17 Places to Get Audiobooks for Free Online
Readers and non-readers alike can enjoy the wonderful storytelling of a good audiobook (without breaking the bank)
Free audiobooks? Yes, please!
Bookworms, rejoice! Thanks to the internet, you can get a lot of free book content. Sure, there are free books online, but sometimes you just don’t have the time to sit down and read. Luckily, there are plenty of audiobooks for free online too. You can listen to some of the best books and best audiobooks while working, cleaning, driving or doing pretty much anything. Better yet, finding these stories for free is a great start to how to save money practically everywhere.
There are so many websites for free audiobooks, though—so which ones can you trust? We did some digging and found 17 sites to check out. Read on to see where you can (legally!) listen to free audiobooks for kids, free classic audiobooks and more.
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While Audible, a service from Amazon, isn’t strictly a site for free audiobooks, it does offer some audiobooks for free online. If you have a subscription (we know, not free) you will get two Audible original stories every month, which you’re able to keep if you decide to discontinue your service. Plus, you can try a free 30-day trial of Audible Premium Plus to see if you like it. Even without the subscription, there are still books that Audible allows its listeners to download free.
Fun fact: One of the best Amazon Prime benefits is that you’ll have access to hundreds of titles on Audible that you can’t find anywhere else, even without a subscription plan. It doesn’t give you a free Audible subscription, but it does allow you to access Audible’s free offerings.
- Largest and most up-to-date collection of new releases
- Audiobook narration can be synced to your reading progress on a Kindle
- You can keep the audiobooks forever
- Only some books are free; many require a subscription
- Free trial only allows two downloads
- Monthly fee
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2. Digital Book
Digital Book, formerly Librophile, is one of the sleekest platforms on the list. It’s like Netflix for books. You can search their database of public-domain books from sites all over the internet—including several on this list—and enjoy their catalog of more than 100,000 free audiobooks and e-books.
As an added perk, their free membership allows you to build a personal bookshelf to read later so you don’t have to go searching for books you’ve considered in the past. You’ll find classics, new releases and everything in between on Digital Book—including family audiobooks for your next road trip.
- Clean website design
- Offers podcasts, e-books and audiobooks
- Available in several languages
- Higher concentration of classic novels and fewer new releases
- Offers more e-books than audiobooks
Like Audible, this one isn’t strictly free, but there are audiobooks on Spotify. Some audiobooks don’t cost you anything, but others are only available to purchase, even if you already have a premium subscription. One of the great things about Spotify is that it isn’t strictly audiobooks. You can also listen to music, podcasts, serials and more.
This is where things can get confusing though: Some channels on Spotify are classed as a podcast, but the podcast consists of reading a book aloud like an audiobook. While many audiobooks are only available for purchase, podcasts are always free. Not sure what to listen to first? Check out Spotify’s Audiobooks playlist, which will play the first chapter of dozens of new audiobooks for you to try out before you start listening.
- Some free audiobooks available regardless of whether you have a premium subscription
- Platform encourages sampling first chapters
- Also offers podcasts, serials and music
- Many books are only available for purchase
OverDrive is unique from many of the other sites and apps on our list because all you need for the top names, current bestsellers and chart-topping books is a library card. OverDrive partners with local libraries around the United States and even some abroad to provide all the newest books for you to listen to. Once you log in, just input your library card number and you’ll have access to your local library’s entire audiobook catalog. It’s one of the easiest paths to how to get free audiobooks!
The only “downsides” are that you might have to take a trip to your local library to renew your card (which will be free, just like this app) and, just like at your local library, you have to wait for someone to return their virtually checked out selection before you rent it. OverDrive also has a secondary app for students, where they can virtually borrow audiobooks and e-books from their school’s library. Although there are a ton of fun gifts for book lovers, Overdrive proves that the best book gift of all is a library card.
- 100% free access to audiobooks with no hidden catch, subscription or fee
- Supports your local library
- One of the largest selections of new and popular titles
- Must have a library card
- May need to wait for a desired title if it is already checked out
5. Open Culture
Open Culture has done the hard work of finding free audiobooks for you and compiled a list—or library, if you will—of all the free books you can download from other sites. You’ll find links to Audible, iTunes, Free Stream, Spotify, YouTube and a few other streaming services on the site. The books are organized by author name, and you’ll find a lot of the classics of literature—like these bestselling books by decade—alongside a large offering of poetry.
- Books are alphabetized by author
- Includes poetry, fiction and nonfiction
- You can’t filter books by genre or most popular
- Platform links you to free audiobooks on other platforms, creating an extra step
If you have kids in your house or are a big fan of fairy tales and nostalgic trips down memory lane, this is the site for you. Storynory focuses on kids audiobooks for free online, and you’ll definitely find some of the classics, including Aesop’s fables and the tales from the Brothers Grimm. The site is very kid-friendly, and there are funny books alongside adaptations of classic literature with child-appropriate formats and editing—a great way to introduce the young ones in your life to some of your favorite stories!
- Great for kids and families
- Educational for children
- Not a platform for teen or adult audiobooks
- You may need to help younger kids with the website
Volunteers from around the world give their time and their voices to record classic books that are in the public domain for listeners to enjoy on LibriVox. You’ll find classics like War and Peace and Anne of Green Gables, along with hundreds of books you’ve never heard of but will definitely fall in love with. This site will allow you to download books to your iPod, mobile device or computer and will even walk you through burning your favorite audiobooks onto a CD.
There are currently more than 10,000 projects recorded on LibriVox, and you can be part of this great cause by donating your voice and reading short works, an actor’s part in a play, a chapter of a longer text or even an entire book’s worth of audio to the site, which will release the finished project into the public domain as well.
