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Service Review: Scribd

Scribd: Audiobooks & ebooks - Apps on Google Play

Scribd Subscription Service

**This is in no way affiliated with Scribd! It is simply my take on using the service!**

Scribd was the last of the major reading subscription services that I had yet to try. To date, I’ve tried: Audible, Kindle Unlimited, Kobo Audiobooks and Audiobooks.com and have various opinions on them all. I delayed getting Scribd because I wasn’t entirely sure I could get it in Canada (which you can as well as many other countries) and for a little while it wasn’t “unlimited” so I was saving my trial for a title I really wanted to read (but now the service is unlimited).

I was really curious to try Scribd because I loved the idea of unlimited eBooks and Audiobooks in a month. Most audiobook subscription services (like Audible) only allow 1 book a month (though some have packages or deals, etc for multiple titles in a month) so as someone who can finish an audiobook in 3-5 days, constant access to listen to audiobooks is a big draw. The other draw was that is has a lot of the bigger publishing house titles available for reading. It’s basically the Netflix of books!

So could Scribd become that supplement for titles my library lacks? I was more than willing to give my free 2 month trial a shot!

As I always do with these reviews, I’m going to go over the basics of the Scribd service and give my take on it independently (I’m not paid or endorsed by the company to provide this review). At the end, I will do a comparison to my other subscription services experiences, namely Audible and Kindle Unlimited as they are the most similar, just to give some context.

How Does it Work?

Unlike other book subscription services, Scribd does not have the option to purchase titles directly on their site. They only have the option for a monthly subscription. 

For $8.99 a month (USD), you purchase a month’s (30 days) worth of access to the eBooks, documents, sheet music, magazines and audiobooks of your choice.

It is an international service, however, not all books may be available for reading in your region due to copy and publishing rights. But you can browse their selection without logging in to get a feel for the titles they have.

My Experience:


Because of COVID-19, I didn’t realize they were giving everyone a month free back in April. But a friend on Twitter who has the service gave me a referral link that got me 2 months for a free trial (and a free month for her!) so that’s how I signed up.

>>> I just want to highlight how great of an idea that referral program is! Instead of just one free book credit (like some other services), you give someone unlimited reading for 2 months and gain one month free for you!

One of the more notable options for signing up is that you can use PayPal which is super great.

–Audiobook Listening Experience–

Normally I listen to audiobooks on my old iPhone 4 but the iOS software is too old to support Scribd so I listened on my Galaxy 9 phone.

I really liked the app for the Android phones. It had all the features I want for an audiobook like changing the speed (I listen to all audibooks at 1.5X), a sleep timer, table of contents and easy to create & use bookmarks. I loved that I could download the audiobook over Wifi to my phone so I didn’t need to use data when listening to the book outside of my house. And I could run the app in the background while doing other things and could control it like if I was listening to music on the home and lock screens.

The app is sleek and easy to navigate. The only thing I wish it told you was the percent left in the entire book. If you log onto the Scribd desktop website, it tells you how long minute-wise you have left in the entire book. Otherwise, the timer at the bottom of your app tells you how many minutes are left in the current chapter. I’ve always kept track of my audiobook percent-read-in-a-day on Goodreads so I always notice when an app lacks the overall progress.

–eBook Reading Experience–

I had been eyeing getting a small tablet for travelling but getting this service sped up my decision a bit because I didn’t want to be reading books on my phone all the time. So I bought a Kindle Fire Tablet to read some of the eBooks I wanted from the site (and from Hoopla via my library).

Now, Scribd doesn’t have an official app for the Fire Tablet but they do have one you can download through their website for your tablet if you allow your device to download third party apps. That’s what I did and it worked great…until it needed me to update it every two weeks. I don’t know why but it would take multiple downloading attempts to get the update to take and there is no way to bypass the update to access your content. Frustrating. I had contacted support but their response was a few business days later and it was a slightly generic response to my issue. HOWEVER: they seemed to listen to my suggestion that you should be able to bypass the update because the next time the update was available, I could bypass the update! So, it seems like they have a very receptive support team and I will say that I found their FAQ section on their site to be very helpful for other issues or questions I had.

Overall: the reading experience itself is great. You can select different background colours, font colours, font type and size, etc. So it’s very customizable. Again, you can download titles to your devices so you aren’t using data all the time. And it does sync your reading progress across all your devices so long as they are connected to wifi.

