Briefly Liberating the Mind

These days, as I become increasingly submerged by journal articles and text books, I don’t have the time, nor often the inclination, to read much fiction. However, walks into University and bus rides can be usefully spent snatching brief opportunities to listen to audio recordings of books.

I’ve long been a supporter of LibriVox, an outstanding non-profit organisation that campaigns to “acoustically liberate” books in the public domain, by releasing volunteer recordings free of charge on the web. The book readings are broken up into sizeable mp3 audio files available through downloads, weekly podcasts, and iTunes subscription. Not surprisingly perhaps, most of the books in the extensive catalogue feature multiple readers sharing chapter duties. However, root around and you’ll find plenty of single-author readings. Personally, I prefer these, they allow you to build trust with the reader as the narrative develops to create a sense of shared experience. A particular favourite is John Greenman’s lyrical reading of Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Librivox reminds us how a relatively old technology, the global distribution of the web, and people’s willingness to share their time, can combine to provide some of mankind’s finest thoughts free of charge.

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5 Responses to “Briefly Liberating the Mind”

  1. Tweets that mention Briefly Liberating the Mind | -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by inger mewburn, Andy Coverdale. Andy Coverdale said: New blog post – Briefly Liberating the Mind […]

  2. virginia Yonkers Says:

    Can you down load these to an mp3 player? My mother’s eyes are not what they used to be (at 84 years old) and she isn’t computer savey. However, like the digital picture frame, it is a great gift to give her all cued up and ready to go. Then my siblings and I will update her when she visits (about twice a year with each of the 5 siblings).

  3. Andy Coverdale Says:

    No problem. Everything you need here…

  4. Naomi J. Says:

    Great service! I hope they promote themselves to visually impaired people or those with learning difficulties. Digital technology is improving access to information for a lot of people.

  5. imp Says:

    If only LibriVox covers academic literature as well. I could download them and then play them when I sleep. It would then be internalised in my subconsciousness and critically analysed by my psyche. And when i wake up, I would be able to write my rev. lit. chapter. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

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