eople have passed down their culture from gener-
ation to generation through spoken word. Reading,
While I still love to sit and read, I have little time to do so. I
am often on my feet doing simple tasks, so instead of read-
ing, I listen to books on my iPhone. My go-to source for au-
diobooks is Audible. Owned by Amazon, Audible offers a huge
selection of titles. Here, I’ll share some tips for growing your
audiobook library as inexpensively as possible.
When you become an Audible member, you pay $15 per
month and receive a monthly credit that you can cash in for
a book of your choice. I use my credits to buy longer, more
expensive e-books such as Neal Gabler’s 34-hour Walt Disney
and James Clavell’s 53-hour Shogun.
Whispersync: Read and Listen to Books
Amazon often lets you purchase a book’s Audible and Kin-
dle e-book versions as a discounted bundle. These bundles
feature Whispersync. With Whispersync, you can seamlessly
read the Kindle version on your iPhone, switch to the audio
version on your commute, and then continue reading the
e-book, all while Amazon keeps track of your place.
To purchase a Whispersync bundle, you must buy the Kindle
e-book first. When checking out on Amazon, look for the “Add
Audible narration” checkbox to add the audio companion.
If you’ve purchased Kindle books in the past, Amazon lets
you buy any available audio companions any time with a
feature called Audible Matchmaker. Just visit amazon.com/
gp/audible/matchmaker. All your Kindle purchases eligible for
Whispersync audio versions will be listed along with discounted Audible prices.
Often the Whispersync bundle costs less than a standalone
Audible purchase. Classics are especially cheap. Bundles for
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Wizard of Oz are less
than $2 and best sellers, such as Jack Welch’s Winning and
Gregory Berns’ How Dogs Love Us cost between $5–$15.
Get Your Daily Deal
One of my favorite things about the Audible membership
is the Daily Deal. Each day, Audible offers me a best-selling
audiobook from between $1.95 and $4.95. On the Daily Deal,
I’ve picked Marie Kondo’s Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,
Robert Caro’s biography of Lyndon Johnson, and The Great
Courses Secret Life of Words. (Fans of The Great Courses can
purchase many lecture series with a $15 Audible credit, which
costs much less than purchasing the course directly).
If you like to read and spend a lot of your time doing mindless tasks such as housework, commuting, or exercising, I
strongly recommend audiobooks.
Get the Most from Your Audible Subscription
Illustration by Mikaila Maidment, mikailamaidment.com
Hal, along with his wife Rita, founded i Phone Life’s original publishing company, Thaddeus Computing, in 1985. You can reach him at email@example.com. Check out Hal’s
new book at meditatingentrepreneur.com.
Tip! Suspend, Don’t Cancel.
Don’t make the mistake I made! After accumulating an
excess of credits, I decided to cancel my membership
only to discover that I would lose my credits. After digging, I found that it’s possible to suspend your membership for three months without losing credits. This way,
you can save money and still have credits waiting for you
when you find the next title you’re dying to listen to.