–The (Audio)Book Selection–

Some of the titles I had planned to read using the service were no longer available months later when I finally signed up. Clearly, they rotate through what is available and for how long. But for the most part, there is a pretty great selection of titles. There’s a good mix of new releases and older titles; bigger and smaller publishing houses as well.

I did find a lot of the titles available to me on Scribd were also available on Hoopla which my library subscribes to. And sometimes, they only had the first title in a series available but not the others so that was disappointing (because I usually already had the first book and wanted the sequels).

One thing I really liked was that if an eBook has an audiobook option available on the site, it will tell you when you click on the title for more information. They have bestseller lists so you can see what the more popular titles are (and even sort them by audiobook or eBook). And I found the search option to be fairly accurate when looking up a specific title or author. Though a “recently added” list would be much appreciated.

I always worry that as a Canadian, I won’t have access to the same titles as a user in the USA but I had a few titles “not available in your country” so it wasn’t a huge issue.

–So is the Service Really “Unlimited”?–

It depends on your definition of “unlimited” to a certain degree.

Can you read as many books as you want in a month? Yes.

Does it mean that every book is available to you throughout the entire month? No.

As the Kindlepreneur explains:

Unlimited access doesn’t necessarily mean unlimited. Scribd practices throttling when it comes to their checkouts. High demand books are often restricted once the throttle cap is reached.

I ran into this at least twice during my first month and one more time in the last month of using the service. When I checked out Book #2 in the series, Book #3 was also available to download. But by the time I finished #2, Book #3 wasn’t available for me to download. Once the new month started it was once again available to download. I tried to avoid that in my second month of the trial–since I only had a month left–by downloading the whole series I wanted to finish. But by the time I got around to the third book it was unavailable even though I had downloaded it earlier in the month. I’m not sure how they decide the cut off but it was irksome to say the least.

How does it Compare to Other Book Subscription Services?

I’m going to break it down a little by some of the notable Audible, Kindle Unlimited, Audiobooks.com and Kobo Audiobook features:

  • Scribd: can listen & read books on your computer, phone or tablet
    • Audible: can listen to books on your computer, phone or tablet
    • Kindle Unlimited: on any device you can download the Kindle App to
    • Kobo Audiobooks: only lets you listen on your phone or tablet.
    • Audiobooks.com: lets you listen on your computer, phone or tablet
  • Scribd: lacks exclusives but has access to Sheet Music, Magazines and other streaming services like MUBI, AUDM and more
    • Audible: has exclusive audio titles only available through their company
    • Kindle Unlimited: any book in the program can only be found on Amazon
    • Kobo Audiobooks: lacks exclusives
    • Audibooks.com: also lacks exclusives
  • Scribd: no credit-for-titles system, pay for 30 days of use at a time
    • Audible: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Kindle Unlimited: pay for one month of use at a time
    • Kobo Audiobooks: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Audiobooks.com: has multiple credits per month OR single insta-credits
  • Scribd: no option to purchase titles to own
    • Audible: discounts for purchasing audio titles to own
    • Kindle Unlimited: once downloaded you can continue to read the title even if you are no longer subscribed to the service; otherwise, regular Kindle book purchase available
    • Kobo Audiobooks: can purchase audio titles to own
    • Audiobooks.com: can purchase audio titles to own

So, Am I Keeping It?

I ultimately decided not to keep the service after my two month trial but I wouldn’t say I am done with it entirely.

There were a lot of positives about the service. You can’t really go wrong if you like audiobooks because it you listen to even two audiobooks  in a month, you make your money back in the subscription fee. And if your library isn’t the best at having audiobooks or multiple copies of the bigger bestsellers, the access here is great. (I don’t play an instrument but I think the access to sheet music is a wicked bonus)! They do have a nice price breakdown when you try to cancel your subscription:

But I find when I use subscription services, I get caught up in making sure I’m getting my money’s worth out of it. That means books I get from my library or books I already own get pushed to the side. And while I don’t read a lot of ARCs anymore, if I have committed to one, I almost feel guilty reading it because I feel like I should be using my subscription service since I am paying money for it. (Why I don’t feel that same need to read books I’ve purchased I’ll never know).

