1. Open Culture
Dedicated to bringing “high-quality cultural and educational media” to the masses, Open Culture offers hundreds of free audiobooks on its site. There are plenty of classic picks, including Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and James Joyce’s Ulysses.
It’s all in the name. This website currently offers 3,000 audiobooks, all of which are free and in the public domain. Download MP3 files of books such asDon Quixote and Frankenstein, which you can play on your smartphone, Kindle or MP3 player.
Librivox relies entirely on volunteers to upload audio of themselves reading books. Thus far, the site has catalogued 7,488 works in 34 different languages, and it partners with Project Gutenberg to get texts such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and The Art of War.
To check out up-and-coming authors, Podiobooks is the way to go. The site is designed to give exposure to writers who want to get their work out there, offering up their novels, short stories, anthologies and more for free.
Lit2Go hosts a bevy of poems and novels in a beautifully-organized site that gives readers a fair amount of background information on each work. Most of the selections, such as Beowulf, Dracula and Moby Dick, are available on iTunes, and easy to download on the site itself.
ThoughtAudio doles out meaty philosophical tomes and plenty of fiction, like Mark Twain’s dark and unfinished The Mysterious Stranger. The site is free, but splits up its books into numerous little sections for a snack-sized listen. If you prefer to hear the book all at once, you’ll be able to soon — the site will be offering a “ZIP” pass — a program that’ll download the book into one zip file (but it’ll cost you $10).
The folks over at Librophile source thousands of free audiobooks, often working with Librivox and Project Gutenberg. Scroll through and pluck out titles such as The Call of the Wild by Jack London and Walden by Henry David Thoreau.
This one’s for the kids. Storynory focuses on children’s books, offering popular titles such as Little Red Riding Hood. It also produces original content, which comes with transcribed versions of the story.
Learn Out Loud is all about education, and has rounded up more than 10,000 educational and inspirational audiobooks. Not everything is free, but there’s a free featured section with brainy picks, including The Iliad by Homer and The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin.
The Internet Archive was essentially designed to be a library for, well, the Internet. It’s a huge source, compiling lists of other great sites on the web. Its audiobook offerings gather from a number of sites, where you can find selections such as Paradise Lost by John Milton and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.