Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Discover LibriVox for Free Recorded Voice Books

LibriVox boasts 1,668 titles of public domain works in 22 languages and the voices of about 2,080 volunteer readers. Pretty impressive stuff! Started in 2005, LibriVox has a new release podcast, a book podcast, a community podcast, a forum, wiki and a blog... AND all of their library catalogued and ready for download. You can pick a book and sign up to receive a chapter a day as an RSS feed podcast on itunes. There are also links to the Gutenberg etext files, Wikipedia links to the author and book, and zip files of the entire book.
They recently had a 3 year anniversary and on the community podcast hosted sound bites from volunteer readers and listeners on what they liked best about LibriVox. The comments ranged from "Being allowed to volunteer and read books to give back even though disabled and shut in all the time", to "You have put me in touch with the classics and reading again" type of comments. One father commented how his son was getting in the habit of downloading chapters of books to listen to when he went to bed with his headphones.

I enjoy having real voices at my fingertips when I want to read a book or share a book as a resource to a teacher or student. It is nice to have text to speech tools for attacking documents on the fly, but services like this one, where volunteers have given of their time to read a book, is very special. I feel like they are reading it just for me.
If you would like to volunteer as a reader check out their "How to volunteer" link.

Happy listening and all the best to you!


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