For now, my library has most of these titles available in some format and I don’t have to wait super long to access them. But once I dwindle my library audiobook supply down, I think Scribd might be the alternative to supplementing my bookish fix because I really think you get more bang for your buck if you are an avid audiobook listener. In the future, I’ll probably do what I do with Kindle Unlimited where I resubscribe for a certain promotion or to binge binge titles I wouldn’t normally have access too (particularly audiobooks).

Do you use Scribd? Do you have a favourite Audiobook or Book Service? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Service Review: Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com Subscription Service

**This is in no way affiliated with Audiobooks.com! It is simply my take on using the service!**

This is my third service review on an audiobook subscription service so I think I’ve gotten the hand of writing these things. (I hope!) And in the time since I wrote my first audiobook service review on Audible, audiobooks have become a daily part of my reading life and habits so I know what I want and need from a service.

The vast majority of my audiobooks come from my local library but sometimes, they just don’t have all the audiobooks I’m looking for. So I’ve started to turn to other services to see what is out there and if they would be worth my money when I might need to make the switch to a pay-for-use service.

>>Service Review: Kobo Audiobook Subscription

As I always do with these reviews, I’m going to go over the basics of the Audiobooks.com service and give my take on it independently. At the end, I will do a comparison to my Audible and Kobo Audiobook experience just to give some context.

How Does it Work?

Like other audiobook subscription services, Audiobooks.com has both a single transaction audiobook purchase option AND has its own monthly subscription service. In this review, I’m focusing on the monthly subscription service.

For $14.95 a month (USD), you purchase a single credit to redeem for the audiobook of your choice. The credit can be applied to any audiobook in their library and of any price range. If you want your next credit a little early, you can purchase an instant credit through their app to read immediately. They also have 2 or 3 credit per month packages but they aren’t really upfront about those until you do the free trial.

It is an international service, however, not all books may be available for purchase in your region due to copy and publishing rights. But you can browse their selection without logging in to get a feel for the titles they have.

My Experience:


I tried really hard to find a promotion to see if I could get an additional book during the trial but no luck. I know that they float around so keep an eye out!

One of the more notable options for signing up is that you can use PayPal to provide your credit card info which is super great.

–Listening Experience–

I would describe my listening experience as the perfect hybrid between the Audible app and the Kobo App for audiobooks. Like Audible, you can change the speed, set a sleep timer and create bookmarks with notes. But it has the sleek and simple look of the Kobo app where you aren’t overwhelmed by all the nifty features of Audible. You can also listen to the book over the internet or download the book to listen offline.

One thing I noticed is that the app has a quick play/pause and forward/rewind 30s toolbar that runs in the background so you can easily control your book without unlocking your phone or while using other apps. However, I did find that at times that the app would “crash” my phone. I wouldn’t be able to unlock it or access the play/pause buttons when I tried to do so–instead I would get a blank screen despite my attempts to access the controls. So that was a little annoying but I found a way to get around it by using the hotkeys to bring up my camera and then accessing my home screen.

–Book Selection–

I live in Canada so I have access to nearly all the same books as a reader from the USA. So I found the selection to be really good. Genres are broken down into a straightforward, easy to understand manner and they also have various lists you can browse to find your next title. They also have some deals (like 3 books for 1 credit from a select list) and the option of using a promotional code when purchasing new books which is always great. You can usually find a few promo codes floating around the web.

What I really loved though is that they have free audiobooks of classics–something I haven’t come across with the other subscription services I’ve used. So I grabbed a few of those to read at a later date.

How does it Compare to Audible and/or Kobo?

I’m going to break it down a little by some of the notable Audible and Kobo features:

  • Audible: 30% Discount on Individual Buys for Subscription Members
    • Kobo has other options to get deals like promotions and promo codes
    • Audiobooks.com doesn’t have this perk but has promo codes and promotions
  • Audible: can listen to books on your computer, phone or tablet
    • Kobo only lets you listen on your phone or tablet.
    • Audiobooks.com lets you listen on your computer, phone or tablet
  • Audible: has exclusive audio titles only available through their company
    • Kobo lacks exclusives
    • Audibooks.com also lacks exclusives
  • Audible: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Kobo: has multiple credits per month plan OR annual insta-credits plans
    • Audiobooks.com: has multiple credits per month OR single insta-credits

So, Am I Keeping It?

