Is Audible worth it as a student? A non-reader review

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Technology is reshaping the way we do everyday activities, and reading has not certainly been excluded from those. Unsurprisingly, in the past decade there has been a rapid growth of audiobook services. In this post I will talk about the most famous one, and try to answer the question: Is Audible worth it as a student?

An important thing worth mentioning is that I have never been much of a reader in my life. Therefore, please consider that this review comes from that perspective. As a matter of fact, outside of my academic textbooks, I only read a few books in all my life.

Now let’s focus on the purpose of this article; in order to establish if Audible is worth it as a student, we will go through the following:

  • What is Audible
  • Why I started to use it
  • How it works
  • How to sign up step by step (30-day free trial)
  • What I have “read”
  • Conclusions, is Audible worth it as a student?

What is Audible

Audible is the world’s largest producer of digital audiobooks and it’s an Amazon company. If I had to describe an audiobook service, I would say: you become a “listener” rather than a reader, a professional narrator reads the book for you and takes you through the journey.

As it quickly became the biggest player in the market, also thanks to being able to rely on an establish customer base (Amazon), it’s service is now the most used worldwide. Basically, what this means for people like me and you is that all the best audiobooks are on there.

All the bestsellers books have been converted to audiobooks. Their collection is just massive. A new audiobook comes up? It goes on Audible. Podcast shows?(which are particularly popular at the moment) They are on audible. At the end of the day it all makes sense:

Authors want to be on there to take advantage of such large audience; on the other end, Audible wants to attracts, satisfy and keep as many people as possible. Who does it do that? By continuing to expand its current selection and improving its service. It all links together, both sides win and us (the audience) are at the very end of it.

Why I started to use Audible

Now remember what I said earlier, I have never been much of a reader in my life. However, I always wanted to read and I envied those who were doing it, regardless of what they were actually reading. They all sounded very smart and looked completely “lost” in their books.

My problem was consistency, as simple as that. Whenever I tried to read some books, I wasn’t able to keep doing it despite starting with enthusiasm. After a while I just realised it wasn’t for me, and I was more attracted by the thought of doing it rather than reading itself.

At the same time, I was walking around the campus with my headphones on pretty much all the time. If on the one hand it was nice to listen to music (particularly in the morning), on the other it was getting a bit “boring”. It became an automated activity, at times it felt like a waste of time.

It was during a business group project when I discovered Audible. My group was tasked to produce a report analysing its business model and potential market growth (at that time it wasn’t as famous yet). In few words, we concluded that the company had a solid business model and huge potential for international growth, we got that quite right I guess!

For me it was like a sign, my international business course gave it to me. Just like all successful companies do, it targeted (and solved) problems. In my case, it solved multiple issues. Firstly, my inability to actually start and finish a book; secondly it gave me a great alternative to music.

There is something that genuinely makes Audible worth it, a 30-day free trial. It was a great incentive for me to try it because I could have cancelled it in case I didn’t like it. Obviously you can do it too, you can cancel your subscription at any time, just remember to do it otherwise it will renew automatically!

How Audible works

Audible business model is based on a subscription service that offers different benefits according to the membership plan you go for. After the free trial, the subscription will automatically renew to a membership plus plan; again, just remember to cancel it before the renewal in case.

There are also other membership plans (see table below), although I only ever used that one as it’s the cheapest and suits my needs. The way it works is the following:

I get an Audible credit per month, which I then use to get an audiobook of my choice. This basically qualifies as a “purchase”, so I also get to download it and keep it in my library. I find this particularly useful as I can listen to it offline without needing to worry about data or signal.

On top of that, I get unlimited access to the “Plus catalogue”, which contains thousands of select Audible originals, podcasts and audiobooks. I can also download and listen to as many as I want, lately I have been listening to few podcasts, particularly in the morning.

Audible membership plans
source: Audible

Moreover, I get exclusive member-only deals and offers. These are very, very useful when I want to buy another audiobook(s) and I have already used my credit. I get huge discounts on prices (although I’ve only ever bought audiobooks that cost few quid anyway as I have unlimited access to the plus catalogue).

Is the Audible membership worth the price? I can only speak for the £7.99 subscription I’m using, and in my opinion it’s well worth it. I know that I could “save” if I’d buy an annual plan, but I would receive all 12 credits at once and surely end up using more than one a month. In terms of the double credit membership plan, it’s just simply out of what I’m willing to pay.

How to sign up and what you get with the free trial

So what do you get with the free trial? Basically everything the membership plus gives. So as an example, you get one credit (two if you have Amazon Prime!) to “buy” an audiobook of your choice to keep; instant access to the plus catalogue; and all the exclusive deals and discounts on other audiobooks.

At the end of the day, it is there for a purpose: you try before you buy. You can do that by adding Audible to your current Amazon account, or simply by opening an Amazon account for Audible. How to sign up to Audible free trial:

  • Go to the* Audible Free Trial landing page;
  • Click on “Start your free trial”;
  • (Sign in with your Amazon account if you have one – verify and skip the below) or;
  • Create an account (name, email, password);
  • Payment details (don’t worry, this is just the procedure and no money will be taken for the free trial!);
  • Verify your email address;
  • Enjoy your 30-day free trial.

What I have “read”

If you had been around my blog, you would know by now what kind of “emotions” I experienced throughout my student journey. I suffered from a massive inferiority complex when around other students, and from the famous social anxiety. I have talked about in more details here if you want to know more: “How to become more confident at university if introvert”.

Consequentially, the few books I’ve read (yes, I’ve also read actual books lol) and listened to were focused on “fixing” my confidence, building good habits and help me achieve my goals. Being honest, I actually believe these books are more “powerful” when I listen to them, but that’s my opinion only.

There have been four books that were really helpful for that. The good thing is that some of them are also available on Audible as audiobooks. If you are experiencing a similar situation and you want to know more about those, you can find them here or by clicking in the image below.

Need some motivation? In the image below you can find what I read to build good habits and a strong student mindset!

Nowadays I’m past that (thankfully), so I have been listening to lots of different things. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed categories like historical, activism, cultural and more. I would never have though so! As I also mentioned earlier, podcasts are actually quite good too.

Another huge aspect to consider, and that in my opinion makes Audible worth it, it’s “discretion”. Ever more important if having social anxiety. What do I mean by that? Unlike physical books, with audiobooks nobody will ever know what you are listening too!

Conclusions, is Audible worth it as a student?

It is at this point that a question arises: how much of a reader are you? I believe this is the first question you have to ask yourself when considering subscribing to an audiobook service. Obviously here I’m already talking about the membership, because the free trial is a no brainer in my opinion.

There are many people I know who like reading a lot, they tried Audible and decided not to subscribe after the free trial. On the other hand, generally people who are not much of a reader (like me), find Audible great and well worth it. It really depends on you, I would definitely say it is worth a try!

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