Do you like classic and English literature or would you like to delve into the world of classic literature but just can’t afford it? Or perhaps your local library is too far away? This summer I had the opportunity to delve into the world of Bram Stoker’s Dracula via LibriVox.org a website that provides “free audio books from public domain”. Public domain refers to written works that no longer fall under the protection of copyright. At the moment, anything before 1923.

How do public domain books become audio books? LibriVox has volunteers who commit to reading a chapter (or sometimes a whole book). Each book may be made up of audio files from different readers from different countries. It makes for an interesting listen! The LibriVox site just celebrated their third year in production. The site is completely run by volunteers as a non-commercial project. You won’t find any annoying advertising although some readers may mention their blogs or websites at the beginning or end of their readings. They work in conjunction with Project Gutenberg who is the original non-profit site for public domain ebooks.

There are two ways you can listen to LibriVox’s audio books. You can sign up for iTunes and register for their three times weekly podcast (it’s very easy) which highlights a new book every week. Or you can search through their catalog of interesting titles and download them to your computer or MP3 device. They have over 1600 audio books and growing. In minutes you can be listening to such well known writers as Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen, Gustave Flaubert, John Keats, Edgar Allen Poe, Beatrix Potter, William Butler Yeats and many more.

If you have some spare time you should considering donating your time and your voice to an inspirational recording. No experience is necessary and they have an online guide to talk you through the process.

I highly recommend supporting this online audio book resource.

Visit LibriVox.

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