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Here Are 10 Options for Finding Free or Cheap Audiobooks

I’m a comparatively new house owner with a spouse, a job, and 2-year-old twins. Though I personal a whole lot of books, I not often discover time to sit down down and crack one open. I do, nonetheless, make use of my time within the automotive to hearken to audiobooks.

But how do you get the audiobooks you need with out paying some huge cash? There are various audiobook providers obtainable, however the choices will be overwhelming. Do you wish to lease or purchase? How many audiobooks are you able to get per thirty days?  Finding the appropriate audiobook service is a matter of discovering the appropriate one for the way you prefer to learn.

10 Services for Cheap Audiobooks

Here’s our rundown of a number of the finest providers the place you’ll be able to seize a guide for your ears.

1. Audible

Audible is a giant title on the market with regards to audiobooks. As part of Amazon, it’s closely marketed and simply obtainable, but it surely has its execs and cons.

Pros

Audible boasts one of many largest audiobook libraries on the market with 540,000 titles in accordance with an organization spokesperson. Whatever you prefer to learn, you’ll be able to in all probability discover it on Audible.
You get to maintain any titles you learn even in case you cancel your subscription.
Your membership additionally will get you entry to various podcasts, in addition to subscriptions to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
You additionally get every day offers and an additional 30% low cost on further guide purchases.
You can obtain the books you select and pay attention offline.
You can strive Audible out with a no-cost, 30-day trial interval.

Cons

Audible is a subscription service with 4 totally different subscription plans. At a minimal of $14.95 per thirty days, that’s tied with Audiobooks.com for the costliest of the audiobook providers listed right here.
For your cash, you get one audiobook title per thirty days, in addition to one “Audible Original.” Audible Originals are content material that Audible produces itself, so that you gained’t discover any titles from the bestseller lists. That’s fairly restricted for an avid reader.
Unused credit expire after one yr.

Works For: The eclectic reader who’s prepared to pay a bit extra to seek out all the titles she needs.

2. Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com is one other subscription service, very like Audible, however there are a couple of variations.

Pros

Very giant choice with over 150,000 titles.
Access to over 700,000 podcasts for free.
You get two books per thirty days, somewhat than only one in comparison with Audible.
You should purchase additional credit as wanted, however they’re one other $14.95 a pop. One credit score equals one guide.
You get free additional VIP books every month with no further cost. VIP titles are older, much less standard books, however they aren’t all obscure. Sara Gruen’s “Water for Elephants” and Dave Pelzer’s “The Lost Boy” are at present featured as VIP titles proper. Both have been former New York Times bestsellers.
Your free 30-day trial comes with three books: one premium title and two from the VIP assortment.
You can stream books or obtain so you’ll be able to pay attention offline.

Cons

It’s costly at $14.95 per thirty days.
VIP titles are restricted and might not be of curiosity to you.

Best for: People need a wide selection and need multiple title per thirty days.

three. Scribd


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Scribd is a subscription service that lets you learn “unlimited” audiobooks and likewise affords options like ebooks and podcasts.

Pros

At $9.99 it’s cheaper than Audible or Audiobooks.com and also you get to hearken to as many books as you need.
There are lots of extras like Kindle books, magazines and even sheet music obtainable along with your subscription.
It features a 30-day free trial.

Cons

The time period “unlimited” isn’t 100% correct. Users within the iPhone app retailer complain that after two or three standard books, your skill to seek out extra turns into very restricted for the remainder of the month.
You’re renting, somewhat than shopping for, the books, so you can’t maintain them.
The platform is just not loaded with extras like a number of the different providers.

Best for: The audiobook fanatic who cranks via them rapidly and needs new, standard titles.

four. Downpour

Downpour is a subscription service through which $12.99 provides you one credit score (good for anybody guide) per thirty days. You can spend them as you go or save them up. It’s a distinct type of subscription service. Or, in case you like, you’ll be able to merely lease or purchase books and not using a subscription, however you’ll pay a bit of extra for every title.

Pros

Less costly than Audible or Audiobooks.com.
You can save up your credit while you’re not in a position to hearken to audiobooks to make use of them at a greater time, like while you’re on trip. So in case you don’t have time to learn in the summertime, you’ll be able to stash these month-to-month credit and use all of them in December on these chilly nights.
Each credit score is legitimate for 12 months. It expires on the finish of that point.
You personal the books and may maintain them even in case you cancel.
You can obtain and pay attention offline.
You have the choice to purchase or lease books exterior of the membership. Rentals are inexpensive, however, in case you purchase the guide, you’ll pay greater than you’ll with a membership.

