I'm sure you've heard of audio books. They are in fashion because they have quickly become a perfect alternative for people who don't have time to read a book or are not in the habit of doing so, and yet love to be told stories.
Did you know that storytelling is one of the most ancestral customs of human beings? Moreover, oral tradition is the basis of social evolution, cultural identity and collective memory. From the meetings around the fire already documented by archaeologists, our narrated stories have evolved from proverbs, riddles and simple tales to epics, chants, romances, myths and legends, to stories and novels and even the cinema. We love it because it transports us to other realities and stimulates our mind.
For all those who want to immerse themselves in literature, the options multiply every day thanks to the internet and recently thanks to the websites that host audiobooks.
What is an audiobook.
Don't confuse it with an ebook. An audiobook is the recording of a book read aloud.
It can have many levels of complexity such as effects, ambient sound or different narrators and characters, which has made the listening experience more and more complex and complete.
To give you an idea, according to Deloitte studies, 18% of American adults (over 73 million people) now listen to an audiobook at least once a year. Worldwide, the number of current audiobook consumers exceeds 500 million and is predicted to grow by 25% by 2021. If only out of curiosity, this practice is worth the try.
Advantajes of audiobooks.
Some of the main advantages of audiobooks are the number of titles you will find and the possibility to listen to them at any time. You can practice listening on your phone while you go for a run, in your transport routines, in waiting moments... It's as simple as plugging in a headset or speakerphone to your mobile device, tablet or computer and hitting play.
It's often cheaper than buying the same books on paper, so it can be quite affordable. It also doesn't take up space on our shelves and above all it's ideal for learning new things, including understanding and pronouncing other languages.
You lose the experience of touching and smelling the pages of the book, but you gain in so many other things, it's worth it.
The best audiobook websites.
To make listening practice a routine that feeds your mind, we bring you a list of the best websites to download audiobooks. There are more options as you can imagine, so be sure to try out several of them.
Its catalogue, with more than 40,000 titles, is always being renewed because it works with more than 150 publishers. In fact, it is the editorial team itself that selects the actors who tell each of the stories. You can listen to them online, download them or buy the ebook. It also allows you to buy 1, 3 or 6 month vouchers to give to friends.
The only drawback to Storytel is that once your subscription expires, you no longer have the books, unless you bought them as an ebook.
It has more than 180,000 books available in all languages and with two types of services: independent download of each audiobook or by paying a monthly fee with which you can listen to as many books as you want. If you are still not convinced, you can join the 15-day trial period and if you are from Amazon Prime, know that it is a service you already have access to.
Its main advantage is that, even if you unsubscribe, you keep the books.
It's a free public online digital library. 90% of the books it has are in English, and although LibriVox itself produces its own audiobooks in up to 36 different languages. Most of the stories are recorded by the users themselves, some unfortunately not so professional.
It's an audiobook App where you pay for each title with the option to listen for free the first 5 minutes. Ideal to get an idea. You don't need to pay a monthly subscription but, in the case of some new titles, the price of each audiobook is very similar to its printed option on paper, so Audioteka will suit you very well if you want to access some classics.
It is an online collection of free stories and poems under Creative Commons license, with all languages available.
The good thing about Lit2go is that you can download some chapters in pdf. It can be very useful for a complete analysis of some very specific contents.
It calls itself a "portal for dramatized audiobooks in all languages and genres".
Since Storytel employs actors for the story and uses sound effects and music making the listening experience more like a radio soap opera than a reading.
Sonolibro does not have a fixed fee, but offers the direct purchase of audiobooks. If you are not completely convinced, try some of its free content first.
As its name suggests, it is an audio file, but it contains more than 11,000 audiobooks of works in the public domain or under a Creative Commons license.
The particularity of the Internet Archive is that in it you will find recordings of old radio programs, reading of alternative news, specific texts,... It is a real library for the most curious minds.
It does not have its own service, but it does have its own free audio book channel with 28,000 subscribers.
It started as a project to bring reading closer to the visually impaired, but over 6 years it has spread to all audiences and has created a community around books. Interesting if you are looking for good reviews or generate debate around a book.
It is a free podcast kiosk that allows you to play, download and share audios of any subject and genre. Among the many files you can access are a large number of audio books and audio stories, all freely downloadable.
It is a library of audiobooks and ebooks for free download, organized by genres. It has more than 20 different languages, including Esperanto, and because of the great collection of children's books it offers, it is the perfect choice for the youngest ones.
Now that you have so many options in your hand, there are no more excuses to start reading.
It is true that audiobooks are a good option to spend your time while learning simply as pure enjoyment, but they are not books. I mean, cognitive development happens in a different way, but it's so stimulating and enjoyable that whether you use it as an alternative to holding a book in your hands or as a hobby for audiobooks, you'll develop a beautiful habit that will bring you nothing but good things.
The day you least expect it, you'll find yourself recommending it to everyone around you.
It happened to us.