One of the best ways to keep yourself entertained in a dynamic way is to read. But what if you have trouble seeing the font size, can’t go to the library or get headaches? Enter digital audiobooks. Gone are the clunky books on tape and here to stay are sleek, audiobooks you can access from your phone, tablet, desktop computer or laptop. Here are five popular audiobook suggestions and how to listen to them:
Sherlock Holmes: The Definitive Collection
by Arthur Conan Doyle. Performed by English actor Stephen Fry. Fiction Sherlock Holmes has entertained millions of fans for decades. Relive your favorite detective’s adventures with Fry’s award-winning narration and exclusive introductions before each title.
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
by Isabel Wilkerson, performed by Robin Miles. Nonfiction Pulitzer winner Wilkerson delivers a reframing of the racism conversation with rich, historical significance, revealing anecdotes and standout narration by Miles. This award-winning book is an excellent look at American history and its people.
The Vanishing Half
by Brit Bennett and performed by Shayna Small. Fiction Twin sisters, inseparable as children, choose to live two very different lives. The fates of the twins remain intertwined as the next generation makes its mark.
A Short History of Nearly Everything
written and narrated by Bill Bryson. Nonfiction In this ambitious audiobook, Bryson takes the listener on the ultimate journey into the most intriguing questions that science seeks to answer about humanity. Written with humor and a journalistic touch, science has never been more entertaining.
Educated: A Memoir
by Tara Westover, read by Julia Whelan. Nonfiction Winner of numerous awards and critical acclaim, this coming of age memoir follows the life of Westover and how she became educated with a Ph.D. against all odds.
How to Listen
Now that you’ve selected the book you want to listen to, how do you listen to it? Most audiobooks are available to listen to on your smartphone, tablet, smartwatch, desktop computer or laptop. Essentially, you’ll need to download an application through Google Play or the Apple App Store to your favorite device. All of the apps are free to download but may require a monthly subscription. Here are five leading services:
Amazon’s Audible Apple and Android compatible 30-day free trial, then a monthly subscription for either the Plus ($7.95) or Premium Plus ($14.95) plan. Both plans offer access to a selection of audiobooks but the Premium provides credit to buy a book of your choice and exclusive discounts.
Libby Apple and Android compatible Free! This app is connected to your local public library. You will need to link it to your library card, then check out virtually any book available from your library, or place a hold on the audiobook so you can listen when it’s ready.
Scribd Apple and Android compatible 30 day free trial, then $9.99 per month for unlimited access to a number of audiobooks from major publishers.
Apple Books Apple users only No monthly subscription. Access to a revolving selection of free titles, special promotions and discounts. While some titles are free, others will cost you, so this is a great option for the light reader who doesn’t want to commit to a monthly fee.
Google Play Books Apple and Android compatible No monthly subscription and acts like a retail store. Access to over 5 million titles but you will need to purchase each audiobook separately. Perfect for the extremely casual reader or if you have a gift certificate for Google Play.
Once you’ve downloaded the app on your device, search for the book you want to listen to and enjoy your afternoon.