I spent the last three months scanning, enhancing, resizing, and creating the web pages for over 660 letter images for the Public Domain Images section of my web site. Nearly every letter had to be redrawn, since the quality of the scans from these old books and magazines, when resized to large dimensions, were not very good. It was a big job, but I enjoyed the process.
One thing that helped to make this an enjoyable experience for me was my discovery of Librivox, where I was able to listen to classic literature online. Being an English major and teacher, I have always felt a little guilty about not reading some of the books from those “must read” classic literature lists. So I found this to be the perfect opportunity to read/listen to these great novels. I could redraw the alphabets while listening to volunteers from around the world read public domain books. I listened to The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen both narrated by the wonderful Elizabeth Klett. I listened to Pride and Prejudice, another Jane Austen classic, read by Annie Coleman, as well as another Wharton favorite, The Age of Innocence read by Brenda Dayne. I also managed to listen to the 49 hour reading of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, and then Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, both read by a variety of different readers. I discovered that I enjoyed readings by single narrators rather than a variety of different readers because single readers often use distinct voices for the various characters, which helped me to keep the characters straight in my head.
What an amazing resource Librivox is. I am so grateful to the wonderful readers who took the time to volunteer to read these stories. I’m half way through Great Expectations and am looking forward to finishing it when I start working on my next round of images!