Scribd Review: Is This Online Library Service Worth It?

When it comes to online libraries, the Amazon group pretty much reigns supreme. Whether its Kindle Unlimited for eBooks or Audible for audiobooks, Amazon consistently ranks at the top of the charts.

But what if another contender came in to shake things up? Could they dethrone the current champion?

Well, that's exactly what Scribd is attempting to do. But can they actually do it, and is it worth it?

In this Scribd review, you will learn:

  • The basis behind Scribd and what it can offer
  • Scribd vs Kindle Unlimited vs Audible
  • How much does it cost to enroll in Scribd's services
  • About Scribd's cool bonuses and uploading your documents
  • Some Pros and Cons to Scribd
  • Is Scribd worth the money?

What is Scribd?

Founded in 2007, Scribd set out to become the #1 option in online libraries. And it has made major progress towards that goal with 700,000 monthly subscribers worldwide.

Often dubbed “The Netflix of Books”, Scribd has access to over 1000 different publishing houses including the so-called Big 5 (Simon and Schuster, Penguin Random House, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Macmillan). As for selection, Scribd can give you access to over 1 MILLION different eBooks and audiobook titles.

That's right. Scribd works as an all-in-one service, providing you with both audiobooks and eBooks that you can checkout and read on just about any platform out there — Mac, PC, iOS, Android, and even Kindle! One of the neat advantages of Scribd is that it provides both audiobooks and eBooks in one place, unlike Amazon, which has both Audible and Kindle Unlimited. Let's take a quick glance at how the three compare.

Can the 'Netflix of Books' really dethrone Audible and Kindle Unlimited from atop the online library hierarchy? Check out our Scribd review to see if they have what it takes. #audiobooks #booklisteners #kindleunlimitedClick To Tweet

Scribd vs Kindle Unlimited vs Audible

ScribdKindle UnlimitedAudible
eBook Selection500000+ONE MILLION+
Audiobook Selection200000+475000+
Rental LimitUnlimited*Can Hold Up to 10 Books at Once1-2 Audiobooks per Month
Sheet Music
Subscription Pricing$8.99/Month$9.99/Month$14.95/Month
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Scribd Review: Pricing

Now, Scribd does have an awesome 30-day free trial. But what's next after that?

After your trial period expires, you'll need to swap over to their paid premium service. However, when it comes to price, compared to its competitors, Scribd gets the blue ribbon. A monthly subscription is only $8.99 per month! Simply put, that's around the cost of 3 cups of coffee. And for unlimited books… That's a heck of a deal.

Just like practically every other book service out there, it is a recurring subscription, but you can cancel at anytime.

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Awesome Additional Features of Scribd

Scribd isn't just a standard digital library, and this wouldn't be a Scribd review if I didn't let you in on some of its sweet bonuses. Once enrolled, you can actually avail of other services such as:


Have you ever picked up a great memoir or non-fiction book and wished you could just get the great insights out of it without going through the time of reading it? Often times, these books can be long or even hard to read, but the information within is invaluable. That's where Blinkist comes into play. Blinkist gives you key insights and lessons learned from the book in just a quick audio or text. They're like Cliffnotes for your life.


Now if you have children, this could be an awesome perk for you! Farfaria is a book streaming service made just for kids. Titles seen here can be read aloud with auto page turning, read aloud when the child turns the page, or read with no audio narration at all. Farfaria has the potential to not only help your kids learn how to read, but to actually enjoy reading as well.


MUBI is a great online streaming service for cinema heads. It provides you with unfettered access to some of the greatest films produced around the world — all of which can be accessed from the tips of your fingers anywhere. Got a long bus trip? Grab a show. Or what about a long airport wait? Burn a flick with MUBI.


Let's face it. We don't always have a convenient place to bring and read a newspaper. But does that mean we need to give up on our daily dose of news and journalism? No! AUDM is essentially the audiobook version of long form journalism. Just plug in and stay up to date with world events, narrated by top-notch narrators.


Pocket is a perfect software for busy individuals and people on the go. Sometimes, we come across articles and headlines that we'd love to dive into but just don't have the time at that moment. I've been in this situation many a time myself. And it stinks having to try and search back through just to find that article. With Pocket, you can simply save that article to an offline version that you'll be able to read when you have the time to dedicate.

Uploading your Documents to Scribd

Do you have anything you'd like to share with the world? Now, while Scribd is not a full-fledged publishing platform such as Amazon or Kobo, you can still upload documents that you'd love to share. Maybe you've written a great book list you'd like to share or a full book report on the latest release. These are just some of the awesome things that you can put on Scribd.

Just as a note… there is an upload limit. You can only upload up to 100MB per file. Keep in mind that when your files are converted for Scribd, they tend to grow larger in size. 75MB is a probably a good cut-off size for upload.

And Scribd accepts a huge amount of file formats for upload including EPUB and PDF. However, MOBI files are not accepted.

Scribd Review: Pros and Cons

At its core, Scribd operates just as every other online library out there. But there are some unique pros and cons when it comes to Scribd.

