I’m a seamstress. That means that I sit all day at my little machine and churn out tshirt quilt tops. The machines at work are kind of loud, which makes carrying on a conversation difficult. Most of us spend our time listening to headphones.
I know a lot of people at work listen to music, but I’ve never been the sort to sit and listen to hours of music every day. It’s fine as a background noise, but it gets boring after a while. I need variety!
After a year and a half at this job, I’ve built up a pretty diverse list of free audio resources to keep my wandering mind happy for 40 hours a week. Here are my top 5 faves:
The first thing I listen to when I get to work every morning is The Briefing. Every day Dr. Al Mohler, the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (where my husband studies), gives a short, 20-30 minute review of news and current events from a Christian worldview.
It’s a great way to stay up-to-date on national and international news, science, and politics. Hearing Dr. Mohler interpret the world through a Christian worldview lens is not only illuminating as applied to whatever subject he’s talking about, but it also helps train my brain to apply that lens more broadly in my interactions with the world.
Even if you don’t have much time to listen to audiobooks or news everyday, I would highly recommend making time for The Briefing.
The free ESV Bible App has a built-in audiobook. When you open it up and navigate to the scripture you’re looking for, it gives you the option to listen at the bottom of the page. The one drawback is that it just keeps going indefinitely, never letting you know when a new chapter or new book is starting. That being said, the narrator is good, and it’s set at the perfect pace to just follow along as he reads.
When I’m at work listening to the Bible and I hear a verse I’d like to remember, I just stop and take a screen shot real quick.
The LibriVox website has a wide variety of free, public domain audiobooks. That means it’s all classics, which are always worth a listen. The biggest downside to these audiobooks is that they’re read by volunteers. Some of them are read by good, professional-level readers, some by people practicing English, and some books change narrator every chapter, which can be jarring.
You never quite know what you’re going to get, but this is still a great resource – they even have books in a variety of languages.
Public Library Audiobooks
Most public libraries have audiobooks available for checkout. At my library, that means you check out a little orange player with the book already downloaded, and you provide the batteries & headphones. They also have eAudiobooks, which you can easily checkout online or through an app without ever having to leave your home.
Unlike LibriVox, the library has a wide variety of audiobooks from classics to new releases, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for.
Stuff You Should Know
If you’re in to interesting facts or learning how or why things are they way they are, check out the Stuff You Should Know Podcast. It’s run by the same people behind How Stuff Works. They actually have a wide range of ‘Stuff’ podcasts – everything from Stuff You Missed In History Class to Car Stuff to Stuff They Don’t Want You To Know. I really enjoy Stuff You Should Know, and they have over 600 podcasts on pretty much every subject.
So there you go, there are plenty of great free audio resources out there. And don’t assume you have to have a work environment like mine to spend time listening to things. I also like to listen when I’m driving, cleaning, gardening, and crafting. Happy listening!