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E-Books and Audiobooks: What I've Been Trying

Monday, 24 November 2014

True, yes?

I will never move away from reading actual books (just you wait for the upcoming blog post about my library for proof of that) but the ongoing problem for me is that I read so much and so fast that it's not practical to only read paperbacks. I'd spend all my wages on them!

My preference will always be to curl up with a paperback but (and it's a big but) I do love my Kindle as well. It gives me access to cheaper books, those from authors who only publish in e-book format and then there's the obvious benefit of portability.

I've been exploring other options recently.  My local library has been banging on about Overdrive for a long time and I eventually got round to signing up for it. In a nutshell, it's the best way to access your library's online catalogue of books. This is especially useful if your local library, like mine, has a habit of never stocking the first book in a series and you can't be bothered to order them in from another branch. Admittedly it's a bit of a faff to install but once it's there, it's user-friendly enough and it gives me the option to read on my phone or iPad.

At roughly the same time I took advantage of an Amazon free trial and signed up for a free Audible audiobook. I never thought I liked them but the prospect of lovely Richard Armitage reading me a lovely Georgette Heyer book (even if it is abridged) was enough to tempt me into trying it. I loved it. So much so that I kept the subscription on for another month and bought myself The Secret Countess. Totally worth it! The Audible price per month is £7.99 and buying the book as a standalone purchase would have been £15.50 so it made perfect sense to me.

I still haven't quite worked out how much I'd get from "reading" a new book via audio but for old favourites, it's enormously satisfying. The Secret Countess is a wonderful, wonderful book anyway but you get so much more out of it when it's being read to you.

Then, whilst listening to the DBSA podcast (which is AWESOME btw), I discovered the existence of Scribd. It's a subscription service for both books and audiobooks. I didn't think it would be that good over in the UK, geo-restrictions being what they are, but the catalogue is ace and there's tons of choice. After a bit of googling I found a free 3 month trial code and I'm a week in and loving it! After that it's $8.99 a month which is roughly £5.70 and I reckon it's definitely worth paying for.

I've been using an iPhone and normal iPad for all of them and if I'm honest, they wouldn't be my preferred devices for e-reading. For Audible it's fine - just like listening to any form of music/radio/podcast on there - but for me, the phone is too small to read on and the full-size iPad is a little bit big. Ha, I sound like Goldilocks, don't I?  I'm making do happily though as the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. If you don't mind reading on those devices then you'll be absolutely fine! I think both Overdrive and Scribd would probably be ideally suited to something the size of a normal e-reader so an iPad Mini or Kindle Fire.

So, that's what I've been trying out recently. If you fancy giving any of them a go, or you're using them already, let me know what you think.

[Not a sponsored post btw. Just some stuff I'm trying and thought you might be interested in.]


  1. I've done that Audible download thing in the past; I went for the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as it's about a hundred hours long and it was great to listen to whilst in the swimming pool.

  2. Love Audible- I use audibooks to help with sleeping- I set the sleep timer for 30 mins and it gives me something to focus on at low volume to distract me from any other noise but doesn't keep me wakeful. I couldn't handle the thought of house moving with actual books though, looks like we'll be shipping out after Christmas again and there's enough crap without heavy bulky things.

  3. I do love a good audiobook - Richard Armitage reading Sylvester is lovely - I recommend his others as well, Venetia and The Convenient Marriage :)

  4. My preference is a paperback but alas, as an English teacher, I need more space for more books so an e-reader is just practical.

    Lizzie's Daily Blog

  5. I wouldn't say no to Richard Armitage!! Can't wait to see your library!

  6. I love hearing how people react to different book formats, total geek out!

    Maria xxx

  7. Love it !!!
    A New Post On My Blog:
    waiting soon on my blog

  8. I loved reading The Secret Countess. I've never tried an audio book or any kind of device, I'm still stuck in the last decade when it comes to reading. I like the idea of a kindle for holidays to reduce luggage but I just love books too much!

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  10. Tom Hiddleston reading Sally Gardner's The Red Necklace to you surely has to be your next Audible selection??! You know it makes sense!! :)


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