A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

20 Best Places to Get Free Audiobooks Online

Updated: Jun. 12, 2024

It's never been easier to find free audiobooks. Thanks to these sites, you can download thousands of new and classic audiobooks free of charge.

laptop with a stack of books with headphones around them popping off the screen; green background
rd.com, Getty Images (2)

Free audiobooks? Yes, please!

Bookworms, rejoice! Thanks to the internet, you can get a lot of free books online. But sometimes, you just don’t have the time to sit down and read. Luckily, there are plenty of free audiobooks available too. Which means you can listen while working, cleaning, running, driving or doing most other activities.

But with so many websites for free audiobooks online, which ones can you trust? We did some digging and found 20 sites that offer some of the best books in audio versions. Read on to see where you can (legally!) listen for free.

Join the free Reader’s Digest Book Club for great reads, monthly discussions, author Q&As and a community of book lovers.

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Audible.com on red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via audible.com

1. Audible

While Audible, a service from Amazon, isn’t strictly a site for free audiobooks, it does offer some audiobooks for free online. If you have a Prime subscription (we know, not free), you can get a free 30-day trial of Audible Premium Plus, which includes two free Audible books.

Even without the subscription, there are still books in the Audible library that readers can download and listen to for free.

Fun fact: One of the best Amazon Prime benefits is that you’ll have access to hundreds of titles on Audible that you can’t find anywhere else, even without a subscription plan. It doesn’t give you a free Audible subscription, but it does allow you to access Audible’s free offerings.

Pros:

  • Largest and most up-to-date collection of new releases
  • Audiobook narration syncs to your reading progress on your Kindle
  • You can keep the audiobooks forever

Cons:

  • Only some books are free; many require a subscription
  • Free trial allows only two downloads

Listen Now

Looking for your next great book? Read four of today’s most compelling novels in the time it takes to read one with Fiction Favorites. And be sure to join the community!

laptop showing digitalbook.io; blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via digitalbook.io

2. Digital Book

Digital Book, formerly Librophile, is one of the sleekest platforms on the list. It’s like Netflix for books. You can search the database of public-domain books from sites all over the internet—including several on this list—and enjoy the catalog of more than 100,000 free audiobooks and e-books.

As an added perk, the free membership allows you to build a personal bookshelf to read later, so you don’t have to go searching for books you’ve considered in the past. You’ll find classics, new releases and everything in between on Digital Book—including family audiobooks for your next road trip.

Pros:

  • Clean and easy-to-navigate website design
  • Offers podcasts, e-books and audiobooks
  • Available in several languages

Cons:

  • Higher concentration of classic novels and fewer new releases
  • Offers more e-books than audiobooks

Listen Now

laptop showing spotify.com; green background
rd.com, Getty Images, via spotify.com

3. Spotify

Like Audible, this one isn’t strictly free. While you’ll have to pay to listen to many audiobooks on Spotify if you don’t have a premium subscription, there are free audiobooks on the platform. And if you happen to have a premium subscription, you’re in luck: It comes with 15 hours of audiobooks each month for no added cost.

Planning to purchase but not sure which audiobook to spend your money on? Here’s another great (free) feature: You can sample before you buy. Check out Spotify’s Audiobooks playlist, which will play the first chapter of dozens of new audiobooks before you commit to listening.

Another great thing about Spotify is that it isn’t strictly audiobooks, so you can also listen to music, podcasts, serials and more. This is where things can get tricky: Some channels on Spotify are classified as podcasts, though the podcast consists of someone reading a book aloud, giving listeners an audiobook experience. While many audiobooks are available only for purchase, podcasts are always free.

Pros:

  • Some free audiobooks are available regardless of whether you have a premium subscription
  • Premium members get 15 hours of audiobooks for free each month
  • The platform encourages sampling the first chapter
  • Spotify offers podcasts, serials and music

Cons:

  • Many books are available only for purchase
  • If you don’t have a premium Spotify subscription, you’ll likely have to listen to ads

Listen Now

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Overdrive.com on red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via overdrive.com

4. Libby

Libby, an app made by OverDrive, is unique from many of the other sites and apps on our list because all you need to access the top authors, current bestsellers and chart-topping books is a library card. Libby partners with local libraries around the United States and even some countries abroad to provide the newest books for your listening pleasure. Once you log in, input your library card number to gain access to your local library’s entire audiobook catalog. It’s one of the easiest paths to get audiobooks free of charge.

Just like at your local library, you may have to wait for someone to return their virtually checked-out selection before you rent it. And if your library card needs to be renewed, you may have to take a trip to your local library to do so.

