Scribd Regoes Unlimited

There were a number of entries into the “Netflix for books” arena (Oyster anyone?) but there are only two players left: Amazon and Scribd.

I’ve been a Scribd subscriber for a few years now and love it. Most of my reading these days is Scribd and it’s broadened my reading. There are a lot of great cookbooks on it. I’ve knocked things off my longtime list. It has both text and audiobooks and I’ve listened to a lot of a lot of audiobooks (with a ton of pleasure). At $10/month, it’s a bargain. That’s an Audible subscription which only gets you one audiobook a month (though the catalog is better and you “own” the books).

A few years back they moved from all you can eat to a credit system (3 book and 1 audio credit a month with an accumulation cap of 9 book and 3 audio credits). It was a blow somewhat mitigated by the “Scribd select” monthly offerings which, at the start, were quite varied month by month and very high quality. I listened to a bunch of Cormac McCarthy that I would never have done otherwise. Alas, it degenerated but by that point I still had more than I could read.

The rationale was that they were getting killed by a small percentage that of “superreaders” who would read on the order of 100 books a month (and high price stuff for them like romance novels). Moving to limited credits killed that but also hurt one use I had which was to skim a ton of tech books looking for good texts to recommend. I settled on a good model for me but that was a loss.

But it paid off! They are turning a monthly profit and are back to unlimited with throttles on superusers. This should be interesting!

They, as will all ebook anythings, still have the discovery interface of suck. And one big hole in their categories is philosophy which makes it nigh impossible to figure out their collection.

However, the catalog is pretty damn solid both text and audio. It’s a bargain. I highly recommend it.


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