Perhaps you are one of the many people in the world who love listening to audio books. They can be found just about anywhere–the World Wide Web, book stores, rental services and department stores, among other places; and now nearly any book imaginable is available on both compact disc and audio cassette. Perhaps, also, you are flat broke. Maybe the holiday season has left you banknote impaired–yet you just cannot manage to free yourself from a desire to finally relax and enjoy listening to a favorite book. Fortunately, that is not an impossible dream, regardless of the circumstances. And it is a dream that can be realized without spending a single penny!
There are many ways to get your hands on free audio books. An obvious example would be your local library. While this bit of advice may not be true of all libraries, it can be said that many branches are now catching on to the trend. Of course, there are always those whose local libraries are a bit too “old-fashioned” but on the other end of the spectrum, many libraries are now offering free audio book downloads.
If, however your local library seems to be of the antique brand, then there are many options for those with internet access. A Los Angeles based service, Jiggerbug, offers free trials of their audio book rental service. They provide an extensive catalogue of audio book titles; and if you like the audio in their collection, then feel free to burn them onto CD for your own personal use (meaning do not get caught selling multiple copies of Brokeback Mountain from your car’s trunk). Copyright laws don’t take kindly to being broken; the consequences of doing so can be heinous.
Also worthy of mention is Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org ), a website consisting of free computer generated audio that are available for download. Although their selection does not include many contemporary reads, it is a good source for classic literature if you don’t mind listening to a computerized voice.
And finally, there’s always the do-it-yourself method: record your own audio books! This is especially a great idea for parents of young children. With free software Microsoft Speech SDK and Text Aloud MP3, you have only to decide on a book that you believe your child or children will most enjoy. Also, you shouldn’t worry if you don’t have the voice of James Earl Jones–the kids don’t care. It wouldn’t be a bad thing, though, would it?
While these suggestions may be considered obvious to some, it is often the obvious things that are overlooked. Regardless of your methods, though, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re getting stuff for free!