How to Enjoy Audiobooks as a Family

If you’re a parent, I bet that you’ve heard the classic “I’m booooored,” a lot lately. We’re all spending a lot more time at home, staring at the same four walls. Luckily, there is a way to keep the whole family busy without just plopping down in front of a screen.

Here at, we’re all about the art of storytelling. A great story does more than simply keep us entertained: it also teaches valuable lessons, offers new perspectives, and breaks down boundaries to allow exploration of the places we’ve never seen. So what could be a better way to spend time as a family than enjoying stories?

Whether you’re looking to share your own childhood favorite with the next generation or discover something completely new, we have you covered. Read on for creative ways to enjoy audiobooks as a family, paired with suggestions for family favorites to listen to.

Want to see the full list of family favorite listens? Click here.

Make a Routine

To me, one of the greatest gifts you can give the next generation is a love of books and the best way to do that is consistency. By building stories into your everyday routine, you can create positive, lasting habits.

Start by choosing a time that works every day (even 15 minutes is great!) and make a commitment to listen as a family. I find that spending a half-hour before bed is a nice way to unwind and relax (don’t forget to set a sleep timer). But you can also listen on a commute to and from school, while getting ready in the morning, while cooking dinner, or whenever else works for your family.

Outside of growing a love for reading, you’re also setting time aside to enjoy some quality family time. What is more important than that?

We suggest The Highland Falcon Thief by Sam Sedgman and M.G. Leonard, narrated by Jot Davies. This exciting first in the Adventures on Trains series will keep the whole family coming back for more, day after day.

Get Cinematic

Okay, okay, I know I said that these family activities didn’t include just sitting down in front of a screen. But the fact is, there’s nothing more exciting than watching the movie/TV adaptation of a book you enjoyed, so we’ll make an exception on this one.

Start by choosing an audiobook that has an adaptation available, or one that will premiere soon. While listening as a family, be sure to ask questions like:

  • How do you think they will do that in the movie
  • Which character are you most excited to see?
  • If you made a movie about this book, what would you change?

These questions help turn your family movie night into an exciting conversation, not just a passive experience. Plus, movie snacks! Get your popcorn popping or make a snack inspired by the book, the options are endless.

We suggest Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White, narrated by a full cast including Meryl Streep. Yep, you read that correctly, Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep is a narrator on this newly rerecorded family classic. Now that’s perfect for a page-to-screen special!

Audiobooks & Crafts

One of the best parts of listening to audiobooks as a family is encouraging creativity and imagination. Without having pictures laid out for you, audiobooks allow everyone to form their own interpretation.

Try making storytime into an arts and craft experience by giving everyone in your family some drawing tools and a blank page. Over the course of a chapter, each person draws whatever stands out to them: the setting, the characters, or even a specific interaction.

This exercise encourages attention to detail and comprehension by getting everyone to focus on what’s happening and who is involved. Treat this as the closest thing to a kid’s book club by asking each person to take turns sharing their creation and explaining why they included each aspect.

We suggest The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate, narrated by Danny Devito. Packed with detailed imagery and adorable characters, this listen is perfect for your first audiobooks & crafts session.

Make Boring Tasks Fun

Lastly, try using audiobooks to spice up life’s more mundane tasks. I’m not claiming that audiobooks will suddenly have the whole fam excited to do their chores, but I promise it won’t hurt!

Many hands, as they say, make lighter work. And housework usually is more tolerable when tackled together. So start by choosing a common area or section of your home, connecting your audiobook to a speaker, and setting the sleep timer for 15 minutes (or however long the chores will take). For as long as the book is playing, everyone contributes by tidying, organizing, or whatever else needs to get done.

Like I said, this one might not have everyone jumping for joy, but it sure is worth a try! And feel free to use this technique for any other tasks on the to-do list, whether it be exercising, yard work, or even folding laundry.

We suggest Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Deep End by Jeff Kinney, narrated by Ramon de Ocampo. This hilarious and exciting audiobook will surely combat the drudgery of any chore.

As you can see, the sky is the limit when it comes to sharing audiobooks with those you love. Go ahead and try some of the above options or get creative and try something completely different. Either way, we’ll be here with over 200,000 stories ready to be shared.

