I’m sure you’ve heard of Project Gutenberg, haven’t you? That’s right, it’s “a library of 17000 free ebooks whose copyright has expired in the USA”. So you can have a look at an online version of short stories by Edith Wharton before you decide whether or not you want to go rummaging around the online secondhand bookshops to locate a copy.
Librivox appears to be a newborn sibling to that amazing project. It describes itself as “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”. You can download and listen to books, even burn them to CDs to listen to them in your car or put them on an mp3 player. You can also subscribe to a regular podcast. That way I suppose it will be a bit of a lucky dip or an opportunity to widen your “reading” taste. I have yet to investigate Librivox but I am keeping my fingers crossed that technology will not exclude me from this interesting proposition. I am currently unable to listen again or live to any BBC Radio programme because my dearly beloved has installed 64 bit Windows on our computer and the Beeb hasn’t caught up with us yet.
So, you can be a passive listen to a Librivox recording or more excitingly you can be one of the readers so that others may enjoy these books. Recently Stuck-in-a-Book was pondering on whether you can be prejudiced against an author because of their gender or what you thought was their gender. So what happens when you listen to an audio book and someone of the wrong sex, in your opinion at least, reads the book? Does it matter if the reader is from the wrong side of the Atlantic or has a thick or even slight foreign or regional accent? Who would you most like to read to you. For starters I’m claiming Anthony Hopkins as my personal reader.