I am a lifelong learner and avid reader. For the past 50 years I have tried to stay on top of new titles, waiting patiently for the latest books from my favorite authors. Having worked in bookstores for 10 years of my life, I have a deep respect for physical books.

There is something so substantial about the weight and texture of a “real” book. Turning the pages with deliberate reflection and intention has its own magical feeling. So, I was pretty skeptical when I first tried audio books. Boy, was I wrong!

While I still love physical books, I’ve become equally addicted to audiobooks. The best audiobooks are actually more like radio plays. And, since I walk for about an hour every day, while listening to my favorite books, they help to keep me in shape too.

The only downside is that audiobooks are so easy to consume that you tend to burn through them quickly – and that costs money. So, I set out to discover how to get audiobooks for free. Here are a few of my favorite ideas.

How to Get Free Audiobooks from Open Culture

This is a fabulous site. Open Culture claims to offer the “best free cultural and educational media on the web.” In my opinion, that is not an exaggeration. At Open Culture you can download over 500 free audio books (mostly classics) to your computer, iTunes or MP3 player.

You will find fiction and poetry from great authors like Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, Marcel Proust and many others. Open Culture allows you to download 600 free eBooks to your Kindle, iPad or iPhone, computer, smart phone and e-reader. It also features access to free movies and links to online courses from the world’s leading universities. It is easy to use and provides access for free to some of the best audio book collections.

Thought Audio – Free Audio Books that Aren’t All Fiction

Thought Audio, unlike many other free audio book sites, goes beyond traditional fiction. It offers downloadable titles for readers wanting to enjoy nonfiction, essays and philosophical books. Some of the titles featured include “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” by Nietzsche, “Art of War,” by Sun Tsu and “Quotations of Mahatma Gandhi.”

The site layout is visually beautiful and easy to navigate. Best of all, these classic books are accessible for everyone on the planet who has access to the internet. Every book on Thought Audio is totally free to enjoy.

Storynory Offers Free Audiobooks for Kids

Storynory is a brilliant site! It offers hundreds of free audio books for kids. If you are a grandmother who has difficulty reading the small print in children’s’ books, this might be a perfect solution for bedtime storytelling. You can both just snuggle up on the sofa or bed and listen to an audio story read by fun, professional readers.

Storynory features classic books like “The Three Little Pigs”, “Cinderella” and “Little Red Riding Hood.” You can also download modern stories like “Katie the Ordinary Witch” and “Bertie the Frog.” It offers free poems and fairy tales from around the world. I love the fact that they also feature myths and legends.

I listened to “Robin Hood and Maid Marian” and it was wonderful! Storynory offer tongue twisters and educational reading, and is available for free on iTunes. Audio books are a perfect solution for road trips and long train and plane trips.

Reviewing the list of free audio book sites made me thankful that the internet has provided us with this great alternative reading option. Women on a budget now have every opportunity to enjoy books that have entertained and influenced society over the years.

We get to share the author’s insights and enjoy the beauty of their creations. Hopefully you now have some ideas for beginning – and enjoying – your audio book journey.

Do you know any other sites that offer free audiobooks? Please leave your comments below.

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