Netflix for Books

Book Stack


A few years ago I was lamenting the fact that there wasn’t a Netflix type subscription service for books. Granted, I have an awesome library, which has a ton of ebook selections. However, at the time, the ebook selection was rather small and didn’t always have what I was looking for.

I never can anticipate when I will be in the right mood to read a particular book. I usually max out library cards from two different library systems with ebooks so I’ll be ready for any bookish mood. Of course, I am always renewing books because I can’t read 40 books in three weeks (yet, I keep checking that many out at a time – I am aware that I have a problem.)

Books I really want to read are being returned before I have time get to them so I spend a lot of time just juggling my library book lists.

About a year and a half ago I tried a free trial from Scribd and I fell in love. I had a book that I needed to read in two days for a book club and I couldn’t get it from my library system. Enter Scribd. They had a free trial available along with the book I needed to read. I decided to give it a try and I’ve been a member ever since.

Scribd is basically a Netflix for books with an audible subscription thrown in for fun. There are hundreds of books I want to read on its virtual shelves. You can read from an app on your iPad, iPhone, Android and Kindle Fire (I read on an iPhone but tablets are usually preferred by most people.) You can also access books by computer if you prefer to read on them.Audio Book

The audiobook deal is awesome. Scribd costs $8.99 a month. Each month you get 1 credit for an audiobook. You “purchase” the audiobook with your credit and basically get it for free with your subscription. $8.99 for all the books you can read and a free audio book thrown in! 

There are a couple downsides to the audio book portion of Scribd. Basically, you can only access the audio books you’ve bought with your credit as long as you are a Scribd member. If you decide to cancel your account, you can’t keep listening to any of the audio books.

My recommendation is to only use credits for audio books you plan on listening to once. I still see this as a better deal than Amazon’s Audible program because it’s cheaper (Audible is $14.99 a month) and you also get access to hundreds of thousands of books at the same time. If you want to actually own a copy of the audio book use Audible instead, but use Scribd for everything else.

There are audio books that can be accessed without using your credits. They are called “unlimited” and you can search for unlimited audio books if you are looking for more than one audio book in a month. Many of these audio books are from Librivox which is free even if you aren’t on Scribd. However, there are selections beyond that and each month there are featured free audio books from popular authors and publishers.

Scribd also has a comic book selection. I haven’t taken the time to browse this selection, but if may be of interest if you are a comic book fan.

One of the perks of being a Scribd member is I can sometimes find my college textbooks on the site and it saves me from having to buy them. This semester I was in a World Literature class and I was able to find some of the specific editions I needed (along with audio versions) and it ended up saving me money.

If you are interested in trying Scribd you can test them out through a free trial. I have included my affiliate link throughout this post which gives you two months free (instead of the one month you can get from the website) and also gives me a free month as well. Win/Win in my book, but you can just go straight to their website if you’d prefer not to use my link.

Have you tried Scribd, Oyster, or Kindle Unlimited? What did you think? What do you like or dislike about book subscriptions?

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