
The best and worst part of this wonderful organization is that the recordings are all done by volunteers. Often they compile a book chapter by chapter and each chapter is read by a different person. North and South was done by several people, many of whom did not speak English as their first language. Most of it was well done, but there were a few chapters which were difficult to get through. The other bad thing about that is that the recording equipment is different for every person. So while some equiment is good, others have that hollow ringing sound that makes you want to die.
You really shouldn’t complain though, because it’s free and you aren’t the one reading it. If however, you’d be interested in reading they are always open to having more volunteers. I myself am volunteering and hope to record something over the holiday season. You sign up and then you have a bit of a process before they’ll let you read a whole book. You have to read a chapter of one that they are compiling first. That’s the stage that I’m on. I know, I know I haven’t gotten far. After you’ve read a few chapters you can sign up to do more. They have audio theater, where people read different parts, compilations (as I’ve stated) or they have whole books that they want people to read. If you’re interested, I’d encourage you to sign up.
Books are a joy of life and if you’re busy or simply prefer being read to rather than reading yourself, Librivox offers timeless classics to listen to for free. I love it and I hope that all of you wonderful readers take advantage of it this Christmas season!