If you love reading books but haven’t tried audiobooks yet, here’s your chance with this list of 19 resources giving away copies of free audiobooks.
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Audiobooks have been steadily becoming popular lately. Commuting, eating, waiting in line, grocery shopping, doing errands, cooking: all these can be done while listening to audiobooks.
They offer a great way to consume great literature without having to crack open a physical book or glue your eyes to an e-reader.
Go through this list of websites and apps where you can listen to or download thousands of free audiobooks.
17 Websites to Explore for Free Audiobooks
Home to thousands of public domain books, you can read ebooks or listen to their audiobook counterparts here. You can browse the LibriVox audiobook catalog by author, title, genre, or language.
The site has over 13,000 books available in English and 1,941 titles across 44 different non-English languages.
2. Open Culture
This website lists over 1,000 free audiobooks, which are mostly classic books.
The sources vary: from the free section of Audible.com, readings on YouTube videos, to podcasts all over the internet.
Some free ebooks are also available alongside the audiobook version, so if you want a copy of both, here’s your chance to download them both.
3. Loyal Books
The website itself may look outdated, but LoyalBook’s library has over 7,000 titles.
Many have both ebook and audiobook versions. You can stream them directly on the site, or download the audiobook as an mp3 file or for listening on your iPod/iPhone and iTunes.
The site also has a wide range of categories, from science fiction to fairytales, classic public domain stories, to those that are a bit more modern.
What’s great about Lit2Go is that not only does the site collect numerous free audiobooks, but there are also hundreds of poems in MP3 format in their catalog.
Before you begin streaming one, you can read the abstract, citation, word count, playing time, and other tidbits for each title.
This collection of children’s literature is a part of the Educational Technology Clearinghouse and is funded by various grants.
With over 10,000 free audiobooks and ebooks organized quite neatly in a modern layout, DigitalBook.io is definitely a site that’s pleasing to the eye.
Public domain books are also posted here and may intertwine with other mp3 files from LibriVox or Audiobooks.com.
This is an internet classic and a must-hear if you’re new to free audiobooks. MindWebs is a gem.
MindWebs is a collection of stories, usually sci-fi, from a wide range of authors like Arthur C. Clarke (A Walk in the Dark) or George Henry Smith (In the Imagicon).
Narrated by the late great Michael Hanson, his 169 half-hour shows presented 188 short stories from 135 different authors.
His MindWebs series originally aired on WHA Radio in Madison, Wisconsin from the mid 70’s through the mid 90’s, but brought new life 20 years later when it reached the world wide web.
All the free audiobooks cataloged on PodioBooks have now been transferred to Scribl.
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Unlike before when almost all of the audiobooks are free to listen 24/7, this isn’t the case with both PodioBooks and Scribl anymore.
However, you can still find gems of free audiobooks every now and then. They rotate the free content, so make sure to bookmark the site.
8. Project Gutenberg
Began in 1971, this community-run library was originally an archive of printed books.
Today, it still has an extensive collection of digitized books from all over the world. human-read and computer-generated (read by a computerized voice) free audiobooks from the public domain.
9. Learn Out Loud
For textbooks and other educational books, Learn Out Loud has hundreds of free audiobooks in categories like business, philosophy, science, religion, politics, and so on.
Aside from books, what I like about Learn Out Loud are the speeches, lectures, interviews, and workshops also squeezed into the catalog.
It’s like TED-Ed without going through YouTube.
The main audience of these free audiobooks are kids, since the site focuses on fairy tales, classic kids books, and new original storybooks for children.
It has a cool collection of all the must-read like Brothers Grimm folk tales and Aesop’s fables, so if you’re trying to encourage kids to explore literature, StoryNory could be an awesome resource.
11. SYNC by Audiofile Magazine
SYNC is a free summer audiobook program for teens 13 and above sponsored by AudioFile Magazine.
Participants get two free audiobooks per week, which they can access through Sora by OverDrive, which is an app especially for students.
12. Thought Audio
Thought Audio prides itself on providing “the gift of knowledge” to the world by providing classic literature and philosophy audiobooks for free on their site.
