RandomAlex posted last night about LibriVox and it’s so good I decided I should share.

LibriVox is a growing collection of audiobooks read and checked by volunteers.  Everything operates under a Creative Commons licence, so you can download and play as you like.  Everything is old, of course, because copyrighted books can’t be used under this licensing.  If you like the classics, you’re home and hosed.

There are often many versions of a text, and it’s worth listening to the first moments of a few before deciding which to download.  I went through five nasal Adrian Mole voices reading ‘To His Coy Mistress’ badly before finding a reader I liked.  Lucky for me, once you find a voice you like, you can search for more books read by that person.  Some of them are so good it’s like being back in undergrad, listening to a professor reading a poem and realising – aha! – that’s what all the fuss is about!

I haven’t heard of these folks before, but I’m so happy Alex found them.   Dan and I both love listening to audiobooks.  Data entry and mopping, for instance, are that much less painful with dramatic Stephen King stories or Daphne du Maurier drama.  Having exhausted each others’ collections, we were about to give in to audible.com — but then the Aussie dollar crashed and burned, and we’d have to be much richer than we are to afford a twelve month commitment in $US.  LibriVox is a great alternative, and I might finally get around to ‘reading’ Dickens.

Someone else can have a go at ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’, though.