150k 5 star reviews & 20M+ downloads

Public domain audiobooks

Featured in
Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Books on November 28, 2022
Public domain audiobooks aren’t tied to copyright laws or intellectual property rights. Read on to learn where to find these audiobooks.

    Public domain audiobooks

    Audiobooks are so portable and lightweight you can take them anywhere. Plus, they make multitasking possible. You can clean your house, exercise, or take a walk while listening to audiobooks.

    Best of all, audiobooks improve your language skills and expand your vocabulary. Although many services offer audiobooks, they’re often too pricey for an average reader.

    Fortunately, many public domain audiobooks are available today. These books are no longer under copyright or intellectual property rights. Once a book enters the public domain, it can be used without obtaining permission to republish. Public domain books and audiobooks are a great way to discover new books, short stories, fairy tales, and even non-fiction works across all genres.

    This article will discuss some of the most popular public domain audiobooks and where to find them.

    Most popular public domain audiobooks

    Here’s a list of the most popular audiobooks with a public domain status.

    • Twelve Years a Slave—This is a memoir from Solomon Northup. Northup was an African-American born free in New York state but forced into slavery. This pivotal book discusses racism and the plight of slaves in the 1800s.

    • Little Women—This audiobook follows four sisters: Meg, Amy, Beth, and Jo. The sisters are very different, and this book depicts their character development and passage from childhood to womanhood.

    • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde—This gothic novella grapples with topics of duality in human nature and the battle between good and evil.

    • Frankenstein—This well-known gothic novel is considered one of the earliest science fiction works. It tells the story of a young scientist who creates a twisted creature in one of his experiments.

    • The Count of Monte Cristo—This adventure novel by Alexandre Dumas revolves around the fate of Edmond Dantès, a sailor falsely accused of treason and sent to prison. After escaping, he craves revenge and justice.

    Other popular public domain audiobooks are Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and The Time Machine by H. G. Wells.

    Where to find free public domain audiobooks

    Here are a few services that offer free public domain audiobooks.


    In September 2022, Spotify announced its expansion to the audiobook market. Users in the U.S. can enjoy more than 300,000 audiobook titles, including some belonging to the public domain.

    Spotify features a free and paid plan. The free option gives people a chance to explore the platform’s options and see if it works for them. However, if you want to take advantage of the app’s full potential, it’s best to purchase a subscription.

    Internet Archive

    Internet Archive is a non-profit library with an exquisite collection of books, audiobooks, movies, podcasts, programs, music, and more. The audiobook library features recordings of users of other audiobook platforms.

    Users can download free ebooks and audiobooks without worrying about copyright laws.

    Project Gutenberg

    Project Gutenberg is the oldest digital library in the world and the first attempt to digitize and archive cultural work. It was founded by Michael S. Hart in 1971.

    Although it’s more than 50 years old, Project Gutenberg is still popular and offers more than 60,000 ebooks, audiobooks, free EPUB books, Kindle ebooks, and much more.

    Everything on the platform is free of charge.


    LibriVox is a non-profit, ad-free website that offers more than 40,000 audiobooks. All audiobooks are read by volunteers who release them as free downloads.

    Although LibriVox audiobooks are completely free, they have a potential drawback: most of them are published only in English.


    Audible is Amazon’s platform for audiobooks, podcasts, and other spoken content. Although Audible isn’t strictly limited to public domain books, the platform deserves a spot on the list because it features the largest library. Moreover, all Audible audiobooks are of excellent quality.

    Audible’s library offers some free audiobooks. If you want to access them, you’ll need to create an Audible account.

    Overdrive (Libby)

    OverDrive is a service that allows users to borrow digital content from their local libraries. You can use this service with your local library card or student ID.

    OverDrive offers thousands of titles, including free public-domain audiobooks. However, keep in mind that the availability of specific titles depends on your library’s collection.

    The service can be used on computers or mobile devices with the Libby app.

    Turn any text into speech with Speechify

    Thanks to Speechify, any text can be turned into speech—not just books.

    Speechify platform is compatible with different operating systems and offers numerous benefits for users. Android users can download the app from the Google Play store, iOS users can download it from the App Store, and PC and Mac users can download desktop apps and browser extensions from the Speechify website.

    From choosing the desired language, voice, and accent, to highlighting and bookmarking tools, Speechify has everything one may need to enjoy high-quality audio for any text. The voices are very natural-sounding, and you can export them as WAV or MP3 audio files.

    Speechify also offers more than 20 languages, so it can also be a great foreign language learning tool.

    Try Speechify today and enjoy the platform’s benefits.


    How can I legally get free audiobooks?

    You can find them on one of the numerous websites and platforms that let users stream and download audiobooks and other spoken content.

    Who owns the rights to an audiobook?

    Typically, the author of an audiobook owns the rights. In some cases, the literary agent or publisher does so.

    Recent Blogs

    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.

    Pick Your Speechify Tribe

    I have been flailing due to an eye injury on top of Lyme disease on top of long-covid and a herniated disc with neuropathy. Sitting hurts and propping a book while lying down is stressful. Anxiety over not keeping up, ADD with medication fluctuation and nystagmus of one eye, stigmatism with the other eye both before the retina injured has caused duress as an exam approaches in 35 days. I just need to get through these 500 pages and at least try the assignments. I believe this app will be the key.. thank you ever so much! It’s never too late to find a key and unlock the door to a new world!

    “I have ADHD and I love to read but have piles of book that I have never touched. I downloaded this app and it has helped me read more and obtain information better for school! Love this app , I recommend it to everyone!” - JENEMARIE

    “Love this app, I have eye problems and this app helps me read headache free. Plus it’s great for traders to listen to news and multitasks.” - JJJJJJMMMMMMM”

    “I like Reading books but I don’t like to read at the same time this is so nice and very much correct. Totally recommend!” - Amazing use this now!!! - HALL LACKS SI USA

    “I am a student who had dyslexia so is very very very helpful for me. A reading assignment that would normally take me 30+ minutes took 10! I will be using this very often.” - CHAMA NORLAND

    “I’m an audible learner. Speechify helps me to comprehend readings better than I am capable of reading the text silently.” - CANDI CL

    “This is probably top 5 of greatest apps ever, you can literally read alone an entire book in a day. Easily worth the cost of the app.” - TJV 34

    “Excellent for comprehending medical textbooks more quickly and thoroughly!! This is awesome for keeping up with latest surgical techniques and technology. Dr. K” - IMPLANTOPERATOR

    “Speechify saves my 70 year old eyes. I close them. I listen.” - WRANGLERSUPREME

    “I was dreading reading this long story but Speechify got it done now I can go ahead and take my college quiz.” - SUNCOP

    “I teach visually impaired students AND students with dyslexia. This app is a huge help to all of them. Thank you for helping those who need it most!!” - ETTETWO

    “I use this app to proofread before I publish chapters of my books and it works so good! 10/10 recommended.” - LOUIELEIUOL


    Take the dyslexia quiz and get an instant score. See if you are dyslexic or not.

    Take the quiz

    Listen and share everything on the go with our Soundbites. Try it for yourself.

    Try it yourself!
    “Congratulations for this lovely project. Speechify is brilliant. Growing up with dyslexia this would have made a big difference. I'm so glad to have it today.”
    - Sir Richard Branson
    "Speechify lets me listen to Goop blog posts out loud in the car and gets my friends through grad school. It's amazing for scripts."
    - Gwyneth Paltrow