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Best audiobooks to inspire your Monday morning commute

Everything you need to know about the best audiobooks, and where to buy them.

Everyone struggles with Monday mornings, so why not brighten yours with a little hands-free reading or, more specifically, an audio book? Audiobooks are dominating markets everywhere. This new craze has taken the entire globe by storm and Australia is no exception. As the market demand steadily increases, so too do audiobook retailers. So where can we buy them, what sort of subscriptions are on offer, and who offers the largest selection? Don’t worry, we’re on hand to help address all of these common questions and more.


How to make decisions on where to start your audiobooks journey

With so many audiobooks readily available, it can be challenging to decide where to start. We’ve compiled some helpful info to ease you into your decision. Before you begin your search, you’ll need to consider whether you want to try audiobooks as a one-off first, or if you’re ready to commit to a monthly subscription fee that will open you up to an almost limitless supply.

We’ll take you through the best-selling audiobooks and subscriptions available, for all tastes and ages to help you decide which one is right for you.


Best selling audiobooks.

With such a wide variety of audiobooks now readily available, it can be really difficult to know where to start. So, let’s look at what’s topping the charts at the moment.

DontLookBack.Amazon

#1 Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz - This thrilling, chilling novel of edge-of-your-seat suspense is currently topping Amazon’s best selling audiobook charts. If you’re a lover of fictional thrillers, this is not to be missed. Hurwitz is considered a master in his field and has featured on the New York Times Best Seller list a number of times.

It.Amazon

#2 It by Stephen King - It’s hardly surprising that Stephen King's number-one national best seller has this chart position after the recent release of the blockbuster adaptation by director Andy Muschietti. Follow seven adults as they return to their hometown to confront a nightmare they had first stumbled across in their teens… an evil without a name: IT. This will be very hard for listeners to switch off.

WhatHappened.Amazon

#3 What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton - Based on the Amazon US top-selling list, this is understandably a must-read (or rather, listen). In this novel Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. She describes in detail what it was like to run and lose against the infamous Donald Trump.


What’s the best way to do audiobooks?

Audiobooks offer a seamless fusion of great storytelling and easy listening. Today you have two dominant format options when using audiobooks: MP3 files and CDs. Which is the best for you depends on what equipment you already have and where you would like to listen to your audiobooks. MP3 files are most convenient as they can be downloaded with the click of a button to your computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. CDs must be shipped from the retailer, which takes time. You can either listen to the downloaded files through the computer or compatible device you have downloaded these to, which requires nothing further than a device with speakers or a pair of headphones, or you can put the files on an MP3 player or burn them to a disc. The most popular brand of MP3 player today is the iPod, but there are many other brands and models available for a mere percentage of the price (that is if you don’t already own one). To listen to your audiobooks on CD, you’ll just need a CD player.

If you want to buy audiobooks on CD, try Angus & Robertson, ABC Shop or Booktopia For MP3 file audiobooks, you can subscribe to a number of different competing sites including:

Audible through Amazon offers a 30-day free trial, and a monthly subscription fee of $14.95 per month thereafter.

All You Can Books also offers a 30-day free trial, and a monthly subscription fee of USD $19.99 per month thereafter (approximately $25.24) and boasts unlimited access to 30,000 audiobooks, eBooks, and Foreign Language courses

Rakuten Kobo offers a 30-day free trial, with a monthly subscription fee of $12.95 thereafter. Each month you’ll be given one credit, which can then be exchanged for one audiobook.

If you want to purchase an audiobook on a one-off basis just to try it out, it might be worth trying one of the free 30-day trials. Just remember to cancel your subscription in plenty of time to prevent being billed for the second month. And, if you just want to buy one outright, you can do so through Amazon Australia or Rakuten Kobo.


Does Best Buy have audiobooks?

No, Best Buy does not sell audiobooks. However, it does sell iTunes gift cards that can be redeemed in Apple’s iBooks store to purchase audiobooks!

Who does the best audiobooks and offers the best service?

Some sites rent audio books, some sell them, and some offer both services. Amazon’s Audible is dominating the market where audiobooks are concerned. It has access to the top titles, offers users their best seller list to help them make decisions based on recommendations, and even posts clear unbiased listener reviews. From the latest Marian Keyes release to the most recent Dan Brown triumph, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for online at Audible. Downloads take minutes and with a 30-day free trial, you can listen to and enjoy your first Audible book free of charge. Membership also offers discounts on additional purchases with one free audiobook per month:

  • An Audible trial gives you 30 days of membership free, plus one audiobook to get you started.
  • Members will get one credit per month after the first 30 days, which is valid for any audiobook regardless of price
  • Build your own library as every audiobook is yours to keep even if you cancel your membership.
  • Discounts on list prices are also offered to members. You’ll pay no more than $14.95 for any additional audiobook purchase.
  • Members can exchange for free. Swap any audiobook, anytime for any reason.

What’s the best audiobooks app? What about iPhone?

Amazon’s Audible is available for Android operating systems and it’s holding the top spot firmly, but what about iPhones?

Audio Books by Audiobooks is the only available app on the App Store for iOS devices. It offers iPhone customers a great selection of free audiobooks, new releases and an easy-to-navigate bestsellers list. It’s got great reviews too.


Best audiobooks for…

So, there’s plenty of audiobooks on offer but what’s best for what?

Best audiobooks for kids

DiaryofaWimpyKid.Amazon

Audible’s best selling kids’ books are compiled almost primarily of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kenley. These books have been tried, tested and adored by children since the first hilarious tale was released over a decade ago. Why not switch out the pre-bedtime movie for an audiobook?

Best audiobooks for driving or commuting

TheNightCircus.Amazon

When battling a long drive or commute to work, you’ll want a nice easy listen to keep your sanity intact. Why not try The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern? Read by Jim Dale, this magical tale with its gripping plot and wonderful prose will have you enchanted and immersed in something other than your arduous journey to work.

Best audiobooks for before bed

TheBreak.Amazon

When sleep beckons but you’re not ready to succumb, you might find listening to an audiobook relaxing. When looking for something to listen to before bed, you’ll want to choose something soothing and less action-packed. Steer clear of thrillers as they’ll likely have you listening all night long. We’d recommend reaching for a romance novel like The Break by Marian Keyes. Read in the soothing Irish narrative tones of Aoife McMahon, it will be sure to inspire relaxation and prepare you for slumber.


Are audiobooks right for you?

If you love a great story, but your busy lifestyle doesn’t have much room for reading, then audiobooks are a fantastic compromise. You can listen whilst you clean, cook, travel or bathe, or even at your desk (providing your job isn’t too taxing). When there’s no time for reading, choose to listen instead. With an ever-expanding catalogue of audiobooks on offer, you can catch up on the classics or devour the new releases of your all-time favourite authors hands-free.

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Clare Cribbin

Clare works as the assistant publisher in the shopping team here at finder.com.au. Whether you're after the best fashion deals, promo codes for your favourite store or just wanting to know what to buy your brother for his birthday, she has all the knowledge.

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