iPhone App: Audiobooks & Digital Books

Every time I mention audiobooks or my Kindle, I get a ton of questions about using the Audible app to listen to audiobooks as well as how they work on my Kindle because they’re both Amazon companies. On top of that, there are 4-5 other ways to access audio books and digital books through your iPhone/kindle.

First off, let’s talk Kindles.

I don’t travel anywhere without mine. And e-readers are relatively inexpensive. If you’re not in the market for an iPad (and why would you shell out $1,000+ for something you’re going to use to read?), the Kindles are the best value for your $$$.

Buying a Kindle

A Kindle allows you to read your favorite books without the drawbacks that come with using a tablet or smartphone.

Not only is the Kindle power efficient, meaning it will last weeks and in some cases months on a charge, but it’s also connected, meaning you can easily download new books – plus it’s incredibly easy to use with seamless integration with your Amazon account.

There are currently 4 models of Kindle offered by Amazon but here are the 3 I recommend: Kindle with front lightKindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis. Here’s how they break down:

Basic | $89.99 (this is if you allow “Special Offers” or advertising on your lock screen – it’s $104.99 otherwise)

  • 6″ glare-free, 167ppi
  • Illumination (4 LEDs)
  • Wi-Fi only
  • Audible
  • 4 GB

Paperwhite | $129.99 (this is if you allow “Special Offers” or advertising on your lock screen – it’s $149.99 otherwise)

  • 6″glare-free, 300ppi
  • Front illumination (5 LEDs)
  • Waterproof
  • Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
  • Audible
  • 8 or 32 GB

Oasis | $249.99 (this is if you allow “Special Offers” or advertising on your lock screen – it’s $269.99 otherwise) :

  • 7-inch screen, 300ppi
  • Front illumination (12 LEDs)
  • Waterproof
  • Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + 3G
  • 6-weeks battery life
  • Audible
  • 8 or 32 GB
  • Auto-adjusting light sensors
  • Page turn buttons


Now, a Kindle isn’t necessary to enjoy an e-book or an audiobook, but they do have one of the best interfaces. If you prefer your iPhone or iPad, you can still access all the same content. Here are a few other ways we like to enjoy our content!

Libby by Overdrive

First, there is Libby by Overdrive. If you’ve got a membership to your local library, you can check-out audiobooks and e-books. They’ve got thousands!

You can borrow them instantly for free using just the device in your hand. So why would you want to pay for an audiobook or e-book ever again? I love Overdrive and am so grateful for my libraries that have it. But those hold lines can be SO long (I’m on a few where it will be more than six months until a book comes up) and then you have to make sure to get through it in the allotted time before it goes back to your library. So Audible and iTunes are awesome for when you want to listen to something right away and then have as much time as you need to listen.


I love Audible. Contrary to Overdrive, with any Audible book, you own it – it never gets returned. Basically, there are two ways to use Audible. You can either pay (subscribe/$14.95 a month) and get one audiobook credit each month OR you can just download the app and buy an audiobook whenever you’re in the mood. And so those books you’ve purchased, even if you cancel your membership or never buy another one again, stay in your app.

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  1. Have you heard of/tried scribd yet? I’m hearing both good and bad about it so I’m on the fence about trying it. I’ve used Audible but got tired of the cost so I’m primarily using Libby now and I love it. But the wait times are the worst (and then I always seem to get like 9 books all at once. What the heck? I just can’t get through that many in 3 weeks.)


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