5 cheap ways to get audiobooks

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.

Podcasts I love

Podcast Icon
Image by Colleen AF Venable

“Growth is what separates living things from dying things,” say Blanchard and Miller. “Growth brings energy, vitality, life, and challenge. Without growth, we’re just going through the motions.”

Our brains need to be fed to grow, which then enables us to lead. Books are by far the best way to do this, and I will cover my love of audiobooks in another post. Podcasts are a little more digestible (and free!), so they often fill my commute/exercise time with brain food!

  • APM Marketplace – a weekday podcast that does thorough coverage of the economy and how it impacts me. I also get my dose of liberal in with this one. 😉
  • This is Your Life by Michael Hyatt – it has been fun watching Michael build his platform after stepping down as CEO of Thomas Nelson. He always covers topics that interest me: leadership, productivity, and social media in this podcast. It is a bit repetitive if you read his blog, but I don’t typically.
  • The Dave Ramsey Show – my personal finance hero, and a straight-shooter. His baby steps have gotten our family out of debt and on the road to financial peace. Here I get my dose of conservative. 🙂
  • HBR Ideacast – I love this business/leadership podcast! It is forward-thinking and ultra-relevant to business and work.
  • Wall Street Journal This Morning – this one used to be my daily news podcast, but I rarely have time for more than one daily podcast anymore, so I grab this one when I need some filler. Good news coverage, a little right of center.
  • The EntreLeadership Podcast – Dave Ramsey’s new book and movement, and I’m a sucker for good leadership material.
  • iTunes U – I’ve tried to get into the wealth of free educational content available from various universities, but it rarely sticks…just no time for watching video, I guess.

I often find mine through iTunes “top ten” lists – what ones am I missing out on? Are there other apps worth making the switch to (like Stitcher instead of using iTunes)?

Platform – Get Noticed in a Noisy World

Platform Book CoverI recently finished the audio version of Michael Hyatt’s new book, Platform – Get Noticed in a Noisy World, and I loved it! I’ve spent some time building up a social media platform, but he made a really good point about building a “home base” (a website/blog) where I own the message and the branding. I’ve had lukerumley.com in my Google Apps/GoDaddy shopping cart so many times over the past 5+ years, yet chickened out each time. This book inspired me to buy it, and to commit to building a blog and writing on it.

Another point Michael made was to build the platform before you need it, and that was driven home in an informal interview where I was asked to provide some examples of my writing. I didn’t have anything longer than a tweet! Talk about embarrassing…

I hope to share things I learn in the business world, in social media, in building web sites, in my Christian walk, and in leading my family. I hope some of this helps you in your journey as well!

Now on to figure out what the “wow” product is that Michael says to start with…other than my own ego. 🙂