This post is not directly related to Jane, but still of interest to those of us with a literary bent.
I have recently become aware of a new site that holds great potential to those of us who like books in any form. My Mother The Fearless Ebayer recently bought me a couple of CDs that had recordings of two Jane-related works, Jane's Love and Friendship ("Beware of fainting fits, beware of swoons"...ring any bells?) and James Edward Austen-Leigh's Memoir of Jane Austen. She was really excited as both books cost her a grand total of $6 with shipping and handling.
When I put them in my car stereo to listen to them, I discovered they are free recordings made available through a website. The site, www.librivox.org, is devoted to making available free audio recordings of books in the public domain. Of course, this includes works by our favorite author (evidently there is a large group of Janeites active on the forums), but also books by Elizabeth Gaskell, Shakespeare, Sir Thomas More, and many others. I was very excited to find four completed volumes of Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Short stories, poetry; basically anything that can be read can be found there.
Volunteers coordinate and read each book from text found at another site, www.gutenberg.org, and then post them- FREE- on librivox. From there, you can click on a link to subscribe to the book via podcast on iTunes, effectively giving yourself a free audiobook recording. The great thing about this is that as long as it is in the public domain, anything can be read, and the administrators take suggestions from anyone who has a book they want read. There is at this moment a project to record all of Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, and there is a fourth project reading Pride and Prejudice. Volunteers are needed both to coordinate and to read different chapters. There are forums set up for suggestions and to guide people through the process.
I hope you will all go check this site out. It is a brilliant idea that can bring wonderful writing to people who otherwise have no access to it.