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Free Audio Books - Enjoy A Great Read Even When Your Hands Are Busy

Updated on November 19, 2012
bigstock photo
bigstock photo | Source

I love going to art school and finally doing something about my artistic talent even if it means that I am more than twice as old as the majority of my schoolmates. However, being a full time art student has one very serious problem that I did not foresee, which is, we spend the majority of our waking time doing things with our hands. Of course that is to be expected, but if you were a die-hard bookworm like me, you will soon find the aforementioned “worm” dying from malnourishment as there is simply no time in your day or night to hold a book in hand and read!

After a long suffering of nearly ten months the solution finally came to me in the form of audio books!

Check The Free Audio Book Section From Your Local Libraries:

It so happened that I was at the library one day and I happened to notice one of my favorite book in the audio section. Auckland super city library system allows a month’s free rental for audio books from any of their 54 libraries either in person or over their online request system.Along with their 3.5 billion real books available for free rental, I am like a bookworm in book heaven! Better still, now I can do both of my favorite things at once! I can paint or draw and be listening to a great story or a philosophical discourse all at once! Now I have a wonderful and diverse collection in my iTune, from Eckart Tolle’s The Power Of Now to Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass Trilogy or Nora Robert’s romance, just to name a few, all thanks to my local libraries. It is true that you don’t get as many choices as you would a paper book, but I see it as a game of random selection, a bit like a lucky dip, and a chance of discovering authors I wouldn’t otherwise know.

A genuine not-for-profit heaven for Free Audio Books
A genuine not-for-profit heaven for Free Audio Books | Source

My Personal Rating for LibriVox:

4 stars for LibriVox Free Audio Books

From Free Online Resources:

I can’t remember what caused me to google “free online audio books” one day, but I am so glad I did. It led me to a wonderful non-for-profit website:

LibriVox is about “acoustical liberation of books in the public domain”. Their volunteers record books from the public domain and release the recording back into the web for free download. It has just celebrated it’s seventh anniversary on line and its 6000th recording project. There is no trial period before you have to start handing over money. It is an entire treasure trove for more classical readings and contains most of the important gems of the English Literature. (Literatures in other languages are also available). They are not all too serious. I've found many of my all time favorites for light and enjoyable listening among them.

How to download free audio books from LibriVox:

  1. Peruse the catalogue list or earch by book title or by author in the catalogue. Select the book you are interested in.
  2. Click on “subscribe in iTune” and it will be uploaded into your iTune’s Podcast.
  3. Double click on the new podcast icon for the new book and click on “Get All” to download all chapters. This will take a few minutes.

This is by far the easiest way to upload an entire book into your computer. A physical audio book has on average 5 to 10 individual CDs that require manual uploading into your computer. In the case of LibriVox recording, you are even saved from that tedious task.

Whenever you find multiple versions of recordings on LibriVox, I would highly recommend on getting the newest version. On the rare occasions, there is even a “Dramatic Reading” which means a theatric rendition by a wonderful cast of talented male and female readers. It is always a great treat when this happens. Most of the readers at LibriVox are really fantastic and very professional, capable of portraying different characters with clever and dramatic manipulation of their voice. I did, however, in two occasions, listened to two recordings by more amateur readers who are clearly less experienced and no-where near as clever with their voice. The result was simply very confusing. I could not tell whether there had been a change of character or not as I was listening and got so lost I had to abandon listening to that particularly badly recorded book. But I must say it does not happen very often. In any case, I am grateful to all the volunteers who so generously give their time and effort to record these great books for the benefit of people all over the world who could not otherwise afford it in other means. For their voluntary effort and their admirable goal to liberate audio books for all to enjoy, they definitely deserve a 5 out of 5 stars.

I have listened to and highly recommend the following on LibriVox:

  • The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett, recorded by Ashleigh Jane (version 3)
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, recorded by Elizabeth Klett (version 2 or 3)
  • Anne of Green Gable by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Dramatic reading (fantastic)
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, recorded by Elizabeth Klett (version 4)
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, recorded by Mark Smith (version 1)
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, recorded by T. Hynes (version 4)

Enjoy and Share!

I have no doubt you will find more than a few audio books that will suit your individual taste from either your local libraries or LibriVox. Please let me know how you get on and let me know if you ever come across a great audio book that's worth sharing. As always, I will be on the lookout for a great read, audio or otherwise. Happy Reading (Listening)!

Written by Vera Lin, 2012.


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    • Violet Flame profile image

      Violet Flame 5 years ago from Auckland, NZ

      Hi twig22bend,

      Thank you for your lovely comment! I just love listening to audio books! It keeps your hands free to do other things and save so much time! I am such a slow reader, it takes me at least three times longer to read the books myself! Best of all, most of the books are very nicely animated so it's like listening to real actions. Please feel free to share any good audio books you've listened to. Am always on the look out for good ones. xoxoxo

    • twig22bend profile image

      twig22bend 5 years ago

      I am addicted to audio books and I just love listening to them. Thanks for sharing.