I know the following sounds like a commercial! But, honestly, I just want to share one of the cooler things I enjoy with y’all.
With my busy life, I can struggle to find even a little time to read books. If you have kept up with my blog, you know that I highly value this activity, as it exercises the mind and usually forces you to think through some of the deeper subjects of life. Even a fictional story can shed light on deeper issues while entertaining. I have found that books do a better job of this than other mediums, such as movies. So, how does a busy bee like me find time to read?The secret to my reading success lies in audibly read books from Audible.com. Thanks to Audible, I can ‘read’ books anywhere, at any time. Audible, owned by Amazon, has a HUGE collection of audible books for you to choose from. Once you purchase an audio book, you can play it on your computer, or any modern tablet/phone device with the Android or Apple app. For the most part, the app works really well, and allows you to listen at any speed you want. I listen around 1.4 to 1.6 times normal speed, enabling me to tear through a 10 hour book in about 7 hours. If you have a bluetooth enabled radio in your car, you can listen to books on your way to work and back. With the hour or so I spend on the trek each day, that’s a book read every two weeks, right there. I also listen to book while I do chores (folding clothes, dishes) as well as the occasional walk. Since I discovered Audible about 2 years ago, I ‘read’ a LOT more.
While the intuitive app makes downloading and playing your purchased library a snap, the pricing structure can confuse most. So, Audible.com offers a variety of subscription plans designed around the purchase of ‘credits.’ These credits can be applied for nearly any book available on the store. For example, the fifth Game of Thrones book, a massive 49 hour audible, retails at nearly $50. If you have a credit in your account, you may redeem it for that book. However, you can also purchase the audible book at the normal, retail rate. If you are a current subscriber of one of the credit programs, you normally receive 30% off that retail price. So, how you purchase a book often comes down to how many credits you have saved up, and the retail price of the book you want.
However, there’s yet another price that you may wish to review before you purchase a book. If you have an Amazon/Kindle account (and most people do), head over to Amazon.com and check out the Kindle price of the book you wish to buy. You will often discover that with the purchase of the Kindle version, you may add Audible narration to your Kindle for a substantial discount. I have often discovered that the combined Kindle/Audible purchase price undercuts the retail price of the Audible book alone by a significant margin. Heck, sometimes it costs less than a typical credit! Aside from possibly saving you money, purchasing a book this way gives you the awesome ability to sync between your Kindle and Audible books. For example, If you read to Chapter 3 on your Kindle, when you play the Audible version of the book later, it will start at Chapter 3. If you listen until chapter 5, you will find your Kindle will zip ahead to chapter 5 for you. Amazon calls this “Whispersync.”
On top of this, Audible often runs sales. For example, every day they have a book on sale on their storefront ranging from $2-$5. Occasionally they give you a huge selection of books where you can purchase two for one credit.
This can be a lot to take in, but it is worth it, in the end, to get the best deal on Audible books. So, I personally subscribe to the Gold Monthly, which means I automatically purchase a credit every month for $14.95. In a given month, I actually buy about 3 books/month. However, I purchase most of them on Amazon through the Kindle store, and checking “Add Audible Narration to your purchase…” as it tends to be pretty cheap. I tend to horde credits, using them when I really want a more expensive book. This usually happens as a result of a friend’s recommendation. I have a list of expensive books on my wish list (e.g. Wheel of Time series). If I’m full on credits (You can only accrue so many), then I’ll use one on a wish list book before an older credit expires. As far as WHAT to read, I often go with a mix of friend’s recommendations, highly rated books, and timeless classics. As you guys might suspect, I ‘read’ a mixture of sci-fi, fantasy, and theology books.
Keep in mind, you do not have to have an ongoing subscription. Similar to the Kindle, any book you have purchased in the past will always be accessible through any of your devices. You simply will not earn more credits or have access to the regular 30% discount. I believe you will also still be able to participate in some sales, though not all of them.
Hopefully I encourage more of you to join me in reading more books. Along those lines, expect to see more book reviews to pop up here on my blog. I would love to chat with y’all about some of these excellent writings! They make for GREAT conversation!