Tag: Free Books

Audible Makes Hundreds of Titles Free Amid Coronavirus Crisis

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe, millions of individuals and families are forced to remain at home in an effort to flatten the curve. Fulfilling work and school tasks at home is the new reality for most, and many are grappling with the new challenges of what it means to socially isolate during a global health crisis.

While many are trying to lessen the blow and support small businesses by purchasing take-out, delivery, and gift cards, some familiar media companies are doing their part to help make social isolation a little bit more bearable.


For your time at home with your families, Audible is offering hundreds of audiobooks for free. This comes in an effort to help parents with children home from school, and the company is hoping to assist in keeping families calm and entertained. The announcement of Audible’s new terms came with the promise that “For as long as schools are closed, we are open.”


image via audible

The vast array of titles is divided into six categories: Littlest Listeners, Elementary, Tween, Teen, Literary Classics and Folk & Fairy Tales for All. The audiobooks are available to stream on all devices.

In these rapidly changing times, it can be comforting to ground yourself in a story, new or old. Definitely check out all Audible has to offer.



featured image via microsoft 

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Spend the Day with Pandas

If you wanted to spend spring break on the beach, you might be out of luck, but there’s hope for the rest of us, if we keep the jar closed. I, for example, wanted to marathon books and spend the rest of my time in the Met, and those options are still available, in a sense.



Do you like free books? Do you have a library card? (jk, if you read Bookstr, you’ve probably had a library card since you were four.) They have TWO reading apps. I stan the original, but I won’t judge you if you love Libby. But I like audio books, you say! Oh, they have audio books. It depends on your library system, of course, but search before you despair.

If your local library doesn’t use OverDrive, they still probably have digital and audio books you can check out. Always worth a look. Books will get us through this!


The Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Spend your weekend at the museum (from you couch). I always have bold goals when it comes to weekly museum trips, but don’t make it nearly that often. Hopefully all of this will teach me a lesson, but for now, the met has pretty spectacular virtual tours. Put on one of those ambiance playlists for better immersion, and wander your favorite halls. Sure, the statues and the Jackson Pollocks are a little less impressive at this size, but the photo detail is pretty impressive, and you won’t be buffeted by tourists.


The American Museum of Natural History 

Explore the natural history, again, unimpeded. I don’t know the last time I saw a dinosaur skeleton without wading through a sea of schoolchildren. But don’t worry, small scientists will still be served, with a range of classes and games for young nerds. There are classes for all ages, so if you get bored of just (remotely) wandering around, take a class on earthquakes or stem cells. I live here now.


The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History 

The Smithsonian may not be as hip to the times as some, but they still have some virtual tours, if you dig (or click the link). Anyway, we’re not mad, and even a limited view of such a massive museum is a lot, and who’s trying to go to DC? Don’t talk to me about the cherry blossoms. I was gonna get it together and do that this year. But don’t despair!


National Mall Bloom Cam

Image via the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Yes, america’s best blossoms are at their peak, and though you may not be able to walk among them, regardless of geography, you can now watch them live. Might be a little more impressive if it wasn’t overcast in the entire north east. Keep your eyes on the blooms!

Also available is a sunny day tour of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden‘s cherry walk. And yes, there’s an ambiance stream for this too. Very peaceful. And maybe open a window, weather permitting?


THe Museum of Modern Art 

MoMA (or as my artist grandmother says, the MODERN) is ready to school us all with a huge range of art classes. The times may be trying, but at least you’re gonna crush art history. Plus, explore the MoMA magazine from wherever you are.


The San Diego Zoo

Sure, the baboon cam is a little disconcerting, but who doesn’t want to be watching a panda at all times? With that and the DC bloom cam in the corner of my screen, I feel like I’m working in some sort of garden paradise. There are even penguins and polar bears for that beachy (?) vibe. Put on your cutest bathing suit, lay something down on your roof so you don’t get covered in tar, and watch them swim. It’s what I’ll be doing.


National Aquarium 

Want more water? And predators? Take a bath with blacktip sharks or luminous blue blubber jellies. Even leave them on as you sleep. I once spent the night in an aquarium on a field trip, and it’s a mystical experience. If you have a projector, I can highly recommend a dimly illuminated shark wall. Or do the pandas. If you’re, you know, sensible.


Expect more national tours in this vein. I can’t hit everything, but why stick to local museums? We may not be able to go outside, but we can also kind of go anywhere, so why not?


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Featured image via Air Pano

The Free Library in Your Front Yard

We all love libraries, but if you’ve ever had to wade twenty minutes through the snow just to get your reserves, you might wish to have one closer to home. And it’s possible! With Little Free Libraries. And fear not! Whether you live in the forest or in Brooklyn, you can make little free libraries part of your life, and you should. What’s better than adding community libraries to the public ones?


Image via Snoop Charlotte


If you’ve got the resources and the space, you can start a library of your own whenever you want to. There are tons of designs and colors on their website, and you can put one anywhere you have two square feet of land and about four vertical. I’ve seen them tucked into gardens, hanging over wrought iron fences, and on the side of the road. Just donate a few books (or thrift them up) and you’re running a library. But if you’re renting, or restless, don’t despair. There are little libraries near you.



Image via Book Riot


Okay, so your library probably won’t be in a defunct phone booth, but the little hutches on the website are cute as it gets, and there’s nothing like getting lost on a cold night and stumbling across a tiny library draped in ivy. But you don’t have to just wander Brooklyn hoping to stumble across something magical (though I do recommend it if you have the time)—because they have a map of all their locations.



Image via Pinterest


There are over 90,000 locations in 90 countries, according to their website, but they can be few and far between in some areas. That’s why it’s so important to start new ones anywhere and everywhere possible! But don’t lose hope. There are two in my neighborhood, so if you’re in any kind of city, you’ll probably have decent luck, and it’s always worth a check either way. There are also sometimes free libraries in parks, so you might be able to find or start one that way. Wherever you live and whatever you read, the Little Free Library is a wonderful resource for book sharing.



Featured image via City of Princeton 




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Library of Congress Releases 100 Free Books Online

Children’s Book Week might have ended, but on May 5th, to mark of the end of its 100th anniversary, the Library of Congress released 100 British and American titles.

Thankfully, all of these books are still available for free.


Denslow's Humpty Dumpty and The Book of Cat

Image Via Good News Network

The history of Children’s Book Week starts back in 1919, now a hundred years ago, as a means of celebrating childhood literacy. However, Good New Network makes note of how difficult this was.

Simply put, why print colored illustrations when printing in black and white is far cheaper?


The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
Image Via Library of Congress

However several literary advocates stepped forth, allowing for the last hundred years of Children’s Book Week to be a landmark in literary history. With these books, we can not only how society has evolved over the years, but also  look back at the branches of our literary evolution and see just where we came from.

Now all these books, and many more, are available on digital, bridging the gap between old and new.

Fair warning, some of these books may be considered offensive. Lee Ann Potter, the director of the learning and innovation office at the Library of Congress, made note to The New York Times that the library is “celebrating the fact that these books provide us with the opportunity to have conversations about what is appropriate or inappropriate, that they help us understand a different time.”

These education books, from very old to brand new, are a part of our history. They include the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell, and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway.Image Via Library of Congress

As the Library of Congress states on their website, “The books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and free to read, share, and reuse however you’d like”.

Are you going to check them out?


Featured Image Via Offspring Lifehacker