August 08

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Librivox reaches ten thousand free audiobooks

A quick note to congratulate Librivox on its eleventh anniversary, and reaching a milestone. Librivox is a community of volunteers with no budget, offices, or paid staff. In the last eleven years we have recorded 10 000 books into audio format and released them into the public domain.

You won’t find modern best-sellers on Librivox, but if you like the classics, or you’d like to listen to books of niche interest that can’t support the expense of a professional recording, then it’s an excellent resource. More modern books can be downloaded from the Library’s catalogue.

I’m a Librivox reader, and I was thrilled when our “cleanup month” this year, where we try to push along books which have been lingering, became a sort of rolling, international co-operative arts project. During the cleanup period (which has not yet concluded) over 200 books were completed. That’s a record for the group. It seems like August may also be a record breaking month, as many of us moved our projects up to try and help reach the goal of 10 000 books. That having been passed, new books are still coming in, and some of the participants are wanting to keep the energy going until¬†September.

I sped up my own recording of Autobiography of a Seaman, so that instead of a chapter a month I worked on one every second night. Then I roamed around the lists of books which needed helpers and pushed them along. Librivox finally has a recording of the longest novel in English (Clarissa Harlowe) which only needed two, male, incidental characters to clear up. I recorded the last chapter of British Goblins by Wirt Skyes, a copy of which I bought in Glastonbury many years ago, and so it has vast sentimental appeal to me. The Kalavela has been lingering in a partially completed state for years, and so I recorded big chunks of it. It was fun to do because it’s epic poetry in an odd metre.It still needs one chapter to be available for download.

Like many of the more fanatical Librivoxers, I arranged to have a day of annual leave during cleanup month, but by the time it had come around, we’d already reached the target. ¬†I spent the day pushing on less mature projects, like a collection of Korean folktales, a cookbook, and a late Ninteenth Century police training manual. I also downloaded the 10 000th book, Strange Stories From A Chinese Studio, which is, again, folklore.

So, congratulations again!