Friday Favorites: Favorite Places to find FREE Audio Books

11 Apr

FRIDAY Favorites

I’m wrapping up my last post about audio books today in my Friday Favorites series. In the previous 2 posts, I wrote about an apologetic for incorporating audio books into our children’s (and family’s!) lives and a laundry list of my boys’ favorite audio books divided into three age ranges: Preschool, Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary/Middle School. As promised, I am writing today about my favorite places to find FREE audio books.

Free Audio Book Resources

LibrivoxThis is an online resource that contains audio versions of public domain books. Anytime you see the phrase “public domain,” it is safe to assume that these books are old and the majority of them are in the Classics genre. Copyright stays with a book for a specific length of time, and once the said length of time has transpired the book becomes “public domain.”  Public domain books, therefore, can be used as you like. photo 1
On Librivox’s website you can search through-literally-hundreds of free audio books. Once your selection is made, you can simply listen (aka “live stream”) to the audio files via Librivox’s website or download the files to your computer or iTunes. Librivox’s website contains detailed, “how-to” instructions  for downloading the audio book files. Once downloaded onto your computer or iTunes, you can burn the audio book onto cds and enjoy in your car, or your child can use the CDs in his/her room at naptime/restime. By downloading to iTunes, you can use an MP3 player/iPod/iPad/iPhone to listen to the audio books. I especially enjoy having this audio book-on-my-iPod option for exercising. I listened to Stepping Heavenward (by Elizabeth Prentiss) thanks to Librivox, and it was great motivation for exercise. I only permitted myself to listen to the book while exercising. I was so enthralled and drawn in by the book that I easily made exercise a priority because I wanted to listen to the next chapter! 🙂

There is an expansive list of genres available on Librovox: Children’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Poetry,  just to name a few. Best of all–the books are FREE! (I love free!!!)

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Books Should Be FreeThis is another website similar in concept, access and functionality as Librivox. In fact, some of Books Should Be Free audio books are accessed via Librivox. There are a few distinctions to note on Books Should Be Free. This website makes available audio and eBook versions of books. If an eBook version of a book is available (Kindle, Nook, iBooks, .pdf) in addition to an audio book version, it will be indicated on the specific page dedicated to the book. If your kiddo enjoys following along in the Kindle version of the book while he/she listens to the audio book version, Books Should Be Free will be a tremendous resource for you! you can download both audio and eBook versions from the same page!

Another distinction with Books Should Be Free boasts itself as “a primarily visual browsing experience.” This evidences itself when perusing through their website. Instead of listing book titles in alphabetical order with pages of text, text, text to sort through, Books Should Be Free includes a photo of each book’s cover. The visual images of the books make navigating through their website simpler. Searching for a specific book becomes less of a wild-goose chase filled with frustration and more of an attainable goal with a happy ending.

Books Should Be Free mirrors Librivox in that you have the option to listen to the audio book online via live streaming or to download it to your computer, iTunes (including via Podcasts), or MP3 player.

Library–Don’t forget one of the most accessible places for FREE audio books is your local library. Our library’s children’s section has a vast expanse of audio books available for checkout. At any given moment, you’ll likely find 3 or 4 different audio books from our library in our home. All 3 of my boys (currently ages 8, 6, and 4) usually have about an hour of rest time each day in their rooms (and consequently, me, too! Woot!). The boys LOVE this time of day because 99.9 % of the time this one hour of rest includes an audio book! Another plus, thanks to audio books, is that they rarely complain about rest time; they’re eager to listen to the next chapters in their current audio book!

If your library has a limited, small, or non-existent audio book collection, don’t be discouraged! Talk to your librarian! You may have these options:

  • Audio Book downloads via your library’s website–With advances in technology, many libraries are expanding their online access for digital and audio versions of books. Through our library’s website, I can download audio books from my library’s collection to iTunes for a specified length of time.
  • Petition for audio books to be purchased–Most libraries add to their collection each year. If your library’s audio book section is less than ideal, communicate your desire to see their audio book collection expanded. Most libraries are eager to hear input from their patrons.
  • Make Interlibrary loan your BFF–Just hearing the words “interlibrary loan” (ILL) makes me think of my college library. ILL is a program allowing a library patron to borrow a book that is unavailable at his/her library from a partnering library. I was continually ILL-ing books during my undergrad and graduate years. I never thought of a local library having ILL; I had only associated it with college libraries. However, when my quest to find a classic, well-loved children’s book at our local library left me striking out, I mentioned this to the librarian, and she suggested using interlibrary loan. I gladly obliged. (As a note of encouragement to the previous bullet regarding suggesting books to your librarian, I noticed several months later that the book I borrowed via ILL had been ordered and added to our library!) Your librarian can assist you with the interlibrary loan process at your local library.

So, now that I’ve encouraged you to make audio book listening a part of your life and provided resources where they can be accessed for FREE, what will be your or your kiddos’ first/next audio book?!?!? If you have any suggestions to share with Suzanne Shares leaders, please comment and include them below!

Thanks for stopping by for today’s Friday Favorites!

 

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7 Responses to “Friday Favorites: Favorite Places to find FREE Audio Books”

  1. Shawn April 11, 2014 at 8:25 am #

    You are awesome! Thank you! God bless you 🙂

    • Suzanne Shares April 11, 2014 at 8:35 am #

      Thanks for reading!!! So excited to hear that these are a blessing to you!!! 🙂 🙂 Enjoy some great FREE Audio Books!!!!

  2. Colleen April 15, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    Thank you for linking up Suzanne! Good stuff 🙂 Blessings – Colleen

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #4 | Suzanne Shares - April 23, 2014

    […] previous 3 posts that were a part of my Friday Favorites series, you can read them here, here, and here.) I’ve decided to include audio books that we’re “reading” in my What […]

  2. What We’re Reading Wednesday: Installment #5 | Suzanne Shares - May 14, 2014

    […] 3 posts that were a part of my Friday Favorites series, you can read them here, here, and here.) I’ve decided to include audio books that we’re “reading” in my What We’re Reading […]

  3. Friday Favorites: Audio Books For Children | Suzanne Shares - May 16, 2014

    […] This is the 1st post in a series about Audio Books and children. See the last two posts here and here. […]

  4. Friday Favorites: Our Boys’ Most Beloved Audio Books | Suzanne Shares - May 16, 2014

    […] This is the 2nd in a series of 3 posts about Audio Books and Children. See the other two posts here and here. […]

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