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free audio booksBusy times call for some workarounds. One of the distinct advantages of audio books over its more physical form is that it saves time. Audio books take away a sliver of fun from the enjoyment of a book, but if the voiceover is well done, it makes up for it.

With the explosion of personal media players like iPods and even mobile phones which can carry media files, even a routine walk can be turned into an education.

Not all books are good for easy listening. Audio books on goal setting and motivation lend themselves well to listening while walking. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy an audio narration of a novel or even a bit of poetry.


The search for audio books may not always get you the title you want. Even then, you can get a few gems when you go searching. So, where do you go searching for free audio books to download and enjoy?

The following ten audio book websites, of course.

Booksshouldbefree

free audio books

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At this address you get free audio books in multiple genres and languages. You can check out the Top 100, drill through the genres, or use the Google search at the top to get the free audio book for download.

Downloads are available in mp3 and iTunes format. The books are mostly classical literature and very well organized with reviews and a small preview. You can also check out the Wikipedia links on the book and the author.

NewFiction

free online audio books

NewFiction.com is one of the better “˜lookers’ in the class of free audio book websites. Perhaps, because it’s about “˜iSoaps’ or fictionalized stories delivered in episodes daily. Stories are voiced by trained dramatic actors for your aural appeal.

You can subscribe to the “˜iSoaps’ and play episodes online, get it as a podcast, or download it to your PC or your portable device (iPod, cell phone etc).

ThoughtAudio

free online audio books

ThoughtAudio is a neat little audio book website with a neat collection of classical works. You can listen to them online or download them in segments. You can also view the written text of some of the books as a PDF download.

LibriVox

free online audio books

Our previous thorough review Get Free Public Domain Audiobooks From LibriVox Get Free Public Domain Audiobooks From LibriVox Read More on LibriVox covers this audio book website. LibriVox is a repository of free audio books in the public domain. It is a volunteer driven site, where enthusiasts record freely available books and make them available as MP3 downloads or podcasts.

You can also volunteer to be a reader Join The User-Generated Content Revolution Join The User-Generated Content Revolution Read More , no qualifications other than an audible voice is necessary. You can search through the collection using the catalog search on the site. An advanced search option is also available.

Podiobooks

free online audio books

Podiobooks is a similar episodic audio rendition of free audio books as podcasts. Like lot of podcasts, you can receive them as RSS feeds or download them directly. The number of categories is well covered from alternative history to chick lit and satire. The audio book site has about 434 titles in its stock.

Open Culture

free audio books to download

Audio books are just one of the sections covered on this site which focuses on educational media collected from other sites. You get to download free courses from universities in MP3 format, language lessons as podcasts, and a variety of other podcasts that cover subjects like technology, travel, music, science, and more.

Learn Out Loud

free audio books to download

LearnOutLoud.com is a well designed and large collection of audio books. Their catalog has 25,000 audio and video titles in a mixture of paid and free. You can click on the tab marked as Free Stuff to access the free audio books that are available for download with a right click.

All usual genres are well represented. For instance, if you are into self development, you have 425 titles to choose from. All titles are rated and reviewed.

Project Gutenberg

free audio books to download

Project Gutenberg is the ongoing effort to digitize and archive cultural works in the form of eBooks. It also works in co-operation with websites like LibriVox and AudioBooksForFree for creating audio books. As a result, you can browse through their comprehensive list of human and machine read audio books.

You can go through the list alphabetically for author and title. Audio books are also available in a number of languages. But the quicker way would be to use the Advanced Search page.

Storynory

audio books

A free audio book site especially for children is a nice little place for classic children stories like “˜A Christmas Carol’, fairy tales “˜Aesop’, educational stories that cover The Bible or history, and lots of other original stuff. You can download a free audio story every week.

Librophile

free audio books

The interface at first glance appears a bit off-the-wall. Then you realize that it’s a search tool for eBooks. Librophile collects and displays eBooks mostly from LibriVox and Audible. Click on the Free button and then go through the listings.

A mouseover over the thumbnail cover gives you a sketchy summary. You can download the free audio books as a ZIP file, play it in the browser, or check it out as a readable eBook. Clicking on a title takes you to the Audible or LibriVox website.

Do you have any other free audio book site to add to the list? Personally, I have found audio books to be the best way to beat traffic jams. What about you?

Image Credit: PlayfulLibrarian

  1. sad
    November 8, 2016 at 2:51 am

    I HAVE GONE through over 50 sites and i can't find the book i want the book came out in 2000
    book --- Plague Time by Paul W. Wald

    • Saikat Basu
      November 8, 2016 at 7:13 am

      There doesn't seem to be an audio version of it.

  2. Erik Jon
    January 11, 2016 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to prepare this nice list.

    I just wanted to offer an opinion about LearnOutLoud.com. I have been trying it, off and on, for years. I find that about 75% of it is PAID material, and among the freebies, there is not much useful. Much of the freebies consist of the first chapter of a narration that they sell, or the first lecture of a series that they sell, and much of the other stuff is either outdated or items of little appeal, such as perhaps the 9/11 report, or Clinton's speech given about some insignificant event. Every time I try the site, I wish I hadn't.

    All the other sites that you named may be very good. Thought Audio's narrations are simply wonderful, but the selection is rather limited.

    You may wish to add to your list EJUNTO.ORG for a few political and philosohical narrations, equally well done.

    Thanks again, my friend.

    • Saikat Basu
      January 12, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Thanks for the feedback Erik. This article is pretty dated now. Perhaps, we will bring out an updated one soon.

