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13 Ways to Access Free Ebooks and Audiobooks

An e-reader with a cup of coffee and a plate of pastries with the blog post title overlayed: "13 Ways to Access Free Ebooks and Audiobooks"

You may think that as a secondhand book seller, I wouldn't promote my "competition" or how to get books for free. But more important that selling gently used books is my desire to increase the interest and access to books for all ages. In this digital age, the world of literacy has expanded beyond the physical walls of a bookshop or library. With the rise of online registration and the availability of countless resources at our fingertips, exploring the vast realms of books has never been easier. The online world of literacy has continued to expand through the required adjustments that COVID made us all go through, as well as increased awareness of how important it is to get literacy into the hands of eager readers and how many of those readers don't have regular access. Let's dive into the world of access to vast collections of free ebooks and audiobooks together!

1. The Anaheim Public Library: Fill out the quick info boxes and submit to receive a library card number. The number can take up to 2 weeks to generate, but it is available for any location of residence and totally free!

2. Sunnyvale Public Library: Submit the quick and easy form to get an instant library card number. It then provides steps to set up a pin and register this number for the online catalog.

3. Seattle Public Library: If you're between the ages 16-23, you can sign up online for a library card as part of the Books Unbanned initiative.

4. Brooklyn Public Library: Send an email to if you're between 13-21 years old to apply for a free BPL ecard to access their online catalogs.

5. Boston Public Library: For ages 13-26, register online for a free ecard as part of the Books Unbanned initiative.

6. San Diego Public Library: For ages 12-26, register online for a free ecard as part of the Books Unbanned initiative.

7. Your State Library: Even if you don't live in the county/service area, your state library often will allow you to get a free card and access to their digital collections. Check out this comprehensive list to find your state library.

8. Your local library: Many libraries have reciprocal borrowing systems, so ask your local library that you have a card for if they have a reciprocal borrowing system with any other libraries. You can also link your local library card to apps such as Libby, Overdrive, or Hoopla for access to tons of free ebooks and audiobooks.

9. Downloads: There are many official websites (non-piracy) that cater to free streaming or downloadable content. Some are Open Library (audiobooks & ebooks), Project Gutenburg (ebooks), Internet Archive (ebooks, web pages, videos, images, software, audio, etc), Free Ebooks, BookBub, Baen Books (science fiction & fantasy), and Many Books, and Smashwords (indie authors). There are also email delivery sites that you can register on and receive lists of free ebooks daily, such as Free Booksy.

10. Audible: Sign in with your Amazon account to access Audible Free Listens. Download the audible app to access Audible Stories, a collection of free audiobooks for children.

11. The Digital Public Library of America: Access banned books, online exhibitions, family research, scholarly research, and more for free.

12. The Palace Project: This app specializes in granting access to banned books.

13. The Library Extension: Add this extension to your browser to easily see if that book you've just browsed is available for free through your local library branches. The extension is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge.

a woman reading in a lounge chair with an excited and happy expression, advertizing Kindle Monthly Deals, up to 80% off top reads

Whether you're a book lover on a budget, a busy parent juggling multiple responsibilities, a student seeking resources for research, or simply someone who enjoys the flexibility of digital reading, these US libraries, apps, and websites stand as gateways to a world of knowledge, waiting to be explored at the touch of a button. Gone are the days of limited access and hefty price tags; in today's digital age, literary exploration knows no bounds. By embracing the convenience of online registration and the accessibility of free ebooks and audiobooks, you have the power to carry entire libraries in your pocket and embark on literary adventures wherever life takes you. Whether you're commuting to work, relaxing at home, or traveling the world, the stories you love are just a few clicks away. Let the stories unfold wherever you go, enriching your mind and nourishing your soul without affecting your budget.



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