Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Books, Trucks and Audiobooks!

The earliest memory I have of reading is learning all the letters at school, with Benny Bunny, Hairy Hat Man and the Wicked Water Witch!  I remember that I lost interest in reading shortly after that, I was too young to appreciate the pleasure in reading and the adventures in the pages, as are most kids of that age.

I started to fall behind the rest of my class a little because frankly, Dick Meets Jane and Freddy Has A Red Ball wasn't the most captivating story to draw the kids in but its all the teachers had i suppose. My Mum and Dad had the bright idea of buying me some Little Comic books to see if that would peak my interest.  A couple of false starts reading the Forty Thieves Of Baghdad comic book I was off to a running start and have never looked back and thus my love of reading was born, all down to my Mum and Dad having a great idea to peak my interest in reading.

Over the years I have read all sorts of books, mainly Sci-Fi, StarWars novels and crime fiction, but other genres besides. I cannot say I have ever read "the classics" but when I find something i like I read as much of it as I can.  I have Devoured Terry Pratchett and James Patterson, Trudged through Wilbur Smith novels and guessed my way through James Patterson and Michael Connolly novels over the years.

In recent years though I have had very little time for reading, mainly due to being a normal human being who is married, has a family and a job. This is where audiobooks come in to my life.

As I explain in m previous post about podcasts I drive for a living, I drive a lot, and UK radio is garbage.  So to while away the hours I looked to podcasts, and then through a moment of inspiration I began to look for story podcasts to listen to.  This is when I discovered LibriVox.

LibriVox.org is a community of book lovers from all over the world who set themselves a task of taking works of fiction that were now out of copyright and creating audiobooks in a variety of languages for all to enjoy. The best part about this is that they do it for free! They got together as a community and depending on the book and the people involved, Chapters are assigned to volunteers who wish to help create the audiobook. The Volunteers take their assigned chapters and then record themselves reading them aloud. Then they pass the audio files back to the book coordinator for editing and compiling. once all the chapters are recorded, edited and compiled, the audiobook is then released to the general public to download for free.

Now this to me is an amazing idea and has brought me many hours of pleasure, I have listened to books I would probably never have picked up to read even if I could find a serviceable copy of the book in the first place. From H.G. Welles War Of The Worlds and The Invisible Man, Jules Vernes Around The World In 80 Days to the Tarzan Series of books and even Robert Louis Stevensons Treasure Island!  All of these books I could probably never have gotten through if I had actually read them, instead I was transported through many lands of adventure while driving around the UK doing my job.

LibriVox volunteers are form all over the world, from all age groups and all share the same love of literature that many do, but do not have the time for.  They are always looking for volunteers to read chapters to further their ever expanding library of copyright free audiobooks, and if you would like to listen to the audiobooks these guys have produced or even volunteer to read for them, you can do this at www.librivox.org

Laters

Chris