I never expected to love audiobooks as much as I do. Last year, they were such a huge part of my reading and it caught me off guard when I did my end of the year stats. So Dani asked me to give my opinion on the different services for audiobooks and that’s what I tried to do in this post, but I make no promises this will be helpful to you in any way.
I thought I would just make a quick post about my tips for increasing your audio listening if that’s something you’re interested in and then also talk about where to find audiobooks so you don’t go broke.
Both Libby and Overdrive and essentially e-libraries associated with your branch of the library and contain whatever electronic titles your library has. I think, almost always, you can check out audiobooks this way. I think the Libby app is much simpler to use than Overdrive, but either are an improvement over trying to figure out e-titles on the library’s main page. Anyway, you can actually sort so that you can only see audiobooks. This is a great avenue, I think, if you’re trying to get into audiobooks to see if they work for you because it’s (a) free and (b) you can see if maybe they have some of your favorite books on audio and try re-reading to see if the format will work for you. (P.S. you can send your ebooks on Libby to your Kindle, which is useful if your phone is too cluttered to have multiple apps.)
Another library option though is Hoopla, which is a great service that I don’t think all libraries offer. Also, libraries are different in the amount of check outs they allow you to have. You access Hoopla by tying your account to your library card(s) and then you can read, listen, or watch from your phone OR your computer. What I love about Hoopla though is the sheer amount of audiobooks you can get! Their selection is great, especially if you’re a romance reader. Their interface changed recently and I don’t love it, but I usually bookmark the books I’m interested in by marking them as favorites so that whenever I’m ready for another audiobook, I go in to pick one out. Hoopla is another place to check if you want to try and get into audiobooks by re-reading some of your favorites.
So because I have a problem where I need to have THE MOST access to audiobooks at all times because if I want to read a book on audio, I can be very inflexible sometimes about choosing another one, I’ve got a few opinions about various services.
So Audible is the most expensive app I use, but there is currently a coupon that if you buy all twelve credits at once for your year, you can get it for $120 instead of $150, so there’s that. I like having Audible because there are some audiobooks I want to own and there are some audiobooks I can’t find anywhere else. This is probably dramatic because now I’m also paying for Scrib’d, but like, listen, it’s fine. I can admit to having a problem. So they tell us that we do actually own our audiobooks we buy with a credit so assuming that’s actually true, that’s nice. There are also quite a few Audible exclusives and Audible originals, so for example, Ally Carter wrote a Gallagher Girls short story that was three hours of listening time that is exclusive to Audible and doesn’t exist in any other format. Alyssa Cole has a similar thing coming and I! Can’t! Wait!! You can listen on the Audible app or on the computer, but you can only buy titles from Audible outside of the app. Audible also has a ton of original content that you can access and listen to for free, including meditation things and podcasts, and news? I don’t really use that part, but it exists! They also have this thing where you can get two originals a month as part of your membership from a selection of six. Sometimes one of the six is a romance, which is nice, but there’s usually a nonfiction or two thrown in. I’ve picked up some cool things from it!
If you have Kindle Unlimited or Audible, you can get an Audible Escape subscription for cheaper, but once you are subscribed, I have no idea how to find out how much I’m being charged each month. I think it’s like $8 maybe? Anyway, I pay for this because there is actually an incredibly large selection of audiobooks on here (typically back list titles) and I appreciate the categories they have because it can make it easy to find something that fits your mood. For example, you can search by trope. That said, I feel like I’m running out of things I actively want to listen to on the subscription so I think it might be time to cancel this one. (Totally worth keeping until the new Alyssa Cole one I mentioned drops though because it looks like it’s a part of the Escape package.) You access this service through the same app or online interface, but there’s a special page dedicated to it. Importantly, you can add titles to your library from the app, which I super appreciate.
I go back and forth regarding my feelings with Scrib’d. This service no longer claims to be unlimited audiobooks per month for your like $8, but it was REMARKABLY frustrating when I was trying to binge read Nalini Singh (which btw, is why Audible Escape is perfection because Nalini’s backlist books are all on there) and it kept maxing me out. I was juggling ALL of the apps trying to find a way to not interrupt my binge. If you’re not trying to read 18 books by your favorite author in a month… It looks like it’s going to go better. So far this month I’ve listened to Clockwork Prince and Clockwork Princess, plus I started The Simple Wild (why do people like this book? I can’t with this heroine.), and I’m in the middle of Written in Red. So… we’re doing okay at the moment. I think as long as you manage your expectations and know that you can wind up locked out of accessing some of the books you want on Scrib’d, you’ll feel better about the service. (Which is presumably, why they actually include the small print on the page now.) There is also an app for this or you can listen online. Like Audible, they’ll track where you are on one or the other and match your progress.
That concludes all of the ways I listen to audiobooks and I know there’s nothing revolutionary in what I shared here, but if it helps you at all, then great! I do want to mention real quick that Libro.fm is another service I keep thinking about using because it allows you to buy your audiobooks as if you’re supporting your local Indie and I do like the idea of being able to support mine. I have not, however, convinced myself that I’m ready to give up Audible. It is, however, also only $14.99 a month and you can keep your audiobooks. I may switch to them once I get to listen to Alyssa Cole’s latest. If there’s anything else you want to know about audiobooks or if you want a part two about how I kind of trained my brain to work with audiobooks let me know!