Nov 23


I love reading, I like the look and feel of a book and I like to see the words on the page. I won’t buy a Kindle or any other type of electronic reader because, to me, it wouldn’t be the same. I like the cover of the book, I like to see them lined up on the bookshelf when occasionally one will jump out and just beg to be read again. And I always oblige.

Sometimes though, being read to is sheer bliss. On a car journey the short stories on radio 4 are usually in serial form or just too darn short. So there is a gap to be filled.

Enter audiobooksforfree.com.

You can download talking books for free from this site in MP3 format (you can, of course convert them to CD format for the car or the home) and they only use professional actors and narrators to read them. No detached unearthly computerspeak which I find unlistenable to anyway.

You are spoilt for choice! Classics, fantasy, adventure, science fiction, spy stories, adventures and a huge selection of non fiction, too many to enumerate here.

There are long books, short books and in between books but each one is a gem.

At present I am reading (all right listening to, but I still think of it as reading) The Sign of Four, a Sherlock
Holmes story and I am enjoying it enormously. Do you know what pleases me? There are another 64 stories about him on the site along with Mark Twain, GK Chesterton, Dickens, O Henry etc… oh yes, the gang’s all here.

Just one thing though: there is a section called ‘modern’ which, at the time of writing has 104 titles. This is a very narrowly defined category and if you are expecting the latest Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Kate Atkinson or you will be disappointed, but that’s what Waterstones, Amazon and preferably the independent bookstores are for.

It’s easy to join, easy to download the stories, pretty good help section (although hardly needed, in truth) and I recommend it as one the Web’s greatest treasures.

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