Scribd is an ebook reading service that allows you to choose from over half a million ebooks and 30,000 audio books. For the monthly price of $8.99 (around $10 AUS) you are able to read an unlimited amount of books and audio books, or as the Scribd website describes it, ‘read as if you own every book in the world.’
Scribd allows you to add items to your library and either read them online or store to your device which allows you to read said title whilst off-line. There are many other features of the service that range from personalised book recommendations, book collection creation, documents uploads and even apple/android/kindle connectivity. The best part however is that when a user reads an ebook, Scribd pays the author or publisher the same amount as if said user had purchased the ebook in a retail store.
An additional feature of the app is its browsing function. You can browse the titles available through either genre or through a search tool. The browse function allows you to select from a large range of genres which once selected allow you to search even further within said genre. Take Fiction & Literature for instance, you can select an overview or you are given the choice of searching deeper within Contemporary, Genre, Historical and more. Each choice from then on takes you to even more choices such as Contemporary opening up into Short Stories, Coming of Age and Family Sagas. The sheer number of choices available to search are staggering, with genre selections that are diverse and specific.
The ebooks that are available are ones that are supplied by publishers or by users. There are a number of large and well known publishers on Scribd such as Harper Collins, Harlequin, Simon and Schuster, and independent Smashwords. There are also a number of smaller more specific publishers on the service as well that really diversify the service.
This diversity amongst the publishers available on the service is the draw card for me. Where, as a librarian, I know that a number if not most of the more popular titles are available easily from local, state and national library online services, it is the small publishers that overcome my protests. Understanding how online materials are negotiated by libraries, I know that there is no way my library service would have some of the more niched titles.
It is the sheer range of titles available on Scribd that makes the service a worthwhile investment for me. As much as it pains my inner librarian, after my initial free one month trial I have been an avid subscriber to Scibd. I would recommend trying the service, however I would say to opt out of the monthly renewal straight away, and then let yourself explore and see whether or not the app is for you.