Getting Free E-Audiobooks On Your Phone

By Margaret Siggillino
January 18, 2018
Great Kills Library

When I tell people that I listen to free e-audiobooks from the library on both my phone and my computer, I often get a puzzled look and the question, "We can do that?"

Yes, we can!

You don’t even need a subscription service to download our e-audiobooks onto your phone, computer or e-reader—you just need your library card. To peruse our selection, see what our NYPL Overdrive page (shown below) has to offer. You can browse various titles and even sample e-audiobooks before checking them out.

Screenshot of NYPL Overdrive webpage

Listening On Your Phone

To listen to e-audiobooks on your phone, you will first need to download the Overdrive App.  After entering your library card information onto the Overdrive App on your phone, you can find and download any available e-audiobook. Just make sure to download the book over WiFi to save money on data.With our e-audiobooks and e-books, there's no need to worry about late fees—they are automatically "returned" on their due date. You may then check them out again if they are available.If you're reading this now while traveling by car, plane, or train, and would like to listen to something from the NYPL Overdrive webpage now, here's how (with diagram below): First, click on "Collections". (You can also click on the image below to go directly to the Collections page.) Then, from the Audiobooks dropdown, select "Available Now". Looking for a popular title? Then, select "Sorted by popularity (global)" or "Sorted by popularity (library)". Then, just connect your headphones and enjoy.

If you're in your car, and would like to listen via your car's stereo systrem, you may choose to connect via Bluetooth—here's a video if you need help—or you can connect a cable from your phone to the car's auxiliary port (often lableled "AUX").

Audiobook Reviews

For audiobook reviews, check out AudioFile, a website that focuses only on audiobooks. Originally founded in 1992 as a consumer magazine, it is chock-full of reviews, articles, and blog posts on audiobooks of all genres, and for all ages.

Screenshot of AudioFile website

The site writes about different audiobook narrators, and includes samples of their voices and their work. Great narrators are recognized with the "Golden Voice" award, and audiobooks that have received rave reviews are given the site's "Earphones Award". Looking for your next book? Next time you visit the library, check out NoveList Plus, one of the many NYPL databases you can use to find a book. You can browse by audiobook, or get recommendations based on books you have enjoyed before.  If you need assistance with e-audiobooks, you can contact the NYPL Support Center for help and advice that's specific to your listening device, or come to one of our e-book help sessions for in-person, hands-on help. For more information about e-books at NYPL in general, visit the E-Book Central page on The NYPL website.