Audio books are just awesome!
But they also cost money.
And if you’re a bookworm, getting audio books for free that you can download and listen to can save you a lot of money.
Thankfully, just like sites that offer free books, there are also places where you can get 100% free audio books.
But first, for those of you how haven’t caught the bug yet, let me explain what makes audiobooks so great
The case for Audio Books
Audio books have gain immense popularity in the past few years.
They have completely changed the way information is consumed.
If you are like some people, you may be reading a few books at a time. With traditional books, that would mean you have to carry ab bag full of books with you when you travel.
But with audio books, you can have 100’s of them with you at any moment, all on your phone.
Audio books are also a little cheaper than books.
You can listen to your books on the go while driving, when working out, running, waiting at the dentist’s office, or whenever you have some free time.
That means you can “read” many more books.
There are even a few major audiobook streaming and subscription-based services out there that aim to make it more affordable to consume audio books, mainly services like Audible.com (an Amazon company) and AudioBooks.com.
But even audio book subscription services aren’t cheap.
For example, AudioBooks.com charges $14.95 which enables you to stream or download just one book per month.
So what does a budget-savvy bookworm do to satisfy his or her need for books while at the same time staying within the budget?
Free Audiobooks sites!
Thankfully, there are a few dozens great sites that offer 100% free audio books.
You can download or stream hundreds of thousands of books for free using these sites.
But weeding through that many sites to find the ones that carry the best and most titles can be time-consuming.
But you don’t have to do that!
We have done the work and find you the top 20 free audio book sites for downloading and streaming all kinds of books.
1. Open Culture
As the name probably suggests, the content here is more about cultural and educational stuff.
They have done a great job in finding many of the major classics and making them available for free to people.
There are multiple formats for you to download, which is completely obligation free, and you can choose to listen to them at a time and place of your liking.
The website has a functional search bar that makes your navigation easy. You can search by author’s name or the book’s genre.
Project Gutenberg is recognized not just for its huge array of e-books, but also a fantastic collection of audio books as well.
They don’t work in isolation. Alongside forward thinking companies like LibriVox and AudioBooksForFree, they have built up a massive virtual library.
While I am certainly impressed with the catalog listed, I am intrigued by the fact that I can find books that are purely 100% computer-generated.
This is another project that first made its name on free electronic books.
The Internet Archive Audio has subsequently made its foray into the audio space and now boasts of more than 6000 audio books.
They also have a nice collection of poems for download.
As in the case of the paper based physical books, there are also the serialized stories.
Here, they distribute them through RSS feeds.
To get to a certain episode, simply click on the corresponding link and you choose to play the clip instantly, or have it downloaded into your smart devices.
I like LibriVox for its unorthodox way of preparing their audio books.
They regularly invite users to send in the recording clips on chapters or sections of books. The resultant audio books bring about two very contrasting experience.
You may be the type who get excited hearing a bunch of noises narrating a story, or you can be simply put off by the idea.
While I applaud LibriVox’s willingness to experiment and take in any user’s speech to incorporate into the final audio books, I find the process is still yet to reach maturity stage. They have to draw up of a comprehensive program to make sure that the listening exercise to become more seamless.
Regardless, you can always fall back to the more traditional way of storytelling by checking out books listed as “solo”.
The audio books here are multilingual and made up of a wide variety of genres.
The content here is prepared in MP3 format. It consists mostly of poems and stories, and they are all available free of charge.
A useful search function is incorporated into the site so as to facilitate your navigation.
For kids reading stuff, they benchmark Flesch-Kincaid grade levels against their collection for kids, so parents could find the appropriate audio books.
Librophile has tons of free audio books on their site.
You can search by keywords, languages, authors or genres.
A nice feature of Librophile is that it allows you to listen to a short clip before deciding to download the content into your smartphone or notebook.
If you like more serious stuff like politics, science, philosophy and religion, for example, LearnOutLoud Free Audio will appeal to you.
They have really good quality materials around here.
This is the same website that used to be called Books Should Be Free.
The entire collection here is family friendly, and they made up of class literature mostly.
In addition to the conventional novels and stories, often multiple languages in MP3 and MP4 formats, the website also features podcast and RSS feed you can subscribe.
The search function is powered by Google search engine, so it is a breeze to find the content you look for.
To make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for, each individual audio book is also tagged with a rating system, so you get some sense of the book before you choose to download.
This place has a nice collection. The website also features a popularity chart to let you know what audio books are in demand according to genres.
This is an awesome site that contains all the classic books kids must read (or listen to, in this case!).
They have almost all the popular classic kids books you can think of, titles such as “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “The Ugly Duckling.”
Here, it is not just about a decent collection of classics, but really excellent classics featuring great names of the past.
This UK-based website allows a no hassle listening from its website directly.
Only the very established writers are featured here.
This site is dedicated to kid story books as well as fairy tales, with a splinter of educational stuff.
Children will find work from Hans Christian Anderson and Grimm Brothers particularly interesting.
15. Thought Audio
Thought Audio tends to cater for those not so mainstream titles.
If you have real problem looking for your favorite titles, you may just get lucky at this website.
This is another site with impressive range of audio books.
Users are also encouraged to download their free CD covers.
If you like Nikolle Doolin, you will enjoy this website as the content here is primarily voiced over by him.
Nikolle Doolin is also an established writer, in addition to being a voice actor.
If you like stories to be told in the natural setting, you are going to like it here.
The website owner does the recording herself at home, so you likely to hear background noises like a dog barking. Nevertheless, the stories do make for good bedtime “read”.
This website targets young teenagers and kids.
There are beautiful pictures accompany each audio book, which certainly add appeals to children.
20. Kids Audio Books
This is another website with kids being the primary audience.
The collection boasts of more than 300 titles.
There you have it, 20 sites where you can download and stream 100% free audio books from every genre imaginable.
Now you an get your education on for free.
If you have a favorite site where you download and stream audio books for free, I’d love to hear about it. Please share your sources in the comment section below.