Why We Need a “Netboox” for eBooks

Disclaimer: Netboox Doesn’t Exist (YET)

I love reading, but I have to admit that it’s gotten more difficult to do since having a baby. When I was pregnant, parenting books and mom blogs and random strangers warned me to have lots of books to read and music to listen to for all the late night nursing sessions. This was great advice.

I have to be careful when I start a book. I get sucked in and end up reading late into the night. Before MK, I would read all night. My husband would wake up at 5am to get ready for work and look at me in amazement, “Are you still awake??” It can be an addiction. Now that sleep is such a valuable commodity, staying up late reading is always a mistake I regret the next exhausting day when I’m chasing the baby, covered in yogurt and ketchup, wondering what the hell I’ve gotten myself into.

Audio books have opened a new door to reading for me. I can pop in one headphone and take MK and the dog for a walk and get my reading fix in early in the day. I can throw MK in the stroller when she refuses to nap and still get a bit of down time. I can listen during car rides, nap time, even chasing her at the playground.

Normally I get ebooks and audio books from the library. Otherwise, I could spend a fortune on books. Library ebooks check out through my Kindle, and the audiobooks go through my Overdrive app. It’s super easy and convenient and free. The problem with the library is, as the Rolling Stones said, you can’t always get what you want. I usually don’t mind waiting for a book, but when they don’t even have it? That’s when I go to Amazon like here, take all my money!


Recently, I started reading What Alice Forgot. Even though the naive Alice character is slightly irritating and the plot seems a tiny bit far fetched, the story is compelling and I can’t read it fast enough. Which is why my library ebook wasn’t enough. Since they didn’t have the audiobook I caved in and bought it on Audible.

Amazon has this program (or whatever it is) called Whispersync, which magically syncs your Kindle ebook and Audible audiobook so that you can go back and forth between the two without having to search for your furthest point. It’s the sneaky bookworm ninja, streamlining reading for busy readers everywhere. It’s pretty much the best thing ever… except the cost makes no sense to me.

First you have to buy the Kindle book for $10 or however much, and then you shell out another $10 or whatever (a discounted price) for the audiobook. Now you’ve spent $20 on one book. You can also sign up for an Audible subscription for about $15 and you get one free book with that. So, essentially, that’s $15 per audiobook. That’s what books on CD and tape cost, though, right? So, yeah, whatever. This is more convenient.

But if you think about it, you can get unlimited movies and TV shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon for under $10 a month. The cost of movie production has to be higher than ebook production, even for audiobooks with a couple of readers. So what justifies the price discrepancy? Where is our $10 per month Netboox subscription (TM — you heard that name here first!)? Our unlimited streaming audio? Have I just missed it in my sleep-deprived, toddler-focused, haze?

What do you think? Do you use Audible or something like it?

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