Recently, I was asked what is the “best and least expensive way to listen to audio books.” The person went on to explain, “I have such a hard time sitting down to read a physical book other than my morning devotions. However, I have no problem listening to podcasts when going to the gym…” Thankfully, if that describes your situation, there are many fine options without having to resort to an Audible subscription ($15/month).
First, make sure to register online for a Phoenix library ecard.
Next, download these free apps:
Libby (nicer controls, better selection of books)
Hoopla (fewer audio books; includes different titles and movies)
Basically, your Phoenix tax dollars have already purchased access to much of the Audible catalog for you. Both Libby and Hoopla apps allow you to "borrow" items (audio/video/text) for 14-30 days with your library card. You can even move between devices (phone/tablet/computer) and continue where you left off. Like physical libraries, sometimes there's a wait time for popular books. Also, you can also have child-friendly settings if your kids use the apps.
Some books I've listened to for free:
Note: There are many others available that I have not mentioned. Those below are just from the past two years when I began using these apps.
Basic Christianity by John Stott (Libby)
Prayer by Tim Keller (Libby)
The Reason for God by Tim Keller (Libby)
Justified by Faith Alone by R. C. Sproul (Hoopla)
Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert by Rosaria Butterfield (Libby)
On the Incarnation by Athanasius of Alexandra (Hoopla)
The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis (Hoopla)
Practice Resurrection by Eugene Peterson (Hoopla)
Life Together by Bonhoeffer (Hoopla)
History & Biography
Sailing the Wine Dark Sea (Libby)
How the Irish Saved Civilization (Libby)
John Adams by McCullough (Libby)
Washington by Ron Chernow (Libby)
A Little History of the World by Gombrich (Hoopla)
Plutarch's Greek and Roman Lives (Hoopla)
Absolute Monarchs (papal history) (Hoopla)
Beautiful Boy (Libby)
A Bridge Too Far (Libby)
Jerusalem by Simon Montefiore (Libby)
Hero of the Empire (Churchill) (Libby)
John Chrysostom by Blackburn (Hoopla)
A Random Walk Down Wallstreet (Libby)
Investing for Dummies
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Libby)
The Fabric of the Cosmos by Greene (Libby)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (Libby)
1984 by George Orwell (Hoopla)
Aesop's Fables (Hoopla)
Les Miserables by Hugo (Hoopla)
Willing to pay?
Check out Audible.com and ChristianAudio.com for even more content.
PS: Two podcasts I recommend:
Al Mohler's Briefing
Dan Carlin's Hardcore History series. While not exactly suitable for children, the ones on the Assyrian and Roman empires have lots of overlap with biblical history.