On a long road trip or even a daily commute, even the best playlist can get old. That’s where audiobooks come to the rescue! As you would guess by the name, SimplyAudiobooks (Simply Audiobooks) specializes in rentals and downloads – a dream come true for those who love them (that’s me!), but don’t want to buy them because listening to a story or book once is usually enough.
That’s the beauty of rentals: unlike children, who can listen to the same story over and over, most adults crave variety. With rentals, you’ll never be stuck with a huge box of audiobooks that you’ve already listened to and you’ll never have to go and buy a new one again!
SimplyAudiobooks offers three options: a Download Membership, a Playaway Membership, and a Rental Membership. What’s a Playaway? It’s a complete device with earbuds that are loaded with the book of your choice. As I listen to books on my car stereo, the rental club is preferable. If you’re planning on listening to books quietly with earbuds, the Playaway membership is the preferred choice: there are more titles available than the Download Club offers and you have an unlimited number of audiobooks you can receive a month.
I’m strongly in favor of the rental/Playaway over the download membership, in general. The download minimum membership-only offers one download a month and has a more limited selection of titles. The rental/Playaway option minimum membership offers unlimited rentals (one at a time) and a diverse selection: 11,000 titles, and increasing every day. I’m a rental member and I have yet to have a problem finding a title of interest to me. Of course, like Netflix, shipping is free and easy to manage.
So, what are the program’s features, highlights, and/or problems?
- It’s incredibly affordable – your average purchase of an audiobook would easily surpass the monthly fee (and then some).
- You aren’t limited to using these on vacations and road trips – I use mine every day commuting to work. The boring ride flies by! To top it off, with more educational books, I usually end up learning all kinds of fascinating things.
- The website is extremely easy to navigate and search for what you want. Don’t have the slightest clue? They have recommended “hot” titles and daily member reviews posted on their home page to get you started. Click on a title of interest’s review page, and you’ll get real member reviews of the book (the good, the bad, and the ugly). I’m a huge fan of reviews – it’s great to get a general opinion from your average listener (rather than some blasé and hyper-worldly critic’s opinion).
- Support is an essential part of any membership, and SimplyAudiobooks provides it in spades. Their FAQ is far better than I’ve ever seen – offering everything from answers to typical questions to step-by-step instructions on how to utilize your membership. If the FAQ doesn’t answer your question, both email and phone queries/problems are handled swiftly and with care.
- The one problem – which really applies to all audiobooks – is that not every title out there is available. A lot of books never go to audio. This is a pain when you hear about a book you really want to listen to, and you can’t get it.
- As far as membership goes, they make it beyond easy – not only can you get a free trial, but you can cancel your membership at any time and get a full refund for the portion/months you didn’t use. I renew annually – the annual price is cheaper, I can cancel anytime, and it takes renewing off my to-do list most of the year.
Simply Audiobooks (Simply Audiobooks) is simply the best audiobooks rental company around and the perfect solution for those bored-with-my-playlist moments on your road trip or even on your daily commute. I can’t recommend it more highly.