LibriVox Turns Five

Posted on August 10, 2010 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News | Comments: 20 Comments on LibriVox Turns Five

On August 10, 2005 I put up a website, called it LibriVox, and posted the following:

LibriVox is a hope, an experiment, and a question: can the net harness a bunch of volunteers to help bring books in the public domain to life through podcasting?

LibriVox is an open source audio-literary attempt to harness the power of the many to record and disseminate, in podcast form, books from the public domain. It works like this: a book is chosen, then *you*, the volunteers, read and record one or more chapters. We liberate the audio files through this webblog/podcast every week (?).

Five years later, it seems as if the answer is: yes.

Our latest catalog statistics are the following:

* Number of completed projects: 3,656
* Number of completed non-English projects: 533
* Total number of languages: 31
* Number of languages with a completed work: 29
* Number of completed solo projects: 1676
* Number of readers: 3889

For the last six months, we’ve averaged 87 books a month, or just under 3 books per day.

Total recorded time: 76119522 seconds, or 2 years, 150 days, 12 hours, 41 minutes, and 10 seconds. Total of 76226 sections.

We’ve achieved all this in large part thanks to wonderful resources of our partners: Project Gutenberg, who still provide the bulk of our texts; Distributed Proofreaders, who help proofread Gutenberg texts; the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who help point us in the right direction on the rare occasions when we have legal questions; and of course the Internet Archive, who host all of our terabytes of audio files (for free).

Thank you also to those who donated in our first-ever fund-raiser, to help keep LibriVox servers (the non-audio ones) paid-for for the foreseeable future.

And finally: thank you to all the volunteers: the proof-listeners, and the readers, and the BCs and MCs and CD-cover makers, the coders and sysadmins, and all of you who help keep LibriVox going.

I’m looking forward to the next five years.

Perhaps you’d like to help us record more public domain books?



  1. Seth says:

    Happy Birthday LibriVox! Thanks for the audiobooks and good luck in your continued success!

  2. Happy birthday, dear LibriVox! Thanks for five years of fun!

  3. Mark Penfold says:

    Happy 5th, LibriVox!!!!! If you a 5 year-old kid, I’d send you a great big toy airplane! You have brought immense joy to my life!!! Thank you ten thousand times!!!!!

  4. Seb Paquet says:

    2 years, 150 days, 12 hours, 41 minutes, and 10 seconds. This means that on average over 5 years, there were almost 12 hours recorded every day. Pretty amazing.

  5. Eric Johnson says:

    LibriVox is a treasure! I’ve told nearly everyone I know about this site, and I will continue to do so. After listening consistantly over the last two years, I feel like I “know” some of the readers, I promise to join your ranks soon.

  6. Gord Mackenzie says:

    The amount of work and value that has been freely contributed and made available to all people (at least those people with an internet connection) is truly staggering.

    Happy Birthday, Librivox!

  7. Evo Terra says:

    Happiest of birthdays, Hugh! See you at 10!

  8. miette says:

    I knew you were prodigious, Librivox, but most five-year-olds are just grappling with basic literacy skills. Happy birthday, genius.

  9. Glenn White says:

    I recently passed on a few librivox books to a friend, who has NEVER READ A BOOK in his life! He keeps nagging me for more now. How’s that for a birthday present!

  10. Benita says:

    Librivox is a terrestial treasure–and I imagine that in the decades to come it will become an extra-terrestial treasure, too! Thank you for so many happy hours with old friends and new: books and readers!

  11. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been listening about two years and had no idea how young Librivox was. I promote it to all my reading friends; listening is part of my daily routine. Where are the Icelandic readers? and Yiddish readers? There are languages and stories that deserve preservation.

  12. LibriVox Admin Team says:

    Do you speak Icelandic or Yiddish, Carolyn? Then you know what to do…

  13. Alex says:

    I discovered this website by accident when I was trying to find a way to keep me occupied 8 months ago when I quit smoking, thank you librivox for keeping me smoke free and sane, I am 7 chapters in to a recording and when I learn how to upload it I will LOL.
    Thank you to all the readers I have enjoyed so far and just to let you all know I would have deffinatelly smoked without this brilliant site,Now into my 25th book, great idea Happy 5th Anniversary.

  14. RuthieG says:

    @ Alex: You will be made very welcome, Alex. I am glad you enjoy listening, and even happier that you want to dive in and record. I do recommend you to come along now to the forum and post a short test recording. Not an audition – just to make sure that your technical settings, volume, background noise are OK. It could save you a lot of work in the future. :)

  15. Dodie says:

    I love your website. I have downloaded over 59GB of books (thanks for an external harddrive). I drive 100 miles round trip to work each day and I do not know what I would do without you. Thanks to all who makes this possible.

  16. Happy Birthday you guys.

    It was all down to you that I decided to get int Audio Books

    In years to come I’ll either blame you or thank you.


  17. Simon Cooper says:

    Dear Librivox,
    Doing an arts course using librivox as a resource is the difference between sitting in a cubicle and reading Paradise Lost or bushwalking, walking along the beach, shopping or driving listening to Paradise Lost. I have found Paradise with Librivox.
    Happy Birthday and thank you Librivox. You’re the ant’s pants!!


  18. Nemo Agnomen says:

    Happy birthday, Librivox. Your growth in the next 5 years will be even greater than in the first five. I started using this site several months ago. Today, for the first time in a face to face conversation, someone recommended this site to me. Word is spreading.

  19. Dick Sherman says:

    Congratulations on five successful years. I stumbled onto Librivox several months ago and what a treasure. I’m retired and do a lot of work in my yard, garden and shop and books make the day go wonderfully well. I don’t get as much done as I used to because I get involved in a story and I sit down and listen a bit before finishing my work.
    What a wonderful site. Thank you and your wonderful readers for great listening.

  20. As a relatively “New Comer” to Librivox, I would like to Thank you for all of the older Folks and Shut ins that can no longer do what they would like to do due to disabilities or just getting too old.
    As a child I used to “escape into books and travel around the world, universe, and time through books, Now that I am older and not able to comfortably physically travel any longer, I find that through your efforts that I am able to do it all over again through your Audio books!
    I cannot thank you and your volunteers enough…

    God Bless you all


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