The Best Audiobook Services For Readers And Non-Readers

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The Best Audiobook Services For Readers And Non-Readers
ChooseFI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. ChooseFI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.  See our disclosures for more info.

Thanks to technology, everything is evolving, including the way we read books. In fact, many people don’t read physical copies of books at all. Audiobooks have become more popular in recent years, and for good reason. After all, who wouldn’t want to listen to Stephen Fry read the Harry Potter series?

It’s pretty great.

Audiobooks offer a variety of options that traditional books don’t. Here are which audiobook services have the lowest cost, which ones have the best features, which offer the most books per month, and more!

Audiobooks.com

Audiobooks.com Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. is our favorite audiobook service, because it offers a little more than just audiobooks. You can listen to podcasts and get access to an extra book each month with their VIP Rewards.

Audiobooks.com Get started with a Free 30 day trial and get your first book for free. Cancel anytime, no strings attached. Audiobooks.com Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/18/2019

How Audiobooks.com Works

You’ll get a free 30-day trial that will allow you to choose an audiobook from Audiobooks.com’s library of over 150,000 titles.

In addition, you’ll get your choice of one book from their VIP selection. Their VIP selection changes monthly so you’ll always have access to something new. As an example, some of their recent VIP books include:

  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Glass by Ellen Hopkins
  • No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene

When your free trial ends, you’ll get the same choice of one free regular book and one free VIP book every month. Plus, you’ll have access to Audiobook.com’s monthly deals and discounts.

How Much Does It Cost?

You’ll get 30 days for free, and then you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $14.95. Plus the purchase of any books you’d like to listen. You do get one free book per month with your subscription.

What Books Are Available?

To give you a sense of some of the titles available with Audiobooks.com, here’s a snapshot of their most popular content.

There are plenty of popular books you’ll have access to, but also tons of lesser-known authors you shouldn’t overlook.

What Devices Can You Use Audiobooks.com On?

Audiobooks.com is available for all iOS and Android devices.

Other Features That Sets Audiobooks.com Apart?

In addition to audiobooks, Audiobooks.com gives you access to over 700,000 podcasts, so you should never run out of things to listen to.

Audiobooks.com claims that their VIP Rewards system, which gives you an extra monthly credit, is a special perk they offer. However, as you’ll see below, many audiobook services now offer the same deal.

Audiobooks.com Get started with a Free 30 day trial and get your first book for free. Cancel anytime, no strings attached. Audiobooks.com Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 04/18/2019

Instaread

If you used cliff notes in school to help you get through a test you forgot to read the book for, Instaread Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you.  is your dream come true. They give you the most important info in the book, all in just 15 minutes.

How Instaread Works

Instaread Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. offers books summaries that you can listen to or read in just 15 minutes. You can get them in audiobook format or in e-book form.

With your subscription, you’ll get unlimited access to all of Instaread’s titles and the ability to download your books so you can listen/read offline.

How Much Does It Cost?

Instaread is cheaper than many other audiobook services, at $7.49 per month if you go with a 12-month subscription, or $8.99 if you want to subscribe month-by-month. You’ll get a week (seven- day) free-trial.

What Books Are Available?

Instaread offers more than 800 titles. They offer tons of genres, including:

  • Fiction
  • Business & economics
  • Politics
  • Social science
  • Self-help
  • History
  • Health & wellness

What Devices Can You use Instaread On?

You can listen to Instaread on any android device or any iOS app.

Other Features That Sets Instaread Apart?

Instaread Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. is unique because of the service they offer. If you’re looking to get the most out of a book, but you just don’t have the time to sit down and read every night, Instaread offers a solution. Their 15-minute snapshots can help you learn about a variety of subjects while you’re on the go.

Audible by Amazon

Perhaps the best know audiobook service, Audible Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. , has almost every book you might want since it’s operated by Amazon. Plus, they offer tons of other features that many other audiobook services don’t yet offer.