Pros of Scribd

  • EBooks can be downloaded for offline access or read online.
  • You can setup a sleep timer from between 5 minutes to 2 hours.
  • You can add highlights and bookmarks to track your progress.
  • Follow major periodicals such as Time Magazine or Fortune Magazine.

Cons of Scribd

  • Unlimited access doesn't necessarily mean unlimited. Scribd practices throttling when it comes to their checkouts. High demand books are often restricted once the throttle cap is reached.
  • Scribd falls short when it comes to account management and book progress across multiple devices.
  • It's been noticed that unsubscribing from Scribd has become a major issue. This is a potential deal-breaker.
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Scribd Review: Is It Worth It?

So, what's the bottom line? Is Scribd worth it?

Are you a voracious reader who can't get their hands on enough books? Do you listen to more than 2 audiobooks a month? Or do you have documents you'd love to share with the world?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions… Then perhaps Scribd is the right platform for you. The unlimited nature (even with throttling) provides a higher access to books than Amazon's Kindle Unlimited and Audible–not to mention that the Big 5 publishers are available, unlike KU. And when it comes to audiobooks… Scribd definitely is a much better deal if you listen to quite a few a month.

However, there is one thing I just can't get past when it comes to Scribd. The issue with unsubscribing. I feel like I should be able to really control when I want to unsubscribe. While the allure of selection is great, that lack of definite control keeps me personally with Kindle Unlimited and Audible.

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12 thoughts on “Scribd Review: Is This Online Library Service Worth It?

  1. Irina

    Same billing problems, they are still chargeing my credit card after canceling my subscription. I will change my credit card.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Yeah, like I said, I prefer Audible and the unsubscribe thing was a problem.

  2. Ivy

    So frustrating about the unsubscribing issue, since that’s always a dealbreaker for me no matter what (been in that black hole of customer service back-and-forths too many times before). I specifically wanted this for the unlimited streaming of audiobooks because I listen so quickly, so Audible’s 1-2 books a month limit is pointless when I’m four days into the month and out of credits. Wish Scribd would work on that aspect, I know they’d gain at least one subscriber right here.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Yeah, I completely agree!

  3. N Segal

    Stay away from ScribD! I signed up for a “free trial,” was charged anyway, and after a series of nonsensical replies from customer service I intend to enter fake credit card information to stop them from billing my account further.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Yup, which is why I list one of the cons as “It’s been noticed that unsubscribing from Scribd has become a major issue. This is a potential deal-breaker.” And my final paragraph on the review is that that is a dealbreaker and can’t be trusted.

    2. Gene Rutter

      Yes! I signed up for free trial, a month later they billed my Paypal. Sent 2 msgs, got no reply. Tried to login, site said they didn’t recognize my password. Sent 2 password reset requests, got no response. Finally was able to cancel auto payments through Paypal. Stay away from these crooks!

  4. Kay

    When it comes to customer service you can’t beat Audible. I was excited to try Scribd for the cost but the constant crashing of the app was infuriating, I would have to restart the book all the time. By the time they got around to responding to my email I had already cancelled service. Audible is so expense but they are quick to chat and answer calls with an excellent return/exchange policy.

    1. Dave Chesson

      Oh, that stinks about the crashing.

    2. Penny

      Hello all, I LOVED this service for 5 weeks of the 8 week free trial, thought I found the perfect resource. Before I started the trial they were fast to respond to my questions and I was quick to sign up.
      However, in week 6 the books started only playing 9 minutes at a time yet I would immediately go back to my saved books, click it, and it would immediately start where it left off. AND to my surprise, when I found an author I really enjoyed, who had MANY audio books in their library, They suddenly ALL said that it would not be available until 10/13, the day after I am supposed to pay for membership. So the unlimited reading I was promised in untrue.

      But I cannot stay at my device to read. I do audiobooks because I can listen and work.
      On Monday I wrote, Tuesday I wrote and sent a picture of the error message, Wednesday I wrote, Thursday and Friday I struggled through since I was at my desk and today (saturday) I wrote again. Still no reply. Why dont they have a phone number or instructions on how to get satisfaction on an issue?
      Altho I still technically have til Oct 12 before they charge my account, I have been clear in my emails for help and asked that they not charge my acct until we fix this. NOTHING on my side changed, I’ve been using the same device since the beginning.
      I am really hoping they get in touch and resolve this. There audiobook selection is really good.
      I’m doing this detail so ANYONE who is looking at SCRIBD can research and before giving pmt info, know what you might ne getting into. If they get in touch, I will update with the resolve..

  5. Mary Matzke

    I have attempted to unsubscribe from SCRIBD twice. They refund for the current month and confirm my subscription is ended, and then start charging me again the next month. This has happened twice! I cannot get them to help, and have asked for evidence that I reauthorized the use of my credit card. NO reply for over a week, even though I was told I would hear from their security team in no more than two days. I would never recommend this service!

    1. Dave Chesson

      THat’s good to know. I haven’t had that trouble at all. I put a pause earlier this year and then restarted when covid hit.

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