Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I've just become a customer of Audible

First of all, I love e-books and I wish all printed books have their e-book equivalents. I love the instant gratification that comes with purchasing an e-book: Being able to read it seconds after deciding which one to buy. Anybody in Indonesia who has done an online purchase can testify that it's a risky business dealing with the Indonesian postal service. You can only hope that on the day your stuff is supposed to be delivered, the mail man does not decide to keep it for himself. But to me the best thing about an e-book is the fact that I can always have it with me and that it's always available for me to read (I keep my e-books in my smartphone that I carry with me all the time).

Earlier today a friend recommended a book called "Zen and the Art of Making a Living" by Laurence G. Boldt. Rushing to Amazon.com I discovered that no e-book version is available. Fortunately an audio version is available through Audible.com.

I actually liked audiobooks. Before the age of internet and e-books, I had a number of audiobooks in my library. I found that audiobooks were easier on my ears than printed books on my eyes. Since I didn't have much choice on this book that my friend recommended and since I really wanted to read it, I decided to give Audible a try and signed up.

I think the first time I visited Audible.com was many months ago, when Ricky Gervais decided to move his podcast show there. I remember I wasn't too impressed by Audible then. However I think they've done a good job with their web site and offerings and it's much more attractive now. If you're mainly interested in the mainstream bestseller books (e.g. NY Times' or Business Week's list), Audible's selection is also better than the e-books offered by Fictionwise.com or Mobipocket.com. I signed up for their Gold Monthly membership. It's $7.49/month for the first three months ($14.95/month afterwards) and you get a free audiobook every month plus 30% discounts on other books. On a technical note, my Indonesian credit card was accepted without problem. Instructions for software download and all other technical matters are presented in idiot-proof.