How to Use an L.A. Library Card to Download Literally Any Audiobook for Free

You can check them out directly to your phone

There are plenty of semi-secret perks to having a Los Angeles Public Library card, but one of the greatest is free access to nearly unlimited audiobooks. Yeah, nerds, now I have your attention. No need to get that Audible account that’s been advertised to you in every single podcast you’ve ever listened to since like 2014. If you have a library card, basically any audiobook you could want is already yours.

Here’s the deets. You’ll need to get the Overdrive app and create an account with your card number and pin (which is just the last four digits of your phone number). Once you’re set up, you can download audiobooks and ebooks—up to 30 items at once, for three weeks each. And the library has everything you could ever dream of: all the Malcolm Gladwell, all the Harry Potter, all the 1984. Everything. The only downside is that the copies available for checkout are limited (as in, right now all 21 copies of Fifty Shades of Grey are checked out), so you’ll occasionally have to place a hold.

RELATED: An L.A. Library Card Gets You A Free Subscription to the New York Times

You can also use your card to log into the Hoopla app to access 15 additional downloads per month—and that includes audiobooks and eBooks as well as comics, music, TV shows, and a selection of movies with about the same terrible-to-good ratio as Netflix (i.e. for every 20 Son of the Masks, there’s a The King’s Speech). The offerings are considerably more limited than with Overdrive, but you’ll never have to join a waitlist.

Thomas Harlander is a staff writer at Los Angeles magazine. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram. He recently wrote: These 360° Photos from Around Los Angeles Are Almost Too Astonishing to Be Real