No, I’m not. Well, I’m keeping the app to keep the free classics I picked up to read at a later date (and some titles I won through a giveaway) but I won’t be subscribing to the service. Because it is in USD (despite it being a Canadian company), it’s quite pricey for me when compared to the other services that allow me to pay in Canadian dollars without conversion fees, etc. For me personally, as an active Kobo eReader user and a member of their Super Points Program, I’m much more likely to choose that service over this one given its perks.

I think this is a good alternative for listeners who want a service similar to Audible but don’t want to necessarily use Audible.

Do you use Audiobooks.com? Do you have a favourite Audiobook Service? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Service Review: Kobo Audiobooks Subscription

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Kobo Audiobook Subscription Service

**This is in no way affiliated with Kobo! It is simply my take on using the service!**

Compared to some, I’m a newbie when it comes to audiobooks. But I’ve come a long way since I did my last service review on the audiobook service Audible. I listen to audiobooks during my commute to work every week so they’ve become an everyday staple of my reading life.

While I mostly use my library, I’m always on the lookout for other great audiobook providers. So I was very, very excited when Kobo launched its own audiobook service in the latter half of 2017.

I’m a huge Kobo fan! My main eReader is a Kobo Aura and I love it for many reasons. I just feel like Kobo understands the reader in me when it comes to features, tracking my reading stats and recommending books. I also really like dealing with the Kobo company. They’re based in Canada (though they are now owned by a Japanese company) and I find their customer service is always AMAZING! I like supporting Canadian industry and with the amount of books I go through, I’ve probably lost a significant portion of my paycheck to Kobo over the years.

For the first bit of this review, I’m going to lay out the basics of the Kobo Audiobook Service and give my take on it independently. At the end, I will do a comparison to my Audible experience just to give some context.

How Does it Work?

Kobo Audiobooks is both a single transaction audiobook purchase AND has its own monthly subscription service. In this review, I’m focusing on the monthly subscription service. Here is the schematic of how it works:

So basically, you pay $13 a month (CAD as of Jan 8, 2019) to get one audiobook of your choice via a credit. The credit can be applied to any audiobook in their library and of any price range. So it can save you a lot of money if the books you are looking at buying are over $20 (which most are).

If you read more than one audiobook a month, they have other options as well including a monthly subscription for 2 credits (books) a month or a yearly subscription where you get all your credits as soon as you start for the entire year. Here are those other plans (all are in CAD):

And if you don’t want to wait for your next monthly credit, you can always buy 3 instant credits that you can use immediately in addition to your subscription.

My Experience:


When I decided to sign-up, there was an incentive for MasterCard holders to get an additional 2 credits during the free trial if you signed-up with a MasterCard. That meant I got 3 books for simply trying the service!

Since I already have a Kobo account (and the app on my phone), it was super easy to sign myself up and get started.

–Listening Experience–

Since I already had the Kobo app on my Android Phone, I used that to listen to my audiobooks. That works perfectly fine for me because I just plug my phone into the auxiliary port of my car and listen that way. I would just make sure to download the book while I was connected to my home WiFi the night before and be on my way.

The app itself is pretty basic. I think those new to audiobooks (or those who find Audible has way too many features) will appreciate the simplistic design. It’s easy to scroll to a particular point in the novel and it has a quick link to the table of contents. It does tell you how far time-wise you are into the chapter and how long in total that chapter is. And when you view the book from your shelf, it tells you the exact time left of the entire novel as well as your total percentage complete.

But for those listeners who are more familiar with Audible and/or Overdrive apps, there are a few features missing. You can’t increase the speed; there’s no ability to bookmark; and it has no sleep feature. I use the speed feature a lot when I listen to audiobooks (I default audiobooks to 1.5X speed) so that was a huge disappointment.

–Book Selection–

I had a bit of a struggle picking the three audiobooks I wanted to use my credits for but I was being a little pickier than usual. I really didn’t to use my credits on books I could get from my library so that limited me somewhat. I found Kobo did have a lot of the bigger titles in audiobooks so that wasn’t an issue. I did find their romance section wasn’t as large as Audible (but Audible is starting to have “Audible Exclusives” so that might be why).

