You don't have to buy audio books from giant online retailers

If you're at all like me, you've stood in a record store and felt a sick pang in your gut as you realized that you don't own a CD player anymore. Somehow — I blame hypnosis — computer manufacturers tricked us into giving up physical media in exchange for a few millimeters of laptop thinness. We're not buying CDs anymore, we're downloading our audio entertainment. And that goes for audio books, too.

Until recently, your options for buying audio books were limited — you could give your money to an ethically problematic online retailer, or you could buy an enormous brick of multiple CDs at your local independent bookseller.

Happily, a local business has been selling audio books online, and they've recently started partnering with independent booksellers, so you can buy your audio books directly from your favorite local bookstore. is an independent online audio book retailer that sells their audio books through an online portal and from apps. You can download the books as DRM-free mp3 audio files.

Best of all, though, are the independent bookstore storefronts created in partnership with, which have personalized staff recommendations to help you choose your next audio book. Here are the local stores you can buy audio books from through

If you'd like to try the service out, this month Libro is offering a free 43-minute excerpt of The Boys in the Boat, the hugely popular story of the 1936 University of Washington rowing team's Olympic quest. Maybe give it a shot, and see if ethically sound, independently purchased audio books are right for you?