Scribd: The Experience So Far

Scribd app
Maybe you’ve noticed the abundance of graphic novel and audiobook reviews on the blog lately. It’s all due to Scribd.

After seeing my bookish friends raving about Scribd, I signed up for two free months. (When you use a friend’s referral code, you get two free months, or just sign up online and get one. This is my code if you’d like 2 free months.)

What is Scribd?

Scribd is an online book subscription service. It’s a comparison that’s been overused, but yes, like Netflix for books. The cost is $8.99 per month USD.  Once you sign up, you get access to thousands of books: ebooks, audiobooks, and graphic novels.

Reading Books from Scribd

You can access books from your computer or download apps for Android and Apple devices. I read books on my Android tablet and listen to audiobooks on my iPhone, so I’ll cover both those experiences here.

AndroidApple Compare

When I’m home, I stream the audiobooks from wifi, but I have the option to save books (ebooks too) to my device. A great option if you have to leave your house!

Finding, Saving Books

After signing up, I started by browsing the catalogue. You can browse either Books or Audiobooks, by category. Also, if you’re curious you can check out Scribd Selects (editor favorites) and Top Books (trending and bestsellers). Once you find something you like, click the Add to Library button and it’s added to your library and the Saved for Later bar on your homepage. This Scribd help page explains it all in detail.

When you’ve added a few books to your library, you start getting recommendations. I like this feature because I don’t always know what I want. Sometimes I end up saving books I would never have found on my own and books I forgot I wanted to read.

Scribd snip

Searching for books has been less successful for me. There are a lot of books on Scribd, but not everything. Scribd tries hard to make a match though. For example, a search for H Is For Hawk didn’t bring up that book but one titled H Is For Hardcore (!!!) and a Tony Hawk biography. Not what I was looking for, sorry.

Also, not every book is available in all formats. I’ve ended up listening to a lot of audiobooks, because the ones I want to read are only available as such. If the book is available in another format, it is mentioned in the description.


The Downsides

Besides ignoring all my other books since getting Sribd, I do have a few issues with it.

First, the Apple app, which I use exclusively for listening to audiobooks. For some of the books, it crashed. A Lot. It was frustrating. I’ve also found that if I pause the book and then go back, it won’t always start from where I left off. I have to make sure to bookmark my spot before pausing, otherwise it starts the chapter from the beginning. I really hope this glitch is fixed soon. (It’s a Known Issue.)

Another weird thing, for both apps, was when I tried to remove an audiobook from my library, it kept coming back. Ack! What a pain.


With my free trial period almost up, I’m definitely going to continue paying the monthly fee. At least for now, until I can’t find anything I really want to read on there.

I would definitely recommend Scribd for people who like graphic novels and audiobooks. It's not going to replace going to the bookstore or library for me, but a nice addition to my reading life.


  1. I'm really pleased with it so far, and I like that they update the books fairly often. Of course, I LOVE the fact that audio and comics are included. My husband and I are both really enjoying it.

  2. Oh, I'm glad you mentioned the buggy app! My mother's been asking if she should get Scribd, and I've been promising to find out more for her. But she won't be able to deal with a buggy app. It will drive her crazy.

  3. Idk, I'd rather just get books from the library or buy them individually.

  4. The main reason I don't have scribd is that they don't have a Windows Phone app. Plus, I'm not reading much these days, because I'm really busy at work, and most of the days, working a lot of extra hours.

    But it seems to be a nice service indeed, despite this app problems. The fact that they got comics makes me want to give it a go. In the future, with a new WP app maybe.

    Thiago - Doctor Corgi

  5. I think I would love Scribd, but then I look at the giant pile of books I still have to get through and I'm just not sure I need to be adding more!

  6. I'm sticking with the free collections through the library (actually three different library systems I have cards for) for now, at least, but it's great to get your take on the ScribD experience. Libraries in Mass. have Axis360, which is coming out with a single app for borrowing and reading ebooks and eaudio in July, in addition to OverDrive, which has had a pretty good all-in-one app for a while now. We have H Is for Hawk in our library network's OverDrive collection!


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