Where Audio Books are Free

Looking for a good book to listen to this summer?  Check out this article and the links from School Library Journal Online.

By Lauren Barack <!– –>June 7, 2011

By Lauren Barack <!– –>June 7, 2011

Librarians and teachers who believe every audiobook comes with a price tag might want to surf Books Should Be Free, an online source offering a range of free titles that are downloadable in MP3 format.

For educators hoping to engage students this summer with reading projects-the audiobooks can help kids maintain their literacy skills and potentially trigger an interest to follow in a print format as the story is read to them aloud.

With titles culled from the public domain, the collection is understandably heavily steeped in the classics, from L. Frank Baum’s Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz to Cervantes’ Don Quixote and has levels that span the K-12 age group.

The website organizes options by subject matter, offering a large selection of fiction but also choices in history, philosophy, and poetry. There’s even a romance section-but think 19th century sighs rather than Harlequin Romance swoons. Ebooks are also available in more than 20 languages, and most titles can be sampled first before downloading.

Links direct users to quick summaries, as well as the complete text, sourced from Project Gutenberg and Wikipedia. And readers can share their thoughts on the various ebooks, which can be candid. Much of the offerings are recorded and digitized by volunteers, and voices can change mid-reading, which some readers have objected to online.

Still, as a go-to digital resource for affordable summer options, as well as titles to use in classroom reading groups, Books Should Be Free might be worth bookmarking.

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