We love audiobooks on Book Riot. We love listening to ’em on our commutes. While we’re cleaning the house. While we’re running. Or, even while we’re cooking. It’s a lot of time for audiobook listening. Thankfully, these 11 websites offer thousands and thousands of free audiobooks online, with many that you can access any time and anywhere. Thousands and thousands. That’s a lot of books. Get to listening.
Where to find free audiobooks online
We’ll discuss each in more details, but the best places to find free audiobooks online include:
- Loyal Books
- Mind Webs
- Open Culture
- Project Gutenberg
Important note! These are all free audiobook options, but they’re legal. Sure, you can get illegal copies I’m sure somewhere on the internet, but that doesn’t help the authors or publishers you know and love. Instead, check out these free resources and then make sure to leave reviews for these books on GoodReads, Amazon, and other review sites.
Librivox is a non-profit initiative to record public domain books and release them as free audiobooks. The site boasts over 10,000 projects, with a diverse set of titles ranging from War and Peace to Leaves of Grass to The Dream of the Red Chamber to Anne of Green Gables.
You can even volunteer to read sections for books-in-progress!
Lit2Go offers audiobooks, plays, short stories, and poems that have been tailored for use in classrooms. Along with each free audiobook, you’ll get citation information, play time, and word count. Some, like Shakespeare’s Hamlet, have an accompanying PDF that can be used to read-along with the text.
3. Loyal Books
You can also submit reviews and read what others have had to say about each of the titles.
4. Mind Webs
As I wrote about previously, Mind Webs was a perfectly-executed, haunting old-time radio dramatization of over 150 of the most classic science fiction short stories.
You’ll find free science fiction stories from Ursula K. Le Guin, Kurt Vonnegut, and H.G. Wells, among others.
5. Open Culture
Open Culture has combed through the same audiobooks offered other places online, and compiled them into one list to browse. While you’ll still find many of the same classics offered elsewhere, like Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz audiobooks, you’ll also find stories by James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, and Virginia Woolf. Or poetry by Maya Angelou and Charles Bukowski.
Or, even a video of Neil Gaiman reading Coraline.
OverDrive provides access to the most ebook and audiobook content you’ll find on this list, by pairing with local libraries.
They have over two million books and videos, and partner with more than 30,000 libraries. You’ll find the newest audiobook releases through OverDrive, and they’re all free.
That means the free Harry Potter audiobooks you’ve been dying to read (or more likely re-read)? You can probably find them through your awesome local library’s Overdrive access.
Scribl is a great option for newer releases, with many of the books read by the authors themselves. These free audiobooks are provided in a serialized form, so you can listen to small chunks that fit into your commute.
Project Gutenberg, of course, is the classic site for free books that are in the public domain. And now, their section on human-read free audiobooks offers an even wider collection of books. Stand-outs include Marion Zimmer Bradley’s The Colors of Space, Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, and The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura.
Project Gutenberg also offers computer-read audiobooks, but imagine Siri reading you Moby Dick (thankfully, you do have a human-read option here).
Check out Spotify’s “Audiobooks” playlist for a list of audiobooks that are always being added to by the service. Spotify is free to listen, or you can go premium if you don’t want the ads.
Storynory offers free audiobooks for kids, with a mix of classics, fairy tales, and original stories.
Every summer, teens (or adults!) looking for YA audiobooks can head over to SYNC, a free summer audiobook program for teens, sponsored by AudioFile Magazine and delivered by OverDrive.
2020 books included Tiffany D. Jackson’s Monday’s Not Coming and Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahourin.
Even more free audiobook Websites
Since this post originally went up, I’ve found out about a few more sites for audiobooks. Some of these aren’t as user-friendly as others, but with a bit of work, you can get your free listening on at these sites as well.
- Learn Out Loud, for educational audiobooks and videos
- Free Classic Audiobooks for, you guessed it, classics
- Digital Book, which boasts thousands of books and a clean interface
Not free, but cheap audiobooks online
If you can’t find the audiobook you want for free, you can always look at other services for cheaper options. Audible now has a sharing service where you can send a free book to anyone you want. Downpour allows you to rent audiobooks for a fraction of the cost.
Or, you can always sign up for Book Riot’s Deal of the Day newsletter, where Jeff occasionally features cheap audiobooks on sale.
And, just for Book Riot readers: sign up for an Audible account, and get two free audiobooks! If you love their monthly subscription, you’ll get one audiobook a month for just a few bucks.
How can I download audiobooks on my iPhone or Android?
One thing you’ll notice, and quickly, when using these sites to find free audiobooks is that, well, they’re often difficult to connect to your phone (or whatever device you’re listening to your audiobooks on).
Other Rioters swear by the Bound app, which downloads your audiobooks directly from a DropBox account onto your Bound app. It also allows you to use bookmarks and can remember where you paused your book. And it’s simply prettier and easier to use.
The Audiobooks app is another place to find free audiobooks, with a much easier-to-use interface.
Finally, if you don’t want audiobooks, you can find so, so many free ebooks online for your reading pleasure.
What are your favorite places to find audiobooks for free or cheap?
Post originally published in September 2016; last updated in January 2020.