A scrapbook of whatever I'm making, collecting, or just obsessing about
at the moment.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Joys of Librivox

This month I tried out Librivox for the first time. I knew it was a huge collection of public-domain books read by volunteers and available free of charge, but I didn't know how huge, or how well-structured it is. My choice of Barchester Towers in podcast form downloaded smoothly and lodged itself as desired in my iTunes folder under Music / Audiobooks--in the correct order, too, instead of reverse order as other podcasts do. Each chapter is a separate file--very convenient!

Most of the titles I looked into were collaborations; that is, the whole book is not read by only one reader, but by as many different readers as signed up for it, chapter by chapter. All but one of the readers I liked, and most of them I liked very much. Overall the quality of reading was more than satisfactory--much of it was just as entertaining as anything to be found on Audible.com.

Tonight I had the pleasant task of choosing a new Librivox book to listen to. I could have stayed up all night browsing lists and auditioning readers, but that would only delay getting started, so I settled on Thomas Hardy's Far From the Madding Crowd. This title was available in both collaboration and solo versions; I picked the solo version, read in a charming, masculine, Irish voice.

Since Overdrive, too, had a book available for me, I also downloaded Bernard Malamud's The Natural. So now I have puh-lenty to listen to and can get a simultaneous equivalent puh-lenty of knitting done, in between sessions of reading Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway using another modern convenience: my spectacles.

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