Long commutes, road trips, being stuck behind the wheel because you're an Amish Taxi driver (like my Dad), trying to run more than one mile on the treadmill and you need a little distraction to take the sting off − you're probably hungry for some audio books to listen to.
And not just any audio books. Free ones.
After all, just one Amish taxi trip out to Indiana and you're probably going to get through two books right there.
Imagine the bill you might rack up after a year?
Wait, you don't have to because I've done the math. Your first year with a membership service like Audible.com would cost you $164.45 (includes the one-month free trial).
Keep your $164.45, and try these audio books free instead.
Free Audio books Source #1: Public Domain Projects
Source audio books free from the Public Domain. The Public Domain refers to creative materials, like books and music, that are not protected by copyright laws. These can include works that automatically are assigned to the public domain by the author, works that have entered it due to copyright expiration, and works that are there because you can't copyright them (more information on the Public Domain here).
- Project Gutenburg: Project Gutenburg is known for keeping the classics of literature accessible and alive. It turns out, they've enlisted the help of volunteers to read and record some of these books for everyone to enjoy. There are also computer-generated audio books…your choice. Some gems I found include Robinson Crusoe, Little Women, and a whole pile of Jane Austen books.
- LibriVox: This user-friendly search site has over 10,450 audio books from the public domain ready for your ears to listen to.
- Com: Another user-friendly (very visual format) to find public domain audio books free for you. Since the majority of free public domain books are digitized by Gutenberg.org and recorded by Librivox.org, this is merely a search engine feeding from those two sites.
Free Audio books Source #2: Your Library
Your local library is not only the source for any book or DVD (including the ones on your Netflix list through the use of Interlibrary Loan) you could want, but it also is stocked with audio books free for you to borrow!
And if your library has a subscription to Overdrive? Well then you can peruse and borrow audio books free from the comfort of your own home, at work, heck, even in the bathroom (wait, you don't have a family member who reads on the John?).
Some particularly great finds on Overdrive right off of my reading wish list are: Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic, Gary Keller's The ONE Thing, and Hal Elrod's The Miracle Morning.
Check out Overdrive for yourself and see if your library participates. If not, head to your library and get set up to start checking out audio books.
Free Audio books Source #3: Indie Author Collection Sites via Creative Commons Licenses
Some new authors are making their audio books available for free to get their work out there. Check out a few of these sites:
- NewFixtion: These audio books are read by multiple actors, bringing each alive more so than if there is just one person reading them. Sort of like a podcast-drama.
- Podiobook: This site offers lots of serialized audio books, meaning you will be given the book in several parts just like a mini-series on television.
That's enough to get you started! What are your favorite audio books you found for free?