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Best place for audiobooks: Online and brick & mortar

Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Reading on March 13, 2023

Audiobooks provide a great way to enjoy a good book while freeing up precious time and energy. With audiobooks, you can listen while commuting, exercising, or even while cleaning around the house. We explore the best place for audiobooks, online, and brick and mortar.

Also, brick and mortar stores do sell audiobooks. It might seem strange that a downloadable piece of content will be sold at a store you have to drive to, shoppers will sometimes buy an additional book as an audiobook at their nearest Barnes and Noble. Around 21% of audiobook sales can be attributed to brick and mortar stores around the U.S.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone out there who doesn’t love a good book. Some authors are able to effortlessly change the way we think about the world. Others take us on escapist adventures that allow us a reprieve from the stresses of our daily lives. Regardless, they’re a great way to relax, expand our understanding of the world around us and have an enjoyable experience, all at the exact same time.

Having said that, most people lead busy lives and don’t actually have the time to sit down with a 500 page tome as often as they’d like. This is largely the reason why audiobooks were born.

For years, they were called “books on tape” because they came on cassettes, but the digital world has really opened things up in an exciting new way. In a matter of seconds, you can find the book that you’re looking for, upload it to your mobile device and listen to it wherever you want.

Of course, sometimes finding the right audiobook that you’re looking for is easier said than done – especially with so many options out there. Therefore, if you really want to find the types of audiobooks that you’ll love, there are a few key places you’ll want to check out first.

The best place for audiobooks are Speechify, Spotify, and Audible, which is owned by Amazon and offers subscribers access to a library of thousands of audiobooks with new titles added every month. These are some of the best online retailers when it comes to audiobooks.

Libro.fm is another excellent option for obtaining audiobooks online. This online service works with local independent bookstores so that when you purchase an audiobook, your money goes back into your community.

Audiobooks are a great way to enjoy literature without sacrificing other activities. They provide an easy and convenient way to consume books on the go, allowing you to multitask and make the most of your time. Audiobooks provide access to stories that can be enjoyed while commuting, exercising, or cleaning around the house, freeing up timeibro.fm allows you to purchase individual titles or get access to their library of over 150,000 titles through their membership plans which offer discounts up to 50%.

They also offer exclusive deals on bestselling books so you can save even more money on your purchases.

Other great places to buy audiobooks include Apple Books, Google Play Store, Kobo, and Nook Audiobooks. All these options offer free audio samples so you can listen before making your purchase decision. Additionally, many public libraries now offer digital lending options for audio books as well as ebooks for those looking for a more budget-friendly option for listening enjoyment!

What to look for when looking for a the best place for audiobooks?

There are a couple of things to bear in mind when buying audiobooks. Most people buy multiple audiobooks over a period of time, so it’s important to choose a location that will support your (very good) habit of consuming books. You should ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is this place competitively priced?
  2. Is the selection vast. Do they have books from mathematics to the latest Stephen King or Colleen Hoover?
  3. Is it convenient
  4. Is there customer service and is it exceptional?

Buying audiobooks online vs brick and mortar

One of the advantages of buying audiobooks online is convenience. Purchasing them online allows buyers to shop from the comfort of their own homes, without having to travel or wait in line at a store. Additionally, when shopping online, buyers can take advantage of sales and discounts that may not be available at brick-and-mortar stores.

Furthermore, with online retailers such as Speechify, Spotify, Audible, or Amazon, customers often have access to exclusive bonus content that is not available anywhere else.

Online is the place to listen to audiobooks for free. Most retailers allow you to preview content before making a purchase. Many times, shoppers are able to listen to short clips or samples of an audiobook before committing to a purchase. This gives customers the chance to ensure they like the sound quality and narration before spending money on it.

For example, visit Speechify Audiobooks to listen to 5 minute samples for any book. This is a great way to hear the narrator’s voice and hear a sample of the book you are about to spend money on. Also, the first book at Speechify is free. You won’t see offers like that at brick and mortar stores.


Overall, both buying audiobooks online and from physical bookstores have their advantages and disadvantages depending on what someone is looking for. Online retailers offer more selection and convenience and great deals.

Here are the top 11 best places to buy audiobooks online

1. Speechify

Speechify is a relatively new player in the audiobook space but with a vast selection of audiobooks to satisfy the voracious reader or listener. Being a new comer in this space, the pricing is much more competitive, the app is regularly updated and features never seen before in the audiobook market are being innovated daily. Check out the catalog and get your first audiobook for free. Speechify also carries all the #BookTok books trending on TikTok.

2. Audible

Owned by Amazon, Audible provides thousands of audiobooks with new titles added every month and its subscribers can exchange a book they don’t like for another one without any extra cost.

3. Libro.fm

An online service which allows users to purchase individual titles or gain access to their library of over 150,000 titles through their membership plans offering discounts up to 50%. They offer exclusive deals on bestselling books so you can save money on your purchases.

4. Apple Books

This digital bookstore offers a selection of audiobooks available for purchase and download across multiple platforms like iOS and MacOS devices, as well as the web. It also has a great selection of free audio samples so you can listen before making your purchase decision.

