Anyone else need the escape of audiobooks while we hunker down and wait out the Coronavirus quarantines, school closures, and social distancing? These audiobook apps have proved to be the perfect literary lifeline for me while I’m stuck at home with my young children.
Because no offense to my kids, but, I don’t find Superwings quite as intellectually stimulating as my 3-year-old does.
Bonus: these audiobook apps are a great alternative to constantly refreshing your news app. Not that I know anything about that.
You’re probably already familiar with Audible, but if you’re not, it’s Amazon’s subscription audiobook app. You can try it free for 30 days and after that it’s $14.95 a month. Just know that the membership doesn’t include unlimited audiobooks; instead you get one credit each month to redeem for an audiobook of your choosing, plus a discounted rate if you buy more.
Update: We were so excited to hear that while school is out for the quarantine, 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. Or parents who need a break from hands-on homeschooling.
I was so excited to discover Libro.fm as an alternative to Audible, since it lets you choose an independent bookstore to support with your purchases. It’s a great option if you’d just rather give your money to a small business than Amazon. A membership is only slightly more expensive than an Audible subscription at $14.99 a month and works the same way, credit-wise. Plus, I love that it comes with recommendations from indie booksellers around the country — almost as good as browsing the shelves in person!
Hoopla lets you check out audiobooks from your local library with the obvious benefit being that it’s completely free. You just need your library card number and pin to set up an account, and unlike with hard copies, 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).
If you want your audiobooks commitment-free, check out Chirp. It lets you buy books without the monthly subscription. Plus you can save money if you follow their daily deals and seek out lesser known books instead of bestsellers. I’ve also been using audiobooks to help me fall back asleep after breastfeeding in the night, so I love that this app comes with a sleep timer. So handy!
If you’re looking to save money, LibriVox is your best bet. It offers a selection of public domain titles that you can listen at no cost, and while their catalogue is limited, you can find loads of older books and classics. It’s a great resource if you’re homeschooling — even temporarily — and looking for reading assignments.
Top image: Elice Moore via Unsplash