How to Listen to Audiobooks for Free

Audiobooks have become increasingly popular, offering a unique way to enjoy stories while also allowing for multitasking. Whether you're already a fan of audiobooks or looking to explore this medium for the first time, there are several websites and resources that offer free access to a wide range of audiobooks. The best part? These resources are completely legal. So, let's dive into the best ways to listen to audiobooks without spending a dime.

Legal and Free Audiobook Sources

1. Open Culture: Best One-Stop Shop

Open Culture is a fantastic resource that offers a vast library of audiobooks, particularly focused on fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It also curates free audiobooks from other public domains like Project Gutenberg and Librivox. The audiobooks are available in MP3 format, with some available for download and others for streaming only. Open Culture also provides access to free movies, online courses, language lessons, and eBooks.

2. Learn Out Loud: Best for Education

If you're interested in educational and self-development audiobooks, Learn Out Loud is the perfect resource for you. With over 4000+ free audiobook titles, Learn Out Loud covers a wide range of subjects, including language learning and philosophy. Its advanced search option makes it easy to find your favorite titles. Similar to Open Culture, Learn Out Loud is web-based and does not have a dedicated mobile app.

3. Libby, by OverDrive: Best for New Releases

OverDrive partners with over 45,000 libraries across the country, offering access to the latest audiobook releases and ebooks. All you need is a library card from a participating library in your city. OverDrive is available on both Android and iOS and has a user-friendly website.

4. Digitalbook: Best Overall

Digitalbook, formerly known as Librophile, boasts a vast collection of audiobooks and ebooks. It features top-rated and trending audiobooks to help you find your next free listen. Users can choose to download individual chapters or stream them directly, adjusting the playback rate to their preference. Additionally, Digitalbook offers the option to open audiobooks directly on an iPhone via the Apple Podcasts app.

5. Project Gutenberg: Best for Classics

Founded in 1971, Project Gutenberg is one of the oldest digital libraries dedicated to preserving books. It relies on volunteers worldwide to expand its database, which currently includes over 60,000 audiobooks available for download in MP3 format. You can find books read by volunteers or computer-generated voices. Project Gutenberg also offers an Android app for easy access.

6. Librivox: Best for Public Domain Titles

Similar to Project Gutenberg, Librivox is a non-profit website that offers free access to audiobooks not available elsewhere. It primarily features books that are no longer under copyright, including classics like War and Peace, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Anne of Green Gables. You can even volunteer to read a chapter or two. Librivox is available as an app on both Android and iOS devices.

7. Spotify/YouTube: Best for Streaming

Your favorite music streaming platform, Spotify, offers an audiobook playlist that includes popular titles like The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, and Pride and Prejudice. The playlist is available for free with occasional ads. YouTube is also a great source for audiobooks, although the search experience may not be as smooth. Dedicated channels like Audio Books and Priceless Audiobooks, as well as subreddits like r/audiobooksonyoutube, provide access to a wide selection of audiobooks.

Bonus: Free Trials (Audible, BookBeat, Kobo)

Premium audiobook services like Audible, BookBeat, and Kobo offer free trial periods, allowing users to explore audiobooks that may not be available for free on other platforms. Audible, for example, offers a free trial lasting 30 days and has one of the largest collections of audiobooks. Additionally, Audible has made certain audiobooks, including Harry Potter by Stephen Fry, free for kids. Kobo and BookBeat also offer free trials to listen to your favorite audiobooks for free.

Whether you're commuting, exercising, or doing household chores, these free resources provide an excellent way to enjoy audiobooks without breaking the bank. While exploring other resources not mentioned above, it's important to avoid less reputable websites that may contain malware. Happy listening!

Also Read: 7 Best Book Recommendation Sites and Apps to Find Your Next Read