Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Darwin

Charles Dickens, English Novelist (1812 - 1870)

This time of year, television and radio are preoccupied with Christmas stories and movies. But there is one Christmas story that is the greatest of them all--a delightful book and a classic of literature--and since I have been a child, reading or re-reading it has been one of my greatest pleasures of the jolly old season. I am glad to say that, thanks to the Internet and open-source idealism, this story is easily available and is available for free and from many sites.

One free e-text version of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is available at Project Gutenberg. A lot of e-text copies of Dickens' writing are available at Project Gutenberg.

Project Gutenberg is a project to create digital versions of uncopyrighted books and other texts. The texts are created by volunteers who produce the texts and who proofread and format them.

Another site that presents free books and other texts is LibriVox. LibriVox differs from Project Gutenberg in that the mission of LibriVox is to provide free audiobooks rather than e-text versions of the original printed books. All the audiobooks are free and in the public domain, and the readings are done by volunteers. Each page for an audiobook includes the text itself. LibriVox is a wonderful resource for those learning English. It provides the opportunity to read the text while listening to a reading of the text. In the case of some popular books, such as Dickens' A Christmas Carol, there are sometimes multiple readings available, which also gives one the option of choosing a voice that suits the ear better or who one feels reads the text better. Here is a page that provides the audio files of a "dramatic reading" of A Christmas Carol from LibriVox. You will see that a link to the Project Gutenberg e-text version of the book is also on that page, so that you can find both conveniently.

Please explore Project Gutenberg and LibriVox! You will find extraordinary treasures and countless pleasures provided by both projects. And you will notice that they both adopt and provide the other's creations...which is how it should be!

On Thursday, December 22, 2011, I will read A Christmas Carol at the International Center, starting at 2:00 P.M. Please stop by if you can, and enjoy the atmosphere and narrative of the greatest of all Christmas stories: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

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