So you’re a busy person. You work hard, look after a family and never seem to have time to read all those books you really want to read. What are you to do? Listen to free audiobooks while you commute, that’s what. The internet is full of free audiobooks – all you need to do is find them.
Audiobooks are great for people who find themselves with moments where they’re awake, but have other things they need to do with their hands. Driving, cooking, nursing or knitting are all things people can normally do at the same time as listening to something. Listening to audiobooks is a great way to multitask during those times of day and add a little culture.
Thanks to public domain archives like Project Gutenberg and LibriVox, there’s plenty of great audiobooks available free to download. I’m personally a big fan of browsing for free audiobooks using BooksShouldBeFree because I like the interface, extra links, genre search, top 100 list and related book suggestions.
A quick look at the main page will show you all the obvious popular classics like Beowulf, The Iliad, Alice in Wonderland, Doctor Dolittle, Grimm’s Fairytales, King Lear and works by authors such as Tolstoy, Jane Austen and Jules Verne. This is a good start.
Are you not sure which free audiobooks to listen to? Well that’s where this list comes in. Here’s a selection of not-so-obvious audiobooks which are widely regarded as great books and are available free via BooksShouldBeFree.
There’s a good reason this classic science fiction work was worked into music, film and popular culture — because it’s great! Get back to roots by listening to the original, unaltered 1890′s story. Also see the Invisible Man.
Slip into the start of the 20th century with Night and Day. This is a book for Jane Austen lovers who need a little twist. Covering many similar themes to Austen, Woolf provides social commentary with a little humour.
Ostensibly, this is a book about survival, adventure and self-reliance. Ultimately though, Walden is also about finding your own path and breaking free from expectations. Great listening for the commuter with big dreams!
Wodehouse is a comic genius who was loved by Douglas Adams, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and many more. “Something Fresh” is one of Wodehouse’s most popular texts, so it is likely to be appreciated by all comedy lovers.
If you’re getting into the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes series, now is the time to re-visit the original. Get a feel for the original Sherlock Holmes character in order to fully appreciate the re-make.
Here’s a taste of Victorian fantasy with a touch of dystopia. The book uses this front to showcase hypocrisy in Victorian ideals.
The character of Emma Bovary will resonate well with all the house-bound parents, people living in rural areas, travel-hungry nomads and people who run up a little too much credit at times. Live vicariously through her mistakes instead of making your own.
Get stuck into some classic philosophy with Beyond Good and Evil. Nietzsche used this novel to enlighten readers about their moral complacency and to guide them away from the herd mentality. This could be just the book to read for someone stuck in the rat race. If you’re into philosophy, see also Descartes’ Discourse on Method and Pascal’s Pensées.
Voltaire’s Candide is the perfect book for people sick of cheery optimism. Voltaire wanted to get rid of the idea that we live in the best of all possible worlds: sometimes life is pretty bleak. The message is delivered amidst a story of human resilience and dark humour.
Tom Sawyer’s story is a joy to all who love the little things in life and want to live every moment to the fullest. Mark Twain wrote about kids in an attempt to capture that spirit and remind adults of those times and adventures. Also see Huckleberry Finn.