Using Audio Books as a Cable TV Alternative

Last Updated:
Disclosure: Your support helps keep our site running! We earn referral fees for some of the products & services we recommend. Learn more

Audio Books as a Cable TV Alternative

Rethinking What it Means to be a Cable TV Alternative

As great as movies and television shows are, there’s nothing like a good book. With a good imagination and the right combination of words, there’s no limit to where you’ll be able to go. Although it doesn’t quite count as reading, an audio book can be a fantastic way to absorb great literature.

Ever since I purchased my Bluetooth headset (preferred device on Amazon), I’ve been listening to more audio books and podcasts non stop; as I clean the house, exercise, commute to work… I absolutely love it.

Not only can you listen to your favorite novel, but you can also learn about absolutely anything you want.  There are dozens and dozens of books on any topic you choose; and hundreds of podcasts…

Naturally, as a cord cutter, my natural instinct was to seek out the most cost effective way to acquire audio books. Keep reading and Ill show you what I found.


Audible is pretty much the largest producer and distributor of audio books in the United States. Most, if not all, of the major books are available on Audible; including quite a few that you’ve never heard.

You have the option of purchasing books one at a time (which is expensive) or you can sign up for a subscription to Audible for $15 a month.

With that subscription you get two free audio books a month as well as discounts on your purchases

And if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, good news; you’re automatically a member. You can also sign up for a free 30 day trial subscription of Audible and get two free audio books. Better still, you get to keep the books even after the trial period ends.

Books on CD

Books on CDMy only complaint about Audible is that you if you listen to a great book and want to lend it to a friend, you cannot. Your friend will need to get their own Audible subscription and purchase the book themselves.

Now with Audio CD and MP3 CD books this is not an issue. Going this route, you do pay more, but you actually purchase the media. So if you do end up wanting to let a friend borrow it, you can.

Now if you are trying to choose between MP3 and CD, I would go MP3. This file type can be easily loaded onto your mobile phone for easy listening access. Plus does anyone use a CD player anymore? Not me.


What is TuneIn

Looking beyond just audio books you can also use radio as a great alternative to cable television. TuneIn is an online radio app that lets you stream rover 100,000 audio stations from across the country. In addition to offering live free radio and podcasts, TuneIn also offers a premium subscription service for $8.

With that $8 you get access to live music, live sports broadcasts, and among others things free audio books. How many audio books you ask? 40,000. That’s more books than you could possibly read in a life time and they’re not all books from the 19th century. We’re talking Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Game of Thrones, you name it.

Even if you’re not crazy about those other features, $8 a month is a small price to pay for tens of thousands of audio books at your command.



They say the best things in life are free, and if that’s your opinion then you’ll love LibriVox. LibriVox is a website that lets you download audio books in the public domain for absolutely FREE. While you won’t find the latest Dan Brown Novel and anything by Stephen King, you will find a veritable treasure trove of classic literature.

Think Oliver Twist, Huckleberry Finn, etc… Heck, they even have classic books on war and governance; like the Art of War or Meditations.

This is a great resource for those that love the classics and want to educate themselves on literature. That being said, the books are read by volunteers; so don’t expect the person reading the book to sound like Garrison Keillor or something. But regardless, you should give LibriVox a try.

iTunes Audiobooks


If you are an Apple device user you are going to love Audiobooks on iTunes. If you can think of it, they got it. Don’t have time or the money to watch HBO’s new series Big Little Lies? No problem, you can download the audio book for $10.

Or how about movies. Want to listen to Beauty and the Beast before you go see it in the theater? Use this link to download the audio book.

Did you sign up for that free trial to Audible? What books do you plan on downloading? Let us know in the comments below!

By Helen Back

Helen loves to help people rid themselves of the high costs of cable and satellite TV, through writing about simple cost effective alternatives to cable TV. Contact her at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.