For years, avid readers have been able to hang out in the library, scrounge around for a good read, and check it out....all for free. People are now re-discovering reading as they embrace e-readers and other digital devices, and many individuals are picking up more "classical" reading....because these are available for free in both text and audio versions.
A great website to locate free audio books is Books Should Be Free. Like the other "freebie" downloads, the free audio books offered are those great classics that cry out to be shared with the younger generation, read for the first time, or re-read again and again. The site offers several options for downloading: iTunes podcast, audiobook file in m4b format, and even mp3. This allows for more options when downloading reading material for different devices in the educational setting.
My favorite part about Books Should Be Free is the ability to stream the book directly from the site---the entire thing! Teachers could access just one chapter and stream during class. It also allows you to listen to the narrator for a greater length of time to determine how easy it will be to listen to the entire book. Free audio books are often recorded by volunteers....not James Earl Jones. I struggled with the audio of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Tales of Terror and Mystery---well read (I am sure) in the King's English, but it was just too much for me after just the first chapter!! Books Should be Free also includes links to Project Gutenberg ,which in turn offers specific formats for downloading the same books title, again for free.
With so much at your disposal at such a small cost (free!), take advantage of these audio books. Read a classic you have always heard about, revisit a childhood favorite, and then pass it along. After all....its free!!!
This great website was shared by Richard Byrne on his blog Free Technology for Teachers.