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By Andrea Drever

Content and Editorial Director


You know those times when you really should go for a walk, but would rather stick your nose in a nice novel? Well, you can do both. For free. With audiobooks from the library.

You don’t have to physically visit a branch. Just download these apps and use your library card (which you can get online) to access a huge collection of audiobooks, including new releases.

OverDrive

OverDrive has an extensive collection of content but, like regular libraries, it stocks limited “copies” and allows only one person to check out each copy at any given time. But you can put a hold on audiobooks, and the app alerts you when it’s available.

hoopla

You’ll find thousands of audiobooks on hoopla, and all of them can be accessed by anyone, or everyone, at any time, with no “holds” required. If your library has hoopla Flex, you can access even more books to listen to. Audiobooks found in the hoopla Flex library circulate like normal library books, so sometimes you might have to put an item on hold and wait until it’s returned by another user. However, Flex generally allows for a longer check-out period than regular Hoopla, and the ability to check out more items at a time. 

Some Recommendations

Listening to books while you walk or hike makes the time fly by. And listening to trekking adventure books can really whisk you away, making you feel like you’re on the trail with fascinating characters in far-flung places. Here are a few walking-themed audiobooks that come highly recommended.

Wild, by Cheryl Strayed

A raw, brutally honest memoir about a young woman’s 1,100-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The movie was good, but the book is better.

Bliss(ters): How I Walked from Mexico to Canada One Summer, by Gail Francis

If you liked Wild, you’ll also enjoy this inspiring book about another trekker who conquered the PCT. Characters she encounters include a man happily hiking the trail wearing a series of 27 wedding dresses.

The Only Way Is West, by Bradley Chermside

Written by a funny, optimistic young Brit who walked 900 kilometers on Spain’s fabled Camino de Santiago trail. He searches for love, and adventure, and is fueled by the hope of finally meeting the mysterious woman whose email address he found scribbled on a 20-euro note.

A Walk in the Woods, by Bill Bryson

A riotously funny book about a middle-aged, overweight guy and his middle-aged, overweight friend who decide to hike the Appalachian Trail. Like all of Bryson’s brilliant books, it’s the ideal combination of perfectly phrased prose and junior high humor.

Stranger in the Forest, by Eric Hansen

Wearing a pair of ratty tennis shoes, an ill-equipped adventurer crosses the rainforest of Borneo, where snakes fly, pigs climb trees, carnivorous plants eat mice and mushrooms glow at night. A gripping and unforgettable memoir.

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