I love to read. I don’t do it nearly as often as I used to but the fact remains that there is something transcendental when you really become engrossed in a great piece of literature. A few years back, before Chrome Unboxed was a thing, I was making a living in sales and network marketing. I spent a lot of time in my car and found myself looking to audiobooks as a source of knowledge for my trade as well as personal development. When I wasn’t listening to a full-blown book, I always had some form of leadership or marketing material playing in my CD player to help me hone my skills and enrich my overall well-being.
In recent months, I discovered that my wife spends an ample amount of time listening to audiobooks using Amazon’s Audible platform. While this works perfectly for her as she normally has her Pixel Buds handy, Audible doesn’t work natively on Assistant smart speakers outside of casting from your mobile device. Granted, there are other options to consume audiobooks on a smart speaker but many(not all) of them require a subscription or a third-party application before you can use them. In researching options for the consumption of audiobooks for me and my kiddos, I stumbled upon an article from CNET that mentioned a platform called LibriVox. What is LibriVox? Well, it happens to be one of the internet’s largest collections of free, public domain books converted into audio formats in dozens of languages. The best part? The Google Assistant can access LibriVox’a massive library with one simple command.
Hey Google, talk to Book Reader
It’s just that easy. Now you can ask Google to read one of the tens of thousands of titles available from LibriVox. So, what kind of books can you use with Book Reader? LibriVox is a non-commercial, not-for-profit platform that relies on volunteers to record themselves reading eligible titles. Since these books are public domain, many of the titles are old books but that doesn’t mean you can’t find great content. Because these books are no longer under any sort of copyright agreement, you can find tons of timeless classics such as one of my all-time favorites, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. My wife recently finished reading a hardback copy of Jane Eyre and she loved it so much that she immediately fired up the audiobook to give is a second go around. Guess what? You can listen to it for free on LibriVox.
Whatever your personal taste, LibriVox has a little something for everyone. You can find childhood favorites like Huckleberry Finn or Alice in Wonderland. There are non-fiction books from the military genre of science and nature. Religion and spirituality, medical books, and even health and fitness are just a few of the categories you’ll find in this vast library. You will also find that LibriVox has a decent variety of language options depending on the title you’re wanting. Everything from English to Russian and even a little Yiddish. To check out the LibriVox library, head here, and start expanding your literary resume. When you find a title you’re interested in, just say “Hey Google, talk to Book Reader and read (your selection).” I, for one, will definitely be getting back into the habit of “reading” with this handy and awesome feature on my Assistant smart speakers. Sorry, this doesn’t work on Chromebooks at this time.