Monday, December 29, 2014

An Update on Scribd

I have blogged previously about how much I love Scribd. It started out as a file sharing service a long time ago - a place to upload documents you wanted others to be able to access. It definitely preceded Google Docs. I know I used it way before Google Docs, anyway. In the past couple of years, though, Scribd completely reinvented itself. I found about that reinvention through a Plum District deal. I think I got 6 months of Scribd for something like $20 - I don't know; it was ridiculous. In any case, I was completely hooked. Scribd is now a book subscription service like Kindle Unlimited (which I also love and to which I also subscribe), but even better. Why? They have added audiobooks! Yes, Kindle Unlimited has Audible narration included with some of its books (and lets you purchase the narration at a heavy discount with a whole bunch of others), but Scribd has over 30,000 audiobooks completely independent of its print book selection. In fact, it has many cases of books that have audio, but no print. Given that it's subscription fee is $1 less than KU per month, I say if you have to choose, choose Scribd.

So what are some of the best offerings on Scribd? How about The Boxcar Children on audio? Or The Books of Bayern (and Shannon Hale's other books) in print and audio? My 10 year-old daughter is a huge fan of Lois Duncan's Movie for Dogs, Hotel for Dogs, and News for Dogs audiobooks. She's not old enough for my favorite Lois Duncan books (did anyone else read her teen suspense once upon a time?), which are available in print on Scribd.

Michael (10) "reads like he owns every book in the world" (one of Scribd's catchphrases - which I love because it describes me and my book hoarding/collecting/ADHD self so perfectly) since we got Scribd. Although I always make sure that I have books checked out on Kindle Unlimited for him, he prefers Scribd. Because I can save books to my library (with a special "Kids" collection), he can browse just the books that I have set aside for him. I would definitely not recommend letting kids do an open search on Scribd. Inappropriate results are a definite possibility. In any case, Michael has read hundreds of books on Scribd in every genre. I can do a whole post on books of interest to 10 year-olds if anyone is interested (if so, please do comment).

Do you need to justify Scribd as a homeschooling expense? Let me help you. Check out Princeton University Press's offerings. Or maybe you have younger kids? How about Laurie Carlson's books:

Janis Herbert's books are here, too:

Maybe you have a high schooler about to take the SAT. $8.99/month is a small price to pay for so many SAT prep guides (this is a just a tiny sample):

If you're Catholic, then maybe you, like me, have had your eye on this series, Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture:

Not Catholic? There's Bible Commentary for you, too:

Are you studying geography this semester? I love all of Kenneth C. Davis's books. Most of them aren't available on Scribd (I know! I'm so spoiled that I actually get sad when something I want isn't there!), but Don't Know Much About Geography is! So is Ken Jennings's Maphead. Or maybe you want an audiobook to quiz your kids on states and capitals. For all around knowledge, how about the Handy Answer Book Series?

It's probably pretty clear that I could go on like this forever, but the best way to discover Scribd is to go play on it yourself. I have to warn you that if you are a bibliomaniac bibliophile like I am, you will lose far more time than you lose on Pinterest. I don't work for Scribd, although it would be my dream job and if I could work remotely, I would be watching their job postings like a hawk, but the link in the first paragraph will get each of us a free month if you subscribe through it. Don't worry about me, though, because with or without a free month, I am a Scribd subscriber for life. I can't imagine being without it! If you subscribe, let me know what you think.

Just a couple of details: Unlike KU, with Scribd you can be reading as many print/audio books as you want. There are apps for your phone, iPad, computer, and Kindle Fire. 

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