WHAT ARE AUDIOBOOKS?
Audiobooks, as the name suggests, are audio versions of a book. They can either be full reading of the text or a concise form of the book in audio format. In fact, the first audio books were made for the visually impaired in the 1930s. There are audio books which are recorded with different voices for all the characters or as a simple, maybe animated, reading of the same by either the author or someone else. The latter tends to be a bit boring, especially in the case of fiction. Audiobooks are available in either physical format — mostly as a CD, or audio cassettes — or in digital format where you can download it as an MP3 file. Yes, audio books do tend to be a bit more expensive than the paper versions.
Most online book stores in India have a decent collection of audio books, though the same cannot be said about actual book stores. Since they are still not so popular in India, most stores don’t stock up on a variety of titles. Even online book stores deal mostly in CDs and don’t offer the option of digital downloads. A lot of classics and research books are available for free download and usage on open source websites like librivox.org, freeclassicaudiobooks.com and booksshouldbefree.com. A majority of the titles on these websites are books which are no longer bound by copyright laws. Reado.com Though Reado is still adding more titles, this is the only website in India that lets you download a digital format now. However, the download option is not available for all titles, while some don’t have the CD option. For titles with both options available, the digital download seems to be a bit cheaper. Flipkart.com Being India’s most popular online book store, Flipkart has a long list of audio books on sale. We spotted over 7,000 titles on the site. However, you do not have the option of downloading mp3 format files of the same, not even through Flyte. Audiobookindia.com This website sells just audiobooks and there are hundreds of titles to choose from. But again, there are no digital downloads available at the moment. Unlike Flipkart, here you can search the titles by genres. Plus, they do seem to have the best collection of children’s titles. Audible.com This Amazon website lets you buy audio books, as well as download the files to smartphones through a app. Downloaded files can also be played on mp3 players. Plus there is full integration with Kindle so that you can read one page and then hear the next page over another device or the Kindle