I have mainly been listening to audiobooks lately, but most apps require you to pay a monthly subscription fee or you have to buy the books before you can listen to or read them. However, I found the app Libby by Overdrive, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
I used to have a free trial with Mofibo, which is a Danish ebook and audiobook app, but after the trial period the app is 129 kr / $20 a month, which is too expensive for me since some months I may not have much free time to listen to books. However, I did a Google search for alternative audiobook apps and discovered Libby. To sign up for Libby, all you need is your library card and then you can have access to thousands of ebooks and audiobooks for free. I have already finished listening to Beartown by Fredik Backman, and I started listening to Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs, and I honestly prefer Libby over Mofibo.
Like with regular library books, you can only loan an ebook or audiobook for 21 days, and you can extend your loan if no one else reserved the book after you. You are limited to how many books you can loan out at a time (my library set it to 2 books). Also like with regular library books, there are limited copies of the ebooks and audiobooks and they can vary from 1 copy to 9+ copies. The more popular books can have a waiting period of months even with 9 copies available, but luckily you can reserve books. Libby also gives you an estimate of how long the wait time is, and you can decide if you want to wait that long.
Also if you do not want to reserve a book and wait weeks or months, Libby has a “What’s available?” section with ebooks and audiobooks that have no waiting time. Also, some of the “What’s new?” books may have no waiting time especially if they were just added to the app, but if you browse the “What’s popular?” section, there will most likely be a wait time.
As far as listening to a book, the app shows you the exact chapter you are on, and you can change from showing the time left to the percentage you have listened to. You can also easily rewind (as well as fast forward) the book with a swipe of your finger if you missed a line. I have not read an ebook yet, but I am planning to over this holiday break. On your shelf you can easily track how long you have until you need to return the books and you can also track your holds and see if you moved up on the wait list.
Another convenient function in Libby is that you can tag books. I made a TBR (to be read) tag, and I added the tag to books I want to read but I already maxed out the loans and holds. When I have a free space, I can go to my TBR list and loan one of those books or put it on hold.
Overall, the Libby app is a great and free alternative to listening to audiobooks and reading ebooks, but like at regular libraries, you are limited on how many and for long you can borrow books.