OverDrive also has a secondary app called Sora for K–12 students, which lets them virtually borrow e-books and audiobooks for kids from their school’s library.

Pros:

  • 100% free access to audiobooks with no hidden catch, subscription or fee
  • Supports your local library or school
  • One of the largest selections of new and popular titles

Cons:

  • Must have a library card
  • May need to wait for a desired title if it is already checked out

Listen Now

laptop showing hoopladigital.com; green background
rd.com, Getty Images, via hoopladigital.com

5. Hoopla

Hoopla works much like Libby: All you need is a library card to unlock free audiobooks and free e-books from your local library. But unlike Libby, there’s no queue. Instead, users receive a certain number of instant borrows per month, and they’re immediately available to you—no holds or waiting required. (You’ll receive “flex” borrows as well, but you’ll have to place a hold if all of your library’s copies of the book are loaned out.) Beyond loads of free audiobooks, Hoopla offers movies, music, comics and TV shows that you can read or watch in the Hoopla smartphone app or on your computer or TV.

Hoopla’s website and app have a sleek design with a variety of helpful sorting and filtering options, including “most popular” and “titles for kids.”

Pros:

  • 100% free access to audiobooks with no hidden catch, subscription or fee
  • Receive several instant borrows monthly, with no waiting necessary
  • Supports your local library

Cons:

  • Must have a library card
  • Can’t send e-books to your Amazon Kindle

Listen Now

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Chirpbooks.com on green background
rd.com, Getty Images, via chirpbooks.com

6. Chirp

A sleekly designed audiobook marketplace, Chirp emails you handpicked and limited-time deals on select digital audiobooks, all personalized to you. Supporting a wide range of genres and focusing on newer, popular reads, Chirp lets you ditch the monthly audiobook subscription fee and doesn’t require minimum purchases. Instead, you’ll pay for only what you want to listen to, often for a bargain price. (To get your first non-free audiobook for 30% off, use code DIGEST30.)

But what if you don’t want to pay anything at all? The site has a long list of free audiobooks available to download, whether you’re looking for steamy romances or pulse-pounding thrillers. There is one catch, though: You cannot download more than 25 free audiobooks per day, a pretty generous limit!

Pros:

  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • A wide range of newer titles that are either free or very budget-friendly
  • Many different genres for a wide range of readers

Cons:

  • Most audiobooks on Chirp require a purchase
  • The free page on Chirp includes books that are discounted but still require a fee

Listen Now

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Openculture.com on blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via openculture.com

7. Open Culture

Open Culture has done the hard work for you. The site has compiled a list—or library, if you will—of all the free books you can download from other sites. You’ll find links to Audible, iTunes, Free Stream, Spotify, YouTube and a few other streaming services on their site. The books are organized by author name, and you’ll find a lot of the classics, including some of the best books of all time, alongside a large offering of poetry.

Pros:

  • Books are alphabetized by author
  • Includes poetry, fiction and nonfiction
  • The curated list includes free audiobooks from multiple sites

Cons:

  • You can’t filter books by genre or popularity
  • Open Culture links out to free audiobooks on other platforms, creating an extra step

Listen Now

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Storynory.com on green background
rd.com, Getty Images, via storynory.com

8. Storynory

If you have kids in your house or are a big fan of fairy tales and nostalgic trips down memory lane, this is the site for you. Storynory focuses on free audiobooks for kids, and you’ll definitely find some of the classics, including Aesop’s fables and the tales from the Brothers Grimm. The site is very kid-friendly, and there are funny books alongside adaptations of classic literature with child-appropriate formats and editing—a great way to introduce the young ones in your life to some of your favorite stories!

Pros:

  • Great for kids and families
  • Educational for children
  • Easy-to-navigate website

Cons:

  • Not a platform for teen or adult audiobooks
  • Younger kids will need adult supervision to access the books

Listen Now

laptop showing librivox.org; red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via librivox.org

9. LibriVox

Volunteers from around the world give their time and their voices to record classic books that are in the public domain for listeners to enjoy on LibriVox. You’ll find classics like War and Peace and Anne of Green Gables, along with hundreds of books you’ve never heard of but will definitely fall in love with. This site will allow you to download books to your mobile device (including an iPod) or computer and will even walk you through burning your favorite audiobooks onto a CD if your desktop supports it.

There are currently more than 10,000 projects recorded on LibriVox, and you can contribute to this cause by donating your voice and reading short works, an actor’s part in a play, a chapter of a longer text or even an entire book’s worth of audio. LibriVox will release the finished project into the public domain once it’s complete.