However, their search feature makes it easy to see if titles are available in audio without clicking through multiple pages. They also have great subheadings and categories for you to search. AND, if you read enough with Kobo, they have a great algorithm for recommendations. I’ve found a lot of great books based on my reading and rating history with my Kobo books–and this has translated over to my audiobook selections as well.

How does it Compare to Audible?

I’m going to break it down a little by some of the notable Audible features:

  • Audible: 30% Discount on Individual Buys for Subscription Members
    • In general, Kobo doesn’t offer this deal BUT they have lots of other ways to save. (And, in general, their books appear to be cheaper than Audible in some cases)
      1. You can buy the instant credits (books average out to $13 each)
        • Which can save you more than 50% for certain books
        • The yearly subscription also saves you big $$$
      2. You can Price Match with another audiobook site to get the cheaper price
      3. You can use you Kobo Super Points to redeem audiobooks
      4. They often have a 30% promo code sale on audiobooks on weekends
  • Audible: can listen to books on your computer
    • Kobo only lets you listen on your phone or tablet. Which is fine for me but it is noteworthy.
  • Audible: has more listening option features (sleep, note taking, colour schemes)
    • As I said above, the Kobo app keeps things simple. While I would personally like the speed and sleep features, I do enjoy the less is more approach. I find Audible to be slightly overwhelming in all that you can do and since I’m driving most of the time, I don’t use those fancier features. It’s also much easier to find your overall % complete on Kobo compared to Audible.
  • Audible: has exclusive audio titles only available through their company
    • A lot of the romance authors I read have audiobooks only available on Audible. For the most part, Kobo does have a lot of the main publishing house works but there are some they don’t get right away or just plain lack.

So, Am I Keeping It?

As of right now, no but it’s definitely something I’m going to keep in the back of my mind. I haven’t exhausted my library yet and with the increasing popularity of audiobooks, they’re adding titles on a more regular basis. I’m sure one day I will want a wider, more readily available selection but I’m good with what I have right now. I will be keeping an eye out for sales though and I plan on redeeming some of my Super Points for audio reads later this year.

But as I said with the Audible review I did, for those who regularly buy audiobooks, this is a noteworthy service for you to explore. The way I see it, you’re saving money when you get the credits. I’m sure they mark up the titles (have you seen some of the $80 titles on audiobook sites?!) but you are still saving almost $10 a book regardless and you still have access to these books should you ever cancel your service in the future (they’re yours to keep!).

>>TIP: If you are interested in a trial of any audiobook subscription service, keep an eye out for various incentives. Most free trials include 1 audiobook but there are usually other promotions floating around. For example: MasterCard holders got 2 bonus credits for using their MasterCard (which is never charged, just kept on file) for the Kobo subscription. And when I tried Audible a few years ago, I was able to get the first 2 months after the free trial for only $2–so I got 3 audiobooks for $2! You can find these deals by simply Google searching them or keeping an eye out on other blogs!

Do you use Kobo Audiobooks? What about another Audiobook Service? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Service Review: Kobo Super Points Program

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**This is in no way affiliated with Kobo or Kobo Super Points! It is simply my take on using the service over the last year!**

I was really excited when Kobo announced they were starting a rewards program last year. My Kobo is my main eReader; I just use my Kindle for review copies. So when I have a book that I really want to buy, I purchase it for my Kobo. (Unless it is an Amazon/Kindle exclusive, but that is another story). That means, every year, Kobo gets a lot of my money and the idea that I would be getting some of that back, made me really happy!

At first, I was going just keep the regular program (which is free) but the idea of getting an additional 10%, a free book and double the points (all for the low price of $10/year) had me wanting to give VIP a try.

How Does it Work?

Kobo Super Points has two reward programs: Regular & VIP.

Regular (Free):


So roughly, you get 10 points for every $1 you spend. And then, once you collect enough points, you can redeem them for a book from a set list of titles.

VIP ($10/year or 4000 points):


As a VIP, you get roughly 20 points for every $1 you spend. The 10% works on most indie reads but not so much on bestsellers/mainstream titles (though they seem to update the applicable titles throughout the year). The book choices for the Free Book are pretty decent as well (I got Amber Smoke by Kristin Cast). And, of course, you can use your points to redeem for other (applicable) books throughout the year.

My Experience:


Anyone with a Kobo account automatically collects Super Points for their purchases. They have the regular/basic (free) point system.

