Free Audiobook Options

Free Audiobook Options

Posted under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info

One of the biggest fears for someone who has been diagnosed with a chronic or degenerative eye condition is the loss of the ability to read.  As an avid reader myself, I can understand that concern.  However, there is more than one way to enjoy your favorite author or genre of books. Audio books can make characters, history, and cultures come alive.  Believe it or not, listening to audiobooks can actually be more enjoyable than reading.  Different readers are often used for different characters and background sounds of crashing waves, honking horns or singing birds can transport you to another time and world.

One source for free audio books is your local library.   Audiobooks are available as CD sets or as free downloads from your county library website.  First you need a library card.  The application process is very easy.  This can be done by either bringing identification that shows your current address to your local library or some libraries allow you to apply on line and they will then mail you a card.

Audiobooks are available in fiction with areas of interest including humor, mystery and suspense, romance and historical fiction.  The non-fiction genres include biographies and autobiographies, business, family and relationships, health and fitness, spirituality and self improvement.


Books on CD’s

If you like listening to books on CD you of course need a CD player and you may have to go to your library to pick them up and return them.  However, some libraries do offer home service delivery and many of them offer this service without charge if a patron meets certain disability qualifications.  Contact your local library to see if this service is available and if you qualify.


Download Audiobooks

Every library system is a bit different.  But, for example, my library allows one to borrow up to 5 audiobooks at a time.  The lending period actually varies depending on the book.  The amount of time you can keep the audiobook varies by region as well, but it’s typically 10-14 days with an opportunity to renew.   There are two ways to listen to a book – one is streaming via an internet connection and the other is to download your audiobook to an electronic device.

Go to your library’s website and look for the headphone icon/picture which lets you know that a book is available as a free audio download.   The appeal of the reader’s voice is sometimes as important as the book title.  You can preview the reader’s voice and listen to several minutes of the audio book to determine if it’s a good listening voice for you.

To check out another option for free audiobooks called the Talking Book program visit:

Free Talking Books On Tape Program


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN