Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Spending Money on Books to Save Money on Books? Yes!

You know how you think you're the only one who does something...and then you find out that everyone else does it, too? My first revelation regarding this truism came when I found out that other people have forgotten loads of laundry in the washing machine and have had to rewash. Imagine my happiness, then, when I found out that I am not the only Mom in the world who supports her library through donations of overdue fines! I have the best possible intentions, but somehow I find that I just can't get to the library when the books are due. Often it's a mental block, but that's another post for another day.

Enter Scribd and Kindle Unlimited. Both are subscription book services, and while there is some overlap of books, there is enough uniqueness that I have no problem subscribing to both. First, to answer the obvious objection: why would I pay for books when the library is free? Well, for starters, I've already indicated that for me the library is not free. Further, the books you can get from these two sources are not necessarily available at the library (this is especially true in the case of Kindle Unlimited). 

Let me explain each a little bit further. Scribd is a familiar name to a lot of homeschoolers. It started life as a file sharing service kind of like Dropbox. That aspect of it still exists. Now, though, Scribd has arrangements with certain publishers (HarperCollins is by far the largest) to make its books available to subscribers. There are many ways to browse for books.

You can add books to your library, making them readily available to you or anyone in your family (you can be signed on on multiple computers/devices). If you want to be able to read your book offline, you just download it to your device. Big caveat here (and this is no different than the old Scribd that was just an online file storing system, but it's a much bigger issue here): anyone can upload files/books to Scribd. That means that while there are major publishers' books here (screenshot of part of my library below),

there is also some junk. Lately, I have noticed a ton of, well, garbage (like worse than 50 Shades garbage - I don't want the word for what it is on my blog, but it rhymes with "corn."). I know that might be an issue for a lot of people. The sad fact of the matter is that that kind of (word that rhymes with "rap") is everywhere these days. It's on Amazon, too. The writers/publishers only get paid if you actually download *and* read a percentage of the book, so I am comfortable that my $8.99/month is not supporting that industry (the principle of double effect is at work here, I would think). I know others would feel differently. *Definitely* do not allow children to browse, though. I always put books in my library and then on my children's devices. They are allowed to read what is downloaded to their devices. That system works well for us. As to an example of the kinds of books you can't get at the library?

And there are many, many more! The above picture shows over 200 in one collection that someone on Scribd put together - they are almost all gorgeous, Vintage books! I have no problem paying for the privilege of having access to all of these books, some of which I remember reading at my grandmother's house when I was little. Add to that the ability to read today's authors? I'm sold!

But are there books that will help you with homeschooling? Yes!

And for my Catholic friends:

(see that arrow? It means there are more!)

Be sure to come back tomorrow to read my opinion of Kindle Unlimited! I love it just as much, but the books are quite different. Also, be sure to click the banner below to read more great "Back to Homeschool" blog posts! And don't forget to enter the amazing giveaway here!

Back to Homeschool Blog Hop

Too many blogs to get through? Try getting to know these today!

Group 2

Kym @ Homeschool Coffee Break
Tara @ This Sweet Life
Laura @ My (re)Viewpoint  (Yay! You already found me!)
Alyson @ Family Style School
Kemi @ Homemaking Organized
Karen @ Tots and Me
Anne @ Upstate Ramblings
Julie @ Nurturing Learning
Beth @ Acorn Hill Academy


  1. I didn't know about Scribd's service! Thanks for that information! I confess that I prefer a real book in hand whenever possible, but sometimes you just can't find them at reasonable prices, and ebooks are an amazing resource.

  2. I love a real book, too, Beth, but there are so many that you just can't get in print. I have made peace with the idea that there is a place for each format in my life :-) Thanks for reading!

  3. You could be qualified to get a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.