Best free audio books for World Book Day

March 5 is World Book Day, and it’s never been easier to transport yourself to another world in print or via audiobook.

AbilityNet rounds up the best ways to listen for free.

Screen shot of worl book daywing a selection of booksThis year will mark the twenty-third World Book Day when reading is celebrated in 100 countries across the world. 

For World Book Day the RNIB will be producing £1 books in audio and braille formats.

Blind and partially sighted children, and also any children unable to read standard print due to a print impairment, will be able to choose one FREE audio or braille book from the World Book Day list of 10 titles.

RNIB FREE Library Service

The RNIB Library service offers over 60,000 items for free making it the largest library in the United Kingdom for readers with sight loss. The library includes talking books by download, CD and USB as well as free Braille and giant print books.

The service offers 31,000 Talking Books on OverDrive in mp3 format.

The Let’s Talk About Books Page is a great way to find out about new books in the library.

Alexa users can listen to a selection of audiobooks for free on their device each month from Amazon-owned Audible.

Screen shot from the BBS Sounds websiteFree audiobooks, and try before you buy subscription services

Rakuten Overdrive is a digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. It offers ebooks, audiobooks and digital media to 43,000 libraries and schools in 75 countries.

To access them, download the Libby app, which is available for iOS and Android.

The BBC Sounds App has a great variety of free podcasts, including Audiobooks. It includes The Second Sleep by Robert Harris and the classic tale of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Subscribe to AbilityNet’s Free Podcast hosted by Robin Christopherson

Sites offering free audiobooks include LibriVox, which hosts free public domain audiobooks. The library is rich for historical classics such as Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe – as well as poetry books.

You can also stream Audiobooks on Spotify. Titles include Pride and Prejudice, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

A picture of an Alexa smart speaker on top of a stack of books

There are also several subscription books services, which offer a 30-day trial if you want to try before you buy.

Perhaps, the best known is Amazon-owned Audible; others such as Calibre also offer a free three-month trial.

Find Free eBooks online

A picture of Astropup and the Teletransporter from storynoryBrowse over ver 61,000 free epub and Kindle eBooks for download at Project Gutenberg

You can search by keyword, browse by author, title and language, view recently added Books and top 100 eBooks.

For audiobooks for kids, visit Storynory. Click on fairy tales to reveal classics including Aesop, the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson.

The site also includes poetry notably The Owl and the Pussycat.

How AbilityNet can help?

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people.

  • Call our free Helpline. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff will discuss any kind of computer problem and do their best to come up with a solution. We’re open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm on 0800 269 545.
  • Arrange a home visit. We have a network of AbilityNet ITCanHelp volunteers who can help if you have technical issues with your computer systems. They can come to your home, or help you over the phone.
  • We have a range of factsheets that talk in detail about technology that might help you, which can be downloaded for free. You may find our factsheets about voice recognition and keyboard alternatives useful.
  • My Computer My Way. A free interactive guide to all the accessibility features built into current desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.