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Audio Textbooks and eTextbooks – A New Way to Study

Textbooks are very much a prerequisite for any kind of learning, high school, college, university or other. They are a very important resource for studying and research, they are often very bulky and heavy and awkward to carry around.

Fortunately, there are solutions to overcome the problems associated with traditional textbooks, namely digital textbooks. Books in a digital format generally take the form of an eBook (electronic book) or an audiobook. When referring to these types of digital books in a textbook format, they are often called audio textbooks or eTextbooks.

What are Audio Textbooks?

The very great advantage of audio books (audiobooks) is that it allows one to listen to a title rather than read it. For busy students or anyone undertaking any kind of research, this format offers an effective way to save time, particularly whilst commuting. Audio textbooks are available in many popular audio formats which lend themselves to a large variety of devices. Just plug in a set of earbuds, and increase one’s productivity by listening to your way through a book.

Best 8 Audio TextBook Services

1. Kindle eTextbooks

eTextbooks from Amazon Kindle

eBooks offer many flexible and desirable features, they may be read on a huge variety of various devices using the free Kindle Reading App for computers, tablets, and smartphones as well as the popular Kindle eBook reader. A very popular people eBook format for textbooks is called an eTextbook and may be downloaded from Amazon under the category of Amazon eTextbooks.

The format has some very helpful and distinct features which help to study.

  • X-Ray allows the reader to use definitions, further related content from other resources like YouTube and Wikipedia, all with a single tap!
  • Highlights allows the reader to highlight a word or sentence using a choice of a few different colors which may then be categorized and saved in the notebook and referenced anytime. One may also convert the highlight into a flash card which may then be stored with amazon and then referenced again in your eTextbook at any time.
  • Navigate through your chapters and pages with easily by simply accessing the navigation grid by tapping the bottom or top of your devices screen. Pages may be scanned very quickly by just swiping the pages with one’s finger.

The Amazon eTextbooks Store allows one to buy or rent discounted titles and carry the entire library of your choice in your digital device without any concern about storage or weight issues traditionally associated with traditional textbooks. Shopping for titles can be done in complete comfort anytime 14/7 from a huge choice of subject material.

Amazon eTextbooks Store

2. Audible Audio TextBooks

Education from audible

Audible offers a small collection of education-related Audio TextBooks – Currently around 200+.’s educational area offers tons of options. There are areas for students, K-12 educators, parents & families, professionals, college textbooks on audio and higher education faculty. You can browse through hundreds of textbook audio books titles in every subject.

You get a Free Trial to try a Free Audio TextBook

3. iTunes U

Audiobooks from iTunes
Audiobooks from iTunes

300,000 Audio Lectures and Textbooks From The World’s Top Universities

iTunes U

4. SparkNotes

eTextbooks from sparknotes

Looking for a shortcut through the dry “Audio Textbook” material? SparkNotes are available through Audible as well. Read the summaries of each chapter with explanations of key themes and analysis of content. While it will never be able to convey the magic of To Kill a Mockingbird, SparkNotes can help students sort through the themes, symbols, and characters. This is a very handy test prep tool.

5. LibriVox – Public Domain AudioBooks

Free LibriVOX from Audiobooks
Free LibriVOX from Audiobooks

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.”

There are 100’s of classic textbooks audiobooks


6. OverDrive

OverDrive Audiobook
OverDrive Audiobook

OverDrive is the collection of more than 30,000 libraries across the world. It’s a site that allows you online access to the catalog of a library near you, where all you need to ‘rent’ a book is a valid library card number. The use of LibbyApp, the mobile and tablet version of OverDrive, lets you check out audiobooks and textbooks straight to PC or Mobile


7. RBDigital

RBDigital offers an extensive collection of audiobooks, magazines, textbooks and eBooks, with the largest independent collection of audiobooks.


8. YourCloudLibrary

YourCloudLibrary is an application for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android that offers access to millions of ebooks and audio to download.


9. HooplaDigital

HooplaDigital – Instantly borrow digital audio textbooks, eBooks and more, 24/7 with your library card.

10. Khan Academy 

offers over 4,000 free Audio / Videos / Books on a wide variety of subjects for free viewing online without registration. 

Khan Academy

Find Audio Textbooks from Free University Courses

Free MIT Audio, Videos & TextBooks

MIT Online Textbooks
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers a huge collection of MIT Online Audio / Video / TextBooks

Free AudioBooks from MIT
Free AudioBooks from MIT

MIT Online Audio and Video Courses

MIT Audio/Video Lectures by Department

Online Textbooks by MIT Department:

Free Harvard Audio, Videos & TextBooks

Harvard Extension Schoolhas 10 free courses in its Open Learning Initiative for free viewing online without registration.

Free AudioBooks from Harvard University
Free AudioBooks from Harvard University

University of California Irvine has a large selection of video courses available for free viewing online without registration.

Open Yale Courses – Yale offers free open courses, with audio, video and transcripts available for free viewing online at YouTube or iTunes.

