These days, audiobooks are on the rise, as more and more people look to find ways to spice up an hour-long commute into work or school. It’s also how you can liven up and add some entertainment to mundane boring tasks such as washing the dishes or rearranging your clothes shelves.
If you’d rather not pay for your audiobooks though, and you don’t mind not having the latest bestsellers, here are some sources where you can get audiobooks for free.
Librivox is an example of crowdsourcing on the internet, where volunteers read chapters of an audiobook with the aim of getting it online. These generous people take the initiative of reading chapters from short stories, fairy tales, and other kinds of books.
Anyone can download these thousands of audiobooks for free, and anyone can volunteer their time to read another one for the site.
Due to the fact that many people are reading these novels, be aware that quality can vary from one person to the next. But for visually impaired people or disabled people, a service like this can be a lifesaver. You never know who is going to be reading the next chapter.
No list would be complete without the inclusion of Google Play Books, but saying that, there is no dedicated “free” section on the site. In fact, being a business, Google puts more emphasis on the paid offerings.
There is however an audiobook section, and Google often gives away free books now and then as a special offer. It’s worth keeping the site bookmarked and check it on a regular basis to see if Google are running any special promotions.
DigitalBook claims to have over 100,000 titles in their collection, but an initial inspection seems to suggest that they are merely indexing Librivox’s collection.
You can listen to audiobooks without a membership. But a free membership will enable you to save all the audiobooks you want, place them on a bookshelf, and return to read them again in the future.
Did you know that you can borrow audiobooks for free from your local library? Not many people do, and Libby wants to make it easier to find and check out those audiobooks.
Operated by the library distribution service, Overdrive, Libby serves as your manager of audiobooks and with it, you can borrow audiobooks from all the libraries you are subscribed to.
After downloading its app to your phone, you can then listen to any audiobook available in your local library. This includes classics, bestsellers, and new releases.
Best known for the Wayback machine, the Internet Archive serves as a repository for everything online. It is also trying to save and preserve our culture. Part of that are audiobooks.
By searching in the archive’s search engine, you can find all kinds of audiobooks (likely millions of them). But be careful because some of them may still be in copyright in your country. Download with extreme caution. For example, I found an Orson Scott Card book which is most likely still in copyright.
The Internet Archive is updated on a regular basis, so this is another one to bookmark and check back on often.
Like LibriVox, this is a volunteer-run repository. Project Gutenberg came to life in 1971 and has been in existence ever since. It aims to digitize cultural works to fuel the distribution of e-books.
If you think Project Gutenberg is all about e-books, you’ve got another thing coming. The repository also features a large collection of human-read audiobooks for free, taken from the public domain (such as Librivox).
Since you get a 30-day free trial, you can find plenty of audiobooks without paying a dime on Audible. With a reputation as one of the big guns in supplying new audiobooks on the internet, you’ll be in a good spot.
The monthly fee for an eventual subscription is $14.95. Compared to a free pass, that seems a lot. But if you consider the unlimited power you have to access all the audiobooks you want, you might think otherwise.
More than 100,000 audiobooks for free are yours for the taking at Audiobooks. The catch is that you can take home only some of them for free.
Like Audible, it charges you $14.95 per month if you sign up for its service. If you want to test the waters first before diving in, then its one-month free trial is perfect for you to get some audiobooks for free.
What sets this apart are the voices of trained actors who narrate the original stories in the items you can find here. When you check out what’s in store for you on the site, it’s as if you’re tuning in to more than just an audiobook. Instead, it’s like you’re in the middle of a radio drama.
Do you have Spotify installed on your iPad, iPhone, or Android gadget? If so, you have a ticket to easily check out audiobooks. Just search for a title you like, or an author or genre.
Spotify is mostly around to provide music, so you can’t rely on it having as many titles as the rest of the entries in this list. But if you’re already an existing Spotify user, finding and downloading audiobooks for free is made easy for you.