- Offers community for those wanting to help create audiobooks
- Offers instructions for how to download audiobooks
- Audiobooks are read by volunteers, not professionals
- Can’t sort options by most popular
LearnOutLoud is a great option for everyone, but especially for students. This site hosts everything from fiction to educational content, and it’s for more than just audiobooks—it has video learning, podcasts, educational courses, documentaries, interviews, speeches and so much more. However, although there are fiction offerings, the site overall leans more toward educational books and classics, so this isn’t the right place to find the newest romance novels or other recent genre fiction.
- Site offers videos, podcasts, courses, documentaries, interviews, speeches and more
- Great place to find educational content like classics and nonfiction
- Not a good site for new releases or genre fiction
9. Hoopla Digital
Hoopla works much like OverDrive in that all you need is a library card to unlock free audiobooks and free e-books from local libraries. Hoopla also offers movies, music, comics and TV shows that you can stream or download on your computer, tablet, phone, Amazon Kindle and even your TV. It has a variety of helpful sorting and filtering options, including “most popular” and “titles for kids.”
- 100% free access to audiobooks with no hidden catch, subscription or fee
- Supports your local library
- Can sort by genre, most popular, kids titles and more
- Must have a library card
- May need to wait for a specific title if it’s already checked out
10. Project Gutenberg
Don’t be scared off by this site’s basic appearance. Project Gutenberg is a no-nonsense site that offers access to public-domain classic e-books and audiobooks, like Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes and more. Project Gutenberg’s books are mostly narrated by their own volunteers and public-domain audiobook contributors, but there are also some computer-narrated books available. Project Gutenberg has offered free e-books for more than 50 years and has a long history of offering audiobooks for free online.
- 50-year history of offering free e-books
- Huge library of classics
- Few options for newer releases
- Some narration may be done by computer, rather than a human voice
Lit2Go is a collection of stories and poems all strictly in audio format. Like many of the other sites, there are plenty of classics and public-domain books, but these are all focused on providing literature for students K–12. Many books can be downloaded as a PDF and used as a read-along, and the books are split up into passages for easy segmenting of the long-form stories. There are also other supplemental work and studies provided for students to help with their learning, and the books can be searched by reading level, a big plus for students and parents.
- Offers follow-along PDFs split into passages
- Great for learning and classroom use
- Can filter by reading level
- Geared toward students K–12
rd.com, Getty Images, via loyalbooks.com
12. Loyal Books
Loyal Books is another public domain audiobook provider, but don’t let that scare you off! With more than 7,000 titles, you’ll certainly find something you’ve never read and will enjoy in either their free audiobooks or e-books sections. Search by genre, language, top 100 or just by title and author.
- Options available in multiple languages
- Can sort by top 100 audiobooks
- Focuses on public-domain books, so may not have unique titles from other platforms
Unlike a lot of the sites on this list, Scribl provides books for free that are not in the public domain and not normally free. Also unlike all the other sites on this list, there’s no way to search through just their free catalog, so you have to check each book’s price as you go. That being said, Scribl is committed to keeping at least 50% of all books on their site free no matter how many they upload. A new crowd-pricing feature sets prices based on popularity, meaning less-popular books are more likely to be free.
- Offers books not in the public domain
- Offers books not usually available for free
- Crowd-pricing encourages trying lesser-known titles
- No way to filter by free books
- Many books must be purchased
- Crowd-pricing charges more for more popular titles
14. Internet Archive
Internet Archive has thousands of free audiobooks and audio poetry downloads available. Like several of the sites we’ve listed, Internet Archive doesn’t just have its own catalog, it also allows you to search through several other audiobook provider archives and play your favorite titles through Internet Archive’s portal instead. You can search by year, topic, media type and more as you seek out your next favorite book. It has a wide selection of genres, including classic science fiction books and poetry.
- Huge library with wide variety of genres
- Easily searchable by several kinds of criteria
- Some titles are poorly named, making it hard to know what the audiobook is
If you’re into classic literature and philosophy, ThoughtAudio is the site for you. It provides a small selection of free audiobooks from authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain and Virginia Wolfe. Each audiobook is actually a link to a ThoughtAudio YouTube video, but the listings also include a helpful short summary and some historic author information, which adds a little more value. This site is more helpful as a small directory of options available on YouTube, as it doesn’t offer content not also hosted there.
- Specializes in classic literature and philosophy
- Offers a summary and a short author biography
- Very small library of titles offered
- Each listing links to YouTube
rd.com, Getty Images, via youtube.com
On top of having tons of free video content, YouTube also has free audiobooks you can listen to. There are many free audiobook channels you can subscribe to, and these channels have a variety of genres. You can listen to classics like Pride and Prejudice, fantasy hits like Harry Potter and thrillers such as Stephen King’s In the Tall Grass.
There’s a wide variety of content available, although this may include some videos that violate copyright laws by reading books not licensed for audiobook distribution. On YouTube, your views also directly support content creators—and you might be surprised by how much money YouTubers make.
- Supports content creators
- Wide variety of content available
- Videos that infringe on copyright may be taken down without warning
- Must play video, rather than audio only
- Must search for specific books, rather than read through options in a database
rd.com, Getty Images, via freeclassicaudiobooks.com
17. Free Classic Audiobooks
The name says it all—this is a website where you can listen to free classic audiobooks. These free audiobooks include Emma by Jane Austen, Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The website does look basic, but if you’re only on there to find classic audiobooks, it serves its purpose. This could be a good site to teach somebody who isn’t tech-savvy how to listen to audiobooks. Enjoy listening to these timeless works!
- No-fuss way to listen to the classics
- Simple interface for the non-tech-savvy
- Website feels dated and bare-bones
- Lots of ads crowd the page