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Loot-Free Listening

Audio books are a convenient way to "read" without eyestrain, or keep up with published works while driving or doing household chores. And there's no reason to pay anything for this particular pleasure.

Your local library is likely to lend audio books, and the Internet is loaded with sites that will give you books for nothing, to be heard on your computer, MP3 player or smartphone.

These include BooksShouldBeFree, where hundreds of selections are organized by genre; NewFiction, where stories are voiced by entertaining actors; OpenCulture, which specializes in cultural and educational material; Librophile, where you can find and listen to books without installing a lot of software; and Project Gutenberg, which has 33,000 titles to download to your PC or portable devices, and more than 100,000 through partners and affiliates.

Sid Kirchheimer writes about health and consumer affairs.

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