Whether we’re doing a chore or commuting, audiobooks make for great company. With their increasing popularity, it’s become the need of the hour to search for websites that provide free audiobooks, so we can listen to them to our heart’s content without bankrupting ourselves. While YouTube and Spotify have a selection of free audiobooks, you’ll have to spend a lot of time browsing to find what you are looking for. Websites like Audible and Storytel can be a tad expensive but are worth it for the variety and quality of content. Whether you’re a newbie or a long-time fan of audiobooks, these 8 websites are great for when you are looking for free audiobooks.
LibriVox has an extensive collection of audiobooks that are narrated by thousands of volunteers. It has audiobooks, like Leaves Of Grass, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn and Sherlock Holmes, that can be downloaded either chapter-wise or in their entirety. Along with books in 30+ languages, LibriVox also has a selection of Hindi, Bengali, Tamil and Sanskrit audiobooks. One of the drawbacks of LibriVox is that since it only contains audiobook versions of books in the public domain, you won’t find audiobooks of new releases. Further, since the audiobooks are recorded by volunteers, you might find that one chapter of the book has been read in a British accent, and another in a German one.
Visit LibriVox here.
Lit2Go sorts books according to the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level index, a readability test which categorises books according to ease of reading. The audiobooks have also been categorised into genres like Adventure, Science Fiction, Satire and Tragedy, collections, such as Monstrous Creatures, African American Literature or Books Made Into Movies. We love how much detail is given on the individual pages for audiobooks- in addition to a short description of the book, Lit2Go has summaries of each chapter as well. The website boasts of classics like The Time Machine, Wuthering Heights, and Crime And Punishment.
Visit Lit2Go here.
Loyal Books provides free audiobooks and ebooks that are available in the public domain. Books are organised by genre and you can choose from a variety of categories like Historical Fiction, Fairy Tales, and Philosophy. Books are available in several languages, such as French, Italian, and Japanese. With over 7,000+ free audiobooks, Loyal Books is a great resource and we love that they allow listeners to leave reviews, making it easier for us to decide if we want to get the audiobook. Some books that might instantly captivate you are Dracula, Walden, and Emma.
Visit Loyal Books here.
Open Culture has done all the hard work for us by wading through several websites, such as YouTube, Spotify, and Librivox, to compile a list of free audiobooks. It’s a little difficult to navigate because there are no filters. However, if you are willing to spend some time going through the list, you’ll find some interesting content like audiobook versions of poetry by Maya Angelou and Charles Bukowski, a YouTube video of Neil Gaiman reading Coraline, and one of Tolkien reading chapters from The Lord Of The Rings.
Visit Open Culture here.
You’ve probably heard of Project Gutenberg, but you may not know that in addition to free e-books, it also offers free audiobooks. Their collection is divided into audiobooks read by humans and computer-generated narrations and has titles in a number of languages, including Telugu and Sanskrit. With audiobooks like Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Shakespeare’s sonnets and Moby Dick, this website is a wonderful resource for anyone looking for free audiobooks.
Visit Project Gutenberg here.
Digitalbook has over 1,00,000 free e-books and audiobooks. It has a rather clean interface and allows you to brows audiobooks by genre. You can choose to download the audiobook in its entirety or by chapter. Alternatively, you could also listen to it as a podcast on iTunes. The distinct feature of this website is that it lets you adjust the speed of narration according to your preference.
Visit Digital Book here.
Focusing mostly on classics and philosophical literature, ThoughtAudio lets you download and stream audiobooks and even provides a PDF transcript. The collection on this website includes the works of Khalil Gibran, Immanuel Kant, James Joyce, and Nietzsche, among others. The major drawbacks of this website are its limited collection and the fact that you can only download the audiobook one chapter at a time.
Visit ThoughtAudio here.
Internet Archive is a non-profit library containing public domain books, digitised material, and archived websites. With over 18,000 audiobooks in its collection, this website gives very specific filters, such as language, topics, creator, etc., to help you browse more efficiently. Here you will find classic collections, such as the Naropa Poetics Audio Archives which contain over 5,000 hours of readings, lectures, performances etc. by authors like William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Anne Waldman.
Visit Internet Archive here.
Prasanna is a human (probably) who makes stuff up for a living. When she’s not sleeping or eating, you’ll find her in the quietest corner of the library, devouring yet another hardbound book. She vastly prefers the imaginary world to the real one, but grudgingly emerges from her writing cave on occasion. If you do see her, it’s best not to approach her before she’s had her coffee.
She writes at The Curious Reader. You can read her articles here.