Free Audiobooks from Yale University
Free Audiobooks from Yale University

Free Online Courses from Stanford
Free Online Courses from MIT
Free Online Courses from Yale
Free Online Courses from Chicago
Free Online Courses from Cambridge
Free Online Courses from Harvard
Free Online Courses from Berkeley
Free Online Courses from Oxford
Free Online Courses from Columbia

How to convert eTextbooks to Audio Textbooks?

Finding textbooks in the audio textbook format can be challenging.

Most Textbooks are only in a physical or digital format. Therefore, you either need to convert the text or use an Audio software service

1. Convert Textbooks to Audio

Start by buying the digital text version of the textbook at online retailers, like Amazon eTextbooks Store.

Convert the textbook to Audio via the following services:

Best Free eTextBooks Resources

    Bookboon’s free online textbooks for students are focused and to the point. They are all written by highly respected professors from top universities in the world and cover topics such as economics, statistics, IT, engineering and natural science.
  • Open Library
    This is an initiative of the Internet Archive.
  • OpenStax
    Nonprofit charity from Rice University aims to provide Free Basic Textbooks Collection. Peer-reviewed. Openly licensed. 100% free.
    Discover the rising stars of the writing world, & Give yourself the gift of some of the best books you can find.
    Creating videos, compiling and publishing free legal Ebooks
  • MERLOT E-Texts
    Access to curated online learning and support materials and content creation tools, led by an international community of educators, learners and researchers.
  • Open Access at University of Minnesota
    Open textbooks are textbooks that have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality
  • Open Textbooks
    CCCOER is a growing consortium of community and technical colleges committed to expanding access to education and increasing student success through adoption of open educational policy, practices, and resources.
  • Textbook Revolution – Textbook Revolution is a student-run site dedicated to increasing the use of free educational materials by teachers and professors.
  • Florida’s Digital Repository
    Florida Resources that are tagged as being appropriate for community college, higher education, vocational education, or continuing education
  • Affordable Learning Georgia
    Open textbooks Collection
  • Bay College OER
    Open Educational Resources (OER) at Bay College.
  • BCcampus
    287 Open Textbooks
  • Boundless
    This catalog contains educational content originally curated by Boundless.
  • California Open Online Library for Education (COOL4ED)
    California Open Online Library for Education (COOL4Ed)
  • CK-12
    100% Free, Personalized Learning for Every Student. Create digital classrooms, customize textbooks, and learn K-12 STEM concepts.
  • LibreTexts
    Textbooks, Textmaps, and LibreTexts
  • Michigan Open Textbook Project
    (3-12) – Open textbooks from Michigan
  • Open SUNY
    Open textbook publishing initiative established by State University of New York libraries and supported by SUNY 
  • Open Textbook Library
    The library currently includes 630 textbooks, with more being added all the time.
  • Saylor Academy
    100 free, full-length textbooks and courses.
  • Siyavula
    Siyavula has produced book titles spanning Mathematics and Science subjects from Grades 4-12.
  • OAPEN (Open Access Publishing in European Networks) – Europe based OAPEN Library contains freely accessible academic books, mainly in the area of humanities and social sciences. 
  • The International Children’s Digital Library
    Online library for free children’s e-books. With over 5000+ books in 55 different languages, the ICDL is a great resource for educators and counselors.
  • Barnes & Noble Free e-books
    Barnes and Noble offers 75K free e-books, including some popular fiction titles, self published e-books, and classic fiction titles.

Mega List of 200+ FREE eTextbooks

Free Biology Textbooks

Free Business TextBooks

Free Chemistry Textbooks

Free Computer Science Textbooks

Free Electrical Engineering Textbooks

Free Engineering Textbooks

Free History Textbooks

Free Languages Textbooks

Free Mathematics Textbooks

Free Music Textbooks

Free Philosophy Textbooks

Free Physics Textbooks


  1. Roget’s Thesaurus Ebook 
  2. Synonyms by Word Reference 
    The WordReference English Synonyms provides users with a comprehensive collection of more than 20k English words.
  3. Thesaurus by Cambridge U 
    Mainly a dictionary but comes with a thesaurus.
  4. Collins Thesaurus 
    Hundreds of thousands of synonyms and antonyms arranged by meaning and with key synonyms highlighted.
  5. Farlex Thesaurus 
    Free Thesaurus is a comprehensive online thesaurus of synonyms, antonyms, and related words.
  6. Macmillan Thesaurus
    More than just a list of synonyms, this unique thesaurus draws distinctions between similar words and helps you choose just the word you need.
  7. Merriam Webster Thesaurus 
    Search more than 275,000 synonyms, antonyms, related words, and idiomatic phrases.
  8. Thesaurus by 
    million+ synonyms and antonyms.
  9. Synonym Finder by Word Hippo 
    An online website and application providing a range of tools related to the use of words for creative and recreational purposes
  10. Lexico from Oxford U 
    Hundreds of thousands of synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and pronunciations for English and other languages, derived from their language research and expert analysis.

Top Free AudioBooks