Monday, March 31, 2008

Thank God for Librivox

It’s a beautiful, beautiful world.
Mine is a family that belongs to that exotic genus – The Voracious Reader. Books, magazines, eBooks, novels, nonfiction, self help, newspapers, the newsprint from paper bags - we move through it all like hardworking termites. 
When I was growing up, the most fascinating thing in the house was that big box full of books that my father had collected over the years. It had seemed to me then that I would probably read them through life, slowly, one book at a time. But as it turned out, I had chewed my way through that lot before I finished high school. Visitors to our house always ask that inevitable question-“Have you actually READ all these books?” No, we keep them on the advice of our decorator. 

This posting at Daman has contributed in a big way to my own collection. One of my friends here says that there are only two libraries in the city and the larger one is in the doc’s room. And here too, yesterday, “Auntie, have you read ALL these books?”

I recently volunteered to tidy up my brother’s bookshelf and to catalog it. Considering that it contained, at a vague estimate, some five hundred books, it wasn’t a mean offer. About an hour later, the poor guy walked into his room to see me perched on a table and reading The Times Guide to Everything. After that I read Now Put Those Strengths To Work. And then, five hours later, I went and convinced him that his bookshelf didn't really need tidying up.

I was convinced that I knew all about the joys that the printed word can give. And then, last month I discovered audiobooks. I love the internet. I love this new world that makes it so easy to share stories. Every night, I download a chapter and transfer it to my phone. And then I go to sleep with someone telling me my favorite stories, night after night. Haven’t explored nonfiction yet but have listened all my favorite authors one by one- Agatha Christie, P G Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers, G.K. Chesterton- they’re all there, at the reach of my fingertips. There is only one problem. I sometimes go to sleep in the middle of an chapter and can’t remember where to start it the next day! So I listen to the whole thing all over again. But not complaining, no. Even as I'm writing this, I'm downloading chapter two of 'Psmith in The City'(P G Wodehouse). I've read the print version about seventeen times.
Here are my recommendations for the best audiobooks available. Oh, and did I mention that they’re free? This one is absolutely the best of the lot. A seemingly limitless supply. Especially for Conan Doyle and G.K. Chesterton fans Check this one out for a wonderful reading of Alice in Wonderland. Some books here are in the wma or the wmd format so use some software like switch to turn them into mp3 files This one has one free audiobook every month. So bookmark it and visit it once a month. This month it’s Sherlock Holmes’ “Priory School” Look at this one for the two BBC radiobooks - one comedy and the other a mystery.

I'm curious about one thing though. How come I sleep better when a man is reading the story than when a woman is ?


  1. Thanks for very useful links ......Maamu.

  2. Recently i read somewhere that - "Read more books. Television is no substitute"
    And i am not much of a reader. So these audio clips will definitely help!

    So i would like to thank you for sharing your knowledge. (It's a way to achieve immortality).


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