A while ago we published a comprehensive list of the 10 best websites for free audiobooks. The world hasn’t changed, and many of us are still way too busy to sit down and read. We therefore look for refuge in audiobooks, which can make reading possible even for the busiest person.
But most big websites provide similar selections. Should we be limited to mainstream just because we choose to read using audiobooks? Not at all. If you love unique books, unknown authors and books you generally don’t find in the usual book collections, you can still play the free audiobook game.
These 7 websites provide very interesting books, but the user experience is not always perfect. The books are there, and they are all decent quality, but you might have to dig for some really interesting finds. But hey, that’s all part of the fun!
Lit2Go is an audiobook project containing both books and poems, and is run by Florida’s Educationsl Technology Clearinghouse. This is a nice collection of fiction books, educational books, poems, short stories and more, which you can browse by author, title, reading level or subject matter.
Each book is available to download as MP3 or PDF, so Lit2Go can be used as an interesting source for eBooks as well. You can also view each book as plain text on a webpage, if you wish to listen on your computer and follow while you read.
Internet Archive includes, among other things, a sizable collection of audiobooks and poetry. While not the easiest site to browse, you can focus your attention on either regular browsing by title/keyword/subject (no author, for some reason), or check out the right sidebar for a list of the most downloaded audiobooks and some staff picks.
Since the website consolidated several collections, not all books are available in all formats. Some are available as MP3 only, while others are available as Ogg as well. The files are usually for individual chapters, though some books are available as a single download.
The Story Spieler
If Internet Archive seems crowded and confusing, The Story Spieler is one reader who hosts his files on Internet Archive, but also has his own blog where you can browse only his books. The books in The Story Spieler are narrated by a retired TV and radio broadcaster, and his choice of stories is both varied and interesting.
Browse the books using the huge category list which contains everything from history to Rudyard Kipling and from children’s stories to science fiction. Seriously, this guy is diverse. There are lots of books by famous classic authors, and a lot of titles you’ve probably never heard of. The books are available in MP3 format, and files are usually small, as appropriate to blog posts. Longer books are divided into chapters, which you can download individually.
Voices In The Dark
While not being a huge collection, Voice in the Dark is one of those places you can’t help but fall in love with. This is an intriguing collection of mystery, fantasy and poetry, mixed with some legends, fairy tales and much more. All are read by real people and all are available in both low quality and high quality MP3s.
While the whole website seems to have been preserved from the 90’s, the book collection is really interesting, and the readers are very diverse. You can easily browse the collection by genre, title or author. It’s hard to tell if the website is still being updated, but one can hope. This is one truly unique find.
If you’re looking for something a bit more mainstream, FreeAudioBooks is probably the most classical collection on this list. This is a diverse collection which features many true classics along with children’s stories, lots of non-fiction audios and many more genres to choose from. Whether you’re into plays, biographies or classic humor, you’re going to find it all here.
All files are available in the ZIP format, inside which you’d find a separate MP3 for each chapter.
If you’re a true sci-fi and fantasy buff , be sure to check out Tor.com. This is a large collection of short stories by famous or not-so-famous authors, which are available for download in MP3 format. If you’re into eReaders, most books are also available in Kindle, Nook and iPad formats. Scattered among the stories, you’ll also find the odd comic strip. These are not available in audio, but are a nice addition to the general experience.
When you click a story, you’ll usually get the text itself. To get the audio, search the left sidebar for the word “listen”. This is where you can download the audio. Not all stories have audio, but a good amount of them do.
Remember the good old days of pulp fiction? Well, I don’t. Pulp stories are an interesting glimpse into the 1930s, and could be really entertaining to read. I’ve heard a lot of these pulp magazine stories, but who has time to locate them and read them? This is where Pulp Daily comes in handy.
Pulp Daily is a blog, which unfortunately was not updated since January, but still contains a lot of recorded pulp magazine stories. The author was posting a chapter every few days, and you can browse the archives for some interesting stories from the blog’s past. You will have to download each story chapter by chapter, but this might be worth it for an excellent way to listen to a piece of entertainment history.
On the left you’ll find links to several other free audiobook blogs, these are all interesting finds and you should go ahead and to check them all out.
Don’t be deterred if you don’t find a good read on the main page of these websites. Part of the fun is in the browsing and finding, and all these websites offer some really good finds. And if you don’t have time, you can always pick something at random!
Want to share your experience from these websites? Know of more interesting audiobook websites? We’re waiting for your comments!
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