Busy 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.
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.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 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.
Our previous thorough review 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, 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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