I rarely gush on our blog about software / websites, but I thought I'd write a quick post about how much I'm digging Scribd.
If you're unfamiliar, Scribd has been called the Youtube / Netflix / Spotify of books.
You can subscribe and get unlimited access for $8.99 per month. They have millions of titles, including current and popular ebooks from major publishers, audiobooks, sheet music, and PDFs of all kinds.
They have a generous free trial of 30 days.
Here's why I like it so much and why I feel slightly guilty about it.
It works across devices. I can read / listen from any device and pick up right where I left off. Switching from my iPhone to iPad works seamlessly.
They have quickly readable book summaries of many popular books that I can scan and decide if I want to go deeper and read or perhaps listen to the full book.
Related to listening, they have a ton of audiobooks. I'm an avid audiobook listener (I own over 200 audiobooks). Audiobooks are a great way to learn on the go and I'm a bit of an addict. This is a great deal at $9 / month, audiobooks are expensive. I just dropped my 13 year-old two audiobooks for $21 / month Audible subscription. Scribd is going to save me money.
Here's the part that makes me feel guilty. One thing that isn't on Audible or Amazon is access to an enormous library of user-uploaded PDFs. Using Scribd's excellent recommendation / "you may also like..." system, I have found awesome sheet music, PDFs of popular books, and obscure PDFs that would never normally see the light of day. I'm not sure about how they get around the copyright for these, but I'm enjoying the access for now and hope the authors are getting their money. That's really my only negative currently, the guilty angst of getting something for too good a deal. I'm not sure how the user uploads aren't infringing on someone's copyright. It reminds me a bit of the free MP3 download Napster days.
I've posted an obscure but useful PDF uploaded by the user Leon Van Tubbergh below (note it is Jim Collins' work). How can they do this? Note the embed feature as well - pretty cool, like YouTube for books.
Regardless of how they pay their content providers it is a great resource. Take the time and go down the Scribd rabbit hole, it's a treasure trove and is going places.