If you’re like me, you’ve suddenly found yourself with a little extra free time on your hands and nowhere to go.
Calling it “free time” might be a bit of an exaggeration but I’m talking about the time I spend cleaning, doing laundry, sitting outside as Jett and Dash play, and basically anytime I am not entertaining. If you’re in that boat, there are a ton of things you can do to fill your time but I have been using it to knock some books off my list that I’ve been meaning to read for a while.
And as an added bonus, listening to audiobooks makes all the other chores and time go by sooo quickly! It’s such a nice pace-changer. You can even listen to them while you’re running, figuring out how to give yourself a gel manicure at home, and even during your shower (this waterproof Bluetooth speaker is the BEST!).
Additionally, there are a lot of great places for you to snag your audiobooks and some of those resources are free! So while you’re stuck at home with your “favorite people,” turn on your favorite book instead of watching Trolls for the 935,039 time. (no offense to kids)
Plus, listening to a good book is a great alternative to those true-crime podcasts that seem to have lost their juice.
Obviously, Audible is on this list. It comes from my favorite one-stop-shopping outlet, Amazon. While you will have to sign up for the service and pay a monthly fee, the first month is completely free. So, if there is one audiobook you’ve been just waiting to listen to, a free month of Audible might be worth it. After that, it’s $14.95 a month.
Basically, there are two ways to use Audible. You can either pay (subscribe/$14.95 a month) and get one audiobook credit each month OR you can just download the app and buy an audiobook whenever you’re in the mood. And so those books you’ve purchased, even if you cancel your membership or never buy another one again, stay in your app.
And in case you hadn’t heard, Audible is offering a large collection of free audiobooks for kids! You can filter by age, and they offer everything from baby books to YA. I think it’s a great screen-free alternative for kids who need an entertainment fix.
SHOP MY FAVORITE READING DEVICES
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Libby and Hoopla are very, very similar in that they both loan you ebooks and digital audiobooks for FREE from your local library through your library card. And it’s pretty fantastic. With Hoopla, you don’t have to get on a waitlist to check out hot new titles. The only downside of this app is that you’re limited to 20 titles a month and loans last three weeks for each audiobook (although you can renew; it just counts against your monthly limit).
With Libby, your library chooses which digital books they’d like to provide. They also set lending policies, like how long you can borrow books and how many you can borrow at a time. You can stream books with Wi-Fi or mobile data, or download them for offline use and read anytime, anywhere. All you need to get started is a library card.
One of my favorite platforms and one of the ways you can definitely save money is by downloading LibriVox. Their offerings are limited but they have a ton of classics. Plus, you can also read an audiobook for the site, too. You can bring other’s favorites to life by reading a book and uploading it to the site. Kind of a cool concept. And if you have middle school or high school-aged kids that have required reading, those books can usually be found on LibriVox!
If you want the benefits without the commitment, Chirp is also a great platform. You don’t have any monthly fees and you only pay for what your purchase. And Chirp has daily deals and also offers lesser-known books for less! And like Audible, this app has a sleep-timer. If you’re only able to listen as you fall asleep, this feature will become your best friend and allow you to wake up without your book having read itself to the end!
SHOP MY RECENT READS
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If you’re more of the Netflix type than the Apple TV type, this app is for you. Like Audible, you have a monthly fee which is $9.99. But unlike Audible, you don’t own any specific titles. Like Netflix, when you cancel your subscription you lose access to all the titles you’ve listened to or read. And SCRIBD is for the book lover who also likes to read and loves magazines. It has a little bit of everything. And while it says it’s unlimited, there have been reports of them limiting titles to accounts where the person is a big consumer of content but I haven’t experienced that. This ap is for the person who reads or listens to something once and doesn’t make it a habit to re-read or listen to something they’ve already enjoyed!
If you’ve got small kids at home who love books, this just might make your day. 91% of classrooms in the U.S. use Epic and it’s a free resource for educators. If you’re not a teach, no sweat! You can get access to 40,000 children’s books for as little as $7 bucks a month. You can create a profile for your kid and assign them books. And depending on the publication, you can choose between ‘Read To Me’, ‘Videos’, ‘Audiobooks’, and “Comics.’
What I love about it most is that it hooks even the most reluctant reader!
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See? Something for the whole family. Turn on an audiobook for your kids and then take a long drive to listen to your latest obsession. And if you need a few recommendations, here are a few books I just finished:
The Things We Cannot Say (My favorite so far!)