Did you know that the Friday before Memorial Day is National Road Trip Day? I don't know about you, but I love road trips! I grew up taking road trips across the country with my family, so I guess it's in my blood. And what's the best way to enjoy the hours on the open road? Listening to audiobooks, of course!
But listening to audiobooks is definitely not limited to time spent in the car. It's a great way to pass the time while folding laundry, washing the dishes, cooking, etc.
There are lots of different ways to access audiobooks, including many free databases. Here is a round-up of various platforms you can use to find and listen to audiobooks:
Listen Through Your Local Library
One great way is to go through your local library. Find out which platform your library uses and then you can have access to their collection of audio and ebook through your library card for free! Here are some common library apps:
Audiobook Databases with a Fee
You've probably heard of most of these. Each costs money, whether through a subscription or purchasing audiobooks individually. But these websites usually have the most up-to-date catalogs with new releases and current popular books.
Audible- This website is subscription-based, with a large and up to date collection. One perk is that you can keep the books forever. You can also access Audible via Amazon Prime, if you already pay for that.
Scribd- This website is also subscription-based. It has audiobooks and ebooks, as well as podcasts, sheet music, magazines, and more.
Spotify- There are some free audiobooks on Spotify, but others you need a subscription to access. Spotify also offers music, podcasts, serials, etc.
Chirp Books- There is no membership fee here, but you have to pay for each audiobook. Once you purchase them, they are yours to keep.
Public Domain/Free Audiobooks
In addition to the monthly subscription websites, there are several free audiobook databases, usually consisting of classic books in the public domain. So, while there is a drawback of not finding the newest releases, there are many wonderful classic books to choose from!
LibriVox- On this site, volunteers record classic books in the public domain and are made available for free. You could donote your voice and time to recording books as well!
Project Gutenberg- This website also offers free access to public domain classics, mostly by volunteer narrators, but some may have computer narration.
Digital Book- This website offers a collection of free audio and ebooks, also on the public domain.
Free Classic Audiobooks- Another database of free classic audiobooks.
Storynory- This website is geared towards kid and family friendly books, also free. It is mainly fairy tales and other classics suitable for 18 years and younger.
Open Culture- A different approach is to use this website, which searches for free audiobooks you can download from other sites, like Audible, iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc.
Blinkist- This website is subscription-based and offers a unique way to browse or skim through nonfiction book. You listen a 15 minute compilation of key ideas from a book through short summary statements, or blinks. This approach can help you “skim” a book to get the main points, or help you decide if you’d like to read the whole thing.
Youtube- Did you know that many author offer audio recording of some of their books for free via YouTube videos? Search for your favorite authors on YouTube to see if they have audiobooks recorded on their channel.
I hope this list was helpful. I can't wait to start browsing through some of these databases. Don't let time on the road or other summer projects keep you from enjoying your favorite reads!
Have a great weekend, and as always, happy reading!
*A lot of the websites on this list came from a comprehensive list on Reader's Digest.com. I picked my favorites to highlight. For the full list, as well as a couple other good resources, click below: