Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy Discovery

blog – published on Thursday April 23rd

If you’ve ever heard the term “netflix for books,” you’re already familiar with the book subscription model. Book subscription services allow readers to “borrow” books from vast reserves of reading material, somewhat like a virtual library.

And if you’re a true book lover, chances are you’ve at least thought about subscribing to one of them. Which means you’ve probably heard of kindle unlimited, one of the most prominent book subscription services on the market today.

however, the inner workings of kindle unlimited remain a mystery to many readers. you probably have tons of questions like: what is kindle unlimited? how does it compare to amazon prime? Is Kindle Unlimited worth the $9.99/month price? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this complete guide to amazon kindle unlimited.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of great books out there, you can also take our 30-second quiz below to quickly narrow it down and get a personalized book recommendation 😉

what is kindle unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited, or KU, is Amazon’s subscription service for books, audiobooks, and magazines. subscribers have access to a collection of more than a million titles, plus a selection of companion audiobooks. users can borrow up to 10 items at a time and return them at any time.

You can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited right now from the link above! and you can use it on any device you want, not just a kindle, through the kindle app or the kindle cloud reader.

Of course, you’ll also need an Amazon account, but it’s pretty easy to sign up (if you’ve somehow managed to go this long without one). the only other requirement is that you live in the united states, or at least change your country to “us” on amazon, which you can do in your account’s country/region settings.

how much does kindle unlimited cost?

an unlimited subscription to kindle costs $9.99 per month, or $119.98 per year. there’s also a 30-day free trial so you can try it out beforehand.

If you’re thinking long-term, keep in mind that Amazon sometimes offers price promotions on Kindle Unlimited, such as deals on three-month and one-year subscriptions:

Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy Discovery

Watch for these promotions if you’re hoping to get a deal on ku. Depending on eligibility, they should appear on your digital subscription page. You can access it from any amazon page by selecting “accounts and lists” (in the upper right corner) → “your unlimited kindle” → “click here to join”.

Is kindle unlimited free for prime members?

Amazon Kindle Unlimited is not included in Amazon Prime, which is Amazon’s premium subscription service for all products. ku is a completely independent service that focuses on written content. however, Prime members have access to Prime Reading, which is comparable to Kindle Unlimited (and which we’ll cover in more detail below).

how does kindle unlimited work?

kindle unlimited lets you borrow up to 10 books, audiobooks, and magazines at a time, then return them when you’re done. again, you can read ku titles on any device, not just a kindle, as long as you have an amazon account.

Featured items to borrow will appear in your Kindle Unlimited dashboard, which tailors its suggestions based on your browsing history. On amazon, you can access this panel by clicking the “shop by category” icon (which looks like three horizontal lines in the upper left corner), then “kindle e-readers & books” → “kindle unlimited.”

From there, you can also check out the entire kindle unlimited catalog, under “browse catalog” on the right side of the dashboard.

Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy Discovery

To borrow a book from your dashboard, simply hover over it and click the green button that says “read now.” if you want to save it for later, click “ add to library”. ”

To borrow a book from the ku catalog, click on its product page and then on the yellow button to the right that says “read for free”. this same button will appear if you’re browsing as usual and stumble upon a kindle unlimited title, so you’ll never accidentally pay for a book you can get through ku.

you can also find unlimited kindle audiobooks by selecting “show results for: ebooks with audible narration” on the left side of the catalog. this should filter the results to show only books that also have audiobooks on ku. when an audiobook is available, the yellow button on the product page will say “read and listen for free”.

Finally, to see what books you’ve borrowed and return them when you’re ready, go to the Borrowed Items page. you will find it under “accounts & amp; lists” → “your kindle unlimited”, below your membership information.

Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy Discovery

click the yellow “return” button to return a book. but feel free to keep each book as long as you want; unlike a physical library, it’s not like you’re stopping someone else from reading it! The borrowed items page also keeps track of the books you’ve read in the past, so you can take pride in your literary prowess. 💪

what types of books are on kindle unlimited?

Contrary to the name, the reading material on Kindle Unlimited isn’t quite “unlimited.” yes, there are many amazon kindle books to choose from, but you can’t read what you want.

The vast majority of ku’s library are self-published books, in part because every author who signs up for kdp select automatically has their book added. this is great for readers looking for promising titles that haven’t yet broken into the mainstream, and even better for authors who want more exposure.

however, it’s not ideal for people who expect to read a lot of contemporary bestsellers. while ku excels in the standalone department, it is quite lacking in mainstream books. There are some recent bestsellers available, like the Hunger Games books and the Harry Potter series (which KU works hard to promote, as you can see below). but these are few and far between compared to the number of self-published titles on ku.

Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy Discovery

But that doesn’t mean that the quality of the books available on Kindle Unlimited is less than, say, a real library. in fact, thousands of ku titles are rated 4 stars or higher. You may have to go through them to find something you like, but you shouldn’t dismiss ku just because of its literary caliber, because there are some amazing self-published books out there.

