As a busy mum I don't have as much time to sit down and read as I used to. I've found audio books a godsend because it means that I can listen to stories while I'm doing housework. It's not quite the same but it's better than nothing. However, audio books are expensive and if you go through them at the rate that I do you may find you need a free source of books to feed your habit. That's where the following websites come in handy.
This site features books whose authors have chosen to make them available as podcasts, a modern version of the serialised novels of 19th century authors like Dickens. There are books in many different genres, including humour, science fiction and fantasy and Some are read by the authors and others are full cast dramatisations.
Some highlights include Mur Lafferty's speculative fiction series Heaven, New York Times Best Seller listed author Scott Sigler's Infected (not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach) and the hilarious [I]How To Succeed[/I ]in Evil by Patrick Mclean. These books are all free to download, although listeners are encouraged to make donations to help support the authors. Authors receive 75% of all donations, with the rest going to the maintenance of the site.
Libraries The Brisbane City Council Library hosts downloadable mp3 audio books through its website, free to library members.The Bolinda Audio books are excellent. There seems to be an emphasis on Australian authors in the collection. Library membership is open to all Brisbane residents. If you're not from Brisbane check your local library for similar services.
This site is an excellent resource for free audio versions of works which are out of copyright, such as classic novels, some of which are available in multiple languages. The site's creators' ambitious aim is to make all books that are in the public domain freely available audio book format. The books are read by volunteers and listeners can volunteer to read chapters for the site.
I particularly enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle which are featured on the site. The quality of the narration varies a little since some narrators are more experienced than others, but most are very good, and hey, it's free.