Libraries: The Best Source for Free Audiobooks

A couple of hours before turning in for bed, I open a bottle of wine and listen to a few chapters of an audiobbok. I have an Audible account, and I agreed to the 90 trial of Playster, but increasingly, I'm listening to more and more audiobooks through my local library. 

Last night I started listening to Gun Street Girl, written by Adrian McKinty and performed by Gerard Doyle. The book is available on Audible for $14.95 (or 1 Credit, of course), but it's also available on Hoopla and can be "recommended" to your library as a title to add to their OverDrive managed catalog.

I suspect most people reading this post will have no problem with the idea of accessing content for free through your library. But for the rare soul among you concerned for the financial well being of the artists who have made this content available to the world, rest assured, borrowing content from the library is probably a far better way to support those artists, since:

  1. Libraries that purchase books pay a higher royalty than you do, individually, and 
  2. Studies suggest that Libraries remain major access channels and important drivers of audiobook discovery. 27% of people said borrowing from a library/library website was very important for discovering new audiobooks. rSo the book you suggest to your library by clicking the RECOMMEND button that appears under the title in the OverDrive app, or the one you rate in hoopla, may be discovered by someone who otherwise may never have heard of it. 

1 More evidence of point 2 can be seen in the Goodreads poll started by Otis Chandler in 2012.

Finally, borrowing audiobooks from the library has become an extremely simple process. The more I do it, the easier it is. 

I found Gun Street Girl on the 2016 list of finalists for the Audie award in Mystery. Listening to the sample, admittedly, is easier on Audible's website, but the book was available immediately on hoopla, since my library had not reached its daily limit for borrows. And even if the library had reached its limit on hoopla, I could have recommended the book to be added to my library's OverDrive catalog through the app, in which case it would likely have been available to me sometime between ten days and two weeks.    


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