- Books, Literature, and Writing
Download Free Audio Books
Where to Find and Download Free Audio Books
This article explains how to download free audio books.
Audio books are books that are read outloud, either by a human speaker or by a computer generated synthetic voice. Very often popular or best selling print books are also published in audio book format. These editions can be abridged or include the entire text of the original book. Depending on the popularity of the original book or author, audio books can be quite expensive, but they have a distinct advantage over print books in that you can "read" them while you are doing something else. Audio books are therefore a great way to keep up with the latest best sellers and stimulate you mind while you carry out routine tasks like commuting to work. I personally like to listen to audio books while working out on the treadmill or the elliptical trainer. I find that listening to an audio book motivates me to exercise because I want to know what happens in the next chapter.
The problem is that audio books can be expensive and if you listen to a lot of them, it can get quite costly. I don't like to buy audio books because I tend to only listen to them once and I find that it is often not worth the investment. Luckily there are many places online where you can download free audiobooks legally. I am not talking about downloading pirated copies from bittorrent or P2P networks. These are perfectly legally ways to download some great free audiobooks. The article below explains how it works.
The sites recommended in this article only provide legal audio book downloads online for free. The audiobooks are free because they have been released to the public domain or the copyright on the original text has expired and volunteers have taken the time to read and record the text outloud. Do not breach copyright and stay clear of any dodgy download sites.
Top Sites Where You Can Download Free Audiobooks Legally
Below are some great sites where you can download free audio books:
- Librivox.org - Librivox is a nonprofit site run by a community of volunteers from around the world. It has a very large catalog of free audio books, all of which are in the public domain. You can download audio books in a variety of different file formats including MP3, OGG, and for your Ipod. The good thing about Librivox is the variety of free books offered. The downside is that most of the readers are not professionals so the quality of the narration varies. I recommend listening to a sample online before taking the time to doanload the audio book. (Yes I noticed the typo, but you would be surprised how many people accidentally search for doanload when they meant to type download). Librivox is particularly good if you want to listen to classic books. You can download the files and play them on your computer, or your ipod, or even burn them to CD.
- LiteralSystems.org has a very small but good quality collection of free audiobooks. they are read by actors so the voice narration is high quality, but the library is somewhat scant.
- BooksShouldbeFree.com is a nice looking site that lets you browse for free books by clicking on thumbnail images of the cover art. Most of the books come from Librivox, however, so there is little original content here. Nevertheless it may be worth visiting this site because they seem to have selected some of the better quality products from Librivox and the site navigation is better.
- Audiobooks.org has a very small selection of free audio books, just enough to get you to visit the site. Then they try to sell you subscriptions to pay to download sites such as Audible.com
- LitteratureAudio.com -- if you speak French or are learning the language this site has a great collection of French audio books, all for free. The narration is very good.
- LiberLiber.it-- this site has a great collection of audio books in Italian. The narration and selection is very good. I highly recommend this site if you speak Italian or are trying to learn the language. All the audio books on this site are free. [Update: As of April 2013, this site is no longer entirely free. To keep their site running they ask that you donate $3.00 by Paypal. This will give you access to their entire inventory and is very much worth it.]