Downloadable Audiobook Poster
Image by Beverly Public Library, MA via Flickr

We have survived Groundhog Day, Chinese New Years, Valentines and Presidents Days. The nice thing about living in the depths of winter are the mini-holidays waiting for us to celebrate. Unlike past years, I decided to pass up the usual website reviews dedicated to these holidays. Instead, I found myself wandering all over the map this week.

It began with a quick peek at Woot, where they were offering an 8gb mp3 player, radio tuner, and voice recorder for a bargain. My surfing exploded from there. Here is some proof:

Books Should Be Free ( That 8 gigabyte mp3 deal got me thinking about audiobooks. I still have plenty of music that I downloaded over the years from my paid subscription to And a need for new bifocals propelled me to do a Google search of free audiobooks. I was not disappointed. I reviewed several sites, and this one came up on top. They say what they mean: free means free. Some other sites will lure you with a free trial, but then they want you to subscribe, or at the least, to register on the site. Keep it simple. Find your picks of classics here.

Education Podcast Network ( With the key word being “free,” the offerings are categorized by grades: elementary through adult continuing education. The podcasts can be a tool for teachers or an extra bonus for anyone looking to brush up on a subject. Want to learn a little bit of Russian? You will find a podcast from a native speaker. There are many other choices of sites available, but I did not research them this week.

Local Libraries. The Westchester Public Library in Chesterton offers its library patrons audiobook downloads online via their website ( This is a great way to “read” more current fare than what you will find at Books Should Be Free. I did not see a similar offering from Michigan City’s Public Library. Maybe that will change soon.

Missing Money ( How did I jump from audiobooks into the subject of money? That’s how surfing works for many of us. Anyway, this website provides the yummy potential of telling you if you have unclaimed money lying around somewhere. Like in a bank that has folded, or an old insurance policy, or whatever. It is a database of governmental unclaimed property records. What is superior about this site is the fact that it is free to use. So don’t get trapped by some other website’s promises of riches for a low subscription fee.

Fastweb ( Parents of students headed for college need to know about this website, and the sooner, the better. If your school’s career counselor has not heard of it, it’s time to tell him or her about this fabulous resource. Search for scholarships, internships and more. This is a free service, which is an excellent deal. A login will be required, so you need to sign up to receive the information.

Volunteer Locally ( The United Way Regional Volunteer Center works in two ways. If you wish to volunteer for a worthy cause, you can browse the current opportunities posted here. If you are a nonprofit, you can post your needs here. And yes, it’s true—you can receive an extra bonus at many nonprofits for a Disney World ticket.when you give of yourself. Check it out.

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on February 16, 2010.

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