Audiobooks are a remarkably easy and convenient way to "read" a book without having to pick up a physical printed copy. Better still, you can stream many audiobooks online without downloading them first, including everything from romance novels to adventure stories.
At DigitalBook.io, you'll find over 100,000 free public domain e-books and audiobooks. You can search by title, genre or author, or browse through the range of genres, including mystery and young adult. From the listings, look for the button that says "free audio book." The resulting window will give you the option to download the audiobook, open it as a podcast, or add to your books (if you sign up for a free account). Scroll further down this window and you can listen to the audiobook without downloading.
Much like DigitalBook.io, LibriVox also focuses on free works in the public domain. The audiobooks are read by volunteers around the world. Use the search bar near the top of the bar to look for a book, click on "advanced search" to reveal additional options like language, genre and keywords, or use the available tabs to browse the catalog. Genres are incredibly varied, including children's fairy tales, detective fiction, science fiction, drama plays, epic poetry, and nonfiction. Click the play button in the lower half of the individual book's page to listen.
Audiobooksfree on YouTube
There are more than just funny videos on YouTube. If you're interested in listening to free audiobooks from the familiar interface of the popular video streaming site, Audiobooksfree is a great channel for that purpose. The content is largely derived from the Librivox catalog of public domain works and this channel has curated what it considers "the cream of the crop." Highlights include Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Tale of Peter Rabbit, among some 200+ other selections.
Formerly known as Books Should Be Free, Loyal Books offers a range of free public domain audiobooks and e-book downloads. The front page features popular offerings, and you can browse through the rest of the catalog via the genre listing on the left side of the page. The name of the Top 100 category is a little misleading, as it contains well over 100 books, but it is a good place to start in looking for a great audiobook. You'll find the streaming player after the book's description, plus the corresponding links if you wish to download the MP3 files instead. Most books are separated by chapter.
It is important to note not every audiobook on Scribl is free. That's because the website uses what it calls a CrowdPricing system that "automatically sets book prices based on each title's download popularity within its genre." The books that cost money are clearly priced, whereas the free audiobooks are designated with a "listen" or "free" button. Search by author, title or keyword, or browse between "storybooks" and "knowledge books." Many of the free books are only offered as a serialized podcast, and you will need to sign up for an account to access them.
Offered by the Educational Technology Clearinghouse (ETC) at the University of South Florida (USF) as a free resource, Lit2Go offers a free collection of stories and poems. For each work, you are presented with an abstract, a citation, the playing time and the word count. The full text is shown for reading along or you can download the PDF (and MP3). These are mostly classic works by such authors as Emily Dickinson, William Shakespeare, Susan B. Anthony and Charlotte Brontë. Conveniently, the works can also be organized by Flesch-Kincaid reading level.
If you are looking for audiobooks for kids, then Storynory is a good option to consider. The site, which has been around since 2005, features classic fairy tales as well as original stories. There are sections for classic authors, myths and world stories, educational stories and poems of music. When you find a story you want, the audio player is located right underneath the title. There is a "download" link there too if you prefer. What's great is the book's page also features the full text, making it easy for kids and adults to read along too.
Another site that focuses on providing free children's books in audio format is Verkaro. The stories are mostly adapted from classic works in the public domain, however, there are also stories that have been shared with a Creative Commons license. Verkaro is organized like a blog in reverse chronological order where each blog "post" is a story. The audio player is embedded just below the book's description, above the credit listing. Search for books using the search bar on the right, below which you'll find a list of recent posts and the category listing for further browsing.
An Incredible Tale
If you are looking for even more audiobooks to enjoy, there are several options both paid and free for you to explore. Subscription services can be a great value if you plan on listening to many audiobooks each month. You can also check in with your local library to see if they offer audiobooks on loan.