Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Free Audiobooks

This isn't a book review, but I thought those of you who are struggling to complete your Project Fill in the Gaps might appreciate this site with free audiobooks that are in the public domain. Lots of the classics.

I don't really think all books should be free, though. My rule of thumb is that if the author is alive, I buy the book new. If the author is dead, well . . .

A word of caution: because the readings are done on a volunteer basis, some books are better than others. RAT CATCHER, for example, sounds as though the reader is actually a computer. The sentences run together and the inflections are in all the wrong places. But OUR MUTUAL FRIEND sounds wonderful so far. Pay attention to the starred books and you'll most likely find a keeper.

I'll take this down if it's inappropriate. Just say so in the comments.

8 comments:

stacy said...

Just keeping track of the comments . . .

moonrat said...

wow, this is really cool. thanks for the link. i wish i had means of listening to anything (i've never even bought an ipod... or stereo...) but have always thought about it for the sake of audio books.

i've heard in particular some of the really daunting classics--eg Finnigan's Wake--are actually better on audio book, because you can be doing other things with your hands and eyes while listening, which makes you less likely to bleakly give up in confused boredom.

ps i have the same buying policy you do re: living authors. that's smart. that way living authors get credit for their work, and the lazy, useless heirs of dead authors don't. ;)

stacy said...

Moonrat, so glad you like it! I lived in Chicago for over six years and never had use for audiobooks until now (I'm moving to California and will have a car.)

I do actually tell myself that re: the heirs of dead authors when I buy used books or frequent sites such as the one I linked. ; )

Angela Ackerman said...

Neat--I had no idea this existed. This will be great for finding the classics!

Thanks!

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

fairyhedgehog said...

This is a useful link! I tend not to listen much to audio now because of my hearing problems - I have to concentrate more to listen than I do when reading. But when I used to drive to work, audio books were brilliant.

My two favourites were Bel Canto and Never Let Me Go. Brilliant!

stacy said...

Hope you find it useful, Angela!

But with your new bionic hearing, Fairy, you might change your mind. : )

fairyhedgehog said...

*laughs*

You never know!

Jane Steen said...

The Classic Tales podcast (www.theclassictales.com) is another great resource. I have become familiar with many great classics through this site. It's always the same reader, site founder BJ Harrison, so if you don't like his voice don't bother. The podcast is free; older books and some full-length specials are moderately priced.