Tired of lugging paperbacks around on airplanes or in your beach bag? If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you’re in luck. Adding an ebook to your list of packing tips will help you say goodbye to all that heavy baggage. With user-friendly apps that you can access from nearly any device, the ebook phenomena continues to grow and you no longer need to purchase special gadgets to get in on the fun. We’ve rounded up five of the best ebook subscription services and apps for your listening and reading pleasure.
1. Oyster ($10): Known around town as the Netflix for books, Oyster’s two-pronged service allows subscribers to rent over a million titles and permanently purchase books that are not included in the free library. Partnerships with big publishers like HarperCollins means you get access to hot titles and new releases. We love the clean user interface and extras like recommendations and book reviews from the editors. (App free on iOS and Android)
2. Scribd ($9): Scribd seems to pack it all in one punch. A subscription costs less than ten bucks a month and gives you access to over a million titles from publishing giants like HarperCollins and Macmillan. You can also listen to thousands of audiobooks as part of the same subscription. But that’s not all — Scribd also offers 10,000 graphic novels and comics. (App free on iOS and Android)
3. Kindle Unlimited ($10): Brought to you by Amazon, the Kindle kings now give readers access to 800,000 titles on any device. Many of the books also come with an audiobook option that allows you to switch from reading to listening in a few steps. This is a relatively new service so the free-with-subscription offerings are somewhat limited, but we’re looking forward to seeing this site develop into much more. (App free on iOS and Android)
4. Audible ($15): Also brought to you by Amazon, Audible is the leader in audiobooks. The service offers 180,000 titles and subscribers can opt for one book every month at $15 or two for $23. The prices are a bit steep compared to other subscriptions, but you do get 30% off any additional books you buy, and you can’t beat the huge selection. Plus, the material is yours to keep. Score! (App free on iOS and Android)
5. Wattpad (Free): If you’re looking for entertainment free of charge, Wattpad offers up 75 million stories from published and amateur writers. The site creates a network of authors and readers and provides a platform for people who want to try their hand at writing. Don’t worry about being overwhelmed, because Wattpad offers featured content and suggested reads to help you navigate the vast amount of material. (App free on iOS and Android)
Have a favorite book recommendation for our spring and summer vacays? We want to hear about it! Share it with us in the comments below.