One of my resolutions for this year was to read more books- but, as always, time ran away with me and come August I had only read a few books this year. It seemed like the only way I could make time to sit and enjoy a book was when I was on holiday or travelling for work.
BUT recently I found a way to enjoy books without having to carve out extra time in my already jam-packed days.
Audiobooks. I decided to try out Audible using their 30 day free trial.
By using a service like Audible, it meant I could ‘read’ books on the go on my commute to work. I walk to work and back which is 40 minutes each way, and now I feel like I’m using that dead time productively and ticking off books that have been on my ‘to read’ list forever.
Try Audible for free
If you’ve not used it before, you can try Audible for free by signing up to the free trial. The Audible free trial is for 30 days, and in that time you can download one audiobook of your choosing- using what Audible calls a ‘credit’. If you opt to cancel the subscription during your free trial (to avoid paying the monthly subscription fee), Audible will try and convince you to stay and offer you an additional free credit.
This means that you can listen to not one, but two books for free during the 30 day free trial period! I tried cancelling around half way through my free trial, and so had plenty of time to use both of my Audible free credits within the free trial period. I chose two newly released books which I would have bought physical copies of- saving myself around £16.99.
Audible audiobooks are also often narrated by the writer- which is a concept that I LOVE! The Louis Theroux autobiography narrated by Louis Theroux? Music to my ears.
Although you won’t find many Audible promo codes, Audible do regular promotions such as the one shown below, where you can get 50% off your first 3 months of Audible, making each month just £3.99.
Audible also often email you with ‘2 for 1’ deals which can be worth checking out, and also regularly do book sales similar to those for eBooks. Add audiobooks that you want to listen to, to your wish list and you will get notified if any of the books on your reading list go on sale.
How to make the most of an audible subscription
I spent a long time researching the pros and cons of various audiobook subscriptions, but I quickly realised that although Audible is slightly more expensive than some of the other subscription services out there, you have access to a huge library of books, with the newest book releases available too.
This is really important to me because new book releases are always what tempt me into spending money- and I do resent having to buy a newly released book in hardback. By using the free trial to get two free credits, I got to ‘read’ two recent book releases without paying a penny.
You can also get a discount on your Audible subscription by opting for a longer length subscription- the longer your subscription, the less you pay. For example, a 1 book monthly membership is £7.99 per month, a 2 book monthly membership is £14.99 per month, a 12 book annual membership is £69.99 per year, and a 24 book annual membership is £109.99.
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Every month you will receive one ‘credit’ which is worth the equivalent of one audiobook. The audiobook that you ‘buy’ with your monthly credit can be any price, so it makes sense to use this credit allocation for a more expensive book, or a book which has been newly released. For any additional books that you would like to purchase, it makes sense to buy books at a lower price- why use your monthly credit allowance on a £3.99 book and then go ahead and purchase an additional book for £9.99?
If you have a backlog of books to listen to on Audible, you can pause your membership to allow you to catch up with your books. You won’t pay any membership fees whilst you are catching up, and you will still have access to your chosen audiobooks.
It’s also worth noting that if you decide to cancel your Audible membership, you will still have access to all of the audiobooks that you have purchased during your membership.
How to return a book with Audible
You can return a book on Audible if you are not happy with it, as long as you return it within 365 days of the original purchase. This is an amazing feature and means that you can try out something different to what you might usually read, and can still return the book without using up your credit.
Just go to the ‘purchase history’ section on the Audible site whilst on a desktop computer, and then click ‘return’ next to the book you wish to return. Audible will ask you to give a reason for the return, and then you will receive a confirmation on the screen to say that your return was successful.
Audible will not accept misuse of their returns policy, and state that you are able to return a ‘limited’ number of books, although that limit is unclear. You can return books online through the Audible site as described above, however after a certain amount of time, you might get a message saying ‘not eligible for return’ which could mean you’ve reached that limit.
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Gift an Audible subscription
An Audible subscription is also a fantastic gift to give a loved one- my brother and I are gifting a subscription to my dad this Christmas and I know that he’s going to love it. It’s a great alternative to a traditional gift, and having the opportunity at the start of each month to select a newly released book is almost like giving a gift every month.
You can choose from a 1, 3, 6 or 12 month plan, and once the gift membership is over, the recipient can keep any books they purchase if they wish to listen to them at a later date. Give the gift of Audible here.
Just like the memberships described above, the bigger plan you pay for, the less each individual book (or ‘credit’) will cost you. For example, the 12 month plan costs £69.99 upfront, which works out at £5.83 per book, as opposed to the 1 month plan which works out at £7.99 per book- a saving of £2.16 per book.
Audiobooks are certainly nothing new- anyone else remember borrowing audiobooks on tapes from your local library as a kid?! But one thing is for sure, they certainly fit into any busy Londoner’s life very well indeed.
There’s no need to feel guilty about ‘not reading enough,’ because you have to give yourself a break- you can’t do everything all of the time. But if you DO want a way to fill that dead time in your day, audiobooks allow you a bit of escapism whilst shopping in Tesco, commuting to work, brushing your teeth or putting the bins out. And I’m all for it.