6 of the Best Free Audiobook Apps To Curl Up With

2 days ago 7

Yashvi Peeti is an aspiring writer and an aspiring penguin. She has worked as an editorial intern with Penguin Random House India and HarperCollins Publishers India. She is always up for fangirling over poetry, taking a walk in a park, and painting tiny canvases. You can find her on Instagram @intangible.perception

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First things first, for anyone who doesn’t consider audiobooks as “real reading,” you probably aren’t reading this listicle at all, just judging by its title. But in case you are, let’s talk. The art of oral storytelling dates back at least 50,000 years, whereas written storytelling only goes as far back as over 3,000 years. For as long as stories have existed, we’ve gathered in circles to listen to them. Listening to stories, as audiobooks or otherwise, is one of the oldest forms of consuming them. Don’t let anyone convince you it’s less valid. Reading and listening to audiobooks are different experiences with their own quirks, and you absolutely get to pick what you fancy at a given time.

Audiobooks, however, can get a bit expensive owing to the additional work required to produce them. So, you can explore options for free audiobook apps to help you decide if this genre is for you!

This list contains free audiobook apps and websites that are open access, free with a library membership, or free along with any other membership. You can feel free to peruse and find the apps and websites that work best for your listening needs.

Libby app logo

Libby

If you have a membership with your local library, Libby is a great choice for you. You can log in with your library card, and it is completely free. However, you’re limited to the collection of your local library — which can have everything you’re looking for or not. It also functions much like an actual library where there are limited copies that you can borrow or place on hold. You also get to borrow it for a limited number of days (21 days for most titles.) I use Libby often and absolutely love it — even if I’m bummed from time to time about the limited collection and long hold periods. Download the Android app here and iOS app here.

LibriVox app logo

LibriVox

LibriVox is one of the best free audiobook apps. It launched in 2005 and has a great collection of public domain books that are converted into audiobooks by talented volunteers. You’ll find all your classics from Dickens to Twain. The free audiobooks come in multiple formats and can be downloaded to be listened to later. They also come in multilingual narrations from authors around the world. However, the nature of only using public domain books does limit their collection. Download the Android app here and iOS app here.

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Project-Gutenberg logo

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg has both human-read and computer-generated audiobooks. The computer-generated ones don’t make up for as great a reading experience. The website is ad-free and supports audiobooks in lots of languages. You can save individual chapters or download the entire audiobook. The Project Gutenberg Open Audiobook collection lets you listen to these audiobooks on Google Podcast, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify as well.

Internet Archive logo

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive has thousands of free audiobooks that you can sort through to find your next perfect listen. You can download your audiobooks at once or as individual chapters. One easy way to sort through the multiple audiobook options is by view count so you can find the most popular ones. If you happen to be into classic sci-fi audiobooks, you can also check out their MindWebs page.

Spotify app logo

Spotify

Did you know that Spotify gives its U.S. Premium users 15 free hours of audiobook listening every month? If you’re only finding out now, what are you waiting for? If you happen to use Spotify Premium already, you should take full advantage of this additional service. Most audiobooks are well under 15 hours, so you can definitely finish one or possibly even two within a month! Download the Android app here and iOS app here.

Libro.fm logo

Libro.fm

Libro.fm is one of my favourite audiobook apps. You can enjoy all the audiobooks you want while also supporting your local independent bookstores. How cool is that!? It gives you 1 audiobook credit with a membership that costs $14.99 every month. If you’re an educator, librarian, bookseller, or reviewer, you can join their Audiobook Listening Copy (ALC) program for free audiobooks. This will give you access to new and upcoming audiobook releases each month! Download the Android app here and iOS app here.

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