New to Get your first book free, PLUS a bonus book from our VIP selection when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

Share Audiobooks Now with Family Plan

The only thing better than listening to a great audiobook is being able to share and discuss it with people around you. We created Family Plan for just that reason. At no extra cost (that’s right, completely free!) you can now share your library with up to two people in your household.

What are you waiting for? Add your family members and let them see why you love so much. Here’s how:

1. Sign in to your account via the web (not via the app)

2. Navigate to ‘My Account’ in the top right corner

3. Under the ‘Account Type’ heading, click ‘Add Family Member’

4. Complete the details requested and specify the level of permissions that you would like to assign to each additional member

What do these permissions mean?

There are three permission levels to choose from for your family plan members.

LISTEN ONLY allows the member to listen to existing audiobooks in your shared library, but restricts them from applying credits to new titles and/or purchasing additional credits or audiobooks.

USE CREDITS allows the member to listen to existing audiobooks in your shared library and apply credits to new titles, but restricts them from purchasing additional credits or audiobooks.

BUY + USE CREDITS allows the member to listen to existing audiobooks in your shared library, apply credits to new titles, and purchase additional credits and audiobooks. Your account will be charged for those transactions.

5. Click ‘Send invite’

It’s as easy as that! You’re all set to share and enjoy audiobooks with your family members.

New to Get 2 free audiobooks when you sign up for our one-month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking, and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobooks!

STAFF PICK: I Can’t Date Jesus by Michael Arceneaux

Title: I Can’t Date Jesus
Author: Michael Arceneaux
Narrator: Michael Arceneaux

Equally hilarious as it is heartbreaking, Michael Arceneaux’s I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyoncé will become your new bible and saving grace.

Raised by a raging father and disapproving but well-meaning mother, Arceneaux’s life as a gay, black, sensitive man is made that much harder. His complex feelings with the religion that saved his mother gnaws at their fragile relationship as he navigates dating men who take advantage of his kindness. Desperately wanting to find his place in the world, Arceneaux’s journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance is bold, beautiful, and darkly humorous.

“clearly rusty on how to enter a church, much less one of this size, I grabbed my wallet and was about to pull out my ID to show it to the usher that stood before the doors. Yes, as if he were a club bouncer. Yes, as if I were trying to get in free before eleven and rush to the bar to enjoy that two-for-one drinks special.”

I laughed out loud so many times while listening to this audiobook that I often had to pause it and repeat the lines to those nearby. What made it even richer was hearing it in Arceneaux’s own voice. If you choose to read this book rather than listen to it, you’ll miss out on experiencing the extent of his unflappable humor and talent for storytelling. He also does an excellent job of educating the public about Beyoncé in a way that will send the Beyhive swarming with joy.

“A Beytheist is someone who denies the splendor of Beyoncé. I don’t get people like that… I’ve developed a rule to stop dating men who dislike Beyoncé. I have tried to respect other people’s religious beliefs, but sometimes the biases you develop are well-earned.

Can I get an amen?

I Can't Date Jesus.











Read more and sample the audio.

New to Get a free audiobook when you sign up for our one month free trial. Digital audiobooks make audible stories come to life when you’re commuting, working out, cleaning, cooking and more! Listening is easy with our top-rated free audiobook apps for iOS and Android, which let you download & listen to bestselling audiobooks on the go, wherever you are. Click here to get your free audiobook!

Listen as a family to these Christmas classics

Gather the whole family together and make listening to audiobooks a part of your family’s holiday traditions. Which of these Christmas classics is your family’s favorite? Let us know in the comments below!


The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore and narrated by Jeff Bridges

Celebrate the holiday season with the only audiobook for The Night Before Christmas, read by the Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges! No other narrator brings Santa and these merry scenes to life quite like Mr. Bridges—an instant Christmas classic! Mr. Bridges’ reading is perfect for the whole family, no matter if you are 1 or 101.





How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss and narrated by Walter Matthau

The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.





