Reading

5 cheap ways to get audiobooks

Reading
Photo by Jonas Tana

I love books – they are the best way to learn and grow. Dave Ramsey is fond of quoting Charlie “Tremendous” Jones who said “You are the same today as you’ll be in five years except for two things, the books you read and the people you meet.” As I have mentioned before, I like to feed my brain. However, I have to confess: I don’t enjoy reading. I get stuck. I move slow. I am A.D.D. (or something like it).

So I “read” audiobooks. In the car, when running, doing yardwork.

Books and audiobooks cost money. Sometimes I think I am more Dutch than many of my friends and neighbors here in West Michigan. I like to get a deal, or even better, I like to get things for free! Note that some of these ways are only cheap if you have generous friends and family.

  1. iTunes Gift Cards – ask for these for birthdays and Christmas…and don’t spend them on the latest Angry Birds version or Katy Perry album! iTunes has a huge library of audiobooks
  2. Audible.com – again, best if someone will shell out $21 for a 3-month subscription here. You use your monthly credit to buy 3 “free” audiobooks during your trial period, then cancel the account if you don’t want to pay the $15/mo. You get to keep the books on your computer/iDevices forever. Good stuff.
  3. ChristianAudio.com/free – they offer a monthly free audio book, some better than others…but hey, free!
  4. YouVersion.com – they offer free audio for many of the popular Bible versions, both on their mobile app and on their website. The greatest book of all.
  5. The public library – This one truly is free (after taxes), and the library has stepped it up by loaning digital downloads as well as a huge selection of audio content on CD. Request anything your library doesn’t have, and they’ll usually be able to get it from another branch or order it.
  6. Bonus method, Google it – I’ve tried various sites and iPhone apps for “free audiobooks,” but they all seem to offer up classics like The Art of War and other less relevant works in the public domain. If this suits your fancy…

Discounting illegal methods, let me know if you’ve found a goldmine for audio content that I’ve missed!

H/T to @warnerchad for prompting this post.

8 thoughts on “5 cheap ways to get audiobooks”

  1. Good stuff. I’m still mostly old school and use the library. I buy some of the harder to find books from Amazon. Googlebooks so far has been(get the has been part?)a fairly good resource for historical collections but like Wikipedia be cautious of the source/author. I prefer to have the actual copy to make notes on and to flip the pages because it’s enjoyable to nibble around the edges and add my own condiments before it becomes a complete meal. Remember the ad campaign ‘reading is FUNdamental’? I still try to incorporate the fun part. I can see how ‘reading’ an audiobook can be fun as long as it’s interesting and done in a quiet place. I’ll try it sometime.

    1. I definitely don’t recommend switching from paper books to audio as much as adding them for commutes or during mindless chores. I try to do them as often as possible because I never finish those paper books I pick up. Sad, but true.

  2. Another great resource for free audiobooks is the site podiobooks.com. There are some really quality books there the authors have put in the creative commons.

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