Great CD Audiobooks of the Western World
January 30, 2012 5:41 AM   Subscribe

My question is very simple. I want to "read" the Brittinanica Great Books of the Western World on CD audio while I'm doing housework.

It doesn't have to be the exact editions in the classic Brittanica publication, though that would be great.

I'm just looking for a CD audio spoken word "text" of all those classics, or the closest approximation. I'm aware of the many, many threads discussing the *phenomenon* of Great Books, but I'm more interested in *getting them, via this precise medium*.

Since they're more or less all public domain, bonus points if it's available extremely cheaply e.g. as some kind of open source project. Commercial audiobooks of the classics seems amazingly costly, at least on A.
posted by KMH to Education (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by ocherdraco at 6:00 AM on January 30, 2012

To clarify, they're a great source for public domain audiobooks. You'll have to burn the mp3s to CD yourself.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:02 AM on January 30, 2012

...bonus points if it's available extremely cheaply e.g. as some kind of open source project.

The only way you're going to get cheap is by downloading files and burning (if you must) your own CDs.

I was going to link to a particular site, but now realize that the site I found was just linking in turn to LibriVox, which has already been mentioned.

On second preview, my entire answer is now superfluous.
posted by jon1270 at 6:04 AM on January 30, 2012

LibriVox provides free recordings of public-domain books. But the readers are not professionals, and you would have to burn the CDs yourself.

I'm sure you have a reason for wanting them on CD but given that, for example, Moby-Dick (one of the volumes) is 19 CDs long (not including etymologies and extracts!), assuming the other 50ish volumes in the series would be of similar length, that would be about 1,000 CDs for the entire series. Unless there is some pressing reason for the CDs, it would probably be cheaper to buy an inexpensive MP3 player.
posted by mskyle at 6:04 AM on January 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Commericial audiobooks are costly to buy, but you may well be able to borrow a good many of them from your public library for nothing.

Overdrive seems to be the software used by most libraries, and it should be able to burn them to CD or transfer them to an MP3 player. The linked site will help you search for titles in libraries.
posted by philipy at 7:40 AM on January 30, 2012

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