30 Days of Thanks #5- Librivox.org

I rarely listen to music when I run. Somehow it messes with my mind. I tend to focus on how many songs I’ve run through rather than how far I’ve actually gone. At the end of every track I find myself in a mental battle to keep running through another song and if I feel that four more minutes is too much, I am likely to quit before I intended. Maybe I just have very little will-power, but when I recognized this problem I had to find a solution.

I tried running with no music and that was even worse. When all I had to think about was how much I wanted to stop, I did. If that two second silence between tracks was enough time to decide to stop for the day, you can imagine my inner struggle during silence for an entire two miles. I had to find something to listen to that would keep my mind occupied but wouldn’t have so many breaks and pauses that I would have obvious quitting points.

After I discovered that Handel’s Messiah, despite its lack of track separations, just wasn’t an ideal soundtrack for cardiovascular exercise, I found Librivox.org. They have thousands of audio books for free. They can offer it so cheaply because it’s all public domain material (that means so old the copyright has run out). Every book is read by a volunteer so sometimes you’d rather listen to a cheese grater filing off someone’s fingernails so they can be scraped against a chalkboard than that guy’s voice, but I’ve only had to turn off one recording because I couldn’t remove my earbuds fast enough to avoid the inevitable nightmares.

Here are a few authors that I’ve listened to while running because their writings don’t require too much thought and are fast-moving stories:

I don’t get to read for pleasure nearly as much as I like, (I mean, who has time for books and TV?) so Librivox is a great way for me to “read” some classics without missing out on the real important things in life like college football. It may seem weird, but sometimes I go running just to here the next chapter in a book. It doesn’t work that way for everybody, but it does for me.

Today, November 5, I am thankful that Librivox.org provides free audio books and to the readers who donate their time.

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About Jeff Postlewaite

high school principal since '07, father since '04, teacher since '03, husband since '03, sound tech since '96, UVA fan since '92, gadget junkie since '89, Christian since '88, Giants fan since '84, golfer since '83, brother since '83, human since '81

Posted on November 5, 2011, in 30 Days of Thanks and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I am disturbed, distressed, and offended (couldn’t think of another word beginning with D) that you would would say Handel’s Messiah is a bad choice for running… get me the length of time you want to run and a good running tempo, and I will prepare a sweet nonstop classical music mix.

    • Daniel, Daniel, Daniel (3 Ds),
      That would be great, I like to run 20-30 minutes and think a good tempo is about 120 bps.

      I decided to delete my first response comparing my experience listening to classical music with your experience running. I have a feeling they’re similar 🙂

  2. Hi Jeff,

    Thank you for the positive mention of LibriVox here. I would like to feature a section from this post on the upcoming LibriVox Community Podcast. If you are not already aware of it, we produce and regularly (or sometimes irregularly) release a podcast aimed at our volunteer readers, proof-listeners, book coordinators, and meta-coordinators (forum moderators, catalogers, and administrators). Appropriate to the same season you are observing, I am hosting and theming the next podcast around praises for LibriVox works and thanks for LibriVox in general. I have mostly been in contact with our volunteers but I would like to include your comments as a listener to our productions. If you would like to record the audio yourself and send it to me, you are certainly welcome to do so or if it is easier, I will just read a selection from your post. I have scheduled the release of the podcast for Thanksgiving Day (Nov 24), so if you could let me know if quoting you in our podcast is OK as soon as you can, I would greatly appreciate it. If you have the necessary equipment and would like to record your post, let me know so I can direct you in sending it to me.

    Thank you,
    Bob Gonzalez

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