March, 2013

A Misunderstanding in the New York Times

Posted on March 14, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, For Volunteers, in the press, News, on the web, Uncategorized | Comments: 4 Comments on A Misunderstanding in the New York Times

On March 12th (online) and March 13th (printed edition), we were delighted to see our friend John Greenman figure in an article in the New York Times “Older adults start new chapters in their work lives”. It is great to see a picture of him with his recording set-up.

However, the article failed to state that he makes NO MONEY from his recordings at LibriVox, where every recording is made by volunteers completely without payment.

We have asked the New York Times to amend the online version of the article, to correct this misapprehension. (EDITED TO ADD: They have now done so – thanks NYT.)

This confusion, which has caused John considerable dismay, has arisen because he now also makes paid recordings for Iambik Audiobooks. You can find John’s commercial Iambik recordings here.

John has been a LibriVox volunteer reader for over seven years, and has dedicated himself to recording for LibriVox just about everything Mark Twain ever wrote. You can find all his free LibriVox recordings on his catalogue page here.

So, just to clarify: all LibriVox narrators, proof-listeners and administrators are completely unpaid volunteers, and make audiobooks just for the love of books and the public domain. There are now 6469 available for free download, and new recordings are being released at a rate of about 3 a day. Most recordings are in English, but we also have hundreds of recordings in other languages.

All volunteers are made most welcome at our friendly and helpful forum, so if you would like to join us, please register on our forum, and discover the joy of recording audiobooks.

If you would like to listen to some of our recordings, our catalogue can be searched by author, book title, genre, language or reader here.



UPGRADES: coming very soon to our forum, wiki & website!

Posted on March 6, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, News | Comments: 1 Comment on UPGRADES: coming very soon to our forum, wiki & website!

TOMORROW we will be doing some software upgrades, as part of our Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded project. We plan to update our forum, wiki and the WordPress software which runs our website and catalogue. The new software has already been tested with all our data and systems and there won’t be many visible differences. The site will be down while we upgrade everything (otherwise we’re trying to hit a moving target, and that’s no fun.) We’ll be starting at 10am EST, and think it will take a maximum of 3 hours to do.

Check the Grand Countdown for information about your own timezone.


? Will anyone be able to use the site while it’s being upgraded?
= NO, everything will be down. It’ll be like when we moved servers, only in hours rather than days.

? How will we know what’s happening if the site’s down?
= We’ll try to use Twitter and Facebook … and or just hit page-refresh occasionally until we come back.

? Does this affect our files at
= No, they’ll be accessible as normal; but people won’t be able to use our catalogue to get to them.

? How long will it take?
= Depends on how much coffee our sysadmin has for breakfast. He’s asked for a 3hr window, so that’s the current estimate.

? Seriously, are there no changes in the software?
= Well, the new wiki search is much better! I don’t remember seeing anything different about the forum when I was testing (writes Cori.) For the most part, these updates are for stability and security, not functionality (that’s coming Real Soon Now. ;)


Like Day and Night

Posted on March 1, 2013 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, For Volunteers, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 1 Comment on Like Day and Night

On the equinox both day and night are 12 hours long. The following 10 gems from our catalog are concerned with differences – and equality.

Photogen is a boy who never saw the moon. Nycteris is a girl who never saw the sun. Find out what happens when The Day Boy and the Night Girl overstep their boundaries set by the witch Watho and meet – in the lovely novel by George MacDonald.

Also like day and night, or rather like Tempest and Sunshine are the two sisters Fanny and Julia. Mary Jane Holmes weaves her story of the life of the different siblings in the pre-civil war South of the US.

The South of England is the home of Margaret, but circumstances force her family to move to an industry town in the North. Elizabeth Gaskell’s second social novel North and South focuses on the views of the employers.

All of Charles Dickens‘ novels can be considered as social critiques. So is The Old Curiosity Shop, where young Nell lives with her old grandfather until they lose all their money and are foced to live as beggars. We also have a Dutch version of this book.

Had Robin Hood been around, he would certainly have provided for them – with money stolen from the rich. Read J. Walker McSpadden’s book about the hero from Sherwood and decide for yourself whether he was a real person.

But money is not everything, as Gwendolyn already knows in the novel by Eleanor Gates. Left by her rich parents in the care of negligent servants, The Poor Little Rich Girl takes the wrong medicine – and promptly finds herself in a strange world…

From rags to riches only works if the outside appearance is matched by the speech of the person. At least that’s what Prof. Higgins believes in George Bernard Shaw’s famous play Pygmalion, as he tries to have poor Eliza pass as lady of society.

Mark Twain, with his sharp wits had a great time commenting – in disguised literary form – on current events. Sketches new and Old is a collection of his shorter writings.

Always old and always new – every religion is reinterpreted by every generation. In Henry Scougal’s letter The Life of God in the Soul of Man he dwells on his definition of true religion.

The English poet William Blake had his own view on religion. In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell he describes a visit to hell, which he sees as source of energy, as opposed to a more regulated vision of heaven.

Enjoy the attraction of the opposites!


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