For the past year, audiobooks have become one of my favorite things. I am still a bit of a podcast junkie, but once I've depleted my weekly queue, I often fill the void with my latest audiobook. (As shown in the photo above, my current listen is The Lifegiving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. It makes me want to buy a bunch of candles and listen to Celtic music and invite people over for a homemade dinner. I love it.)
It's rather fantastic how many ways you are able to listen to audiobooks for free these days, and I thought I'd share my recommendations, as well as a short list of books I've listened to recently and personally loved.
Here are the three ways I've listened to audiobooks for free:
Overdrive — This free app connects to my local library account and lets me browse a seemingly endless number of titles. They offer both eBooks and audiobooks, but I only use this app for the audiobooks because I'm an old, old woman and reading books on my phone makes me crabby. There is no limit on check-outs, and each title is yours to listen to for two weeks. The only drawback is that there is often a wait for more popular titles. (You can put books on hold, similar to when you want to read a physical book from the library that is wildly popular.) This app has a huge selection of titles, so if something is available on audiobook, odds are you should have no trouble finding it here. You're able to download each title you check-out to your device, so listening without using data is easy peasy.
Hoopla — I started using this free digital service through the app on my phone much more recently. Although I can also use it for free using my library account, I figured I had all my bases covered with Overdrive and thought it was basically the same thing. I wasn't interested in using it until a librarian convinced me by telling me that although it has a more limited range of titles, there is no wait time for the audiobooks you select and it also has music and movies. Yes, I was sold. The one drawback is that you are limited to 6 titles on any given month (you can mix-and-match audiobooks, full-length music albums and movies). If you have kids, I highly recommend using this as a great way to listen to audiobooks because their selection is fantastic. They have an unbelievable selection of kids titles! (We are currently working our way through the Ramona series.) Hoopla is my go-to app for audiobooks these days. Oh! And you are able to download any items you check-out to your device, so you don't have to worry about using any data while listening.
Audible — I did a 30-day free trial of this popular service because they were offering a free audiobook for signing up. (Right now you can snag two free audiobooks with the same trial offer. You get to keep the books even if you cancel, which is rather nice!) After the initial 30-days, I canceled the trial because I'm able to get most of what I want to listen to rather quickly at this point between the two above apps, and the $14.95/month price was just too high for me, even though it includes one free audiobook each month.
I thought I'd share a list of six titles I have recently listened to and totally recommend. To be honest, I have started and quit an equal number of audiobooks (I used to hate quitting physical books or audiobooks, but at this point in life I've given myself permission and it's rather freeing.). In any case, here is a short list of audiobooks I completely adored:
And now it's time for you to let me know of any and all audiobook recommendations you may have. I'd love to add some to my list! Especially those with British or Australian narrators, because that makes me all kinds of happy.
— Further reading: the best celebrity memoirs I've read
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