The LibriVox audio books project is rapidly gaining popularity. After a mention on the tech-hip blog BoingBoing, the number of volunteers has increased dramatically. LibriVox lets volunteers record their readings of public domain books from Project Gutenberg, and publishes those recordings as a public domain podcast.
Since BoingBoing linked to the project, initiator Hugh (“LibriVox was started, actually, because I wanted a free audio version of the Secret Agent“) has had to think up a list of new books to be read quickly, because demand was greater than supply for a moment.
And now the press is picking up on this and similar projects, with an article in the Book Standard.
Sometimes it just is not at all clear what makes a website or project so special that people will flock to it. If you want to see a virtual boom town grow, hurry over to LibriVox. Last week it was just a weblog where some fifteen people had promised to read a chapter of a book each. This week, “buildings” (books) are popping up left, right and center, and the “mayor” has already announced that he needs help, that he cannot run the “town” alone anymore. Who knows where LibriVox could be half a year from now, or a year?
This is the birth of an audio book publisher, and everybody gets to witness it.
Meanwhile, the TeleRead bloggers have done their bit by recording chapter 5 of Joseph Conrad’s “Secret Agent”.