If you are interested in the VIP program, it’s super easy to switch over to. You just visit the Super Point homepage and opted in. You can have the renewal as an auto-subscribe so that when your 12 months of VIP privileges are done, they just keep continuing without interruption.

–How do you Collect Points?–

Literally every book you purchase on Kobo automatically gets you points. So you don’t have to even think about it!

They do have weekend promotions where you get double/triple the points as well and they do a good job of advertising that both on their site and if you are on their email list.

kobosuperbuy–Qualifying Titles for Point Redemption–

I really liked that Kobo lets you browse what titles you can redeem at any time. And if a title you are looking at purchasing qualifies, you can see if they get the VIP 10% discount (if applicable) and how many points it would take to redeem to get it on the main page for the title.

Now, what titles are these exactly? I find most of them are your reads from the smaller publishers or self-publishers. I classify them as Indie reads; you aren’t likely to find your big-name publishers’ works here. But, some of your favourite authors likely have titles with these smaller publishing companies so give it a search! You might be surprised.

I personally don’t mind the collection of titles. These are the books I would be buying from Kobo anyways because I can’t find them anywhere else (the big name titles my library has). So it works in my favour and it’s why I upgraded to VIP.

–Titles Qualifying for 10% VIP Discount–

The titles that qualify for this tend to be the same as the ones that you can use points for.

I think it’s important to note that the 10% doesn’t work on all titles on the site. You get points for any book you purchase (regardless of regular or VIP status; and regardless of its publisher) but the 10% is only for select titles. These select titles are clearly marked on their site (a red VIP circle is beside the price–see above) while browsing and on the title’s description page.

And one additional bonus of the VIP 10% is that on some weekend promotions, where select titles are (ex.) 30% off, you can combine the sale % off and your VIP 10% off! (ex. instead of 30% you get 40% off).

–Is the VIP Program Really Worth the $10 a Year?–

Because most of the books I buy qualify for the VIP discount, I decided that $10 for a year would probably pay itself back. Getting a free book was a nice bonus and because I really only buy books under $5, the double points aspect was nice. More bang for my buck if you will.

But I really wasn’t sure if I did get my money’s worth this past year because I have curbed my book buying habits and bought fewer books than I expected. So, I decided to crunch the numbers!

Points Earned as VIP (February 16 – January 17, 2017) — 2328

Amount Saved via VIP Discount (Feb 16 – January 17, 2017) — $11.21

A month before my VIP membership was about to expire, Kobo sent me a reminder email and actually told me how much I saved. My breakdown:

Free Book Redemption: $6

VIP 10% Savings so far: $15

Total Savings: $21

Now, I know that there is a discrepancy between my calculated discount savings and theirs but I’m actually more inclined to believe their number. My number is really my best guesstimate on how much I’ve saved by browsing my purchasing history and seeing what titles would have qualified. I have no doubt that I missed a few of the titles that are no longer available (and it doesn’t show on the receipt) or I miscalculated how much I saved (it could have been a 30% off weekend for example and not just a 10% off).

So basically: I made back my $10 for the membership in savings; got a “free” book; and got enough points to get a $2 book.

Do I recommend VIP?

If you are a frequent eBook purchaser, it is a great way to get some of your money back. Just make sure the books you see listed as applicable are actually books you want to read. It wouldn’t be worth it if the books don’t appeal to you.

So, Am I Keeping It?

Back in December, I turned off the auto-renewal on my Kobo VIP Membership. I did this because I made a resolution to myself that I was only going to buy books if they were under $2 in 2017.  I have so many great books waiting on my Kobo to be read and I can never seem to get to them! My hope is that I can read more books than I buy this year. It just didn’t seem like it would be worth the $10 this time around when I could use that $10 to buy ~10 books. I’m going to accumulate as many points as I can so I can use them on a book I wouldn’t normally by for myself (read >$5 in price).

But it is definitely something I will look into again in the future when my Kobo library is smaller in number 😉

Do you use Kobo Super Points? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Service Review: Kindle Unlimited

**This is in no way affiliated with Kindle Unlimited or Amazon! It is simply my take on using the service!**

A couple months ago, I shared my experience with Amazon’s Audible (audiobook subscription) service. Now I’m going to share my experience with Amazon’s eBook subscription service, Kindle Unlimited.

