Struggling to find free audiobooks online? Read this article to expand your digital library with free public domain audiobooks.
Audiobooks are an excellent way for those who struggle to get through books or who prefer listening to stories to expand their horizons. Unfortunately, many popular providers like Amazon’s Audible and Spotify charge users a subscription fee, which may not align with your budget.
But copyright laws don’t apply to public domain books, which means you can download and listen to these titles without breaking the bank. There are several great sites where you can explore high-quality free literature, from poetry collections and fairy tales to fast-paced short stories.
We’ll review several resources where users can find public domain books and immerse themselves into their new favorite tale.
The best places to get free public domain books
If you’re trying to get out of your reading slump with new material, the following resources are full of e-books, including free audiobooks in the public domain. You can explore their digital libraries, download an interesting title, and read it on your Android or iOS device. Those who prefer reading on their computer can follow the story straight from their browser.
Project Gutenberg is an exceptional online library. You can enjoy over 60,000 free Kindle and EPUB e-books without registering for a digital library card. Although users can explore different genres, the platform mainly focuses on older works from U.S. and British authors.
Project Gutenberg has you covered if you want to read more classical literature. Some of its most popular public domain books include “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville, “Middlemarch” by George Eliot, and “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott.
Internet Archive e-books and texts
The Internet Archive is a valuable resource for book lovers and academics from various fields. This impressive online repository boasts over five million titles, many of which fall into the public domain. While you can download works of classical literature, you’ll also find many titles from contemporary authors like Nick Hornby, Sophie Kinsella, Haruki Murakami, and Kazuo Ishiguro.
If you’re interested in a bestseller that’s unavailable to download, don’t worry. Creating a user account on the Internet Archive and using the site is free, and you can borrow virtually anything from textbooks to fictional works.
In addition to free public domain books, the site offers audio and video content. Browse its expansive catalog and tune into an old radio show or podcast. Many people enjoy listening to Michael Hanson’s Mindwebs, a show with 166 episodes where Hanson reads his original stories.
Although the platform’s interface may be difficult to navigate, it gives you access to numerous sub-collections, including the Biodiversity Heritage Library, the Children’s Library, and American Libraries. If you’re looking for a specific title, use the search filters to ensure the most accurate results.
If you’re in the mood to listen to some classical free audiobooks, you can’t go wrong with LibriVox. This volunteer-run initiative gives bookworms unlimited access to more than 40,000 public-domain audiobooks.
Volunteers update the catalog, adding new titles each month, from obscure treasures to well-known classics. Since the site relies on volunteers to record and upload the audio files, the sound quality can sometimes be inconsistent. However, the service is free, and you can still explore many solid-quality works.
LibriVox is also available as a mobile app, so you can listen to classic audiobooks on your Android device or iPhone.
Although Authorama’s free public domain book collection pales in comparison to the other entries on this list, it contains several rare titles. The site is easy to use and organizes the books in alphabetical order. If you feel that bulky classics like “Moby Dick” may be too overwhelming and time-consuming, Authorama has a good selection of shorter stories. Dip your toes into classical literature by downloading Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” or Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein.”
Open Library is a platform that caters to readers of all genres, from non-fiction and horror to sci-fi and young adult. The Internet Archive runs this open-source project and collaborates with numerous local libraries across the U.S. to make books more accessible to everyone.
How does that work? Some titles, like “The Portable Oscar Wilde,” are in the public domain, and readers can dive into them by pressing the “Read” button. But you can read more recently published books too. Note that if you want to borrow a popular title, you may have to join a waiting list.
Manybooks is an intuitive website that categorizes over 50,000 free titles into multiple genres, including:
- Action and adventure
- Mystery and thriller
- Children’s books
- Biographies and history
- Science fiction
- Young adult
- Literary fiction
Those who want to listen on the go can download the iOS or Android app. Besides books in English, users can enjoy works in languages such as Estonian, Afrikaans, Breton, Arabic, and Bulgarian.
Transform free public domain books into audiobooks with Speechify
While the above platforms are a good starting point for listening to public domain audiobooks, none come close to Speechify’s selection of free public domain titles. After completing “The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet,” “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea,” and similar classics, you might want to explore more modern titles. The app has an affordable pricing plan, and users can purchase individual books or signup for a monthly subscription.
Try Speechify for free today and see why it’s become the go-to audiobook service for countless satisfied users!
How can I listen to audiobooks online for free?
Are there any free audiobook apps that are like a library?
You can try OverDrive’s Libby app for that familiar library experience.
Is there an app that lets me listen to audiobooks for free?
Apple Books (and iTunes on older Apple devices) offers multiple free audiobooks, mainly from the public domain. These include “Price and Prejudice,” “Frankenstein,” “The Secret Garden,” and “The Time Machine.”
Can I download audiobooks from Audible?
You can download any audiobook from your Audible Library. All you need to do is press the cover art, and your device will complete the download in a few minutes.