Is Audible Worth It?

Woman at home listening to music and drinking coffee.
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Let’s face it. Most of us struggle with finding time to read during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And every other day it seems like another book is being made into a movie or series. As enjoyable as it is to sit down and get lost in a story, not all of us have the time. But audiobooks? Those sound a lot more approachable.

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Have a long commute to work? Start a new mystery thriller to get your blood pumping. Traveling for the holidays? Listen to the new historical drama everyone’s been buzzing about. Audiobooks can be played and paused at will, making them perfect for any extra time you have throughout the day. But reading can be an expensive habit, especially if you’re opting for audio. Amazon offers both monthly and yearly subscriptions to their audiobook service, Audible, but is it worth the money?

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Audible Memberships

Audible is not only home to audiobooks, but also podcasts and other original content from Amazon. With any Audible subscription, you’ll have access to the Audible Plus Catalog, Amazon’s selection of thousands of books and shows for your listening pleasure.

If you want a wider selection of material, you’ll have to pay a little bit more. With a premium membership, you’re given a certain amount of credits to “spend” on premium titles outside of the Plus Catalog. The difference here is that when you purchase content with your credits, it’s yours to keep even if you decide to cancel your membership. When you’re limited to the Plus Catalog, you won’t be able to save those stories for later. You can change your membership at anytime.

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Types of Memberships

  • Audible Plus ($7.95/month): No Credits; Access to Audible Plus Catalog
  • Audible Premium Plus ($8.50/month): 1 Credit Every Other Month
  • Audible Premium Plus ($14.95/month): 1 Credit Every Month
  • Audible Premium Plus ($22.95/month): 2 Credits Every Month
  • Audible Premium Plus Annual (first year = $119.50; then $149.50/year): 12 Credits
  • Audible Premium Plus Annual ($229.50/year): 24 Credits
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Note: Amazon often discounts memberships during holiday sales.

Is It Worth Your Money?

Audiobooks can range anywhere from $20 to $30 all the way up to $70, depending on the length of the book. With prices like that, it’s no wonder fans of audiobooks opt for the audible subscription instead. Rather than spending $20 on the audio version or on a paperback from the store, you can spend just $15 for an audiobook of your choice. Whether you’re interested in celebrity biographies, best-selling fiction or murder podcasts, the Audible premium catalog has something for everyone. And if you can’t decide what to buy, your credits won’t expire. Not even if you decide to cancel your membership. Each of the credits you earned while subscribed will stay in your account until you choose to spend them.

Not sure you’ll get through a book each month? For only $8.50, you’ll get a credit every other month instead of every month. This is also nice if you’re not entirely sold on the membership. You’ll get an audiobook for less than $10, and by the time that bi-monthly bill rolls around, you’ll have a good idea of whether Audible is for you.

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