When I first looked at subscription eBook services last year, a lot were not available to me because I live in Canada. I think that has changed now but I chose to try Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited because it is a company and interface I am already familiar with.

Oh yeah, and they had a free 30 day trial period and I had nothing but free time for the month of August!

How Does it Work?

Kindle Unlimited is a monthly eBook subscription service .


For $9.99 CAD a month, you can read as many titles from the Kindle Unlimited catalogue as you want. You can only send and hold 10 books at a time on your device, but once you’ve “returned” one, you can take out another.

I’ll talk more about the selection of books you can choose later on.


I don’t have this feature in Canada so I never got to use it and don’t really know how it works.


As much as I love using my tablet, I don’t like it for reading. So I waited until I had an actual Kindle device to try this service. But it’s nice to know that you don’t have to own a Kindle eReader to read so long as you have a device with the app installed.

My Experience:


Nothing exciting here. If you already have an Amazon Account you just have to sign into it, select a credit card for the subscription (you won’t be charged for the free trial until your 30 days are complete and it automatically assumes you are keeping the service for another month).

>>Helpful Hint: You can immediately cancel your subscription (or cancel it a few days before your trial ends) to prevent your credit card from being charged once the trial is done. You will still have access to the service and titles until that very last day of your trial. It just gives you some piece of mind knowing you won’t be charged for a service you may or may not want to keep.

–Title Availability–

A lot of the major publishers don’t have titles available for the Kindle Unlimited program, so you get a lot more self-published or Indie authors. Which is fine for me because those are the books I typically purchase from Amazon/Kobo on a regular basis anyways.

>>If you are curious about how much an author makes from the Kindle Unlimited service, check out this article.

What books are those? If you’ve ever browsed the Kindle store, you’ve probably noticed some books have the words “Kindle Unlimited” above their cover.

These are the books you can read when you are a part of the subscription service. You can also use the “Kindle Unlimited Eligible” filter when searching the Kindle store or browse the Kindle Unlimited Homepage for readable titles. They do have a nice “most popular” list for you to start your selection process with. It can be a little overwhelming, but once you dig a little deeper, you’ll (hopefully) start finding lots of interesting titles.

–Reading Experience–

Before I started my trial, I wanted to create a list of books to read to maximize my reading efficiency. I came up with a list of 29 titles: a combination of series sequels; indie reads my library lacks; books I saw on Netgalley; and books that caught my eye on the “Most Popular” lists.

Browsing the available titles, I find, isn’t the most intuitive. While the lists are great, they do have a lot to them and it is a little overwhelming. I found the easiest thing to do was search for a title I had on my TBR to see if it was available for Kindle Unlimited.

Once I had the trial and picked a book, it was super easy to send the titles to my Kindle. I usually sent a few titles at once and they would download right away. When I was finished, I would use my laptop to return the titles (via the “Manage my Content and Devices” folder on my account). It was pretty seamless overall.

–Is it Really Worth the $9.99 a Month?–

As I near the very last year of my post-post-secondary school year, I’m very conscientious of where my money is going. Sure, I can spend $10 buying 3-5 eBooks very easily, but $10 for “unlimited” novels could mean I spend $10 on 1 book or 20 books–just depends on my reading habits for the month and they vary something fierce during the school year. It’s like my Netflix subscription–sometimes I use it, sometimes I don’t!

So, I kept track of all the books I read during my trial to see if it totalled $9.99:

  1. More Than Forever — $5.18
  2. First Comes Love — $ 3.86
  3. No Pants Required — $ 3.90
  4. Porn Star — $4.99
  5. Coast — $5.18
  6. Beautiful Broken Promises — $5.24
  7. Edge of Glory –$3.88
  8. Filthy English — $3.90
  9. Where the Road Takes Me – $2.00
  10. The Charlotte Chronicles — $6.65
  11. Taming Cross — $5.05
  12. Anything but Minor — $5.20
  13. Unmaking Marchant — $4.43

Basically, I got my money’s worth by the time I finished the second book. It was by chance that most of the books I read were on the pricey-er side of things. Given my initial list of 29 reads, the average price was $3.78. So if I read 3 books a month, it would be worth the monthly fee. The list of 29 books I created and added to did total more than what I would pay if I subscribed for a full year. But like I said before, there’s no guarantee I would read all of those.

So, Am I Keeping It?

