Scribd Review – Is Scribd really “unlimited”?

BookSummaryClub Blog Scribd Review – Is Scribd really “unlimited”?

What is Scribd?

Scribd is the all-in-one subscription service for ebooks, summaries, audiobooks, and magazines.

With a Scribd account, you can carry your book collection with you every day on your personal device.

Your account will make sure it is easy to stay informed with articles from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.

Is Scribd reputable?

They launched in 2007 and now have 80 million monthly readers in over 100 countries! So, needless to say, if you’re with Scribd, you’re in good company.

Speaking of good company… TIME magazine named Scribd one of the ’10 Start-Ups that Will Change your Life’.

Their founder, Trip Adler was named one of Forbes ’30 under 30′, one of Inc’s ‘35 under 35,’ and one of TIME’s ‘Tech Pioneers.’

So, in other words… yes, Scribd is definitely reputable and not some shady man in his basement.

Although, I have seen a few online discussions on Reddit that have shown Scribd to continue to charge credit cards after canceling memberships. However, this didn’t happen to me.

There are also some other issues I have with Scribd, which I’ll explain more later on.


What do you get with Scribd?

When you register to Scribd, you receive “unlimited” access to their library (more on that later on).

Does Scribd have new releases?

With Scribd, they have over 70,000 titles, including new releases.

The thing is with Scribd, while 70,000 sounds like a lot, it really doesn’t compare to the big boys of online books like Amazon.

Scribd also doesn’t really have much in the way of independent authors, with Kindle Unlimited being the first choice there.

Can you keep Scribd books?

When you subscribe to any membership service like Scribd, you’re only paying for access to the content, not the rights. So no, you don’t ‘own’ the books you purchase on Scribd.

It is similar to Netflix in the way that if I canceled my account, I wouldn’t have access to any of the shows I’d seen before.

How much does Scribd cost per month?

Scribd offers a platinum monthly membership for $8.99 USD a month. Which is under a cup of coffee every week.

There is also no lock-in contract, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

Do I have to pay for Scribd?

Yes, unfortunately, Scribd only offers paid options, without a free plan.

If you only want to try the service out, they do have a free trial which you can use.

How many people can use Scribd?

With Scribd’s apps, you can save titles on up to four devices for offline reading and can open any given title on up to six devices.

However, as Scribd constantly deals with multiple publishers, consider these numbers ball-park figures, rather than gospel.

grayscale photo of woman doing silent hand sign


Is Scribd unlimited?

Do you know how at the start of this article I said I irrationally hate lazy comparisons? Well, I hate intentionally misleading customers more.

A common question for subscribers is Scribd really unlimited?

There have been reports online noting that Scribd does indeed impose limits, along with arbitrarily moving the goalposts and removing content to make sure people aren’t consuming too much of the “wrong” content.

By “wrong” content, I am referring to content that costs Scribd money to show you.

For example, Scribd allegedly pulled a lot of romance titles from view, assumingly because traditionally, romance readers are avid readers who will smash through content every month.

Is there a limit on Scribd?

The short answer is yes.

It isn’t a kooky conspiracy theory, Scribd actually does limit the books that readers can access during a 30-day period.

This is assumingly to keep costs down.

Here is a direct quote from the Scribd website:

Our members can always read an unlimited number of books and audiobooks each month but, occasionally, we have to limit the titles that you’re able to access within a specific content library in a 30-day period. If you’re only seeing a preview of a specific title, you should also see a notification of exactly when that book or audiobook will be fully available to you. – Scribd website

The annoying part is that the way the above is worded kinda implies that on the rare occasion they’ll limit your access.

Which, to be fair, would be necessary if they believed someone was doing anything untoward with the content.

However, there are multiple reports of Scribd allegedly restricting access after readers’ first or second book of the month!

So, while you can read an unlimited amount of books, the books available to read will shrink as the month goes on.

Why would Scribd limit access?

Well, as any company who tries to undercut the opposition on price while suggesting their service is better, somethings gotta give.

Scribd has to pay a small royalty on every book that is read through their program, so I assume they would lose money hand over fist with every avid reader who signs up.

how does audible work


Scribd Alternative

I feel that Scribd tries to be everything to everyone at the lowest price possible.

Which sounds great if you’re a casual reader.

But if you’re a big-time book nerd like me, you’ll have to narrow down on your choice of subscription service.

If you’re looking at purchasing book summaries or nonfiction books, then I recommend a Blinkist subscription.

For book summaries, it is simple. Blinkist is still my pick for the best book summary subscription service on the market.

However, I also use it to cherrypick the full books that I invest my time in reading. I can curate a really specific and detailed reading list through my Blinkist library.

If you’re more of an audiobook person, then Audible is 100% the best on the market.

You can see how Scribd and Audible compare to each other.

If you’re the type who can read an endless supply of books every month, then Kindle Unlimited is the best choice for you. With Kindle Unlimited, you can access an absolute treasure chest of independent authors, along with the hit new releases.

Final thoughts: Is a Scribd account worth it?

Look, Scribd isn’t a complete scam.

For the $8.99 a month, even with them restricting your content, you do get some decent value.

However, it is just that. Decent. And for a casual reader, decent is good enough.

If you only get through one book a month, maybe two and you like the subscription model, then a Scribd account would actually be a good choice. However, if you’re an avid reader and see Scribd’s marketing as an $8.99 all-you-can-read smorgasbord, then you’re in for a letdown.

Call me old fashioned, but Scribd pulling or hiding some titles puts me off and made me cancel my membership.

Rather than look for an all-in-one solution, choose what you value most and purchase the market leader.

🧐 Is Scribd really unlimited?

Nope. It is not unlimited, but the thing is that the most people don’t make it up to the limits that are set. They have a free trial, so I would simply try it and see if it works for your needs.

💰 What does Scribd cost?

A subscription costs $9.99 per month. However, you can just try it completely free for 30 days and see if it fits you before you commit. Sign up for the free trial here.

✅ Is Scribd reputable?

Yes, Scribd is a legit company. They launched in 2007 and have over 80 million customers in over 100 countries, so, don’t fear!

Hey, I’m Erik… a Swedish university student, marketing professional, and life-long learner. Here at BookSummaryClub I summarize my favorite non-fiction books into easily digested posts. Hope you like what you’re reading!

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