It’s summer. Time to lay on the beach and read a book. OR, if your family is like my family, listen to audio books on a road trip! There are options out there for listening if you know where to look. I wasn’t necessarily looking for free books, but that option kept coming up. It is important to me that any audio book I download be legally available. I could, of course, go to sites where I can get anything and everything for free. But if an audio book is for sale somewhere with royalties going to the author and other artists, it is important to me that they are all properly compensated. (I’m getting off my soapbox now…)
If you’re an Audible member and looking towards moving away from all-things-Amazon, AudioBooks.com seems like the best option. After a free trial month, they’ll charge $15 a month which includes two audio books from their collection. You choose one of those books from their entire selection; the other comes from their VIP list of 30+/- books which change every month. What I like: Their book collection is extensive and had every book I searched for. I have their app on my iPhone, and it is easy to use.
Librivox provides free eBooks and Audio Books of many books that are already in the Public Domain. (In other words, they published the book so long ago that the copyright is no longer valid.) These are mostly classic books that you probably were supposed to read in High School, but got the CliffNotes version instead and have regretted it ever since. Librivox has a team of volunteers that record the books, which is how they can provide the Audio Books for free. When I did a quick search for Through The Looking Glass, I found that there were several versions. Multiple people recorded some versions; others were read by just one person. You should know that credit is given to Librivox at the beginning of each chapter. Sometimes those credits are simple and relatively unintrusive. Other times the credits were much longer.
Librivox takes a little bit of set up before you leave on your trip. There’s no app, so it’s harder to set up on your smartphone.
I had heard about the Audible app a long time ago but decided to sign up a few summers ago before a road trip. Since then I’ve listened to audio books just about every time I’m in the car for more than a half-hour. After a 30 day trial, Audible charges $15 per month. You get one book of your choice each month, plus you can pick two of six Audible Originals each month. (So you get a total of three books.) I’ve found that the “Originals” are hit and miss. They are always books you’ve never heard of. Some have been amazing, and others are real duds.
I also like that you can get the Audible version of a book you are reading. That way you can read the book when you’re at home, and listen when you’re in your car without missing a page!
Claim they have access to over 100,000 free audio and ebooks. (In case you’re wondering, “IO” indicates that they registered the website in the British Indian Ocean Territory.) Some things I didn’t like include that the site took quite a long time to load, I wasn’t able to intuitively find what I was looking for, and it is closely associated with Amazon. You’d probably be better off just going there to Amazon.
LoyalBooks has an extensive selection of free audiobooks from Librivox. You can download them as an iTunes Podcast or as an mp3 file, or go directly to Librivox.
Please forward this to your friends with long commutes who love books.
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We’ve been using Amazon Prime for the past few years. We like the free 2-3 day shipping and online streaming. I haven’t tried the Kindle lending library yet. I’ll try that next! Prime is usually $119/year, but you can try it for 30 days for free by clicking on this link: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial (Yes, we’ll get a small commission when you sign up.)