LibriVox – download free audiobooks from the public domain…and you can volunteer to record them too!

A couple days ago my work friend and I were talking about doing voice recordings for podcasts and she told me about LibriVox. Established in 2005, it’s a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project run by volunteers and is dedicated to recording and providing audiobooks from the public domain. Anyone (including you!) who wants to record one of these books is welcome to do so. They currently have more than 12 thousand volunteer readers.

Here’s a brief description from their website explaining what they do and how they do it:

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain, and then we release the audio files back onto the net for free. All our audio is in the public domain, so you may use it for whatever purpose you wish. Please note: Our readers are free to choose the books they wish to record. LibriVox sees itself as a library of audiobooks. Because the books we read are in the public domain, our readers and listeners should be aware that many of them are very old, and may contain language or express notions that are antiquated at best, offending at worst.

Volunteering for LibriVox is easy and does not require any experience with recording or audio engineering or acting or public speaking. All you need is a computer, a microphone, some free recording software, and your own voice. We accept all volunteers in all languages, with all kinds of accents. You’re welcome to volunteer to read any language you speak, as long as you can make yourself understood in it. You don’t need to audition, but we do suggest a 1-Minute Test recording just to check your setup. We’ll accept you no matter what you sound like.

Doesn’t this sound fun? I hopped on their website to check it out and found these audiobooks ready for download. I listened to the beginnings of a couple and they sounded good!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In Our Time by Ernest Hemingway

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

So what do you think, would you listen to one of these audiobook versions? You can use a computer or download the app to your phone. Would you volunteer to record a book? Leave a comment!

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