ORLANDO, Fla. – If the pandemic has you searching for a new hobby or your wallet isn’t exactly letting you purchase the next hardcover modern-day classic, consider plugging in your headphones to listen to an audiobook.
We understand that for paperback purists it may seem like a literary betrayal to ditch turning pages to swipe on a screen, but would a book devotee pass up an excuse to celebrate their favorite literature and stories? We thought not.
So in the spirit of audiobook month and encouraging everyone to appreciate literature in all of its forms, we’ve rounded up a few ways you can listen to audiobooks for free with little to no commitment.
People all over the world lend their voices to bring you familiar texts like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Around the World in 80 Days with LibriVox.
The website’s goal is to make all books in the public domain available online as audiobooks. They’re narrated by real people and distributed for free. Those who choose to try their hand at narrating can do so within a group or personally, all you need is a microphone and recording software.
When one heads to LibriVox, the first page will ask if you want to volunteer to read a text up for grabs or look at their collection. If you choose to peruse what the site has to offer, prepare to scroll. There’s hundreds of options and you can filter the titles by language, year, genre, etc.
If you choose to use LibriVox, we recommend you know what you’re looking for otherwise you may be browsing for a while before picking that perfect sound file.
Check out LibriVox by clicking here.
DigitalBook is an easy-to-use, clean-cut and simply formatted platform to find all sorts of audiobooks to dive right into, all of which are completely free to enjoy.
The selection the platform offers includes more than 100,000 audio and ebooks in the public domain.
“Our powerful search engine not only looks hard for free digital books from great sources such as Librivox, Gutenberg, Google Books, and Open Library but also includes results from Amazon to give you the best choice,” according to the DigitalBook website.
A variety of books in multiple languages are also offered for international readers.
Trending now on DigitalBook: “The Bad Beginning, A Multi-Voice Recording: A Series of Unfortunate Events #1” and “Romeo and Juliet (version 4).”
See what else DigitalBook has to offer by clicking here.
OpenCulture boasts one of the best collections of cultural and educational media on the internet. Apart from downloading free courses and ebooks, they have a collection of more than 1,000 audiobooks ready for a listen.
You can find great works of fiction, classics, non-fiction and poetry. These works are often available via free mp3 files or directly on iTunes. By using those options you can make your own curated playlist of poetry or lecture material, whatever fits your curiosity. Depending on one’s settings of their computer, phone or tablet -- a book enthusiast can often listen to the material much like how one would listen to a podcast.
Open Culture is always updating its list as it scours the web for the best educational media from language lessons to a new recording of “Pride and Prejudice,” making sure there’s plenty of enlightenment in between.
Want to peruse their poetry collection or check out the latest literature has to offer? Click here.
The adorable name is no coincidence, StoryNory is a website dedicated to bringing fables and fairytales fit for the littlest of listeners.
You can peruse the lesser-known and more kid-friendly stories of Oscar Wilde or Charles Dickens, or listen to StoryNory renditions of old Greek mythology. If you don’t think the kids can sit through an entire book, there’s rhymes and poems available for a quick listen too. They even have a collection of educational stories that have been adapted for a younger audience ready to stream.
StoryNory’s website is relatively easy to navigate with a description of each listening option. Parents and babysitters seem to enjoy familiar stories like “Alice in Wonderland” or “A Christmas Carol” and can even browse collections meant for the big kids.
Schedule your next lullaby session or listen to a magical fight with a dragon by clicking here.
Spotify Audiobooks Playlist
It’s an app you probably already have on your phone for browsing music, but Spotify also offers a wide array of audiobooks that you can listen to for free.
All you need is a free Spotify account to listen to a variety of popular readings, from short stories to full length novels.
Some celebrities even make appearances on the app reading everything from bedtime stories for kids to adult classics.
Have you ever wanted to listen to Dame Judy Dench read a bedtime story about astronauts? What about listening to Daniel Radcliffe read excerpts from Harry Potter? Spotify has you covered.
To learn more about how you can listen to full-length audiobooks on Spotify, click here.
[PLAYLIST BELOW: Listen to Spotify’s Audiobooks Highlights playlist to preview some books]