You aren't alone if you've been finding it harder to read in lockdown. With the stress of WFH, remote learning and the general state of the world, jumping into a novel at the end of the day simply hasn’t felt doable. Thankfully, there is a solution to your reading slump: a good old-fashioned audiobook. Having someone read you a story isn't just for kids; avid readers will tell you that an audiobook is an easier and more enjoyable reading experience when you don’t have the brain capacity to concentrate on printed words (which is all of us at the minute, right?).
Audiobooks are often spoken about with a slight sneer but the assumption that information isn’t absorbed in the same way while listening is entirely ridiculous. Studies have shown that there are no significant differences in comprehension between reading and listening, meaning audiobooks are a perfectly legitimate way to consume a story. Then there's the fact that audible learning can be particularly helpful for those with dyslexia, making audiobooks a winner all around.
The only problem? Audiobook services are known for coming with a hefty subscription fee, excluding many people from the wonders of literary listening. Happily, there is a selection of audiobooks that you can access for no money at all. Yep, you heard us right: tucked away on many of the most popular audiobook platforms are tons of free stories available to users without a subscription. From period classics to some of the biggest books of the last few years, there is something for everyone wanting to dive into the world of narrated tales.
Take a look through the slideshow ahead to discover all the platforms offering free audiobooks right now, as well as some of Refinery29’s favourite titles...