What are the best audiobook apps around? Read on to learn all about some great options to listen to your favorite books.
Life is busy. I love a good book and a gripping story as much as the next person. But when my day finally winds down, I'm the type of person that is more likely to veg out in front of the TV or get to bed as soon as possible. I would often hear people talk about books they were reading, and they all sounded fabulous, but I had no idea when to fit it into my schedule. But that all changed when I discovered audiobook apps.
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One day, I saw an ad pop up in my social media feed for Audible offering a free book to listen to. I figured why not. Living in LA I had a huge commute at the time which included a solid 45 minutes to an hour stuck on the 405 (if you know, you know). So I downloaded the Audible app and free book, and my new favorite hobby was born. Not only was I enjoying the memoir, but I also found myself looking forward to getting back in my car and much less stressed during my commute. I was on to something.
I signed up for the one book per month subscription with Audible, and that day my neighbor and friend said, "Have you read this new book Gone Girl? No one I know has gotten through it yet and I have to talk about it with someone!" For the first time in a long time, I said, "I'll get right on that!" Not only was it a great book, but different actors voiced the different narrators in the chapters. It was almost like listening to an old radio show. Since I'm very much an auditory learner, I retained much of what I was listening to and enjoyed the fun conversations with my friend as I was working my way through the mystery novel guessing what would happen next.
At first, I was a little embarrassed to say I was listening to books, but now I have no shame at all. Just as the ebook took away the burden for some of having to buy and carry physical books, for me, an audiobook is a fun escape and a great form of self-care. I also enjoy it during a drive so much more than flipping through radio stations of my iTunes library looking for something to listen to. Currently, I'm listening to Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker, and it's so good, I highly recommend it!
There are so many ways you can search and find the audiobook of your choice these days. Some are free, some are not, and most are very easy to use. Good wifi is probably best for scanning through libraries, but most will allow you to download the title to your smartphone or another device to make for easy listening anytime. The main things to look out for are subscription requirements, additional in-app purchases, and if your device is compatible with the audiobook app. Most audio books are ad-free. So once you've downloaded or are streaming your selection and listening on your iPad or Kindle, you don't have to deal with unnecessary interruptions.
There are different audiobook apps for every interest and budget. Here are a few other favorite audiobook apps.
Audible, which is linked with Amazon (and also makes subscribing easy if you have ever bought anything off Amazon) is the big fish in this pond, but there are several other options for listening on the go. A benefit with the Amazon link is their feature that can allow you to go from audiobook to text on your kindle device for consistent book devouring. (Android/ iOS compatible)
Audiobook.com is a monthly subscription similar to Audible ($14.95/mo) and features also allow you to sync audio to other devices. (Android/ iOS compatible).
Google Play Books is a contender in the game. It has a sizeable library and requires no subscription, you just pay for the books you listen to. (Android/ iOS compatible)
If you have a shorter commute, SerialBox features more episode-like content and doesn't require a subscription. You also get a free episode each month and pay only $1.99 after for any content. (Android/ iOS compatible)
Nook Audiobooks comes from Barnes & Noble and offers up a library as sizable as the options in its stores. You simply buy your books online and download them on the audiobook app. (Android/ iOS compatible) For those listeners who don't want subscription fees and unused credits, this is a great option.
Scribd has taken a cue from streaming services on television. For $8.99/month, you can listen to as much as you want, from a short story to the latest bestsellers. You can connect the app to several devices so multiple family members can use the same account. In addition to audiobooks, it also offers ebooks and is Android/ iOS compatible. That way, the one monthly price gives you easy access to listen or read whatever you'd like.
OverDrive is not just compatible with your devices, it's compatible with your local library. So if you like the sound of free audiobooks, call your local library and ask if they have their collection on this media sharing platform. It's a great budget-friendly option to take with you to the beach this summer! (Android/iOS compatible)
Hoopla offers another great option to connect with your public library. You can download a huge catalog of movies, TV shows, comics, and more in addition to audiobooks. So it's a great way to listen to an old Sherlock Holmes or the latest Percy Jackson story. (Android/iOS compatible)
LibriVox is also an option for free audiobooks. All the works in their audio library are in the public domain. But keep in mind, the books are narrated by volunteers as opposed to bigger companies like Audible who have A-list celebrities reading some of their titles. So while this may not be a quality guarantee, it's not going to cost you a penny! (Android/ iOS compatible)
Free Audiobooks HQ does indeed have many free audiobooks, but there are some titles you will have to purchase. However, it is subscription-free and there is much to peruse that will not cost you anything. (iOS compatible)
These audiobook apps are just a few to perk your listening ears and begin your audiobook exploration. It is a growing field indeed. So next time you plan a road trip or need something to listen to on your vacation, try an audiobook!
What are your favorite audiobook apps? Be sure to share your top picks and book recommendations with friends and family on FamilyApp!