Unpaid review of Scribd's Unlimited Audiobooks service for $8.99 a month. Here are all my honest thoughts about how it works! Scroll down for a Two Month FREE trial offer so you can try it too.
I love Audiobooks! I read over a hundred books last year and I couldn't have done it without audiobooks.
I listen to audiobooks while I exercise, while I clean (folding laundry is infinitely more enjoyable with an audiobook!), and while I drive. And when I can't fall asleep at night, I often use an audiobook read at a slower speed (and with a sleep timer) to help me fall asleep.
Audiobooks have become such a regular part of my life that I'm always on the hunt for more cheap and free ways to keep listening.
I've been using Audible and the Libby App with all of my many library cards for years now. But Audible only gives you one book a month for $14.95 and sometimes the the books I want aren't available on Libby, or the wait to listen to them is months long. That's where Scribd has been very useful!
I've been using it for several months now (two months with a free trial, and a few more months as a paying customer). Here's my unpaid review of Scribd and their audiobooks, plus some of the audiobooks I've enjoyed from their collection.
How Scribd Works
Scribd has been described as Netflix for books. You pay $8.99 a month and they offer what they claim is unlimited access to their collection. They have audiobooks, ebooks, and even magazines but at this point I've only used audiobooks on Scribd.
You can use Scribd on any of your favorite devices. I use the app on my phone and it's been easy to find audiobooks and download them there. I like to listen while I'm walking/driving, so it's convenient for me to have an audiobook downloaded to my phone so I can listen on the go.
In appearance, Scribd is similar to Audible. You can scroll through Audiobooks by genre, or recommended titles. It's easy to bookmark the ones you're interested in so you can easily find them later.
I'd also say their Audiobook collection is very comparable to Audible. Almost every book I've looked for has been on Scribd, including most of the hot new releases.
Unlike Audible, you don't own the audiobooks - you're just borrowing them. But unlike the library, you don't have to wait for someone else to finish before you can listen. It's rare for me to want to listen to an Audiobook a second time, so this doesn't bother me at all.
Is Scribd really "Unlimited"?
Yes and No.
They use some sort of algorithm (that isn't ever explained anywhere on the site) that limits how many Popular/New titles you can access in a month.
For me, it seems like after I've listened to 2 or 3 newer titles, I don't have unlimited books anymore and the only available audiobooks are older titles.
So, it is unlimited in the sense that you can keep listening to audiobooks all month long, but they do limit how many of those books can be newer, more popular titles.
Things I don't like about Scribd
It can be a little glitchy. I can do a search for an audiobook and find it on Scribd, but the very next day when I do the same search, it won't show up anywhere.
Sometimes, only some of the titles I've bookmarked show up. I think this happens more often after I've already listened to several audiobooks in a month so it might be part of the algorithm, but it's annoying. I still want to see what I have in my queue, even if I can't listen to them until my payment renews in the next month.
I also wish the app would be more straightforward and mark the books that are popular titles that will be limited by the algorithm.
Things I like about Scribd
It really is a great value. Even if I only get to listen to 2 or 3 new Audiobooks in a month, it's still only $8.99, which is far cheaper than buying 2 or 3 credits on Audible.
If I want to listen to a brand new hit audiobook, Scribd is the first place I want to look because I know that the library wait on that type of book will be forever long.
Scribd also has a really great selection of books, over a million titles. Even after I get pegged by the algorithm, I've found so many great middle grade and YA books, and classics to fill in if I still need more audiobooks before my month renews.
And for many people, listening to 2 or 3 audiobooks in a month is plenty.
Features beyond Audiobooks
While audiobooks are the main thing that I have been using Scribd for, it's also worth mentioning that a subscription also includes access to sheet music, kindle books, podcasts, documents and even magazines. That's a lot for the $8.99 monthly price tag!
I've listened to podcasts through the app, and read a few e-books, but I've mostly used it for audiobooks. I do plan to check out more of the features though.
My Unpaid Review of Scribd
Overall, I'd definitely recommend Scribd. It's cheaper than Audible and often easier to listen to books than a library app.
Even if you only listen to one audiobook in a month, that $8.99 monthly subscription is pretty impossible to beat!
Get Two Months FREE
If this unpaid review piqued your interest, you can try it for yourself!
I have some book recommendations below to help you get started listening during your free trial.
A Few Great Audiobooks on Scribd
- Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
- Becoming by Michelle Obama
- Refugee by Alan Gratz
- Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
- My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
- Educated by Tara Westover
- The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson
- Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen
- A Woman is No Man by Rum Etaf
- My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
- Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl
- The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
If you found this unpaid review of Scribd helpful and you do give it a try, I'd love to hear what you think about it!