You know, I was really tempted to keep my subscription for another month once my trial ended. I loved having all of these titles at my disposal and there were so many more that I wanted to read!

But in the same breath, I knew I was reading so much from this service because it was a trial and I wanted to get as many books in as I could. I also had no responsibilities besides vacation. But once September hit, I knew I would be loaded down with my clinical placement and studying for my licensing exam. I also had my bigger city libraries still at my disposal for another year and I had a lot of books I had purchased still to read.

So, at this time, I’m not keeping it. But it is definitely a service I will consider looking into once I lose my library sources. Because, essentially, this is a library service you pay to use on a monthly basis. I don’t mind the fact that I can’t keep these novels because I usually only read novels once. Plus, you can always take them out again and all your notes are saved (not that I make any). It’s a great resource for people who lack a larger library or eBook enthusiasts who likes the ability to swap books whenever necessary. Definitely worth the trial!

Helpful Articles:

These are some sites I looked at while researching subscription services and Kindle Unlimited itself:

Do you use Kindle Unlimited? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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Service Review: Audible

**This is in no way affiliated with Audible! It is simply my take on using the service!**

I’m a newbie when it comes to audiobooks. They never really interested me before because I am such a visual person and need to have the words before me in order to keep my interest. But when inspiration hit that I should read some celebrity memoirs via an audiobook, I was sold on the idea and immediately picked some up. Turns out, I love listening to non-fiction, comedic audiobooks…

And so does everyone else at my library apparently.

Waiting times at my library can range from zilch to weeks to months depending on what book it is and waiting sucks. I like having an audiobook out for when I do errands or chores around the house; so when I don’t have one out, it’s a little boring.  Therefore, Audible seemed like the perfect solution thanks to its sole focus on audiobooks.

How Does it Work?

Audible is a monthly subscription service of sorts from Amazon for audiobooks. Here is the schematic of how it works:

So basically, you pay $15 a month (CAD) to get one audiobook of your choice via a credit. There doesn’t seem to be any restrictions on this book so it’s pretty great if the book you want is over $15. They do have a great selection of older bestsellers and newer releases so you aren’t getting less than premium picks when it comes to decision time. You can also carry over credits (max 6) if you want to wait another month.

If you go through more than one book a month, you can always buy another book or two and add them to your library at a discounted rate. There is also a gifting option where you can gift an audiobook or a membership to a friend via email. They also launched Audible Channels which seem to be like podcasts but I never really explored them (they seem to be free without a membership).

They also have some other plans to note (all are in CAD):


My Experience:


I was lucky enough to win a free Audible audiobook through a Twitter contest thanks to the awesome Tonyalee @Lily Bloom Books but needed to get my Audible account activated. Swagbucks (the site I use to get free gift cards) had a great promotion where you get to join Audible for 2 months for only $2. That meant I would get 2 books for $2!!! (Well, technically, I got a month free as a part of the trial. So 1 book for $2 is more accurate). Plus the one I got from Tonyalee–SCORE! I already had an Amazon.ca account so all I had to do was activate it for Audible.

–Listening Experience–

While I could listen to the audiobook via my computer, I opted to use the app for my iPhone. This was super easy to set-up. I would download the book when I was at home, connected to my WiFi and then listen to it whenever (it doesn’t need a connection to listen to the book once it is downloaded). What I really liked was that I could download the book and listen to it at the same time once a certain percentage was downloaded.

The app itself has all the features I want. It tells me how much time is left in the book, how long the book is, a 30 second fast-forward and reverse AND a sleep timer. You can rate the book once you finished based on your Overall, Performance and Story and leave any comments you want as well.

So, Am I Keeping It?

Right now, I don’t have $15 a month to drop on an audiobook I will only listen to once. If there was another promotion in the future, I would definitely consider it. But right now, I’m going to stick with the really long waiting lists at my library.

But, if you do listen to a lot of audiobooks, this is a fantastic service for you! I’m not sure where else you can get audiobooks or what other places have deals, but these seem to be reasonably priced where I am from in Canada. The cloud system makes it easy to transfer books to your devices but if you prefer to hold the audiobook CD in your hands, spend the extra money to get the physical copy. $15 for an audiobook seems great, especially for those newer books and you never have to leave the house to get them!

Do you use Audible? Any tips or feedback on the service?

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