Audible Audiobooks from Amazon. Free 30-day trial, $14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime. Audible Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 03/30/2019

How Audible Works

I’ll start by saying you do not need to be an Amazon Prime member to get Audible. That being said, Prime members do get access to more features than non-Prime members. If you’re a Prime member, you’ll get access to tons of Audible’s original podcasts and access to newspapers like The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Your free 30-day trial will include one audiobook and two Audible Originals, which can include anything ranging from theater to journalism to literature. After your trial ends, you’ll get the same deal.

How Much Does It Cost?

Audible, without a Prime membership, costs $14.95 per month (after your 30-day free trial), plus the cost of any books you’d like to listen to, so it’s on par with Audiobooks.com. However, with Audible, you’ll get two free books each month, rather than one.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll also need to pay $119 per year or $12.99 per month for the monthly service fee.

What Books Are Available?

Audible, by far, has the most options when it comes to audiobooks. As you’ll see below, they offer almost any genre.

In addition, for those who love romance novels, Audible is the best place for you! They offer Audible Escape, which features a ridiculous amount of romance audiobooks. However, you’ll need to pay an additional price for Audible Escape.

The first month is free for new Audible Escape subscribers. If you don’t have Audible, you’ll pay $12.95/month after the free 30-day trial. If you are an Audible or Kindle Unlimited member, you can get Audible Escape for just $6.95/month.

What Devices Can You Use Audible On?

You can use Audible on almost any device, including:

  • Windows and Mac computers
  • Kindle Paperwhite (10th Gen)
  • Kindle Oasis (9th Gen)
  • Kindle Oasis (8th Gen)
  • Kindle (8th Gen)
  • Fire Tablets
  • Sandisk MP3 Players
  • Creative MP3 Players
  • Garmin & Tom Tom GPS Devices

Other Features That Sets Audible Apart?

One nice thing about Audible is that it’s always 100% ad-free. And, if you find that you don’t like an audiobook, you can swap it for another one for free.

One of the coolest features of Audible is the guided wellness programs they offer. You can do yoga, exercise, or go through a guided meditation.

Audible Audiobooks from Amazon. Free 30-day trial, $14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime. Audible Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. Last Updated: 03/30/2019

Related: How To Make The Most Of Your Amazon Prime Membership

Scribd

How Scribd Works

Scribd Full Disclosure: We earn a commission if you click this link at no additional cost to you. is unique in that they offer an unlimited number of audiobooks, books, magazines, newspapers, and more at a much lower price than most audiobook subscriptions. You’ll start off with the normal 30-day free trial, and you can cancel your service at any time.

How Much Does It Cost?

Scribd is one of the cheapest audiobook services at just $8.99 per month after your free 30-day trial. This includes unlimited free reading.

What Books Are Available?

Scribd offers many of the same popular titles that the other audiobook services do, but they also offer eBooks, magazines, and journalism sources.

College students may especially love Scribd because they offer “snapshots”, which give you key insights into certain books, and they’re just 15 minutes long!

What Devices Can You Use Scribd On?

Scribd can be used on the following devices:

  • iOS devices
  • Android devices
  • Kindles with the Fire OS 4 system

Other Features That Sets Scribd Apart?

The biggest feature that sets Scribd apart is the fact that you can listen to (or read) an unlimited number of books each month for free, instead of being limited to one or two. This makes it the cheapest audiobook service around.

Hoopla

How Hoopla Works

Hoopla is unique in that it operates through your local public library. They partner with local libraries to offer movies, music, eBooks, comics, T.V. shows, and of course, audiobooks.

You can simply check out an audiobook as you would at your local library; it just all happens online.

How Much Does It Cost?

Hoopla runs through your local library, so it’s free to sign up and use as long as you have a library card.

What Books Are Available?

Hoopla says they have hundreds of thousands of titles to choose from, and more are added every day. When I visited the audiobooks section, I found a large selection of books, with popular titles such as The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman, and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

To give you a sense of the genres they offer, here’s what their website features:

Hoopla

What Devices Can You Use Hoopla On?

Hoopla can be used on the following devices:

  • iOS devices
  • Androids
  • Apple TV
  • Android TV
  • Fire TV
  • Roku TV

Other Features That Sets Hoopla Apart?

