Friday, June 7, 2013

Librivox Audio Books

by Kristen
I love audio books, which I get free from the library, and podcasts which I can stream on my iPhone.  I often do this laying in bed at night, or on the road in my RV when there is no TV reception, maybe even no electrical power.  It is a source of endless entertainment and education, for free, forever, without straining my eyes.  To help with my insomnia, my husband sometimes reads me to sleep, but when he's not around (like at most agility trials), these podcasts "read me to sleep", and when I wake up in the night, they can "read me to sleep" again.

Interesting factoids: 
- you can stream podcasts on your iPhone ALL NIGHT LONG and it hardly consumes any battery!
- If you have Wi-Fi, set your phone up for that and you won't use up your Cellular Data quota
- If you have the Unlimited Cellular Data plan, like I do, it doesn't cost any extra to go that route.

My good friend Phil has been after me to turn my attention to recording as well as listening to Public Domain books through an awesome volunteer organization called Librivox, an online community which in 7 short years has organized over 8000 volunteers to audio-record and help upload over 6759 books, short story collections, poems, and topical programs. Librivox organizes and stores them FREE to anyone through their website. It's an amazingly successful effort with fun at its core.

As so many agility folks I know enjoy reading, I thought I would share how to check out the Librivox website.  You can listen via download or streaming through iTunes or other programs listed, on your computer, iPhone, iPad, mp3 player, etc.  There are whole books, poetry, short story collections, and last night in bed, lights out, dogs curled up all around me, I went to their Community Podcasts, randomly chose one, and was surprised with a charming 50 minute talk on The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, including some wonderful verse plus a discussion of the history of the poet, the plusses and minuses of the various translations.  Some Librivox volunteers specialize in recording one particular author or genre and bring you a whole lifetime of expertise on that one topic, and all as volunteers.  Fascinating!

I have only begun to search through all of Librivox's offerings. Here's a video Phil made on how to find material to listen to at

Upwards and onward!

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