I have found Librivox! What a joy! What a delight! This is Project Gutenberg meets Robert Green’s you-need-a-story, all smooshed together in the most pleasant, meaningful way.

Volunteers from all over the world record themselves reading, choosing books from Project Gutenberg, (another collection of amazingly generous volunteers who make books in the public domain available to read on line). These recordings are then made available, for free, to be downloaded from Librivox. There is a search facility on the main page, allowing you to check and see if your favourite books have made it yet.

And anyone can join! You can download and listen to some of the best authors ever; Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Howard Pyle, Thomas Hardy – all complete and unabridged. There are works of non-fiction, works in other languages, serious texts and frivolous fancies. You can volunteer, and contribute your voice to the over 1000 members reading things for other’s enjoyment.

We love to listen to audio books in our family. We use them on long drives, and it is great to have all members of the family able to share a story together, rather than each reading/doing their own thing. Robert Green from “you need a story” chooses wholesome, family friendly stories each week that my children listen to while doing the dishes each night (which, I might add, I am sure lengthens the process considerably, as they tend to pause at all the dramatic points!), and to have the option of also browsing Librivox, for longer works for the extended drives, is almost like being spoilt!

There is something so essentially nurturing in being read aloud to. I doubt I will ever grow too old to appreciate it! If you have a little spare time, a microphone that plugs into a USB port, and a kind heart, why not join up and spread the love!

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