If you have Sonos speakers, you can listen to free audiobooks by any author thanks to a new integration with the Libby app.

You may already know about the Libby app. This lets you borrow both ebooks and audiobooks from your local library, downloading them to your Kindle, iPhone, iPad or Mac …

If not, Libby offers a way to use your existing library card to borrow electronic versions of books. These work just like physical ones: the library purchases one or more copies, and each copy can be lent to one person at a time. When they ‘return’ it, it’s available to the next person. If a book you want is currently on loan to someone else, you can reserve it, and it will be added to your app as soon as you reach the front of the waitlist.

The makers of Libby, OverDrive, have now extended the same audiobook loan facility to Sonos speakers.

The award-winning Libby app is now compatible with Sonos wireless home sound systems. When a user connects Libby to their speaker system, they can enjoy popular audiobooks, learn a foreign language, or entertain the kids throughout the house by accessing tens of thousands of titles from their public library. To get started, users only need the Sonos app, the Libby app – available from 90 percent of public libraries in North America – and a valid library card.

“This new Sonos compatibility is our latest response to how librarians are evolving to best promote and provide access to books and reading anytime, anywhere,” said Shannon Lichty, Vice President of Partner Services at OverDrive. “Our partnership with Sonos for public library audiobooks will enable millions of households to enjoy the sounds and narration of a great story anywhere a Sonos speaker is connected.”

Best of all, it’s compatible with all generations of Sonos speakers, old and new.

If you don’t already use Libby, start by downloading the free app and use your library card number to register. Download one or more audiobooks to the app, and they will appear on your Loans Shelf. Once you’ve done this, open the Sonos app and connect it to your Libby account. You will then be able to play any audiobook on your Loans Shelf.

If you don’t have a library card, check your library’s website. While most are closed at present, they may allow you to register for a card online. All Libby needs is the card number.

A few pointers for those new to Libby. All loans are for a fixed period (14 days in the UK, for example), and books are automatically returned at the end of that period, so you need to finish them within that time. You can also manually return a book early. You will be limited to a small number of loans at any one time.

If free audiobooks sounds too good to be true, note that you can expect long waiting lists for newly-released books, especially ones by popular authors.

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