Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Try Scribd as a Book Reading and Listening Alternative to Kindle Unlimited and Audible


Let me tell you about something I love for myself and for my kids.

Recently Eva asked about her Big Nate books we had put on hold at the library. I told her the library was closed all weekend for a computer maintenance situation, so we could not get our holds. Then it hit me that I should check Scribd to see if they had any Big Nate books. They did. TONS OF THEM, including the "complete" books that are over 350 pages long. Problem solved. Kid reading. Mother of the Year award on the way.

When my husband was out of town and I was too whipped to read aloud to the kids at bedtime, we all snuggled up in one room to sleep and I turned on a Magic Tree House book or something like Frindle or The Penderwicks, and it was the perfect way to go to sleep. Another problem solved. Listening to a book counts almost like reading it. Bam.

Still Alice was popping up all around me, as a movie suggestion and as a book suggestion. I like to read the book first if I possibly can, so I put it on hold at the library. Couldn't get it yet (see above). Logged in to my Scribd account. STILL ALICE! I've been reading it on my phone ever since, in a doctor's waiting room, all over the house, by the pool, anywhere. When Mommy gets some brain break sanity, everybody wins.

So let me answer some questions for you about Scribd.

What's the selection like?
The books I find on Scribd for homeschooling are wonderful. The bestsellers I find for myself are also fabulous ... I don't have a lot of time to read lately but I have been MAKING time, and it's easy when I always have something on my phone.

For those of you who are over 40 like myself, yes, you can adjust the size of the font. I am not in love with reading on my phone, but it works when I'm waiting in the car, when I have just a few minutes to myself, when I want to sneak away. I am absolutely in love with all the audiobook options and I always have something great to listen to when I'm walking. I'm discovering things to listen to that I would not normally choose.

The screenshot at the left shows how you can browse by what's on the top charts right now.

Downside: not all books are available as audiobooks. What I do like is that some are available as BOTH!

I also appreciate that I can save titles for later, whether I ever get to them or not. It's nice to have options. It also recommends books for me based on what I've saved in the past, both for myself and for the kids. This is going to be huge for making my Winter Reading List (see Summer Reading List here).

The book icon means it's a book and the headphones mean it's an audiobook. I haven't gotten into the
Magazines section yet. There's more exploring to be done!

How do you organize them all?
When you find a book that grabs you, you can SAVE it then put it in a collection. I have collections for each of my kids, for homeschooling in general, for myself (fiction and nonfiction). The picture below shows some of what I have so far: some books for Sam and something the girls are loving right now. There are more collections as you scroll to the left. I don't know about you, but I am NOTHING without organization! This screenshot also shows titles I might like that are available soon or that I have already saved, as well as what I'm listening to or reading now.

So how much do I pay for all this? 
Just $8.99 per month. (although if you sign up for a free 2-month subscription to Scribd to try it out and then decide you love it, I get a month for free ... full disclosure ... then you can start telling your own friends how much you love it and get a free month when your friends fall in love with it like you did!)

And hey, guess what? You don't even need a smartphone to do all this. You can do it on your COMPUTER or laptop! Read, listen, sort, all of it.

Why I didn't like Kindle Unlimited at $9.99 per month
Kindle Unlimited is a good price, but you really have to track down what's available, and the search function is not the best as far as holding your place, so you go down rabbit holes and forget what you were trying to find in the first place. I personally have my own books on Kindle Unlimited so I do think it's a great service sometimes. Obviously I think my books are a great value on there, but I have downloaded some really crappy books on KU. Also, it's not free to listen to books instead of read them.

Why I didn't like Audible at around $15 per book
Too expensive, even with freebies here and there and even with a plan where the more you get the cheaper it is. Yes, it's great to have the audiobook and own it forever, and I understand it costs a lot of money for an author to get an audiobook made. Hence the authors who choose to read their own book to save money, and we sure wish they hadn't. Not many people have a voice for reading books. I would never read my own books to save money because I have an annoying voice that would take away from the content. But I digress. This is too rich for my blood, and I felt a lot of pressure to make a good pick since I was spending so much money.

This is what the screen looks like when I'm listening to a book. Of course you can make the narration go faster or slower, fast forward, rewind, and even make it stop after a certain amount of time. This is in case you fall asleep quickly like I do when you're being read to at night or you just want to listen to 15 minutes then go to sleep.

Get two free months!
Like I mentioned, if you sign up using my Scribd referral code here, you get TWO FREE MONTHS to try it out, and I get a free month. We both win, and I love to bring you offers where we are both happily skipping around holding hands in interwebs land :-)

I also talked about Scribd here on my 2018 Summer Reading List. No, Smarty Pants, I didn't get to all of the books on my list, but I read others instead and next year will make my reading and listening list more realistic and will share with you! Maybe I'll make a 2018 Winter Reading List!

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