Free Audio Book Sources
As a reader, I never imagined I'd be loading audio books into my several years old iRiver T10--plays OGG and MP3 files--to listen to, but I'm engaged my stories more than ed-tech podcasts. I've listened to LibriVox recordings so much that "This is a Librivox recording" audio header they put on every recording has been driven into my brain, it is a voice a I hear when I think of audio books.
Angela Maiers--out with her new book Classroom Habitudes, by the way, that she's promised to send me for a review--shares this link to a review of OpenCulture, another provider of free audio books. Now, in my mind, I have the image of Librivox recorders as a monastery full of folks pouring themselves into their recordings. Part of this comes from the impression their blog, an almost spartan design that focuses on the content and not the people.
When you arrive at OpenCulture, I don't get that impression. There is a rich availability of content, including some advertising. So, if you watched the movie The Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, you may have remembered a part where Jack's character mentions Dante Aligheri's El Inferno. (I actually read it but find it too frightening to remember). If you want to listen to this classic piece, you can find it on OpenCulture's page right under an advertisement for Audible.com (where you have to pay for audio books).
OpenCulture seems to provide a list of places you can find audio books, rather than recording audiobooks themselves (in fact, some of them are Librivox online audio books). One of the recommendations is Scott Sigler, Sci-Fi writer, who releases his books as free audiobooks. Brilliant! He writes:
No, I'm not pulling your leg (or any other appendage), I have multiple free audiobooks for your listening pleasure. I record and release all of my books as a "podcast," which is a way to get audio files sent right to you, so you can listen on your computer, or transfer to a portable player and take them with you.He has several books...the podcast will serve as a great way to introduce me (or anyone else) to his writing. Then, I'll probably buy his books if I like the podcast. In fact, it's not an unheard of path, as one fan writes in:
i listened to the pod casts and read the book on infected, very nice work Scott. i enjoyed the podcast so much that i had to get the book, after i finished the book i went on your website and got the earthcore pod casts and even though i have only listened to the first 5 chapters i still think you will never lose your touch. my reading life now revolves around Scott sigler, writer extraordinaire. keep it up mate, your doing well. jay.Definitely worth checking out. In the meantime, wouldn't it be neat to have all these free book sources bookmarked and in one place?
A short list appears here:
- , the main source for these audio books
- OpenCulture's list
- LearnOutLoud - free audio and video titles
- Storynory - free audio books for Kids
- PodioBooks - lots of audio books.
BTW, in my travels I stumbled on a non-audio book source...Baen books offering books for free online. It was funny to read at the hesitation in putting books in audio format online. It reminded me of The Alchemist author's (Paul Coelho) words:
In 2001, I sold 10,000 hard copies. And everyone was puzzled. We came from zero, from 1000, to 10,000. And then the next year we were over 100,000. [...]Definitely reading now....
I thought that this is fantastic. You give to the reader the possibility of reading your books and choosing whether to buy it or not. [...]
So, I went to BitTorrent and I got all my pirate editions… And I created a site called The Pirate Coelho.
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