The Nutcracker, by E.T.A. Hoffmann and narrated by Thea Kliros

An enchanted nutcracker, an evil mouse king, and a faithful young girl has been a holiday classic for generations. Combined here with the much-loved music of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, the narrated story unfolds with a bewitching blend of wonder and drama that is sure to delight time and time again.




The Polar Express, including Dr. Seuss’s Gertrude McFuzz, by Theodor Seuss Geisel, Rob Kapilow, Chris Van Allsburg and narrated by various narrators

Two of the most famous and iconic Children’s Classics are turned into musical extravaganza by Composer Rob Kapilow, one of the most successful and most performed composers on the planet. He is joined by International Superstars Nathan Gunn, who sings Polar Express, and Isabel Leonard who sings Dr. Seuss’s Gertrude McFuzz.



A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens and narrated by Paul Scofield

“Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding,” says Scrooge. Mean old Scrooge despises Christmas … until Christmas Eve, when a haunted voice from the past changes his life overnight. You know the story; now experience the marvel of the book.




Happy listening!

Thanksgiving Listens

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season! This week is likely to be your first of many family dinners to come over the course of the next six weeks. No matter how long your journey home takes, we’ve got you covered with a read that will make traveling that much more enjoyable.


Start Without Me, by Joshua Max











In an airport restaurant on Thanksgiving morning, Adam and Marissa meet. Over the course of this day fraught with emotion and expectation, these two strangers will form an unlikely bond as they reckon with their family ties, their pasts, and the choices that will determine their way forward… Listen here.


Hey Harry, Hey Matilda, by Rachel Hulin
















Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate-and unethical-move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are… Listen here.


Thanksgiving, by Janet Evanovich












When it comes to men, Megan Murphy has an aversion to “I do”. Then she meets irresistible pediatrician Pat Hunter. Add in a cozy colonial cottage, the world’s biggest turkey, two hopeful families, and a skirt-chomping rabbit, and you’ve got a feast of fabulous fun! Listen here.


The Diva Runs Out of Thyme: A Domestic Diva Mystery, by Krista Davis














Few can compete with the Natasha Smith when it comes to entertaining, but her childhood rival, Sophie Winston, certainly tries. While Natasha is known for her intricate centerpieces and painstakingly prepared gourmet meals, Sophie likes to keep things simple . . . real simple. Natasha may have stolen the spotlight—and Sophie’s husband—but Sophie is determined to take home the prize at the Stupendous Stuffing Shakedown. She just needs the right ingredients… Listen here.


Quilter’s Holiday, by Jennifer Chiaverini












For the Elm Creek Quilters, the day after Thanksgiving marks the start of the quilting season, a time to gather at Elm Creek Manor and spend the day stitching holiday gifts for loved ones. This year, in keeping with the season’s spirit of gratitude, Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper is eager to revive a cherished family tradition. A recent remodeling of the manor’s kitchen unearthed a cornucopia that once served as the centerpiece of the Bergstrom family’s holiday table. Into it, each Bergstrom would place an object that symbolized something he or she was especially thankful for that year. On this quilter’s holiday, Sylvia has invited her friends to continue the tradition by sewing quilt blocks that represent their thankfulness and gratitude… Listen here.


Strangers at the Feast, by Jennifer Vanderbes

Strangers at the Feast: A Novel, Jennifer Vanderbes


On Thanksgiving Day 2007, three generations of the Olson family gather. Eleanor and Gavin worry about their daughter, Ginny, an unmarried academic in her thirties with a newly adopted Indian daughter, and about their son, Douglas, who has recently been caught in the imploding real-estate bubble. But Ginny and Douglas, determined to have a perfect holiday, keep their troubles secret, a skill they have learned from their parents… Listen here.


The Thanksgiving Day Murder, by Lee Harris











More than a year ago, Natalie Gordon went to buy a balloon at the Thanksgiving Day Parade and dissolved into thin air. The police and a private investigator still have no leads. So when Natalie’s despairing husband pleads with ex-nun Christine Bennett to help, she can’t say no. What she finds is a cast of characters so chilling that murder seems not only invisible but likely to happen again… Listen here.


Have a happy Turkey Day and let us know what you think of these reads!