I have been checking and updating some of this website’s links to online resources and thought it might be useful to post some regular reviews of the various links, promoting interesting items. I am starting here, with a look at audiobooks.
Audiobooks are a great way to listen to stories, essays, lectures, discussions etc around the house or garden, in the car/train/bus, or on your daily walk or jog, from your phone, tablet, MP3 player, laptop or computer. Or save a selection of downloaded MP3 files to an audio CD for even more flexibility.
I have recently been delving into Librivox‘s collection. This contains mostly North American titles but it does include out of copyright UK authors, such as Shelley, Dickens and George Elliot. I have downloaded a selection of these for some leisurely reading, but I have also been exploring the works of The Great Agnostic, Robert Green Ingersoll, and most particularly two volumes of his lectures which make interesting and inspiring listening. He was obviously a very powerful orator, and he presents some wonderful arguments for rational thinking and against religious dogma and indoctrination – all the more awe inspiring for having been written and presented over 150years ago! Have a listen to his lecture on Individuality.
There are a number of sites providing audiobooks (as distinct from podcasts, which I will review later), which you can stream directly from the site or, more usually, download as MP3 files, and I have listed several of these collections on this website’s Resources|Listening page. These include: Librivox, Open Culture, Listening Books, and Loyal Books. Downloaded MP3s can be played via your media/music player – iTunes, Groove music, Realplayer etc (media players available by default or apps can be installed from your system’s market place/store).
Many people are not aware that there are also apps, such as Libby or Borrowbox, available for you to ‘borrow’ audiobooks from your local library service.
There are no doubt many more collections of public domain audio recordings available online, and if anyone is aware of any other useful such resources, please send me details by email and I will add them to the webpage list. (N.B. I am only listing free resources, but there are also a number of paid subscription services, such as Audible, which give access to a large catalogue of audiobook titles for a fee.)