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Where to find digital audio books

Digital audio books are available for purchase or borrowing.
Digital audio books are available for purchase or borrowing.Photo by Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Audio books are great, and if you can store them all on a handheld device, that's even better. With digital audio books, there are no discs to store, stratch or switch out. Check out the following sources for digital audio books that will make an excellent supplement to your homeschool read-alouds.

Audible: A division of Amazon, Audible specializes in digital audio books. Purchase each title separately, or pay a membership fee for regular access to new titles. Often, if you purchase the Kindle version of the book, you can purchase the Audible version for only 99 cents. This even includes Kindle books, such as classics, that can be obtained for free. It's a great way to stock up on audio book downloads for a low cost.

Your Local Library: If your local library offers e-books for borrowing, they might have digital audio books available through that system, as well. These audio books can be borrowed for free and checked out for one or more weeks. Many systems automatically return the books at the end of the lending period, so there are no late fees. The Peoria Public Library offers e-books through eRead Illinois, which has not yet introduced audio books. However, more than 80 Illinois libraries belong to Online Media of Northern Illinois, which does lend free audio books.

Scholastic Reading Clubs: Scholastic's Storia eBooks department includes a number of enhanced books with read-to-me options. Although not a traditional audio book format, students can listen to the text as they follow along with each page. There is a large selection of picture books and easy readers available in this format.

iTunes: There's more than music on iTunes! You can also shop the iTunes store for a wide selection of audio books. These books will play nicely on any device on which you have the iTunes app installed.

If you have a family who loves books, audio books are a handy way to add more literature to your lives. By increasing your collection of digital audio books, you'll soon be able to carry a whole library right in your pocket.