How to Get Great Deals on Great Books Through

Open Cul­ture has had a rela­tion­ship with for close to six years, and, here and there, we’ve told you about their 30-day free tri­al, which gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to down­load a free audio book, lis­ten to it, and then decide whether you want to become an Audi­ble sub­scriber or not. (You can keep the audio book regard­less of the deci­sion you make.) I per­son­al­ly became an Audi­ble sub­scriber a long time ago, and while I’ve always enjoyed lis­ten­ing to audio books, I’ve recent­ly real­ized that an Audi­ble sub­scrip­tion can be a real deal if you’re a fan of big audio books and great lec­tures. Let me break it down for you.

If you sign up for Audi­ble’s Gold plan, you pay $158 for 12 books over a year. (You get one book credit/download per month … and you’re billed in install­ments month­ly.) That trans­lates to $13.20 per book on aver­age. That’s not a bad price (giv­en that main­stream audio books often sell for $30). But here’s where the Audi­ble plan becomes a great deal. Ear­li­er this fall, I re-read Joyce’s Ulysses and want­ed to lis­ten to a pro­fes­sion­al­ly-read unabridged nar­ra­tion of the nov­el that runs 27 hours. For the cost of one book cred­it — $13.20 — I down­loaded the entire audio book. Nax­os, the pub­lish­er, sells it for  £85.00, or $134.00. Audi­ble sells it to non-mem­bers for $104.00.

Here’s anoth­er exam­ple. For the hol­i­days, I’m lis­ten­ing to Mark Lewisohn’s new Bea­t­les biog­ra­phy Tune In: The Bea­t­les: All These Years. The well-reviewed book runs 944 pages in print and 42 hours on audio. The audio usu­al­ly retails for some­where between $53 and $63 — much more than the $13.20 you can snag it for on the Audi­ble plan.

If this sounds like a good plan for you, you can sign up for Audi­ble’s Gold plan via this link. You could also try out their 30-day free tri­al. And, of course, there’s always our col­lec­tion: 1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free. What­ev­er way you go, we wish you hap­py lis­ten­ing.

NB: Audi­ble is an sub­sidiary, and we’re a mem­ber of their affil­i­ate pro­gram.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.