The selection is a bit limited, but there are some gems to be found here, especially if you’re a fan of the classics.
I’m a fan of this site, even if it doesn’t compare to bigger libraries with thousands of books.
NewFixtion, however, posts original stores performed as daily episodes. What’s interesting is that trained actors voice each episode, so the drama is definitely felt.
Unlike other sites on this list that you can download for various third-party apps, NewFixtion episodes can only be listened to through the site.
If you want to introduce your kids to the classics, or just need a refresher on classic titles like Alice in Wonderland, Huckleberry Finn, Adventure Island, etc., this resource is a goldmine. And it’s totally free to use.
Don’t expect anything fancy when it comes to the presentation. The most important thing is, the audibles work and anyone can access them at no cost.
If you’re looking for spoken poetry, over 200,000 live concerts and audiobooks from the catalogs of Naropa Poetics Audio Archive, Maria Lectrix, Internet Archive, LibriVox and Project Gutenberg — all in one place. Meaning you just have to search through Archive.org to find specific audio files.
16. Light Up Your Brain
This website is another kid-friendly resource with children’s stories in audible form.
The audio stories are read by Chuck Brown, the owner of the site. All audibles are available for streaming directly from LightUpYourBrain.com or downloaded as mp3 files.
Chuck accepts stories from authors interested in sharing their work with kids around the world. If interested, you’ll be collaborating with Chuck as he narrates your story, recorded digitally and shared on LightUpYourBrain.com
ThoughtAudio is a library of classic philosophy, and literature audiobooks, which you can download in installments (by right-clicking each part) or stream on the website. If you want to read along, you can also download PDF transcripts of the audiobooks.
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8 Apps with Free Audiobooks
18. BBC Sounds
BBC Sounds is a free app by the BBC, which features a wide range of radio shows, podcasts, and even audiobooks.
Using the company’s long history of dramatizations in radio, the BBC has branched out to provide the public free access to abridged audiobooks.
Designed to cater to podcasts, this app also has thousands of free audiobooks, so you can listen to new and old audiobooks on-the-go.
Plus, there are no monthly fees or any hidden fees ever.
Borrow and read free ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines from your library using your phone or tablet.
All you need is a library card, a smartphone, and the Libby app (from App Store or Google Play).
Once you’ve set up Libby and found your library on the app, you can easily download any audiobook listed for free. Not sure if it’s worth the trouble? Check what’s in store here.
21. Bound app (Apple only)
Although there’s no Android version of this app, I think it should still be noted for its special feature.
The Bound app downloads your audiobooks directly from various cloud services (the app is currently compatible with Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive) so you can play them right on the app.
When you access your audiobooks from the app, you can pause, resume, and “bookmark” as many times as you need to. It is virtually an audiobook player, so you still have to download your preferred audiobooks from the sources above.
22. Voice Audiobook Player (Android Only)
This open-source audiobook player is completely free. It features folder-based library management, and efficient playback features.
While it isn’t as complicated as other apps on this list, the Voice Audiobook Player definitely caters to minimalist users who just want a simple audiobook player without having to pay a cent.
23. hoopla Digital
Available on Android and iOS, the concept of Hoopla Digital is similar to Libby (by Overdrive). You can borrow audiobooks, movies, ebooks, and music from your library’s digital collection as long as you’re able to find your library and verify that you have a library card with them.
Spotify is one of the biggest music apps, and they also have audiobooks in their database.
They have an Audiobooks playlist filled with classics, and you can also search “audiobooks” on their search field to find free audiobooks.
Audible is an audiobook and podcast app owned by Amazon that also offers plenty of exclusive, original content.
An Audible subscription isn’t free, but you can get free audiobooks under their Free Listens category.
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Note that all these sources of free audiobooks are legal.
Sure, you can download them illegally in many places, but that doesn’t help your favorite writers.
If you’re looking for a specific audiobook but can’t find it on any of the sites with free audiobooks, it might not be available as a freebie. In cases like this, you can just stick with traditional reading, or purchase a paid audiobook of that title instead.
Love reading? Find out how to get free books and free magazines!