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DownEaster
03-15-2018, 15:26
Rather than listen to music I've already heard many times before, I think I'd like to have some audiobooks on my phone if it's needful to distract me from the recurring suckitude of hiking. I thought there would be lots of public domain older works available (hoping for apropos stuff like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson) but I'm having spotty luck coming up with free material to warm my penny-pinching heart. I've found Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, but those aren't exactly upbeat. I was gifted a couple of Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone alphabet books, but I'll have to read several in e-book format before I'm ready for the audio M and N. I've also found Stevenson's Treasure Island, which I enjoyed reading in junior high. That's everything so far.

Clearly I'm a rookie at finding free audiobooks. I've struck out at Amazon, because searching for free content returns every book available at $0.00 with a free trial of Audible; yet that's limited to one book and then the hassle of getting out of the automatic subscription charge. There must be lots of really (no strings) free audiobooks out there if you know where to look, from the publicly-funded old "books for the blind" series if nothing else. (Somebody has to have digitized those from the LPs.)

Pointers, please?

Gambit McCrae
03-15-2018, 15:53
I have not had good luck listening to books on the trail. If it is a nice flat trail and I am moseyn' along I can do some book on tape, but if im trying to kill it up a climb I can forget it

As far as finding free audio books, there is a free audioi app but you cant be picky with the selection. I use audible thru my amazon prime membership which gives me a free book a month

Coffee
03-15-2018, 16:08
Check your local library. Many lend out audiobooks. I've had great luck with free audiobooks from my library, usually good for 21 days. There's an app called OverDrive that plays audiobooks. I don't generally listen while walking but I do listen when in my tent for the night. I find it much easier and more pleasant to listen to audiobooks in my tent than trying to position myself to read, even on my phone. One great benefit of audiobooks over reading books on the phone is limited battery use. Generally listening to audio books for an hour in the evening barely drains 5% of battery since the screen is dark. Since my phone is off while I hike, I can listen to audio books for many evenings without any need to recharge.

Starchild
03-15-2018, 16:26
There was a monthly all you can eat audio book site, though I forgot it's name.

As for audible, you don't need to subscribe, though a subscription could be a good way of getting a lower price. If you do you can cancel right away, any unused credits are still available even after you cancel. Also if you start a book and don't like it they will credit you back for another book (I had to with one book where a male speaker was portraying a female main character, which worked find for 95% as it was gender neutral, then female specific topic talk came up which coming from a male speaker destroyed the illusion.

You can also buy books from iTunes.

steve_zavocki
03-15-2018, 16:38
Best site for what you are looking for is librivox.org

It has a huge selection and everything is free. My favorite reader there is Mark K Smith, I highly recommend him.

All content is public domain and most written before 1923, which for me isn't a big problem. On my last AT hike in January, I listened to Call of the Wild most of the way. Since my daughter told me about it, I have listened to 6 books already. If I had to read them, my total would be zero.

steve_zavocki
03-15-2018, 16:41
Dang, went from memory. It is Mark K Smith.

steve_zavocki
03-15-2018, 16:42
Duh, I did it again. NOT Mark K Smith, it is Mark F Smith.

MuddyWaters
03-15-2018, 17:03
Rather than listen to music I've already heard many times before, I think I'd like to have some audiobooks on my phone if it's needful to distract me from the recurring suckitude of hiking.


If you dont like hiking...and need a distraction...why are you out there?

I listen to music while running. I need a distraction because runnings hard and I really don't like it.

I watch Netflix when running on a treadmill. Because that's really really boring and I don't like it.

I've never listen to anything while hiking except the noises of the nature around me. I don't want to miss seeing a moose or an elk or a bear or even a deer or a porcupine.

Listening to books takes a little bit of concentration to follow. I used to listen to them when I was driving on long 20+ hr trips for that reason they kept my mind awake late at night. I don't know that I would be paying enough attention to a book while walking to even matter . I'd be distracted by everything around me.

