Audio Books

When I was 15 years younger than I am now, I worked at an “Audio Bookstore” called Bookears.

Everyone thought that audio books were a ridiculous idea. They had this snobby snort of attitude, like if you’d only listen to a book if you couldn’t read. “What’s wrong with people today?”

Now that iPods are ubiquitous, and podcasts are getting more well known, people understand the idea of audio books. And a lot of people are willing to pay for them.

Until fairly recently, I was willing to pay a lot of money for college-level lectures recorded onto CDs. The quality of the sound, as well as the lecturer, was very high. But now I can get podcasts for free, with ugly sound, but excellent lecturers. I don’t pay anymore.

And for audio books, there’s librivox. This is free podcasts of books, read by volunteers (so the quality of the sound and the voices vary). The books are all in the public domain, so you’re not getting Harry Potter, but you might get Middlemarch, let’s say, or The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

When I say volunteers, I mean it the same way that I mean that volunteers write Wikipedia. In other words, anyone who wants to can upload a file. Since I’m just looking for ways to kill time, I’m considering reading and uploading Ben Franklin’s Autobiography.

Maybe this’ll help people hear books that they otherwise would have passed up. I think that’s a good thing. And free is always good. I don’t know how many people actually download this stuff, so I don’t know whether it’s worth it to bother, but it SEEMS as though it’s something worth while.

If you’re looking for a worthwhile thing to do.

One Response to Audio Books

  1. Kevin May 14, 2007 at 7:15 am #

    I think you should do a lot of them, but try to pretend your someone else. For instance, read Star Wars as Darth Vader. Or read 1776 with a British accent. Oh yeah, you said it had to be public domain. How about Beowolf, but with a surfer-dude accent? It could be a whole new artform.

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