Download free audiobooks for your summer reading

Every year since 2010 the good people at AudioFile magazine have made it their mission to put tons of FREE audiobooks in the hands of teens (ages 13+) all summer long so they can introduce teens to the joys of the listening experience.

If you are or know a teen who loves to read (or who just might fall in love with reading this summer), this is fantastic news. But there’s good news for the rest of us: these books are available to anyone with a web connection and the ability to use (or learn to use) the Overdrive app.

This year’s program runs from April 26–July 25 2018. SYNC gives away two complete audiobooks downloads each week: that’s 32 titles total and you can view the whole list right here. The two audiobooks are paired with purpose—you could call it a mini book flight.

Titles are delivered via the free Overdrive app. Many of you know and love Overdrive because it’s the same app you use to borrow books from your library. It functions the same for SYNC titles, with one important difference—once you download these titles, they’re yours to keep, forever.

SYNC gives away two downloads each week, all summer long. Titles are only available for 7 days and change every Thursday morning. Sign up here for notifications when new titles are available, or text syncYA to 25827 for alerts on the new titles releases.

The offerings have always been solid and this year’s are no exception. One of this week’s audiobooks is A Study in Charlotte, which I loved in print. I’m most excited about When Dimple Met Rishi from last year’s Summer Reading Guide and Love and First Sight, which has been read and enjoyed by 5/6 of the Bogel household.

Audiobook files can be large (especially if you’re running out of storage space on your iPhone, ahem). I have Overdrive on my desktop so I can download each title I’m interested in without sweating the storage space, and sync them to the phone app when I’m ready to listen.

I hope this resource provides you with abundant summer reading. I adore audiobooks, but they can be expensive. Take this opportunity to try new titles—and lots of them—for free!

If you’re hooked on audiobooks—or just want to give them a try—these MMD resources are for you:

• 40 favorite audiobooks (yours and mine)
10 audiobooks so good you’ll want to fold another load of laundry, finish washing the dishes, or just sit in the driveway for 5 more minutes
• 15 terrific audiobooks you can listen to in 6 hours or less
• 40 favorite audiobooks for kids
• how to listen to Audible audiobooks for free, without a membership (using Amazon Prime)
the beginner’s great big guide to audiobooks
• a trick to save big on audiobooks.

If you have any Overdrive tips and tricks, fantastic summer audiobooks to recommend, or past experiences with the SYNC program, please tell us all about it in comments.

Happy reading, everyone!

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  1. Susan Craig says:

    Thanks for the reminder about the SYNC program. I downloaded some through the program years ago for my daughter. Guess I have to make tracks to the library to renew my library card.

  2. Kim says:

    This is so amazing! (I LOVE free stuff! haha) I’m just getting into the digital audiobook thing (we’ve been checking out CDs from the library for a while, but I haven’t ventured to the mobile option till this month) so this is fantastic! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Cat says:

    I downloaded all the titles last year, but have trouble moving them to my phone. Can you share instructions on how to do this?

  4. Lori says:

    I loved this program last year! But I like your idea of downloading them on your desktop first; I had to reformat my iPhone and lost all of last year’s titles! I second Cat’s request for how you sync your titles from the desktop to your phone.

    I love Overdrive and highly recommend it if your local library subscribes to it. I am fortunate and my library ends up purchasing quite a lot of my recommendations (although I’m sure it’s not just me that recommended those titles). It makes a whole lot more e-books and audiobooks available to me. And I very rarely have any issues downloading or accessing the titles.

  5. Elaine says:

    When I listen via Overdrive in my library account (about a book per week), I select “Listen Online” instead of downloading. When I need to stop, I click on the bookmark icon and it saves my place. Somehow it syncs across my devices. If I want to use my tablet instead of my laptop, it will ask me if I want to stay at the same mark or move to where the last device used actually stopped. I’m so glad our library provides Overdrive access.

  6. Jami says:

    Thank you for this – I signed up and downloaded the first two books to my computer on your recommendation. I was wondering how I was going to get them on my phone. 🙂 The summer’s looking up!

  7. Brittany says:

    Thank-you for sharing! I’ve been dying to read When Dimple Met Rishi, and young adult is where I generally go for audiobook listens, so this is perfect!

  8. Pam says:

    Thank you! I’d never heard of this site before, and am happy to affirm that the first two audiobooks downloaded easily for this Canadian reader. (Book related freebies don’t always apply across international boundaries. Publisher rights issues.)
    I intend to check out these instructions on the overdrive website to see if I can transfer my books between my PC and iPod:

  9. Linette says:

    How do I even get my Overdrive app to recognise sync.
    I live in New Zealand. I just had a meltdown at audible because they are trying to force me to change from their .com website to their .au website. I have been refusing to do this so now I cannot buy everything I want because “this book is not available for your country.”
    I inputted sync intro the library browser but it says cannot find this library. Is this because I’m doing something wrong or because I’m a “colonial” and live in the wrong country.

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