The 7 best places to download or listen to free audiobooks
- You can find
free audiobookswithout subscribing to Audible or another subscription service.
- Sites like LibrVox, Internet Archive, and Lit2Go offer a vast number of mainly public domain books for download.
- Here are seven of the best places to legally download free audiobooks.
Our lives are busy, and it can be hard to make time to read books.
LibriVox is a large database of audiobooks which are completely free and in the public domain. The site's books are read by voice actor volunteers from around the world and there are more than 16,000 titles available to download. You can search by title, subject, or author in dozens of languages. And when you find a book to listen to, you can play it chapter by chapter on the website or download the complete audiobook in a zip file. If you prefer, you can install the mobile app as well (iOS, Android).
Overdrive works with local libraries around the country to make ebooks and audiobooks available for fast and easy download. After creating an Overdrive account, connect to your local library (assuming your library works with Overdrive, though many do) and use your digital library card to check out audiobooks from Overdrive. Unlike many public domain audiobook sites, Overdrive gives you access to contemporary books, including titles on The New York Times bestseller list. Overdrive is also available as a mobile app for iOS and Android.
The Internet Archive is a nonprofit digital library that has curated and cataloged millions of books, music, software, websites, and other online media. It's perhaps best known for operating the Wayback Machine, which you can use to see websites as they were at various times in the past. But in addition to that, you can use the Internet Archive to browse more than 20,000 audiobooks in addition to the entire LibriVox catalog, which is also contained here. You can download any audiobooks you find here in MP3 format or play them in the player on the website.
Another robust collection of public domain literature, Lit2Go leans into education by rating all of its titles on the Flesch-Kincaid grade level scoring system. This makes it easy to filter and browse audiobooks by grade level, from kindergarten through 12th grade. You can play books by chapter with the on-page audio player and read along with the text, or download the audiobook, often through a link to iTunes U.
Open Culture offers 1,000 free audiobooks for download. It's not the most elegant interface; here you'll find a list of public domain and open-source books organized with the authors in alphabetical order, from Aesop's Fables to Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Exactly how you access the content depends on the book — some are direct MP3 downloads, while others link to the Internet Archive, iTunes, or a YouTube video.
ThoughtAudio should appeal to a specific kind of reader. The catalog of books is focused on a fairly specific genre: classic literature and philosophy titles. The collection is currently just about 100 titles and some books are easily downloaded, while others feature audio embedded in a player on the webpage. In addition, some of the audiobooks (though not all) have a PDF transcript you can download for reference.
Have little kids who love to listen to audiobooks? Storynory focuses on audiobooks for the younger set, with a large collection of classic fairy tales, authors like Charles Dickens and Rudyard Kipling, myths and legends from around the world, and educational stories. The site also has a collection of original stories. You can listen to any story using a player embedded on the page (along with the text of the story) or you can download audiobook files as MP3s to play elsewhere.
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