Hoopla isn’t complicated to use, but there are a couple of features that make Hoopla unique, including:

  • The ability to download audiobooks for offline listening
  • You can listen through most televisions
  • It’s completely free to use (as long as you have a library card)

Related: 10 Things You Can Get For Free At Your Library

Spotify

How Spotify Works

Spotify audiobooks are built right into Spotify’s whole library, so all you need to do is search for the audiobook you’re looking for in your normal Spotify player.

How Much Does It Cost?

There is a free version of Spotify, and you can listen to audiobooks, but you’ll be frequently interrupted by long ads.

You can get Spotify Premium for $9.99/month (or $4.99/month if you’re a student and $14.99/month for a family, up to five people) and you won’t have to listen to annoying ads, you can skip through audiobooks, and you can download audiobooks.

You’ll get a 30-day free trial when you first sign up for Premium.

What Books Are Available?

While there are plenty of books to listen to, Spotify’s selection is limited compared to the other audiobook services.

Many of the books offered by Spotify are classics like The Great Gatsby, Pride and Prejudice, and Great Expectations.

What Devices Can You Use Spotify On?

You can use Spotify on pretty much any device, including:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Current desktop computers
  • Speakers
  • TVs
  • Cars
  • Games consoles
  • Smart watches
  • Smart displays
  • Voice assistants

Other Features That Sets Spotify Apart?

Spotify is primarily a music streaming service, so if you only listen to audiobooks every once in a while and want one of the best music services, Spotify is your best choice.

Audiobook Services Compared

For a side-by-side comparison of the best audiobook services, the table below should help you make the best decision for you.

 Audiobooks.comInstareadAudibleScribdHooplaSpotify
Cost$14.95 after a 30-day free trial$7.49/month for a 12-month subscription, or $8.99/per month if you pay month-by-month$14.95 after a 30-day free trial or $12.99 per month if you're an Amazon Prime member$8.99 per month after your free 30-day trialFreeFree with ads, $9.99 per month with Spotify Premium
Book Credits OfferedOne regular book and one VIP book every monthUnlimited access to all Instaread titlesOne book of your choice, two Audible OriginalsUnlimited titlesUnlimited titlesUnlimited titles
Devices You Can Use OniOS and Android devicesiOS and Android devicesWindows and Mac devices, most Kindles, Sandisks, Creative MP3 players, and Garmin and Tom Tom GPS devicesiOS devices, Android devices, Kindles with the Fire OS 4 systemiOS devices, Androids, Apple TV, Android TV, Fire TV, Roku TVMost listening devices
Unique FeaturesAccess to over 700,000 podcasts800+ titles100% ad-free, access to Audible Escape (romance novels)You can read an unlimited number of titles each monthThe ability to download audiobooks for offline listeningSpotify is a great way to pair music and audiobook listening

Summary

Audiobooks are becoming increasingly more popular, and they’re great for folks with long commutes, anyone who works from home, or parents looking to get their kids more engaged in literature.

While I’ve discussed five of the best audiobook subscriptions on the market, more services are coming out every day, so if one of these doesn’t fit your needs, you likely won’t have to wait much longer for one that does.

Related Articles

The Best Audiobook Services For Readers And Non-Readers

ChooseFI has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. ChooseFI and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
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Comment Disclaimer: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7 thoughts on “The Best Audiobook Services For Readers And Non-Readers”

  1. I love using Libby app by Overdrive, which is also free at many libraries (USA and abroad). I have recently listened to several FI-related audiobooks there recently, including “Playing with FIRE” and Tanja Hester’s “Work Optional”. Highly recommend for free audiobooks!

  2. We love using Libby through our local library! Our library system has tons of great stuff. Popular titles can have a bit of a wait just like physical books at the library, but if you put plenty of titles you’re interested in on hold, you will almost always have something good to listen to. And it is all unlimited and free!

  3. I’m also a big fan of Libby from the library! The only downside is that they come due before I’ve finished listening. The books are not always available for a renewal right away…

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