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AudioBooks for all Budgets

Review of three top audiobook subscription servicesFollow my blog with Bloglovin

So, being a mom, a volunteer, etc. I feel like I’m always on the go. And sometimes, the radio just gets boring. This is where audiobooks come in. I love audiobooks. I used to think audiobooks would be really boring and nerdy, but after years of resisting, I decided to give one a try just to check it out and I found that I LOVE them! They’re super convenient to put on your smart phone and take with you everywhere. I listen to them through the radio in my car, with headphones while I’m shopping or waiting for the kids to finish an activity, and around the house in quiet time. It’s not just some person reading words from a book: these are usually experienced voice actors with entertaining inflections. Here are a few of the services I’ve tried and recommend.

Probably the most well known audiobook service is Audible. They’re owned by Amazon and are constantly promoted everywhere. You’ll usually hear (or see) an ad for them that says to get your first book free, or if you’re lucky, get your first two. Audible has a huge library of top notch audio books. You can listen to a sample before you purchase to be sure you like the style of the reader and these books are your forever. The downside is that you’re limited to how many “free” books you get every month. They offer 2 subscription plans: $14.99 for 1 book each month; or $22.95 for 2 books each month and 20% off each additional purchased book. In option 1, you’re paying almost $180 a year for 12 audio books. In option 2, you’re paying about $275 per year for 24 audio books. It’s a great service with a wonderful selection, but for some, it’s a bit too pricey.

Audible subscription costs

A lesser known service that I love is called Scribd. Scribd has been around for a long time and you might know them from their days years ago as a pdf repository. In 2013, they launched an unlimited ebooks subscription program and then in 2014 they expanded that program to include audiobooks. While their library is not as large as Audible‘s, it is extensive and impressive. You can’t walk away from it without finding a single book. And the fact that you can churn through as many books as you want also makes this a great value. Scribd has one subscription: $8.99 per month, which means that for about $108 a year, you have unlimited access to all the ebooks and audiobooks your heart desires.

Scribd ebooks and audiobooks

Now, for some of us, audiobooks are nice but we just can’t swing the extra $100 + per year on entertainment. If you want a really great audiobook service try Overdrive. Overdrive is the online ebook and audiobook source used by many libraries in the US. There’s no subscription fee for users. The downside is their selection is quite a bit more limited than the two services above. Of course, there is still always something there you can get and find entertaining, you just have to search a little more.

A note on Overdrive: Not all libraries have an online service available and Overdrive doesn’t let you use the service without a connected library. They recommend you visit your local library and ask them to begin a partnership with Overdrive. I know that 2 years ago, this method worked in getting my tiny town’s itty bitty library to sign up. What’s really great is that in our area, instead of an individual library signing up, they went in as a group with several other libraries in the area. This gives them a lot more users and I’m guessing there’s some sort of pooling of funds to get more available titles. So if your local library doesn’t support Overdrive, just ask! And if they still don’t sign up, ask again. Let them know that it’s something you really want and eventually, they’ll probably come around.

Overdrive free ebooks and audiobooks

I know there are other services I didn’t cover here. These are the three that I have the most experience with and I feel comfortable recommending. Perhaps in the future, I’ll make a post about the ones I don’t recommend. I also know that Amazon has recently launched a Kindle Unlimited subscription that has some audiobook access, but I haven’t personally tried it.

I hope this post helped you to find some great audiobooks!

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2 thoughts on “AudioBooks for all Budgets

  1. What a great resource! The only one I have ever heard of is Overdrive but I think it’s because our library has it. Pinning! Thanks for linking this up to Totally Terrific Tuesday last week! Hope to see you again this week!


    1. Christine says:

      Thanks so much Sharon! I hope you find some great books 🙂

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