You’d hardly think you could get audiobooks for free, let alone obtain them from your local library. However, specific apps allow you to do just that. You can use certain platforms to listen to bestsellers and other digital books for free from your Android phone or any other device.
This article will show you how.
Borrowing audiobook titles from your library with Libby
Libby is a free app created by the developers of OverDrive.com. It’s a repository of eBooks, magazines, and audiobooks you can borrow from public libraries. You can even stream some titles with mobile data or Wi-Fi and download them for offline use.
You don’t need to spend a dime to install Libby. Once you set up your account, the content in the digital library is free to use and borrow as long as you have an eligible library card. There are no late fees, in-app purchases, and subscription costs.
The platform automatically returns your borrowed titles on due dates.
Although Libby was developed by OverDrive, it’s not the same app. As Libby is slightly newer, it makes finding and listening to audiobooks smoother.
Here are the platforms where you can use Libby:
- iOS 10+ (downloadable from Apple App Store)
- Android 5.0+ (downloadable from Google Play)
- Fire OS 5+ (obtainable directly from OverDrive)
Take the following steps to get free audiobooks from this app:
- Make sure your library card is valid.
- Open Libby.
- Find your local library and use your card to sign in.
- Explore the screen that lists the titles you can put on hold or borrow. Find the books with the headphones symbol, which indicates they’re an audiobook. You can also tap the Popular or New button for more inspiration.
- Hover over the title and see if there’s a Borrow button. Tap it to immediately start listening. Although your titles are digital content, Libby treats them like standard free eBooks and physical books. They only allow one person to borrow a copy at a time, which may lead to long wait times.
- Return the app in 14 days (the usual borrowing period).
Use Hoopla to borrow audiobooks
Hoopla is a service that allows you to borrow audiobooks, eBooks, movies, music, comics, and TV shows. The app works on iPhones, iPads, Chrome OS, Amazon Kindle, and Android smartphones. You can even download content directly from the Hoopla web page.
Like Libby, it enables you to access fairy tale, mystery, thriller, and other types of audiobooks for free through your public library. The borrowing process goes as follows:
- Open the Hoopla app on your phone or tablet. Alternatively, visit their website on your Windows PC or Mac.
- Enter your library name and ZIP code or state to find the closest library near your location.
- Choose a library and sign in using your library card number and passcode.
- Choose a password and username for your new Hoopla account.
- Navigate to the Books section in the lower section of the display and choose Audiobooks to focus your search.
- Use the Search feature to browse the catalog by author, subject, or title. For faster search, use the Filter function, followed by Format and Audiobooks, to only see audiobooks.
- Tap the name of the desired audiobook to read the summary and other information.
- Obtain the title by tapping Borrow and press Borrow again to confirm your decision. The app automatically returns your audiobooks after a specific date. You can also return your books manually by pressing My Hoopla, choosing a book, and pressing the Return button.
- Once your book is ready, tap Play to begin the playback. The menu should allow you to skip to certain sections of the title, rewind, choose chapters, and use sleep timers to stop the narration after a certain period.
Access the New York Public Library with SimplyE
SimplyE is an open-source e-reader released by The New York Public Library. This app features a vast collection of over 300,000 audiobooks and eBooks you can access in one place.
You can get your hands on these audiobooks for free:
- Open the app and select your library.
- Enter your user barcode or ID and password.
- Press the Catalog button in the lower part of the screen to see which books you can borrow. Select the Audiobooks section in the upper part to narrow down the search to audiobooks. Use the Search option and enter your author, title, or subject.
- Tap the audiobook to reveal more details. If it’s unavailable, choose the Reserve feature to put it on hold. If it’s available, tap the Get button.
- Wait for your mobile device to download the book and strike the Listen key to start playing. You should now be able to pause, skip, rewind, select specific chapters, turn on your sleep timer, and change your reading speed.
Want public domain audiobooks and more? Try Speechify
Many other apps may provide audiobooks for free, including Project Gutenberg, Storynory, Open Culture, Internet Archive, LibriVox, and Lit2Go. However, digging through the libraries of these apps can take a long time. By the time you explore the platform, the desired title might be gone.
That’s why you want to stick to a reliable service from the get-go, and you’ll find no better option than Speechify Audiobooks.
There are many impressive features of Speechify to enhance your audiobook experience. Primarily, it comes with more than 100,000 titles to cater to fans of mystery, comedy, fantasy, biography, and all other genres.
Some of the most well-known titles you can get on Speechify include “The Wife Between Us,” “The House in the Cerulean Sea,” “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry,” “The Dichotomy of Leadership,” and “Bad Blood.”
Plus, you can get one premium audiobook for free, be it a New York Times bestseller or timeless classic. Check out the platform to take a closer look at Speechify’s audiobook playlist.
How do I get audiobooks for my kids?
You can get and download audiobooks from platforms like Speechify. It’s the best alternative to Audible and has countless kids’ books.
Are audiobooks illegal?
Audiobooks aren’t illegal. They’re protected by copyright law.
What are some other ways to get audiobooks for free?
The best alternative for getting free audiobooks is to sign up for a free trial with an audiobook provider.