You all know how much I love audiobooks. I’ve been a loyal subscriber to Amazon for five years. We’re in a long-term relationship. But, this year, I cheated. I didn’t cancel my subscription (it’ll probably take A LOT for me to do that), but I did try out two new audiobook apps. And while I didn’t have a bad experience, necessarily, here’s why I decided not to stick with them.


The first non-Audible book app I tried out was HiBooks. I was very excited about this one, because for a flat fee of about $10/month, you could listen to unlimited audiobooks! I subscribed for about two months, in which time I recommended it to countless people AND listened to eight audiobooks. And then, it changed. Instead of unlimited audiobooks, it was now some unlimited, but most of the books I wanted to listen to, I had to purchase with coins. For real money. In addition to the monthly membership fee (which apparently has since changed to a yearly $40 membership). Depending on how many books I listened to, and which ones I chose to pay for, it might end up being more expensive than Audible. (For reference, I have a platinum membership, which is $22.95/month for 2 credits that can be used to any books.)

In addition to having to pay beyond the membership for many of the books, I thought the whole coin system was unnecessarily complicated. The app listed bundles of 200 coins for purchase, but wasn’t totally transparent about how much they cost. Since I was unwilling to experiment, I had to do some Googling. The 200 coins bundle costs $2.99. Ok, fine. Except most of the books I had my eye on were about 1,200 to 1,300 coins. Which is EIGHTEEN dollars. In addition to the $40 yearly fee. I pay about $11 for each of my Audible audiobooks (with the credits) and there is no additional fee. So this just wasn’t worth it to me. Even if the prices were more fair, the whole system is complicated and confusing. This app was awesome when it first came out, and it just keeps getting worse. It’s good in theory, but the execution isn’t great.


I’ve heard about this app so many times (mostly on BookTube). So, last month, I decided to finally give it a shot. They had a month-long free trial and unlimited audiobooks, so I saw no downside. I subscribed to the trial and immediately started adding audiobooks to my list. And then I had a week off from work and listened to three audiobooks in three days (don’t judge me). At which point, every single audiobook I’d added to my list was suddenly “unavailable” until my subscription renewed. A month later. (I have since discovered that there was a fourth, partially listened-to book in my library that I’m going to try and finish before my trial is up. So maybe the cutoff is four books.)

For $9.99/month, three audiobooks isn’t a terrible deal. And that’s probably more than I have time to listen to most months. However, I didn’t like that Scribd claimed to be unlimited and clearly was. It was a little misleading. I also had a few issues with the books not saving my spot when I paused, which was kind of annoying. It just wasn’t the easiest to use, so it wasn’t worth it.

Why I’m Sticking with Audible

I still love Audible. Not only is the service easy to use, it’s transparent (you know exactly what you’re getting for your money). Listening on the Audible app is easier than the other two I’ve tried. They’re continually making it better (most recently allowing you to use your credits to purchase audiobooks directly from the app and syncing with any audiobooks you might have on iBooks). HiBooks has gradually gotten more complicated and inconvenient to use. And I didn’t give Scribd enough of a chance to see if it’s improving, but I’m pretty content with Audible, so I don’t feel the need to.

I also like that Audible has original, exclusive content. I’ve listened to a few recently, and they’ve all been great. So I’m sticking with Audible. It hasn’t let me down in five years, and now I know it’s the best audiobook option out there, at least for me.

Do you listen to audiobooks? Which service/app do you use?

If you haven’t tried Audible yet, you can use this link to get a one-month free trial to Audible!

15 thoughts

  1. This is very helpful, thank you! I would love to get into audiobooks more. Right now I find it very difficult to focus when listening to the books, but I’m sure it’s something I can train and get better at with time and practice.
    I was thinking of subscribing to Audible in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely something you get used to. My trick is to listen while I’m doing things that don’t require much brain power, like washing the dishes or painting my nails. I also love listening while I’m in the car, since it makes my commute seem less like a waste of time. You can use the link on my blog to get a month of Audible for free (you can keep your free book and cancel if it doesn’t work out for you). Hope you enjoy! Let me know if you need some audiobook recommendations.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this post! I’ve used Scribd for a while but I stopped using it as the interface wasn’t always the easiest to use. I am also subscribed to Audible and used it for a few years before cancelling the subscription for a few months in order to try Scribd. But now I’m back at Audible again. It has the easiest interface and in the end, it is cheaper than all the other audiobook apps. I might give Scribd another try in the future as it wasn’t that bad. But I clearly prefer Audible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Scribd wasn’t that bad, but Audible is better. I was so excited about unlimited audiobooks, but when I listened too much, they blocked everything I was excited to listen to. With Audible, you know what you’re getting, and there are no weird tricks. Which is nice. I also find the app easier and more convenient to use.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I used an app just called “Audiobooks” and it was great for starting out with Audiobooks because they had a bunch of free ones through LibriVox. Though their free ones are all the classics and older books that are out of copyright. When I got tired of listening to only old books I did break down and buy Audible and I love it. Their Credit system is incredibly easy to use and you know what you are getting. I can’t believe that the HiBooks would go from a great system to such a crappy one. It sounds like a terrible business plan!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? I do understand why being totally unlimited might be too expensive, but why make it unnecessarily complicated? It was so good back when I had it, now it’s just confusing. I’ll stick with Audible.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband and I listen to Audible. I like it. i have enjoyed most of their two-free-monthly-Audible-Originals. I am not sure why (as in how it got on his radar) buy my husband just purchased a book for $6. The actual price is $42. So I think that is a good deal. And it will give us 20 hours of listening. That is a long book. I have not tried any other service. Back in the day we used to get cassette tapes from the Library – then CDs.

    Thank you for your review of some other services.

    What’s your favorite genre?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I prefer nonfiction. My husband is a sci-fi guy. (Although, I am going to start calling it Science-Prediction – so much of the science-FICTION has come true.) I am finding that the reader is really important. I just suffered through an ok book with an awful reader. I could never tell who was talking for lack of effort in character voices on the readers part. It took me longer to listen because I would have to rewind it to understand a conversation.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Agreed! The reader is definitely important! They can make or break a book for me, and I’ve found a few books I couldn’t get through on paper and ended up loving the audiobooks of because the reader did such a fantastic job.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Agreed. Sometimes I listen to the sample when I am trying to decide about a book. If I don’t like what I hear, I pass. I will NOT listen to another book read by the person I just suffered through! UGH!

            Liked by 1 person

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