How to listen to audio books for free.
Any other book worms out there?? I love to spend my free time reading a good book. This year I set a goal to read 50 books as part of a reading program my library runs. So far I am sticking to my goal, but only because of audiobooks! They have helped me so much in finding time for a book. I’m busy (aren’t we all) and some days I just do not have the time to sit down on the couch and read. With an audiobook I am able to listen to the book while I’m washing dishes, folding laundry, driving in the car, etc. They are the best! A lot of people ask me how I can afford all of the audiobooks I listen to, but here’s the secret: I have never bought an audiobook in my life. All of the books I listen to using free apps (I love free!). Today I am sharing my favorite free audio book apps.
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Libby is seriously my favorite free audiobook app. I love it for audiobooks! Libby is very user friendly and easy to use. All you need is the free app and a library card!
How It Works:
- Download the free Libby app to your digital device.
- Sign up using your library card. If you do not have a library card contact your local library. They are free to get and sign ups are really quick and easy.
- Once you are signed in you can browse thousands of audiobooks and eBooks.
- When you find the book you want, simply click “Borrow”. If the book is available it will instantly be made available for you to listen to.
- Because Libby is connected to the library there are a limited number of copies for each book. When the copies are all in use you will need to click, “Place Hold.” You will now be in line for the book. When it’s available it will be checked out to you.
- You get to have your audiobook for two weeks before it needs to be returned. If you need more time to listen, you can renew the book for another week (just as long as nobody else has a hold on it).
- Lastly, listen and enjoy your audiobook. After two weeks your book will automatically be returned, no need to worry about a late fee (yay!).
I love using Libby for so many reasons (it’s user friendly, it’s free, and all of my favorite books are on the app). It does have a few drawbacks though. The biggest is there is usually a long wait for the most popular books.
Check the app regularly for your favorite books (I usually browse weekly). I have found if I reserve a few books each month, I will always have one or two available to listen to.
If you are wanting to listen to a book immediately, select “Available Now” in the Preferences section when you are browsing for books. This helps narrow down the search to books you can listen to in the moment.
Overdrive is a very similar app to Libby. It connects to your library card and offers thousands of free audiobooks. In my experience though Overdrive was not very user friendly and I didn’t enjoy using it at all.
There is a plus side to Overdrive! It is compatible with more devices than Libby is, including Kindle Fire, PC, MACs, etc. This makes it easier for everyone to listen using their favorite method. I know a lot of other people who love and recommend Overdrive, so maybe it was just me! If your library doesn’t connect to Libby, try Overdrive!
LibriVox is an awesome app and website devoted to providing the public with free audiobooks. The selection is a little limited, but you will find many classics and popular books including Little Women, Pride and Prejudice and Gulliver’s Travels.
The books are all read by volunteers, which is fantastic! But, it also means that some readers are a little more boring to listen to than others. Try out a sample or two before deciding on a book, I have heard some great readers!
I think the Audible free month trial is a great option for when you are going on a vacation and are wanting some fresh new books to listen to. Try out the one month free membership and listen to as many books as you can for that month. Just don’t forget to cancel before the next month! (I like to set an alarm on my phone to help me remember)
Another great public resource for audio books is Loyal Books. It offers a huge selection of free audiobooks and ebooks. The site is very similar to LibriVox with volunteer readers. Loyal Books will offer you a few different titles though, so it’s great to check both places.
Did you know an Amazon Prime membership not only offers you free shipping, music and movies, but also free audiobooks? That’s right! Prime membership gives you access to thousands of audiobooks to listen to for free (for paying members).
If you are already paying for a prime membership, be sure to take advantage of their free books. I personally don’t think it’s worth paying for a membership JUST for the books. However, I did use their free 30 day trial membership and loved listening to free books during that time. If you want to try it out, sign up for the free 30 days (but remember to cancel before your trial is done).
There really is no reason to pay for audiobooks with all of these free audiobook apps available. Remember that not all audiobooks are created equal. Some reads have been really boring and hard to get interested in….others I haven’t been able to turn off.
For me, it comes down to who is reading the book and what the genre book is. A non fiction book is really not enjoyable for me to listen to, but I love fiction. And, there have been many books I have turned off because I didn’t connect to the readers style.
Don’t give up if you don’t enjoy your first few audiobooks. Try a few genres until you find what works best for you.
Be sure to pin for future reference:
I hope you love these free audiobook apps as much as I do!