Regardless of where you fall in the eternal “Is Amazon Trying to Ruin Our Society?” debate, you have to admit Audible is pretty rad. It’s a convenient way to get easy access to an immense library of audiobooks. And aside from borrowing from your library and watching the gray hairs grow in as you anticipate your turn on the wait list, it’s one of the few ways to listen to audiobooks without having to take a second mortgage out on your house.
However, if you’re anything like me, you feel like you’re betraying your local independent bookstore each month as you get that email announcing the arrival of your new credit. But then that guilt is quickly replaced with the joy of getting to consume a book you’ve been dying to read as you slog through your daily commute. It’s a vicious, bookish cycle.
But did you know there is another option? Today, we’re looking at Audible vs Libro.fm.
Libro.fm has the very same model as Audible, but you’re essentially purchasing the audiobooks from your designated independent bookstore. There is a whole 4 cent difference between the monthly subscription rates (Audible is $14.95 while Libro.fm is $14.99), both give an additional 30% off of the audiobook, and both offer free iPhone and Android apps. While Audible does boast over double the number of titles of Libro.fm and allows no-hassle refunds, Libro.fm has benefits above and beyond even the righteous feeling you’ll get when you realize you’re sticking it to the man and supporting your favorite quaint bookstore. Unlike Audible, Libro.fm’s titles are DRM free, meaning you own the book just as if it were a hardcover sitting on your shelf and you can listen on multiple devices. Even with its ease of use, lack of ownership has long been a concern of Amazon electronic book customers.
Since bleeding money is apparently a beloved past-time of mine, I must admit that I currently utilize both Audible and Libro.fm. In addition to that Christmas morning feeling I get each time I realize that I have all these audiobook credits at my disposal, I wanted to be sure that Libro.fm was as user friendly and dependable as Amazon’s audiobook workhorse. And Libro.fm has passed the test every time. Although Libro.fm has approximately half the titles of Audible, I have yet to be disappointed when searching for a particular book. And in those months where I realize 3 days before my book group that I have somehow not yet even purchased the book, I don’t have to experience the guilt when I’m forced to give Amazon more money so I can participate in the entirely free book group the owner has the good heart to host. I can download the audio version of the book on Libro.fm, her bookstore receives the profit, and I promise myself that I won’t procrastinate ever again (I will).
I know Audible is currently working hard at enticing people to subscribe through various new offers. I do wonder if this sudden push is because they know that readers will support their local, independent bookstore over Amazon if they have the option. And Libro.fm makes it incredibly easy to do so!
What audiobook do you plan on listening to next? And are you Team Audible or Team Libro.fm?