  3. Sergey Larin
    October 24, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Hello. The book called " LET STALK STRINE" sent me here. I am going to learn some Australian English as I am an English tutor. I have this idea that if I get an audio-book and mix reading with listening, the process will carry on faster, like when you read subtitles if you don't understand some film in original. So, guys, could you tell me where to find this audio-book, if it exists at all? The 'written' book is here, if anyone gets interested "http://www.textfiles.com/humor/strine.txt" P.S. +1

  4. sluagh
    March 8, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    audiobookbay is the only useful suggestion here... unless of course someone wants only 100yrs old books or some amateur stuff.

  5. Leah
    January 29, 2015 at 6:40 am

    I'm a huge fan of https://archive.org/details/audio for all kinds of audio materials.

  6. Azhare55
    October 3, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    this web site is really rich
    god bless who made it
    thank's a lot

    regards

    woroud

    teleghma

  7. Craftlit Heather
    September 5, 2010 at 6:32 am
  8. Craftlit Heather
    September 5, 2010 at 6:30 am

    There's also CraftLit, Forgotten Classics, and ChopBard.

  9. ABC (Audiobook Collector)
    August 29, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    And this is MY favorite tool to maintin my vast collection :)

    http://www.the-airheads.com (My Audiobook Collection) an extensive tool for my Audiobooks.

  10. ABC (Audiobook Collector)
    August 29, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    And this is MY favorite tool to maintin my vast collection :)

    http://www.the-airheads.com (My Audiobook Collection) an extensive tool for my Audiobooks.

  11. Russel S.B.
    August 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    For Muslims, there is an audio version of Holy Quran as well,

    http://www.mp3quran.net/eng/

    To read it online check out, http://quran.com/

  12. Tamiran Irwan
    August 29, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Audiobooks turns your car into a university on wheels.

  13. C. Talltree
    August 28, 2010 at 1:02 am

    My favorite book is the Bible. You can get an audio download here:
    http://www.jw.org/index.html?o...

    Or, if you wish to read it online instead, go here:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bi...

  14. C. Talltree
    August 27, 2010 at 11:02 pm

    My favorite book is the Bible. You can get an audio download here:
    http://www.jw.org/index.html?option=QrYQZRQVNlVlYR

    Or, if you wish to read it online instead, go here:
    http://www.watchtower.org/e/bible/index.htm

  15. Ethanbro
    August 27, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    I'm a road-warrior that listens to more books than music in a 5-7hr drive (one way). Not finding what I want through the local library has me thinking this post really-really helpful. Thanks a bunch for the list and descriptions!

    • Saikat Basu
      August 28, 2010 at 8:36 am

      Hi Ethan, wow...a 7 hr commute everyday! You can get quite an education in an year's worth of time through audio-books.

  16. AmyeToTheRescue!
    August 27, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    I love these! I have been using many of them for quite a while. Thanks for this list!

  17. Saikat Basu
    August 27, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Thanks a lot for all the extra links guys!

  18. Chip
    August 26, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Also, http://www.overdrive.com publishes a HUGE catalog of audio books that are offered through memberships at your local library. They have many newer titles, and are compatible with most MP3 players. Only downside is that you may have to wait for the title to become available, and the title expires and cannot be played after 14 days. Did I mention...it's FREE?

  19. Chip
    August 26, 2010 at 10:46 am

    Also, http://www.overdrive.com publishes a HUGE catalog of audio books that are offered through memberships at your local library. They have many newer titles, and are compatible with most MP3 players. Only downside is that you may have to wait for the title to become available, and the title expires and cannot be played after 14 days. Did I mention...it's FREE?

    • None
      August 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

      Just move the audio book title you want to keep out of Overdrive's "My Media" folder and it's yours forever!

  20. Chuck
    August 24, 2010 at 2:44 pm
  21. Chuck
    August 24, 2010 at 12:44 pm
  22. deytazan
    August 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm
  23. deytazan
    August 24, 2010 at 11:11 am
  24. nm
    August 24, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Great list Saikat - I've been wanting to give audiobooks a try so this is a fabulous place to start. Thank you!

  25. Pete Markovic
    August 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

    AudioforBooks.com offers a growing library of free audiobooks for its members. Membership is free and there are other benefits for subscribers. I think you have summarized the benefits of audiobooks very well in the first paragraph of this page.

    It's the quality of the narration that projects the scene of the story into the mind of the listener that makes a great audio book. This is often borne out by listening to the same book, read by a different narrator.

    Recording an audiobook is no simple task and does require certain skills by the narrator, an analogy I sometimes use to explain this is, most people can sing! But not everyone can do it really well.

    Pete Markovic
    Publisher of AudioforBooks.com

  26. Pete Markovic
    August 24, 2010 at 7:45 am

    AudioforBooks.com offers a growing library of free audiobooks for its members. Membership is free and there are other benefits for subscribers. I think you have summarized the benefits of audiobooks very well in the first paragraph of this page.

    It's the quality of the narration that projects the scene of the story into the mind of the listener that makes a great audio book. This is often borne out by listening to the same book, read by a different narrator.

    Recording an audiobook is no simple task and does require certain skills by the narrator, an analogy I sometimes use to explain this is, most people can sing! But not everyone can do it really well.

    Pete Markovic
    Publisher of AudioforBooks.com

    • Exxe
      December 25, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      This is not a free site!
      The website AudioforBooks not offer free audio books!

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