Scribd is a subscription service for ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, sheet music and documents.
For $8.99 USD you get unlimited access to the entire catalogue. It looked to be a great deal so last month I took them up on their offer of a free month.
As far the selection goes, you won’t find that many new releases on the site. However, there are hundreds of thousands of titles here so unless you’re specifically searching for a recent bestseller, you probably won’t notice. Take popular writer Neil Gaiman, his entire back catalogue is available on both ebook and audiobook:
As well, when searching, you get links to magazine articles, interviews, relevant podcasts and documents that can be set aside for later reading.
Going through the 100+ books on my Amazon wish list, around a half of the titles were on Scribd — not bad at all.
Through January, I forced myself to put away the kindle to give scribd a fair go. I wondered two things: 1/ Whether I could get used to reading on an iphone/ipad and 2/ Whether or not I would enjoy listening to audiobooks.
So for the first part, as you might guess, the experience of reading on an iphone/ipad is significantly worse than on the kindle. So much so that I read less than half as much as usual last month. It just doesn’t feel like reading a book for me. I got through ‘The Housekeeper and the Professor’ well enough but I would have torn through it on the kindle. It’s a shame in a way as there are several titles I’d like to read but in reality it’ll be slow going unless I can find a way to get these ebooks on to my kindle.
The audiobooks were another matter.
Listening to books is a fantastic way to make use of travel time and I found myself going to the gym more so I’d have a chance to listen more. During the coronavirus panic, Muky and I are walking to our centre. It’s about 30 mins each way and I normally would have just kept on using taxis and buses but now, with audiobooks, I think of the walk as a delightful hour of reading! So having a great library of audiobooks encourages me to get outdoors which is a big plus I didn’t expect.
There’s a few things that Scribd could do better — searching for books on the app for example can be a strange experience, and coming back to the app after leaving it requires you to find the book you’re listening to again which seems unnecessary. But for the most part it works well and being able to easily download for offline listening is great.
So is Scribd worth it? For me, even without all the ebooks, magazines, sheet music and comics, I’d pay the subscription just for the audiobooks. Remember that audible (part of amazon) charges a premium for their audiobooks. $8.99 a month doesn’t even get you one of their titles whereas on Scribd you get everything—I don’t quite know how they do it. OK, you may not get every single title, but you get more enough for one lifetime.
A few days ago, my trial ended and I am now a fully fledged member of Scribd. I can cancel at anytime of course but so long as I listen to 2 or 3 books a month this is well worth it for me.
If you’re into books, there’s no reason I can think of not to give Scribd a go. The audiobooks make it completely worthwhile and if you’re happy to read books on a phone or ipad then this is the deal of the century — join up now before these guys change their terms and conditions!