I am in love. No, seriously, I am so surprised that I didn’t know about this website long ago. A few weeks ago I stumbled across an ad for Scribd and decided that a free month trial couldn’t hurt. I’m happy to try anything out when it comes to reading, especially if I get to try it for free.
Scribd is essentially a digital library that you pay a small monthly fee to access. I like to think of it as Netflix for books. Although not every publisher has jumped on board yet, there are enough books available now to keep you reading for a long time. And to add to the amazingness, they have a great audiobook library as well for those who are visually impaired or just don’t like to read stuff on a screen.
There are only a few downsides I can see to using Scribd. One is that you have to use a tablet, smartphone, or computer to access the books. You can download the content on to your device for when you don’t have access to wifi and don’t want to drain your data, but you are still looking at a screen that can often cause eye strain. As a diehard fan of the Kobo, it makes me sad that I can’t put novels on there to read as I go. I love to read while walking (it’s weird, I know) and the anti-glare e-ink of the Kobo means I can read anywhere, anytime without trying to shade my device from the sun.
My second issue is something that I doubt many people would recognize as a problem. The interface to use Scribd is very visual, which I appreciate as someone who can see, but my mom is blind. It would be amazing if she could access all the audiobooks they have, but all those images will crash her speech program and make it impossible for her to navigate the site. I really hope that the company is working on an accessible interface, but I haven’t found any mention of it on the website.
Overall, I am really enjoying this site. I love that my library is synced each time I load a book on a different device. I love that I get to read a bunch of books that I otherwise never would have looked at. I think it’s awesome that for only $9 a month (less than a paperback!) I have access to a huge library on demand. I’m excited to see more publishers added to the catalogue, but as for now, I definitely won’t run out of reading material.