Friday, January 8, 2016


I jumped in a little bit sceptical, but consider me a convert. While commuting, doing chores around the house or just relaxing, audiobooks are an excellent way to enjoy a good book. For me getting immersed in a story is actually much easier when listening instead of reading. Also listening seems to require less focus and concentration (at least for me), so ideal if you had a tough day at work and do not have the energy to do much else. There are quite a few places on the net where you can get legit free audiobooks. These will be The Classics that entered the public domain, here you can find the works of Lovecraft or Poe for example. The quality of the narration will vary greatly, is sometimes done by "amateurs" and the format choice is probably limited. Other than that an excellent way to experience an audiobook and decide if you like it, as a concept and leisure activity.
After I established that I did, some research was in order. Where can I find the largest collection of Audiobooks? And at what price? There are a few service providers for example AudioBooks (60.000 books, iOs, Android, GooglePlay), Scribd (a subcription service, also offers e-books, comics and sheet music) and Audible, which I am using right now. As from 2008 Audible is a subsidiary of Amazon, which translates into a very large selection (nearly 200.000 audiobooks), top-notch narration and also premium prices. Audible offers a subscription plan, which may be worthwhile if you are really diving in, but is not required for using the service. There are listening apps for iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, Windows Phone and Tablet, Kindle Touch, Fire Tablet, Amazon Echo and  iTunes plus a streaming service. When you do not subscribe the price of an audiobook ranges from high to frankly ridiculous.

As an example, let's check the Amazon price for The Martian by Andy Weir. At the moment of writing: for Kindle $5.41, paperback $6.91, hardcover $14.88 and Audible $30.99...OK,I get that the production costs for an audiobook are probably higher but still, it is steep. If you plan to purchase audiobooks regularly a subscription may be a good idea. You can get the first book free, then 1 book a month for $14.95 and a significant discount on subsequent purchases.

Free Audiobooks:

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