As regular readers have noticed, I am an enthusiast of “free” books – those texts out of the public domain which have been uploaded to Internet archives and digital libraries. I’m also a fan of audiobooks, which I’ve taken to playing while I clean, commute, or generally bum around the house (note reverse order of preference). Librivox is a mashup of the two: Public domain books read by unpaid volunteers. The downside, of course, is that the readings aren’t always on par with professional readers, but then, you get what you pay for, and the online catalogue is free.

Librivox’s official website is disappointing in layout – there’s no way to search for subjects, only titles and authors, but has helpfully broken down all the categories. A quick glance shows Sam Watkins and Mary Chesnut amongst the titles, and I’m going to listen to Leander Stillwell’s diary. All three were heavily quoted in the Ken Burns series.

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