Is there such a thing as free audio books? But of course! There are various ways to access free audio books, right from your phone. Here are 11 truly AWESOME ways to listen audio books for free.
Ways to Listen to Audio Books for Free
I have always been an avid reader, enthusiastically visiting my local library and sniffing the books before checking them out (remember, this is a judgement free zone). Then I got married, then had kids, then I got beyond busy and, well… I stopped reading. It was sad. I thought I didn’t have time for books and the sniffing of them.
A few years ago I decided to join one of my local library’s monthly book clubs. One book a month? I can handle that, I thought. And then I discovered the beauty that is audio books (and even though I can no longer surreptitiously sniff the books while I’m reading, I am in audio book heaven so that still counts). Now I’m reading at least two books per week, and almost all. for. free. What I’ve found in the last few years reading as much as I do is that I am happier, I am calmer, I am able to escape the daily grind, if only for an hour or two at a time. It is the perfect accompaniment to crochet. I’m in love. Are you ready to dive feet first into the wonderful world of free audio books?
1. Books on CD (Library)
First, you’ll need to determine the manner in which you’ll listen to said audio books. Will that be on your phone using apps, or using a CD player with actual CDs rented from the library? I do both! Your library will always have the most extensive collection of audio books (and this is just one wall!).
By having both the Bluetooth CD player and the headphones, I can still utilize the vast selection of audio books on CD at my library without being quite literally tied to the player. I don’t mind being tied to the player when I’m sitting and crocheting, but when I need to be up and moving (doing laundry, cleaning, or cooking) I don’t like the cord. Bluetooth works perfectly for me!
While we’re on the topic of audio books available at the library, there are actual CDs that you can borrow and then there are Playaways. These little guys are amazing! All you need is one battery and your earphones. The book is loaded on to the player, which literally fits into your pocket. When you’re finished with the book simply remove your battery and return the Playaway to the library. Love, love Playaways!
If you are looking for audio books that you can download onto your smartphone, there are plenty of apps and websites that offer those too; and yes, several for free.
Before moving forward, I recommend checking with your local (and state!) library to see which platforms they support.
For example, at my local library we are able to download books through Overdrive (and now through their updated – and awesome app – Libby) using that library card, while the Kansas State Library uses Cloud Library. Also check with your library to see if they support RBDigital and/or Hoopla. Hoopla not only has free audio books available but also TV episodes, movies, and music as well!
The moral of the story: Make sure you’re using ALL of your available libraries to their FULL potential!
free audio books
Now, there are other ways to get free audio books other than the library. There are a few drawbacks with the free apps, like how you only get to rent them for a certain number of days – usually 7 – 21.
Unlike with paid audio book services, you may not have immediate access to the book. There may be a hold list for popular titles, but between all of these free audio book options, you’re sure to find something to keep you occupied until your hold is ready.
7. Loyal Books
This one has a bunch of free titles. I love that you can sort by genre (including romance). I’m a Regency Romance novel connoisseur . 😉
This is a good one for iTunes and iPod users. Old classics that you can listen to over and over again.
9. Open Culture
This site offers hundreds of free audio books, most in iTunes or MP3 format.
10. Learn Out Loud
This site has thousands of free audio books, some available for download.
The audio books available on this website are all read by volunteers. This may or may not make them better or worse than professionally narrated audio books. If you find the quality of a book to be not to your liking, see if there is a different version available from a different volunteer.
Want even more audio books?
If you are still finding that you’re needing more (high five baby, you get a gold star for stamina), I also pay for a monthly subscription service. Let’s talk for a second about the freebies you can get from these paid subscriptions like Scribd, Audiobooks and Audible.
Scribd is my favorite of the paid platforms. I do pay for a monthly subscription, but if you go through my referral link (thank you!) you’ll get TWO months for free to check it out! The reason I like them the most is because they are the cheapest of all of the paid memberships at just $11.99 per month. This fee gets you (mostly) unlimited audio books and/or one popular book credit; every single month. Note that they do reserve the right to limit your titles if you read excessively. At any rate that is much better than the $14.95 for one book credit charged by the other guys! Get your free two months to Scribd here.
If you’re just itching to get your hands on a popular new release, those can be hard to come by at the library due to wait lists and holds. You could always sign up for a free trial of AudioBooks or a free trial of Audible (you get TWO free credits just for joining!) and cancel before your trial ends. Or keep it, up to you. I have all three.
If you’re into reading actual books as well, you need BookBub, Chirp, and Freebooksy. Sign up, tell them which kinds of books you like to read and they’ll send you an email containing all of the cheap and FREE books available each day. I have built up my Kindle library like a wild woman, and yes… all for free. You might also check out Christian Audio.
I hope you find a free audio book that you just can’t bear to pause! If I missed an app or a free audio book source please be sure to leave a comment and let me know!