Many older adults still enjoy reading. But, it is a pleasure that becomes increasingly difficult to indulge or sustain. As we age, our vision declines, till the point that reading alone simply becomes impossible. When that happens, traditional books won’t work anymore. And it’s no fun if you are always forced to rely on someone else to read to you.
Audio books allow seniors to continue reading on their own.
While audiobooks are generally more expensive there are extensive, free audiobook libraries online, that will restore both the pleasure and independence of reading,
If you struggle to navigate the list below, ask a family member or friend to assist you with the initial search – then compile a short list of books you would like to listen to, that you can return to at your lesiure.
Enjoy the journey. There’s something uniquely magnetic about stories brought to life,
This list was brought to you courtesy of Reedsy.com
Lit2Go is a free collection of public domain books.Their collection includes some wonderful classic children’s books like The Secret Garden, The Story of Doctor Dolittle, Little Women, and Peter Pan. Adults are spoiled for choice, too, with some of the best books of all time: to give you a glimpse, you’ll find classics like Great Expectations, Moby Dick, Dracula, and Wuthering Heights in their library.
Open Culture has done all the compiling for you, and rounded up a long list of free audiobooks available on the web. You’ll see some overlap with the public domains books found on the rest of this list — but their list is so incredibly handy it doesn’t really matter.
3. Free Classic Audiobooks
Still hungering for the classics? Free Classic Audiobooks is a straightforward website that’s just what it says on the tin: it allows you to download MP3 or M4B files of classic works.
Educational content, fairy tales, full-length audiobooks: From Oscar Wilde’s tales to Greek, Indian, or Norse mythology, readers who are young at heart are bound to find something they’re happy with in this wonderful collection.
This music streaming giant hosts a number of audiobooks on their service, and have even entered the game by producing their own series of high-quality, professional audiobooks. Both of these lists feature public domain works, meaning their 95 year copyright has expired so they’ll be fairly old classics.
Spotify also houses a large number of short story podcasts featuring works from around the world, so it’s worth searching for the authors or stories you’re interested in on Spotify’s search bar. A great starting point is the 1001 Classic Short Stories and Tales podcast. Just remember that you’ll need a (free) Spotify account to listen to any Spotify content.
6. BBC Sounds
BBC Sounds is a free new app by the BBC. It’s now the home of its radio channels, hosting a wide variety of radio shows, podcasts, and even audiobooks. The BBC has a long history of working with the most prolific actors in the UK to provide dramatisations for radio, and it’s now branching out to free abridged audiobooks. As long as you don’t mind listening to abridged editions, you’re guaranteed some absolutely top-quality listening.
You may remember Digitalbook from the old days when it was called Librophile — it’s a website that operates as a search engine for free audiobooks in the public domain.
LibriVox’s recordings are all made by volunteers, so audio quality can vary, and certain voices or accents can be a little difficult to understand if English isn’t your native language. That said, this nonprofit service provides a vast trove of free audiobooks with the mission of making audiobooks more accessible online, and was a pioneer in recording public domain books for the general public. If you have any trouble navigating their website, they also upload their recordings to YouTube
9. Learn Out Loud
Learn Out Loud’s mission is to offer free multimedia for educational purposes, and they’ve been doing a great job of it since 2005. Their website features over 3,000 free audiobooks for you to expand your horizons, and if you’re feeling flexible with your listening habits, you can also check out their broader directory of audio and video content: in addition to audiobooks, it lists lectures, courses, speeches, and so much more.
10. Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is the world’s oldest digital library, and run by volunteers. Like many of the services above, it provides exclusively public domain works, but it stands out because of its linguistic diversity — the site provides audiobooks in 50+ languages. Do check that the audiobook you select is narrated by a human, though, as this website also lists computer-generated recordings that are nothing if not a bizarre experience.