LibriVox, Project Gutenberg, and Loyal Books

I just thought I would pass along something I found of great value that will cost you nothing and perhaps improve you greatly.

Project Gutenberg is an effort to make classic books off copyright free to the public. Many classics are yours free via Kindle and other e-readers courtesy of this project.

LibraVox is an all volunteer project to create audio books from places like Project Gutenberg, and do so to the public for free. You can volunteer to narrate a chapter or even a book.

Loyal Books has taken the audiobooks from LibraVox, and indexed them by genre complete with reviews and snynopsis of the book, as well as a web based player, and other vehicles to play it such as iTunes Podcast or RSS Feed or MP3 Download.

I find that when I am gaming doing something routine and grindy, I can load up one of these books and let it just wash over me. Thus two great passions are satisfied at the same time. Better, some books I would never consider reading on my own since they are pretty hefty matter can play in the background and I get something out of them. For example the 9/11 Comission report is not anything I would read for fun, and also I have done things like Plato’s Republic via Loyal Books.

The volunteer nature of this project at LibraVox is interesting. You may have skilled narrators in chapter 1, and then people who bumble along in chapter 2. What I find great is that some of these books are so important to some people that they do the entire book, and that passion comes through.


You reminded me… I used to proofread for Project Gutenburg when they were first scanning books in… long long ago!


That was a different Gutenburg, Juulz.

[Runs away, really fast.]


I will throw Standard eBooks onto the list. It’s like project Gutenberg, except they dress the books up with a nice cover, ensure the formatting is correct, and then do a release.


Thanks. Hadn’t thought about Gutenberg in a long time.

Hmmm… I wonder if they got really busy this year?

Guess I’ll check back and see what fresh stuff they might have… (Well, old ‘fresh’ - but classics. Age like wine.)


Thanks very much. I might just try volunteering for Librivox.

I used to be a volunteer reader for Learning Ally, back when they were still called Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic. I really enjoyed it back then, so might be time to get out there again!


I don’t know if this ( is the method that juulz was referring to, but I volunteered with them during 2005-07ish.


These are some great links, thank you all! The only one I’d known before was Project Gutenberg.

Semi-relatedly (as far as thinky crowdsourcing goes), I thought I’d share info about Zooniverse. Scientific projects that need crowdsourcing go on there. For instance, they might be looking for people to tag all the wolves in certain surveillance stuff, to track their movement patterns. Or they might be transcribing old Civil War letters, stuff like that.

Thanks for all the great info!

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My son did a stint at NIH per his HS senior year project, and many of the researchers were using apprentices from the local area high schools to do all of the tedious frame by frame identification. One could buy this service online, but HS apprentices were much cheaper.

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Didn’t know about Loyal Books or Standard eBooks, thanks!