Pros:

  • More than 10,000 free recorded audiobooks
  • Offers instructions for how to download audiobooks
  • Offers community for those who want to help create audiobooks

Cons:

  • Audiobooks are read by volunteers (not professionals), who are free to choose which books they record
  • Because many are very old, some language and/or content may be antiquated or offensive
  • Can’t sort options by most popular

Listen Now

Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more books, tech, travel, humor and fun facts all week long.

laptop with learnoutloud.com; blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via learnoutloud.com

10. LearnOutLoud

LearnOutLoud is a great option for everyone, but especially for students. This site hosts a wide variety of audiobooks, including fictional and educational content. The platform also offers more than just audiobooks—LearnOutLoud has video learning, podcasts, educational courses, documentaries, interviews, speeches and so much more. However, although there are fiction offerings, the site overall leans more toward educational books and classics, so this isn’t the right place to find the latest book recommendations or recent genre fiction.

Pros:

  • Great place to find educational content, including classics and nonfiction audiobooks
  • Offers videos, podcasts, courses, documentaries, interviews, speeches and more

Cons:

  • You won’t find new releases or genre fiction
  • The website feels dated and busy

Listen Now

laptop showing gutenberg.org; red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via gutenberg.org

11. Project Gutenberg

Don’t be scared off by this site’s basic appearance. Project Gutenberg is a no-nonsense site that offers access to public-domain classic e-books and audiobooks, like Moby Dick, Sherlock Holmes and more. Project Gutenberg’s more than 70,000 books are mostly narrated by its own volunteers and public-domain audiobook contributors, but there are also some computer-narrated books available.

Project Gutenberg is one of the oldest organizations offering free books online—it’s been around for more than 50 years!

Pros:

  • 50-year history of offering free books
  • Huge library of classics
  • Does not require any special apps to access

Cons:

  • Few newer releases
  • Some narration may be done by computer, rather than a human voice

Listen Now

laptop showing Lit2Go website; blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via usf.edu

12. Lit2Go

Lit2Go is an online collection of stories and famous poems, all strictly in audio format. Like many of the other sites, it offers plenty of classics and public-domain books, but it also focuses on providing literature for K–12 students. Many books can be downloaded as a PDF and used as a read-along, and the books are split up into passages for easy segmenting of long-form stories. There are also other supplemental work and studies provided for students to help with their learning, and the books are searchable by reading level, a big plus for students and parents.

Pros:

  • Offers follow-along PDFs split into passages
  • Great for learning and classroom use
  • Can filter by reading level

Cons:

  • Geared toward K–12 students only
  • Strong focus on classics; newer works may be hard to find

Listen Now

laptop showing loyalbooks.com; green background
rd.com, Getty Images, via loyalbooks.com

13. Loyal Books

Loyal Books is another public-domain audiobook provider, but don’t let that scare you off! Its website tagline is “Books should be free,” and with more than 7,000 titles, you’ll certainly find something that suits your reading taste. You can search the website by book genre, language, top 100 or the title and author.

Pros:

  • Options available in multiple languages
  • Can sort by top 100 audiobooks

Con:

  • Focuses on public-domain books, so may not have unique audiobook offerings

Listen Now

laptop showing scribl.com; red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via scribl.com

14. Scribl

Unlike a lot of the sites on this list, Scribl provides books for free that are not in the public domain and not normally free. But unlike all of the other sites on this list, it doesn’t provide a way to search through only the free catalog, so you have to check each book’s price as you review the site’s offerings. That annoyance aside, Scribl is a good option if cost matters more to you than convenience. The company is committed to keeping at least 50% of all books on the site free, no matter how many books it uploads. Plus, a new crowd-pricing feature sets prices based on popularity, meaning less-popular books are more likely to be free.

Pros:

  • Offers self-published books not in the public domain
  • Offers books not usually available for free
  • Crowd-pricing feature encourages users to try lesser-known titles

Con:

  • No way to filter by free books

Listen Now

laptop showing archive.org; blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via archive.org

15. Internet Archive

Internet Archive has thousands of free audiobooks and audio poetry downloads available. Like several of the sites we’ve listed, Internet Archive doesn’t just have its own catalog; it also allows you to search through several other audiobook provider archives and play your favorite titles through Internet Archive’s portal instead. You can search by year, topic, media type and more as you seek out your next favorite book. It has a wide selection of genres, including classic science fiction books and poetry.

