Nothing compares to snuggling up with a good book and smelling the real paper pages. For convenience, though, audiobooks are pretty darn close to as good as the real thing.
Audiobooks let you be well-read even when you don’t think you have time to read.
While it’s true that you’ll make time for what’s important to you, it really is hard when your list of important things is a mile long. I like to efficiently multi-task (note: not all multi-tasking is efficient) while listening to audiobooks. While I’m doing a chore that takes no brain power like cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, or organizing, I love getting lost in a good book.
Do you commute? Do you exercise? You can kill two birds with one stone by listening to a book while you drive or work out.
Audiobooks are great for kids too!
In fact, in our family audiobooks are the secret to serenity on any car trip. Of course they’re great for road trips, but for us who live out in the boonies, going to church or the grocery store may as well be a road trip. All that time in the car is great for whining, whistling, wrestling and generally annoying your fellow passengers.
Putting on an audiobook magically turns chaos into calm, whether it’s in the car, the kitchen or the bedroom. The kids are glued to the story and suddenly forget complaining, arguing, nit-picking, mess-making and pestering. They can relax and just listen or work on a project with their hands, like knitting or building with blocks.
The best part is that audiobooks don’t even have to cost you anything! Here are four great ways to get audiobooks for free!
1- Check the CDs (or cassettes) out from the library
Your local public library has audio books on CD (or even cassette) that you can check out. If you’ve never looked at the audio book section, you might be surprised at how big it is. Our library has a whole section of kids audio books. Recently we have been checking out a few books each time we visit the library.
Just like other library materials, you can look up the exact title you want or you can browse in person or online. When I browse I always find titles I’m interested in that I never would have thought to look for. When you’re searching the catalog online, you can also filter by the type of media.
2- Check out the digital audio books from your library’s partner
Did you know your public library has a lot more available than what you see on the shelves? If you haven’t been to your library’s website recently, you’re missing out on some hidden treasures.
Libraries partner with digital book providers to make them available to library card holders. Over 30,ooo libraries use OverDrive, which gives you access to literally millions of titles, including thousands of audiobooks. Even though the books are digital, your library has a limited number of licenses, so you sometimes have to wait for a title to become available, just like you would reserve a book at the library.
All you need is a library card!
To check out a digital audiobook, you’ll need to also download a free app to play the book. When your checkout period ends, the book will disappear. The best part is you don’t have to worry about losing or damaging the library’s resources or paying any late fees. And since the file disappears when your time runs out, you don’t have to worry about your device’s storage space being bogged down with audio book files.
3- Download books from librivox.org
While there are many sites online where you can download free books, LibriVox.org has one of the most extensive collections. You won’t find anything that is currently under copyright, but you’ll find loads of classics and other books published before 1923.
Unlike the audio files that you “check out” of the library, there is no time limit on these files. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have listened to The Adventures of Reddy Fox (and other animal stories by Thornton W. Burgess).
Volunteers record themselves reading books that are in the public domain, and thus no longer under copyright. These can be older books, published before 1923, books to which the copyright was never renewed, government works, or other books intentionally placed in the public domain. Librivox is a non-commercial, non-profit and ad-free project.
4- Get a free trial of Audible
Audible is an Amazon company that specializes in audiobooks. They have the world’s largest selection of audiobooks. When you sign up for their free 30-day trial you get 2 free audiobooks! You can cancel at anytime and keep the books that you’ve already downloaded.
Audible has a huge selection including over 180,000 best sellers, new releases, sci-fi, romances, mysteries, classics, and more.
If you choose to continue with a membership after the trial, the price is $14.95 per month which includes 1 audiobook download and 30% off additional audiobook purchases.
I was recently talking with a friend who drives a truck inside a huge mine. School has never been his thing and he’s never been a big reader. Now that he spends most of his long work days in a truck by himself, he is excited to discover that he loves books! Audiobooks have opened a whole new world to him, offering subjects and stories that he never would have encountered without them.
There really aren’t any excuses for not having great listening material. Go find something motivating, uplifting, educational, or enjoyable to listen to.
Be careful though. You might just be motivated to clean the house, exercise or take a trip while you listen!
How about you?
- When do you listen to audiobooks?
- Where do you get your audiobooks?
Note: This post contains an affiliate link. For more info, see my disclosure page.
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