It took me a long time to come around to using technology for my reading habits – like way too long. As a huge bookworm, my mom suggested buying me a Kindle for holidays several years in a row, but I loved my old-school hard copy books and couldn’t come around to the idea of reading books on a screen. I loved to annotate in my books, sticky note my favorite sections, collect them on my bookshelf – all things that cannot be done through e-reading, or in my current form of reading through audiobooks. So today, I’m going to share how I’ve grown to love and get audiobooks for free.
My current commute is about 45 minutes to an hour long on the CTA. If you’ve ever taken the “El” during rush hour, you probably know that getting a seat is nearly impossible, and you better hold on tight due to the unpredictable shifts of the car, which makes it incredibly difficult to try to read a hard copy book. So instead, I’d just listen to my Spotify playlists or check social media, but I felt like spending 10 hours a week commuting to and from work and home, I could do something way more productive with my time.
Audiobooks were a hands-free way for me to devour my latest and greatest book choice, and I ended up loving it. I started out by reading a lot of autobiographies by people I admire that were all read by the author, so it was basically like listening with my bff Amy (Poehler) five days a week. This was the perfect way to get hooked on audiobooks, and I honestly don’t think I could ever read another autobiography any other way.
However, before making the switch I had to explore my options because books can add up to be expensive. Personally, I’ve always been a huge advocate of utilizing the local library! I’ve gotten tons of books over the years that were used or donated available for purchase for at most $2, and, of course, you’re able to borrow books up to two weeks for no charge at all. But it’s also not always convenient to make the trek to your library every time I wanted a new read (refer back to the whole 10 hours a week time frame I’m working with), so I explored various apps.
I found OverDrive. All you need is a library card to register, and it allows you to borrow ebooks and audiobooks for free, instantly on your device (cell phone, tablet, etc.) If a book you’re interested in isn’t available, you can place a hold and get an email once it’s available. Plus, you download the book so it doesn’t use your data to stream.
While I still have a soft spot for my hard copy book collection, this is by far the easiest (and cheapest) way for me to make time for reading! So far I’ve read more than 20 audiobooks for free on OverDrive. The only caveat is that it’s nearly impossible to get the newest hot book that everyone’s raving about – for example, I was on the waiting list for The Woman in Cabin 10 for months until I caved and bought a copy to bring with me on vacation.
Have you ever tried audiobooks? Leave your thoughts below, and let me know if you have any book recommendations!