5. Google Play Books

Offers thousands of audiobook titles available for purchase in both CD and digital formats with discounts ranging anywhere from 10-50%. It also has free audio samples so you can make an informed decision before purchasing any title.

6. Kobo

Kobo offers a variety of audiobook titles available for download across multiple different platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows, Mac OS X and Blackberry devices as well as the web browser. It also provides excellent customer support which allows you to contact them in case you need assistance with your order or encounter technical difficulties while using the app or website.

7. Nook Audiobooks

Offering hundreds of popular fiction and nonfiction titles in both CD and digital formats, Nook Audiobooks is a great choice for those seeking audiobooks at discounted prices ranging anywhere from 15-30%. They also have free audio samples so you can make sure that the title is suitable for your needs before purchasing it.

8. Scribd

This subscription service gives users access to an extensive library of over 65 million documents including books, magazines, articles, sheet music and more! Additionally they provide access to thousands of high-quality audiobooks curated by content experts which are regularly updated with new releases each week!

9. Downpour Audio Books

An award winning online audiobook store providing customers with unlimited streaming or downloading options at competitive prices along with special savings opportunities such as discount codes and gift cards that can be used towards purchases on the site!

10. AudiobooksNow

Offering both subscriptions services and individual purchases at affordable prices this retailer has something for everyone! With over 180k+ downloads users will surely find something that suits their needs without breaking their budget!

11. Playster

A unique multi-platform media entertainment system which includes unlimited streaming of over 2 million songs, 100 thousand ebooks, comics/graphic novels and more than 30 thousand audio books all conveniently accessible through any device!

The top 10 best brick and mortar stores to buy audiobooks from

1. Barnes and Noble

This brick-and-mortar bookstore chain not only offers an impressive selection of audiobooks but also has knowledgeable staff to help customers make informed decisions when it comes to selecting the best titles. Customers can also take advantage of exclusive discounts and free in-store events such as author readings and book signings.

2. Books-A-Million

With over 250 store locations nationwide, this retailer is a great source for audiobook fans looking to purchase physical copies at discounted prices or have access to their extensive selection of digital titles available for download. They also offer exclusive discounts on audio book bundles so you can save money when buying multiple titles at once.

3. Powell’s City of Books

Located in Portland, Oregon, this independent bookstore is considered one of the largest used and new bookstores in the world with over 3 million books for sale! It offers a wide selection of both fiction and nonfiction audiobooks available for purchase in both CD and digital formats from some of the top authors in literature.

4. Strand Book Store

This independent New York City bookstore has been around since 1927 and continues to be a favorite amongst avid readers! They provide an extensive collection of physical audiobooks, perfect for those who prefer having a physical copy instead of downloading it digitally. Additionally they often offer exclusive discounts on select titles so you can save money on your purchases.

5. Half Price Books

A family owned business which began over 40 years ago with just one location has now grown into more than 120 stores nationwide! Offering an expansive selection of both new and used audio books, some at discounted rates up to 50% off retail price, Half Price Books is definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a good deal on some great listening material!

6. Borders Bookstore

Although Borders no longer exists as an online store, several locations still remain open throughout the US providing customers with an impressive selection of audiobooks available for purchase both in CD and digital format along with exclusive discounts on select titles that change regularly so customers can always get a great deal each time they shop!

7. The Book Cellar

Founded by two English teachers who decided to open up their own independent bookstore in 2006, The Book Cellar Located in Chicago Illinois is perfect for anyone looking for an excellent variety of audio books sourced from independent publishers around the world! With regular inventory updates customers are sure to find something they’ll love every time they visit this store!

8. Tattered Cover Book Store

An iconic Denver Colorado landmark founded over 40 years ago offering an impressive selection physical and digital audiobooks along with special events such as author readings which make shopping here even more enjoyable! Not only that but it also provides its loyal customers special discounts like 10% off their next purchase after spending $50 or more!

9. Harvard Book Store

Founded in 1932 this historic Cambridge Massachusetts institution provides its shoppers with weekly deals such as 15% off any full priced item along with 20% off all books purchased online making it a great choice if you’re looking for discounted prices without sacrificing quality or selection when it comes to finding your next favorite audiobook title!

10. Joseph Fox Bookshop

Established back in 1962 this family owned Philadelphia based business has become one of the city’s most beloved landmarks catering to readers old and young alike providing them with access to thousands of audio book titles ranging from classic literature to contemporary fiction all available at competitive prices helping customers save money while discovering their newest favorite read!


Frequently asked questions

Where to listen to audiobooks free

The best place to listen to audiobooks for free would be any online retailer. Speechify, for example allows you to listen to 5 minute samples for as many books as you wish. Speechify also carries a plethora of public domain books that are 100% free to listen to.

What is the best unlimited audiobook subscription

Is Google audiobooks free?

Best place for audiobooks reddit – what does it mean?

Reddit, also known as the front door of the internet, is an online forum. Audiobook enthusiasts take part in a Reddit community (also called a Sub Reddit) and share which is the best place for audiobooks. As you will see in this question on Reddit, one Redditor was curious about the best place for audiobooks.

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman

Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.