I talked a few posts ago about some of my favourite Stephen King short stories as audiobooks and hinted that they could be found on YouTube if you looked.
I wanted to look at audiobooks that are free, in the public domain so started to look into where you could get these from. When I started writing about Spotify, it became evident that it isn’t as simple as saying ‘go there, do that’. I’ve got more free sites next week, but today, Spotify gets its own post…
Who knew that Spotify had an audiobooks section? Well I certainly didn’t until I started researching this post and the one for next week.
I don’t immediately think of Spotify when I am wanting to listen to an audiobook. I’ll cover several more ways to get your hands on some free audiobooks next week, with bigger libraries, but for now, let’s look at:
How To Listen To Free Audiobooks On Spotify
If you already knew this and are smacking your forehead wondering how I didn’t know that, please cut me some slack; the process for finding your books is not straightforward and does not lend itself to mobile listening (at least not on the free account as far as I can tell), the biggest problem being:
The free version of Spotify (you should know by now that I’m all about free) does not allow you to turn off the shuffle option, which means that you can be listening to chapter 12 of Poe’s Fall Of The House of Usher, then it might be chapter 35 of Alice In Wonderland, then chapter 61 of Pride and Prejudice.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer my stories to follow on in sequential order, preferably the same story. But that’s just me.
So enough of the problems, how can I listen to a Spotify Audiobook?
Firstly, jump on your computer and go to spotify.com to create yourself a Spotify account if you don’t already have one. I have an app on my Mac for Spotify and assume there is something similar for PC.
Now unlike music, Audiobooks do not have a specific genre. So while you can search for Grime, Hip Hop or Country music, you can’t just select the ‘audiobooks’ genre. So, once Spotify is opened, search for ‘audiobooks’ in the search bar at the top.
That will then give you a list of Songs, Albums, Playlists, Artists, etc:
Pick one of these categories that you want to look at. In my example, I clicked ‘See All’ on the ‘Playlists’ section, giving me something that looks like this (including many more playlists not shown):
Each of these playlists have already been put together by someone containing the books in the listed genre, so you may find what you’re looking for here.
I my example, I selected the ‘Sci Fi and Fantasy’ option ***Warning – this option is located next to the ‘Romance’ section, so please be careful what you click on or you could be listening to a love story, and nobody wants that***
It will bring you up a list of books that are available to listen to but you will also see that you are presented with only chapter 1s for each book, again, not very useful, but what it does do when clicked on, is give you a sample of the ‘artist’s’ voice (narrator’s voice). Some are better than others, so you can pick your favourites and ignore the rest.
So how do you listen to your desired book? That’s actually simple: to the right of the title you will see ‘Album’. Give this a click and it will take you to the audiobook’s page with all relevant chapters. Once there, click play on the first chapter and your book will play.
If it is jumping around chapters, make sure the shuffle option is deselected and your book will play in the appropriate order.
If you can’t find something you like, you can find something similar and check out what else is available by the author, or read by the same narrator.
The first name is the author, the second the narrator.
A click on the author’s name will bring up other available works, along with other suggestions similar to the one you have selected, but don’t get too excited yet; when I tried the Stephen King link, there were only 5 books, all in German.
If you are fortunate enough to find something you like in a language you speak, the next thing to do is go to the album that contains this audiobook. To do that, select the 3 dots to the right of the book you want, click it and you will see a drop down menu with an option to ‘Go To Album’.
This will then take you to the books page and, as mentioned above, click chapter 1 and away you go (remembering to deselect shuffle).
One final word of caution, not all playlists are arranged as helpfully as the examples I’ve used above. Some will just list all the chapters of several books straight after one another, so don’t make the mistake of thinking the ‘Harry Potter’ playlist only covers one book, the transitions are just hidden.
If you know the author you are looking for, you can type their name in the search bar, click the author’s name, which will take you to a list of what work is available for them, then just follow the steps from above.
I’d like to tell that this is a great way to listen to free audiobooks, but I can’t. It feels a bit clunky to me and it certainly took me some time to get to grips with.
The other problem I faced is the problem of the tracks being shuffled when listening on a mobile device like my phone. I do most of my listening this way, either moving around the house, in bed at night, or in my car via bluetooth, so this is a big turn off for me.
I have another post lined up for next week which looks at the many other ways you can get your hands on some free audiobooks, so stay tuned.
My question to you:
Do you listen to audiobooks? Where do you get them from?