Pros:

  • Huge library with a wide variety of genres
  • Easily searchable by several types of criteria
  • Features digital recordings and MP3s

Cons:

  • Some titles are poorly named, making it hard to identify the audiobook
  • It’s hard to find new, popular titles

Listen Now

laptop showing thoughtaudio.com; green background
rd.com, Getty Images, via thoughtaudio.com

16. ThoughtAudio

If you’re into classic literature and philosophy, ThoughtAudio could be for you. It provides a very small selection of free audiobooks online from authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mark Twain and Virginia Woolf. Each audiobook is actually a link to a ThoughtAudio YouTube video, but the listings also include a helpful short summary and some historical author information, which adds a little more value. This site is more helpful as a small directory of options available on YouTube.

Pros:

  • Specializes in classic literature and philosophy
  • Offers a summary and a short author biography

Cons:

  • Very small library of titles
  • Each listing links to YouTube

Listen Now

laptop showing a search for audiobooks on youtube; red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via youtube.com

17. YouTube

On top of having tons of free video content, YouTube also has free audiobooks you can listen to. There are many free audiobook channels you can subscribe to, and these channels have a variety of genres. You can listen to classics like Pride and Prejudice, fantasy books like the Harry Potter series and thrillers such as Stephen King’s In the Tall Grass.

There’s a wide variety of content available, but tread with caution: Your search may turn up some videos that violate copyright laws by reading books not licensed for audiobook distribution.

Pros:

  • Supports individual content creators
  • Wide variety of content available

Cons:

  • Videos that infringe on copyright may be taken down without warning (and don’t support the books’ authors)
  • Must play video, rather than audio only

Listen Now

laptop showing freeclassicaudiobooks.com; blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via freeclassicaudiobooks.com

18. Free Classic Audiobooks

The name says it all: This is a website where you can listen to free classic audiobooks. These free audiobooks include Emma by Jane Austen, Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The website does look basic, but if you’re only on there to find classic audiobooks, it serves its purpose. This could be a good site to teach somebody who isn’t tech-savvy how to listen to audiobooks. It’s the perfect place to discover these timeless works!

Pros:

  • No-fuss way to listen to the classics
  • Simple interface for the non-tech-savvy

Cons:

  • Bare-bones website feels dated
  • Lots of ads crowd the page

Listen Now

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Lightupyourbrain.com on red background
rd.com, Getty Images, via lightupyourbrain.com

19. Light Up Your Brain

This friendly and upbeat website is geared toward kids, helping them tap into their creativity and learn new things through resources carefully curated by the team at Light Up Your Brain. While the main resource is free audiobooks for kids, there are also printable coloring pages and brainteasers.

Something unique about Light Up Your Brain: The free audiobooks are created specifically for the website and recorded by Chuck, the website’s founder. Many of them are short bedtime stories in audio format.

Pros:

  • Nicely organized and friendly website
  • Other resources available, like printable coloring pages
  • Perfect resource for parents or teachers looking for kid-friendly content

Cons:

  • Content is mainly for preschool and primary-age children
  • Offers shorter content created specifically for the website—not recognizable or well-known titles

Listen Now

Places To Get Audiobooks For Free Online laptop showing Play.google.com on blue background
rd.com, Getty Images, via play.google.com

20. Google Play

While you may think of Google as the world’s largest search engine, you’ll also discover free audiobooks hosted through Google Play. The nice thing about Google Play is that you can save your audiobooks right to your Google account (if you have one).

Google Play offers a very small collection of audiobooks voiced by narrators in its main Google Play audiobooks section. In addition, it has AI-generated public domain audiobooks specifically curated for readers in both fiction and nonfiction sections.

Pros:

  • Free books are clearly marked and easy to find
  • A variety of genres are available
  • Easy to download, especially if you’re a Google user

Cons:

  • Limited content is available
  • The classics are AI-generated, not narrated by people

Listen Now

Why trust us

At Reader’s Digest, we’ve been sharing our favorite books for over 100 years. We’ve worked with bestselling authors including Susan Orlean, Janet Evanovich and Alex Haley, whose Pulitzer Prize–winning Roots grew out of a project funded by and originally published in the magazine. Through Fiction Favorites (formerly Select Editions and Condensed Books), Reader’s Digest has been publishing anthologies of abridged novels for decades. We’ve worked with some of the biggest names in fiction, including James Patterson, Ruth Ware, Kristin Hannah and more. The Reader’s Digest Book Club, helmed by Books Editor Tracey Neithercott, introduces readers to even more of today’s best fiction by upcoming, bestselling and award-winning authors. For this piece, Isabel Roy tapped her experience as a reporter and general interest editor to ensure that all information is accurate and offers the best possible advice to readers. We verify all facts and data, back them with credible sourcing, and revisit them over time to ensure they remain accurate and up to date. Read more about our team, our contributors and our editorial policies.