Cons

Smaller choice with simply 80,000 titles (and counting)
No free trial.
Books for buy are pricy, although there’s a tab for “Daily Steals” with sections for downloads beneath $15, $10 and even $5 that modifications every day and randomly.

Best For: People who don’t hearken to audiobooks persistently, however who nonetheless need entry to new and standard titles.

5. Chirp

Chirp is a more moderen participant on the audiobook scene. A sister web site of Bookbub, an e-book web site, it arrived within the spring of 2019. Chirp is an electronic mail subscription service that sends you every day offers for audiobook titles. You get a every day electronic mail with two particular offers per day. If you click on it, nonetheless, it’s going to take you to the web site the place there are much more of the offers. Many of the offers are $three.99 or much less for every guide.

Pros

No subscription wanted, so that you solely pay for what you purchase.
You purchase, somewhat than lease, the books in order that they’re yours to maintain.
You can buy different books, however at common value.
There is a “my wishlist” part the place you’ll be able to listing out the books you wish to hearken to and get alerts when and in the event that they go on sale.

Cons

The offers are fully random and never catered to your style, so you might or might not see books on sale that you just really wish to learn.
Regular value books can price wherever from about $10 to over $40 for some titles.

Best for: The not-so-picky reader who doesn’t wish to spend some huge cash, however likes to personal the audiobook titles.

6. Apple Books

A couple listen to an audiobook from one of their devices.
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Apple Books is principally a retailer for iPhone and Mac customers to buy audiobooks. It’s not a subscription web site, only a pay-for-what-you-want retailer.

Pros

New and standard books can be found, in addition to classics.
Apple editors curate normal lists to assist readers discover new books.
You maintain your audiobooks proper in your telephone.
Download books and hearken to them out of your Apple Watch whilst you exercise.
No strain to obtain books to justify a month-to-month expense.

Cons

Limited to iPhone and Mac customers.
Individual books will be costly, with most starting from  $eight.99 and $16.99.

Best for: Apple followers who wish to use their audiobooks on numerous Apple merchandise and like to pay simply for what they need.

7. Google Play Books

Google Play Books is very like Apple Books, however for Android and PC customers, and with a couple of extra perks.

Pros

No subscription, simply purchase what you want.
Listen to previews earlier than committing.
Good gross sales and costs general.
Can be used on iPhones and Macs
Large choice of audiobooks

Cons

Best for: Anyone who needs to buy books as they go somewhat than being tied to a subscription.

eight. Librivox

On the Librivox web site, it says “Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain.” So what does that imply? Basically, it’s a free library of audiobooks which are sufficiently old to have outlasted their copyright and skim by volunteers.

Pros

Completely free to make use of.
Lots of nice classics like “Moby Dick,” “Frankenstein” and “The Life and Times of Frederick Douglas.”

Cons

Very restricted choice (14,000) with no latest titles.
No extras like podcasts, and so forth.
No telephone app.

Best for: The cost-conscious listener who’s seeking to atone for the classics.

9. Project Gutenberg

Much like Librivox, Project Gutenberg is one other volunteer-created assortment of free audiobooks and ebooks.

Pros

Listening to audiobooks on Project Gutenberg is totally free.
You’ll be capable of discover some nice classics like “The Velveteen Rabbit,” “Call of the Wild” and “Anne of Green Gables.”

Cons

The choice could be very restricted. When you cross-reference “audiobooks” with “English” within the superior search, you’ll get simply over 500 titles.
Project Gutenberg doesn’t have a devoted app.

Best for: The at-my-desk listener of basic literature.

10. Your Public Library System

Of course, you’ll be able to go to your native library and take a look at audiobooks on CD, however that’s so 2005. These days most library methods are attached with apps like Overdrive or Hoopla so you’ll be able to take a look at audiobooks digitally in your telephone.

Pros

As lengthy as you will have a library card, it’s fully free.
Not restricted to your native library however related to a big community of libraries, so there are numerous titles obtainable.
You can place holds on titles you need if they don’t seem to be at present obtainable.

Cons

You might not discover each guide you need.
Books are checked out similar to non-digital copies, so they’re restricted and you could have to attend for sure books.
New and standard books ceaselessly have a really lengthy ready listing.
You don’t maintain the titles, simply borrow.

Best for: The budget-conscious one that’s versatile on what she reads.

Happy listening!

Tyler Omoth is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder.

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