Puritans by podcast

My roommate remarked a month or two ago on how easy it would be for someone to walk in and rob the place without me even noticing, given that I often walk around with headphones glued to my ears. My headphones are of the sound-isolation variety, so they block quite a bit of the background noise.

I tend to listen to all sorts of audio from everywhere - I've been thinking of compiling some of my list of audio sources links into a post. I used to subscribe to a monthly plan at Audible, but decided in my last year of undergrad that I couldn't really afford the expense. (I can afford it once again now, but I've since located too much freely available stuff).

Given that I'm listening to audio recordings most of the time, it tends to be of stuff quite recent as older stuff isn't available. Some people have reccomended on focusing on earlier works that have survived the test of time, but they're difficult to find in any freely available format.

I was given a copy of the Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan as a gift during our family's December gift exchange, and also discovered that there is a free recording of this book available through a project called LibriVox. LibriVox is a project which aims to make freely available recordings of books that are in the public domain. Given that none of the Puritans exhibited a lifespan like that of Methuselah, their works tend to fall into this category. LibriVox has a little of this sort of stuff (and even a work by C.S. Lewis which apparently was written sufficiently long ago to fall into the public domain). However, this is not the focus of LibriVox and so there's a lot of stuff that hasn't been recorded. (The Christian Classics Ethereal Library has a little of this available, although this is also not the focus of that project. If you want to fork out a bunch of money you could also turn to ChristianAudio.com which has a little more)

I tried listening to the recording of Pilgrim's Progress but found that it was a little too difficult to follow. The reader's voice seemed clear, but at the same time I found that the text was a little too meaty to absorb at the pace read. At the moment I'm wondering if it might be an interesting and worthwhile project to undertake to make some recordings available of more Puritan works to share with the world. Most of us tend to have voices, are literate, and have computers with microphones of some sort so there's not much more needed beyond the time commitment to actually read through these books. However, I also wonder about the possibility of absorption. Do the Puritans' works fit well into the category of stuff recordable as audio, or can they only really be absorbed if read so slowly that an audiobook would be difficult to follow?


Most of us tend to have voices, are literate, and have computers with microphones of some sort so there's not much more needed beyond the time commitment to actually read through these books.

While all three statements are accurate, not everyone may be suited for such a task. For example, you mentioned that the reader's voice seemed clear in the recording of Pilgrim's Progress. There's your first attribute to consider: clarity. Another important attribute is speed. There are probably other attributes that could be considered, arguably of lesser importance, which distinguish professional voice actors from the rest of us.

If you're looking for something to do, l33t Scrabble hasn't been started yet.

Voices can be quite different without necessarily being unclear. I mentioned the voice of the reader there being reasonably clear, but what I didn't mention was that there was an accent. As long as the reader doesn't mumble and you could understand them in a regular conversation, I don't think that their voice is much of a concern.

Professional voice actors would be nice, but those cost money. See the LibriVox webpage entitled Help! What if I suck?

Accents aren't that bad...I can't say that I have any problems with accents since my oboe lessons back in the day. My teacher was a Russian immigrant who had been in the country for all of (I think) 3 or 4 years when I started taking lessons. Now that was a THICK accent!

I'm not crazy...oh, wait, nevermind.

Do you remember recording our little "radio drama" at the end of grade 10? When we were recording our final draft, every little mistake sent us into bursts of laughter. Admittedly, the story was "slightly" more silly than anything that would be in the category under question, but if you ever watch blooper reels from TV shows, you'll notice that the actors often burst out in laughter as well when they screw up.

I think that part of that also had something to do with it being grade 10... and the extent to which so much of that was inside jokes.