Nowadays I listen to a lot of Comedy that i stream while driving. Pretty mindless but also entertaining and it keeps me mentally alert somehow. It requires more attention than music but less than a audiobook. Kind of like podcasts. Mindless, don't pay attention for a little while and you really didn't miss anything.

Southeast
03-15-2018, 17:48
Check out your library website for free audiobooks.

FrogLevel
03-15-2018, 17:54
My public library offers a free subscription to Overdrive which has tons of audiobooks for free. Check with yours as they have them all over the USA.

Southeast
03-15-2018, 18:14
A different animal... but the Pocket app allows you to save an article from a website and you can then listen to the article with TTS (Text-to-speech) while offline. TTS is a robotic voice that mispronounces every 4th word but hey itís a free app. And you canít always download an article but I have pretty good luck.

Another alternative is to practice concentration and mindfulness as that is the best way to enjoy the trail. Maybe. I really donít know.

DownEaster
03-15-2018, 19:46
Best site for what you are looking for is librivox.org
Thanks. I'll check that out.


If you dont like hiking...and need a distraction...why are you out there?
I like hiking just fine. I don't like the sound of wet socks in wet shoes squelching as I walk (the aural theme of my soles turning to mush), and could use some distraction then. Hiking in California has spoiled me, and it'll take some time to re-acclimate to a wet trail.


Listening to books takes a little bit of concentration to follow.
Concentrating on something other than my wet feet is exactly what I'm looking for.

TexasBob
03-15-2018, 21:06
Check your local library. Many lend out audiobooks. I've had great luck with free audiobooks from my library, usually good for 21 days. There's an app called OverDrive that plays audiobooks. ................

Another good thing about this is you can get new books no matter where you are, just log on to the library website and check out something new.

DownEaster
03-15-2018, 23:02
LibriVox is working well for me. I've got The Maine Woods and Walden by Thoreau, and Nature and Essays by Emerson.

If I have time this weekend I'll also check out my local library. It's getting close, though; my plane for Atlanta is next Tuesday.

Rain Man
03-16-2018, 22:18
Another vote for OverDrive from public library. It has some quirks I don't like, but is free.

Also, don't forget if your library doesn't have a book you want, you can put in a request via OverDrive. My library (Nashville) has gotten every book I've asked for so far as I can remember.

kestral
03-17-2018, 00:01
Another vote for OverDrive from public library. It has some quirks I don't like, but is free.

Also, don't forget if your library doesn't have a book you want, you can put in a request via OverDrive. My library (Nashville) has gotten every book I've asked for so far as I can remember.
How do you place a request via overdrive? Perhaps my library system doesn’t have it.

I also vote for overdrive. I’ve enjoyed may books while doing tasks like cleaning, driving, and sometimes walking. It’s a great option. There is a book called Barkskins by Annie Proulx which follows the harvesting of the worlds great forests through the eyes of generations of timber men. A recurring theme that the forests are so vast how can man possibly impact them. It’s kind of like a James Michener epic with a conservationist twist, following a family 300 years. Anyway I liked it.

Happy hiking. Best luck on your thru!

Rain Man
03-17-2018, 12:14
How do you place a request via overdrive? Perhaps my library system doesnít have it.

When I open OverDrive and go to my public library link and Search for a book, if it's not found, I can Recommend it. I don't know if that goes on my Wish List or not. Just can't recall.

Highland Goat
03-19-2018, 08:34
When backpacking, I occasionally listen to audiobooks in my bunk at night, but more often than not I fall asleep before hearing much.

Mugthumper
03-19-2018, 10:53
Overdrive from the public library is a great recommendation. If I am going to listing to something other than music, I however prefer podcasts. They are usually free and there are so many available on so many topics that you could never listen to them all.
However...however... I personally find that listening to audiobooks and podcasts slows my hiking rate down tremendously. I don't know what it is, possibly having to use a portion of my brain that I normally devote to the sights and sounds of being in the woods and just putting one foot in front of the other.