Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Audiobook Resources

Summertime can bring road trips and the best way to make a long car ride pass quickly is to listen to audiobooks! I always use my mp3 player when I'm riding my bike too. For some reason it distracts me enough to disregard the rain, wind, or stifling heat when I'm outside! I posted this list last year, but I figure it's a good one to share again.

Here are some great resources for FREE audiobooks.

  • Overdrive - You can do a search here for titles and see if your public library offers the service. Lucky for me I still have a Davis County Library card. Downside to these is they do have DRM on them and you can only "check out" the books for a limited amount of time. You -can- burn some, but not all, of these books to CD if you won't get them entirely listened to within 3 weeks.

  • NetLibrary is another website some libraries use. You need to contact your local library and see if they offer this service. Davis County Utah uses both this service and Overdrive. Netlibrary works similarly to Overdrive, but does have a downside if you use an iPod or a Zune- neither of those devices will work due to DRM restrictions.

  • LibriVox "provides free audiobooks from the public domain." This is a great place to get the classics. Files are available in both ogg vorbis and mp3. Another cool thing is this service is completely volunteer based and there are books available in multiple languages.

  • Literal Systems- They have a small selection of audiobooks and short stories.

  • "is committed to delivering public domain literature paired with high quality audio performances. We pair together great literature and accompanying audio." This website has a few novels, some poetry, short stories, and children's books. Some books have embedded text which is kinda neat too.

  • I wanted to like this site more because it appears to have quite a lot of content. There -are- free audiobooks, but you will pay for them in terms of it being highly inconvinient to download them and the low bitrate (8kbps). For example: You want to listen to Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This isn't a short book by any means, and is divided into 43 files. 43 files that you must download ONE AT A TIME. That paired with the low bitrate makes this probably one of the last sites I'll look at. You can pay to have them zip the file and you can also pay more to have a higher bitrate. I'm not so sure it's worth it with the other options you have available to you.

  • has "serialized" audiobooks which are made in podcast format. You can download them via an RSS feed (using podcast software) or by directly downloading episodes from the site.

  • Learn Out Loud is a directory of free audiobooks, lectures, speeches, sermons, and interviews. They also have free some free video content.

  • Project Gutenberg has both human read and computer generated audio books from the public domain. This site also has a wide variety of languages.

The last two I am going to mention aren't free, but sometimes have free offers.

  • Simply AudioBooks- A little bit like Netflix but for audiobooks. I used this service in the US for a little while and I actually really enjoyed it. It's about 15$ per month and they mail you the audiobook CDs. Right now they have a free download with no strings attached. I didn't like the book, but someone else might.

  • always advertises a free download, but this is usually if you've never been a member before and sign up with them. VERY occasionally they'll offer a free book with no strings attached. You get the most bang for your buck with their subscription service, but you can buy individual titles.


While we're on the subject of free, be sure to check out my Poffertjes Package giveaway!


Christi said...

This is a great list! We love getting books on cd when we have long trips.

We also may do some listening to books as part of our homeschool. We do alot of read-alouds, and many of them are chapter books like Alice in Wonderland, Jungle Book, etc.

Thank you so much for this list!

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

Oh, we love to listen to audio books while traveling. Our selections are usually limited to whatever we find at our library so this is awesome to have some more resources!!

Thanks for sharing!

Pam at BeyondJustMom said...

What a great resource. Books on CD help us survive long drives too.
Thanks for visiting my site yesterday!

Frugal Fine Living said...

Thanks for posting this. My daughter has NLD, so audio books are perfect for her.


Cheryl said...

That's Fantastic! I have a book review blog so I will check them out.

Paula @ Organizing Tips For Moms said...

Thank you! I love listening to audio books. It's a pain to upload all those CDs to my Ipod!

parentingBYdummies said...

I used to love listening to audiobooks in my car before it was taken over by martians posing as children. Now all I hear is the Wiggles and/or the DVD they are listening to. No fun. Thanks for leaving some comment love on my blog today. Being FB is soooo fun!

Anonymous said...

Waves from the "OMG you listen to your MP3 player whilst riding your bike? What about listening to the lorry that's going to splatten [I just used it so it's a word, kay? :p] you if you don't get out of the way?!" club. Or do we only have those over here?

Michelle said...

Wonderful list! Thanks for posting this -we love audio books! (give me a break and a couple free hands). :-)

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