Anyway. I was a member of audible.com for a while, and have enjoyed using my credits for The Paris Wife, Room: A Novel, Cutting for Stone and The Help, among others. I've just started listening to Water for Elephants, which hasn't quite got me hooked. Yet. But I eventually decided audible.com was a budget item I could live without.
When I finished The Paris Wife, which is the story of Earnest and Hadley Hemingway's marriage, I wanted to read some Hemingway. Surely Hemingway ought to be in the public domain, thought I. Alas, I was wrong. But there are thousands of classics which are in the public domain, books I've wanted to read but just never got around to picking up.
Here, then, are a few sources for free audiobooks.
If you use iTunes, some books have been turned into podcasts. Each chapter is an episode. I have so far found Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson (a contemporary of Hemingway's), Middlemarch by George Eliot, Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence, and several more. Search for Librivox in the podcast section of iTunes to find more goodies, or just search for audiobooks. The well is deep. Deeper than I thought when I started writing this post.
Librivox also has its own website and catalog of recorded books. Their mission statement reads:
LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.
Project Gutenberg, which is steadily releasing public-domain ebooks, also has an audiobook section. Some of their titles have been in collaboration with Librivox, so there is some duplication of titles.
Another resource is AudioBooksForFree.com. I haven't downloaded anything from this site. Yet. But I'm glad to know it's there. Looks like many of the works are short stories, but I could be wrong about this; I haven't really explored the site in depth.
OpenCulture.org offers similar titles to the other sites I've noted, but there might be something unique there, as well.
Your library may also offer downloadable audiobooks. Check the website for your state's library system. We will again have that service here in West Virginia by the end of this month. I've borrowed digital audiobooks previously, but that option is undergoing some virtual renovation. The advantage of library downloads is, obviously, more current titles.
Until I get a Kindle or a Nook, I plan to enjoy more audiobooks on my iPod. With thousands of titles available, and miles to go before I sleep, well, one things just naturally leads to another.
I may even start lounging around the shanty, listening while I knit. That would be better than eating bonbons. Well, maybe not better in the pleasure sense of the word, but certainly better for me!
How about you? Are you an audiobook fan? How'd you get started? Do you listen at home or on the road? Details, details!