Okay, I’ll say it again, at the risk of redundancy: I love audiobooks. I’ve always been a reader, but audiobooks go it one better. They combine the best aspects of literature and theatre. Most of the people who narrate audiobooks are really excellent voice actors. They add amazing value to the books.
So, you’ve heard it all from me before, but here’s what I haven’t said: you can listen to great stories read by wonderful actors, and you can do all that FOR FREE! Most, if not all, public libraries these days have audiobooks for checkout. Maybe you knew that; you’ve seen them on the shelves, maybe taken one home. But did you know that you don’t even need to go (physically) to the library to check out an audiobook?
Your Library Online
Almost every library (I would say all, but there’s probably some library out there that isn’t) is online these days. There are various services available at their websites; you’ll have to check your local branch to see what is offered. My small community library provides the ability to search the catalog, peruse listings of their community services and programs, news about the Library Foundation, an event calendar and (drum roll please) access to the list of ebooks and audiobooks available for download. The latter is truly a blessing in a small community because the local library is usually connected to a larger network of libraries. In my case, I can check out ebooks and audiobooks that are owned by libraries all over British Columbia. It’s like an inter-library loan, but it’s instantaneous.
Downloading Free Audiobooks
There are various services that libraries use to keep track of the number of licenses they have for their titles. British Columbia’s libraries use one called Library2Go. OverDrive is another one used by some libraries. OverDrive also provides an app for iPads and other devices, allowing you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks without using your computer and listen to/read them wherever you go. All you need is a library card! Check out your library’s website for how to download books, or you can go to overdrive.com and search for your library.
OverDrive also allows you to listen or read on your computer, although I have to say that doesn’t really appeal to me. Why would I want to sit at my computer when I could read or listen in bed with my iPad? Just sayin’.
Below are links for OverDrive for Mac, Windows, iPad/iPhone and Android.
Enjoy! And let me know how it goes.