Scribd ebook subscription service

So I’ve had a Scribd subscription for some time now and I really like it. They have a large, nice selection of ebooks, they added 30,000 audiobook titles a month or two ago, and today they added 10,000 comics and graphic novels. I’m reading Locke and Key right now on my iPad.

It’s an all-you-can-read (or listen to) buffet for $8.99 per month. You can also buy a gift subscription and give it to yourself for $99 for a year if you want to save $9.

Just an FYI for those that may not have heard of it.


Thanks for the heads-up! The ebook service looked really good at first glance, but I’m scratching my head a little at the choices of the books that are on offer through subscription. I’m sure most of that has to do with the publisher, but it doesn’t seem to do anyone any good to offer the middle of a series for subscription, with the rest paid for separately.

However, the audiobook selection is superb, and comics are a bonus.

Yes, you probably won’t find new releases in Scribd, but it has a generous backlist. It’s great for trying a new writer. For example, I read NOS4A2 by Joe Hill from Scribd, a writer I’d never read before. I thought that book was as good as anything his dad’s written. I was pleasantly surprised to see them add the comic books and graphic novels yesterday, something I’d like to read more of but am reluctant to purchase.

Ebooks seem so much more ephemeral than physical books. There’s a kind of pleasure to be had from a bookshelf of books, but owning digital files doesn’t give me the same kind of feeling. So owning an ebook or reading one with a service like Scribd is all the same to me.

On the comic books and graphic novels front, Scribd has all of the Darwyn Cooke Parker GNs (that is, Donald Westlake’s Parker). Sploosh.

I really like ebooks because I have an injury in my neck so the lighter kindle really helps me to read more and the ability to change fonts to a larger size as I grow older is way cool too.

I do miss having a lot of books on my shelf but I probably would not be able to fit them all after so many years. This may sound funny but I use Good Reads to put them on a shelf so I can look at them. Not exactly the same as a bunch of paper books on my office bookshelf, but it does help fill that part of owning books somewhat.

For the most part I prefer ebooks too. I’ve tried paper books again lately and it seems like I can read for longer lengths of time, however. I seem more easily distracted reading an ebook and I don’t know why or if this is even true, but it seems like it. And yes, I like making fonts bigger too with ebooks. Sometimes my eyes are tired and big fonts are just easier.

Interesting what you say about Goodreads. I’ve thought of doing that myself, making it a virtual bookshelf. What’s nice about that kind of bookshelf is it shows you what you have read, not what you have purchased.

I find myself a bit torn about my choice of reading platforms these days. Paper has more appeal than it did a year ago, but I am beyond the idea of amassing a lot of books, I’ve divested myself of most of my books over the last ten years due to several moves, and our hope is to live abroad for a number of years in the future after retirement so buying paper books doesn’t seem practical.

The real issue to me is being able to pass down my books to my kids. Easy to do with paper type but I am wondering what will happen in the future with my kindle collection. Hopefully the kids can just keep access to my account and thus access to all my books.

The main paper books I purchase these days are comic strip collections and a few graphic novels. Though even this is changing with the success of Webcomics and the mobile Comic Rocket utility which lets me bookmark all my webcomics in one place; kind of gives me the Sunday Comics newspaper vibe (note: Comic Rocket does not scrape so the artists still get all the money).

The one book series that I did not purchase in ebook format was Tolkien. I think if I reread it one day I probably would want that in paper form.

How does it compare to Oyster?

I don’t think I can get either of them in Canada.

The Amazon Kindle one seems like shovelware consisting of unknown authors?

I haven’t looked at Oyster. The Amazon thing is a lot of unknown authors. Scribd will have a much better selection of established writers.

You can add custom tags to Goodreads so you can differentiate between ebooks, purchased, rented, etc. I find the service invaluable if only because I can never remember what I have read, at least in the otherwise pulp fiction category.

Here’s a great link to some of the comic books of interest currently on Scribd:

On the ebook front, they have most of Donald Westlake’s catalog (including some very hard-to-find 70s stuff) and I spent a pleasant few days reading most of Sarah Vowell’s works. I also spent a very unpleasant few days slogging through Neal Stephenson’s Reamde.

If they got Image and/or DC on there, it might be worth it (especially as you can’t get Marvel Unlimited in the UK. But without those it takes out 90% of my regular comic reading and most of my past favourites.