Listen to free public domain audiobooks in your browser, then download the ones you like. If you’re looking to reacquaint yourself with the classics, AudioLiterate is a great site to check out and browse.
There’s something relaxing about listening to a book being read. Whether you want something to do during a long drive or just a way to relax at home while doing chores, audiobooks make reading something you can do while multi-tasking. Sure, it’s not as relaxing as actually reading a good book, but it’s the next best thing for busy people.
We’ve shown you sites that offer free audiobook downloads before. AudioLiterate is new to the game, but offers something that sets it apart – browser-based streaming. You can listen to an entire book from your browser, if you want, or easily download a complete ebook.
Head to AudioLiterate and you’ll see an assortment of recommended books and genres. You can browse to your heart’s content, either by searching or by exploring the featured books.
You’ll notice that some titles are clearly public domain, while others are clearly not. More on that later; for now let’s check out a public domain title – Thoreau’s Walden.
As you can see, there is a summary of the book alongside a playlist (embedded from Archive.org). You can listen to any chapter of the book, or you can download the entire file. Be warned – these files are not small.
The number of books offered here are limited, but quickly growing. Even so, it’s a great start and you’ll probably find something you like.
Why Not Go To The Source?
Most of the free works here come from LibriVox, a much more complete collection of audiobooks. Run by volunteers, this site aims to record every public domain book on earth.
Why use AudioLiterate at all, then? Well, for one thing, AudioLiterate offers a much cleaner interface than LibriVox. This is made for listeners to quickly find what they want. AudioLiterate also offers online streaming; LibriVox does not.
Having said that, there are certain annoyances with AudioLiterate that might lead some to stick with LibriVox. The collection of books at AudioLiterate is small, but growing quickly. Another problem is that some of the latest books are decidedly not free.
You’ll notice there are a few recent audiobooks, and that they cost money. So far as I can tell, these aren’t hosted by AudioLiterate. Clicking the “download” button takes you to Audible.com’s offering of a particular audiobook. Presumably this is an affiliate link, used by the site to generate some money. I’m okay with this in principle. AudioLiterate needs to pay its bandwidth costs somehow. However it would be nice if the paid audiobooks weren’t quite so prominent, and if the site was a little more transparent with what it’s doing. What do you think?
Overall, though, there’s not much to complain about here. The site is a simple way to find and listen to classic works of literature, so I hope you check it out and give the great works offered here a listen.
Let us know what you think in the comments below, along with links to your favorite free audiobooks.