While we at the Riot take some time off to rest and catch up on our reading, we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Tuesday, January 3rd.
This post originally ran September 15, 2016.
We love audiobooks on Book Riot. We love listening to ’em on our commutes. While we’re cleaning the house. While we’re running. Or, even while we’re cooking. It’s a lot of time for audiobook listening. Thankfully, these 11 websites offer thousands and thousands of free audiobooks online, with many that you can access any time and anywhere. Thousands and thousands. That’s a lot of books. Get to listening.
Librivox is a non-profit initiative to record public domain books and release them as free audiobooks. The site boasts over 10,000 projects, with a diverse set of titles ranging from War and Peace to Leaves of Grass to The Dream of the Red Chamber to Anne of Green Gables.
You can even volunteer to read sections for books-in-progress!
Lit2Go offers free audiobooks, plays, short stories, and poems that have been tailored for use in classrooms. Along with each free audiobook, you’ll get citation information, play time, and word count. Some, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, have an accompanying PDF that can be used to read-along with the text.
You can also submit reviews and read what others have had to say about each of the titles.
As I wrote about previously, Mind Webs was a perfectly-executed, haunting old-time radio dramatization of over 150 of the most classic science fiction short stories.
You’ll find stories from Ursula K. Le Guin, Kurt Vonnegut, and H.G. Wells, among others.
Open Culture has combed through the same free audiobooks offered other places online, and compiled them into one list to browse. While you’ll still find many of the same classics offered elsewhere, like Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz audiobooks, you’ll also find stories by James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, and Virginia Woolf. Or poetry by Maya Angelou and Charles Bukowski.
Or, even a video of Neil Gaiman reading Coraline.
OverDrive provides access to the most ebook and audiobook content you’ll find on this list, by pairing with local libraries.
They have over two million books and videos, and partner with more than 30,000 libraries. You’ll find the newest audiobook releases through OverDrive, and they’re all free.
Podiobooks is a great option for newer releases, with many of the books read by the authors themselves. These free audiobooks are provided in a serialized form, so you can listen to small chunks that fit into your commute.
Podiobooks also encourages listeners to donate money directly to the authors of the books, with authors receiving 75% of donations.
Project Gutenberg, of course, is the classic site for free books that are in the public domain. And now, their section on human-read free audiobooks offers an even wider collection of books. Stand-outs include Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Colors of Space, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura.
Project Gutenberg also offers computer-read audiobooks, but imagine Siri reading you Moby Dick (thankfully, you do have a human-read option here).
Check out Spotify’s “Audiobooks” playlist for a list of free audiobooks that are always being added to by the service. Spotify is free to listen, or you can go premium if you don’t want the ads.
Storynory offers free audiobooks for kids, with a mix of classics, fairy tales, and original stories.
Every summer, teens (or adults!) looking for YA audiobooks can head over to SYNC, a free summer audiobook program for teens, sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and delivered by OverDrive.
If you can’t find the audiobook you want for free, you can always look towards other services for cheaper options. Audible now has a sharing service where you can send a free book to anyone you want. Downpour allows you to rent audiobooks for a fraction of the cost.
Or, you can always sign up for Book Riot’s Deal of the Day newsletter, where Jeff occasionally features cheap audiobooks on sale.
One thing you’ll notice, and quickly, when using these sites to find free audiobooks is that, well, they’re often difficult to connect to your phone (or whatever device you’re listening to your audiobooks on).
Other Rioters swear by the Bound app, which downloads your audiobooks directly from a DropBox account onto your Bound app. It also allows you to use bookmarks and can remember where you paused your book. And it’s simply prettier and easier to use.
The Audiobooks app is another place to find free audiobooks, with a much easier-to-use interface.
What are your favorite places to find free audiobooks?