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I love to listen to audiobooks. Audiobooks are a great way to “read” while doing housework, cooking, driving, or working out. I’ve even found great children’s literature on audiobook to play for my girls during long car rides. I first got into listening to audiobooks after I tried a Audible.com’s free 30 day trial. I downloaded my first book and I was hooked. My frugal heart couldn’t handle the $15 per month membership fee in addition to buying the books (you do get one free per month).
It was starting to look like I would have to dial down my interest in audiobooks if it would cost me $15 dollars for each book, but after a little research I found tons of books for FREE. By this point, if I had paid $15 dollars for every audiobook I’ve listened to, then “audiobooks” would be a big, fat slice of my monthly budget’s pie chart.
Here are three of my favorite sources for free audiobooks:
LibriVox is like the thrift store of free audiobooks. It has thousands of public domain audiobooks read and recorded by volunteers. Since the audiobooks are from texts in the public domain, almost all of them are at least a century old (not the recordings).
These audiobooks aren’t professional productions, so some of them can be of poor quality read by monotonous volunteers. You have to be willing to dig around to find something good. That being said, I found an excellent recording on LibriVox of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There’s something about the experience of listening to British literature read by British people that you can’t get outside of the audiobook format. If you enjoy classic works of literature, or if you’re willing to try out something that you’ve always wanted to read, then I would recommend checking out LibriVox’s catalog.
YouTube has a surprising amount of audiobooks! Try searching Youtube for “<book title> audiobook” and you just might find the entire book uploaded as an hours-long “video.” This is where I found the entire Narnia series by C.S Lewis, a children’s story that I love to play for the girls when we get in the car. You may be wondering how I am able to listen to the audio from a YouTube video in my car. Well let me tell you: ClipGrab.org.
ClipGrab is a free program that lets you download the audio from videos on YouTube to your computer. I just download the audiobook from YouTube, and I play it on my mp3 player in my car for the girls. You can use your phone too but that eats up data, and to pause the story and come back to it days later is impossible on your phone. You’ll need to remember what minute you were at and then forward to find it again.
If you can’t find anything that you like on LibriVox or on YouTube, then you will find something that you like at your local public library. Most public libraries have a large selection of books on CD. Also checkout the ever growing amount of audiobooks they offer on many libraries websites too. You may not even have to go into your local branch!
What is your favorite source for FREE audiobooks?