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.


6 Responses to “Librivox”

  1. Trudy Gonzalez Says:

    Ahh, to have Tony Hopkins as a personal reader. Would you share?

  2. Ruth Says:

    I’m sorry Trudy but I intend to keep Anthony Hopkins just for me. I’ve been in love with him since he played Pierre in War & Peace on the Beeb some time in the 1970s. Maybe he has a brother?

  3. Trudy Gonzalez Says:

    I’ve loved him since Magic. He is an only child…no brother.. :)
    War & Peace is coming out on DVD this month…check it out. He will be on Regis on Wednesday and Conan on Thursday…promoting Slipstream and Beowulf…enjoy!

  4. Ruth Says:

    Not sure when Magic was but I reckon the Beeb W&P must have have been no later than 1973. So who has has prior claim?

  5. Trudy Gonzalez Says:

    War and Peace, 1972
    Magic, 1978
    You win :(
    Did you see him when he was on Oprah and she had him reading the yellow pages to her?

  6. Simon Says:

    Oo, intriguing… I wonder if my technophobia will be able to cope. And I’m a sucker for anything read by Judi Dench… though, I suspect, not for the same reasons as yourself and Mr. Hopkins.

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