Monday, March 13, 2017

How to Stream Hundreds of Audiobooks for Free

In this new world of portable devices my family takes advantage of the flexibility of downloading audiobooks straight to my phone. Then we can listen to wonderful books whenever we are in the car. While I drive, my kids sit and stare our the window while we listen to everything from fantasy (A Wrinkle in Time) to historical fiction (The Magic Treehouse) to classics (Little House in the Big Woods). And as an added bonus, I can return books and check out new ones even when we are traveling across the country.

Almost all the parents I meet are interested to know that we stream for free from our library and so I'm writing this little guide for them (and for you). Here's what you need to stream hundreds of audiobooks for your family to enjoy...

Find Your Library
I dug around and found some sites that account for a lot of Colorado libraries. See:


Get a Library Card
You will probably have to take your ID and/or proof of residency to your local branch to acquire a card. But poke around on the website or call ahead to talk to a human so you arrive prepared.

The Overdrive App
- Download the Overdrive App
- Open Overdrive App
- Choose your library and enter your library card number



Find an Audiobook

1. Look in the "Collections" menu to find AUDIOBOOKS that are "Available now." It is as easy as it looks in the screenshot below:



2. Filter for Audience=Juvenile
3. Click on an available Book
4. Choose "Borrow" and "Add to App" to download the audiofile to your device.



5. Once you've downloaded an audiobook to your phone then you can listen to it anywhere. I play it through my car stereo. Go to your Overdrive Bookshelf. The icon looks something like this:


6. Tap on the book you want to hear. (Overdrive is smart and will remember where you left off.) It will begin to play.

You have the Audiobook for 21 days. If you finish early, then you can return it, delete it from your Overdrive Bookshelf, and go find another book! Yay! (You don't have to worry about late returns. Overdrive will cut you off automatically. However, before downloading a new book you will have to delete it from your Bookshelf.)

Four Books at a Time
You can have four audiobooks checked out at a time! That could mean upwards of 24 hours of listening if you have older kids.

However, for preschoolers I look for books that are less than four hours long. Here is my list of 66 Audio Stories for Little Kids. If you want more recommendations, just drop me a note in the comments! We have listened to many more and are constantly growing our list of recommendations!


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