As of January 2020, here are the 10 highest-rated books available on amazon kindle unlimited, along with the number of stars and customer reviews they have:

is kindle unlimited worth it?

so, are the benefits of kindle unlimited worth its price of $9.99 per month ($119.98 per year) or would it be better to invest in something else?

As we mentioned in the “types of books” section above, the deciding factor for most people considering ku will be what they like to read. if you already read tons of independent and self-published books on amazon, kindle unlimited could be a great way forward. but if you lean towards the big five titles, you’ll probably be frustrated by ku’s less conventional selections.

The other main factor to consider here is how many books you read per month. as some ku skeptics have pointed out, the regular prices of many self-published books on amazon are very low, often $5.00 or less. This means you’d have to read two or three unlimited Kindle books per month to make your subscription worthwhile… money you could otherwise spend on regular books at the Kindle Store.

kindle unlimited vs. prime reading

Readers may also be curious to know how Kindle Unlimited compares to Amazon Prime. again, ku is not included in prime, it is a completely separate service. but prime offers an option similar to ku in the form of reading prime.

Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy DiscoveryPrime Reading allows subscribers to borrow from a library of over 1,000 books, magazines, comics, and other works. As with Kindle Unlimited, readers can take out 10 books at a time and return them at their leisure. There’s also a higher ratio of mainstream titles to indie titles on Prime Reading, which will appeal to those in the zeitgeist.

However, readers looking for a truly extensive library may be disappointed by the main read. Yes, 1,000+ titles sounds like a lot, but compared to 1,000,000+ Kindle Unlimited books, the core reading library is pretty paltry. on the other hand, you may still find its small core group preferable to ku’s vast ocean of stand-alone books.

In terms of how you can enjoy these books, Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading basically offer the same reading options. On the plus side, neither requires you to own a Kindle device; You can access KU and Prime reading materials through the Kindle app or Kindle Cloud reader. Also like ku, prime reading offers companion audiobooks for some, though certainly not all, works.

Now let’s tackle the million dollar question (no pun intended): How do the prices compare? As mentioned above, Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99/month or $119.98 per year. An Amazon Prime subscription, which includes Prime Reading, costs $12.99 per month or $119 per year.

math geeks will see that prime subscribers get a $35 discount with that yearly payment option, making these prices a little hard to compare, not to mention the fact that amazon prime includes much more than main read-only. And obviously, if you’re looking for a complete lifestyle upgrade with expedited shipping on all products, core video, core music, etc., the full core membership is the way to go.

but if you don’t want any of that and just care about reading…

the end result

if you’re a voracious reader and indie book lover, kindle unlimited might be perfect for you. if you want to read more indie books (or if you just want to binge – read the entire series of harry potter) you can always give the 30-day trial a try!

But if you’re only going to read one or two books a month and prefer those books to be best sellers, you should skip Kindle’s unlimited membership. For those leaning toward more mainstream reading, Prime Reading is a best option, as long as you don’t mind shelling out for amazon prime. (and if you already have prime and haven’t taken advantage of prime reading, do it now!)

If you’ve already subscribed to Kindle Unlimited and want to cancel, follow the instructions below. or if you think a non-amazon subscription might be more suitable, check out our list of ku alternatives at the end of this article.

how to cancel kindle unlimited

It’s easy to cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription if you’re not using it (or if you want to unsubscribe before the 30-day trial ends). you can click here to do it right now, or navigate to the page yourself on amazon: “accounts & lists” → “your kindle unlimited” → “cancel kindle unlimited membership” (on the left).

You’ll have to confirm the cancellation again on the next page, but other than that, you should be good to go! Once you cancel, your card will no longer be charged, but your ku subscription will last until the next day of the billing cycle so you don’t lose what you’ve already purchased.

Alternatively, if you paid for a long-term subscription and cancel it before it has ended (for example, canceling six months on a one-year subscription), you will be refunded for the remaining months. however, please note that if you do this, you will not be able to restart your subscription later, so please be 100% sure of your decision before canceling your kindle unlimited subscription.

Kindle Unlimited: Is It Worth the Subscription? | Reedsy Discovery

unlimited alternatives to kindle

1. write

scribd has more than 80 million subscribers and access to more than one million published titles. From its humble beginnings as a document-sharing platform, scribd has grown to include works from a wide variety of authors… and, perhaps most importantly for users, titles from the Big 5 and other major publishers! however, the price is lower than kindle unlimited, at just $8.99 per month after a 30-day free trial.

those disappointed by ku’s lack of main titles will be much more satisfied with scribd. But, of course, it has a downside: Despite familiar claims that its library is totally “unlimited,” scribd still has to limit users to three ebooks or two audiobooks per month to stay profitable. after you reach this limit, your reading options are reduced to a much smaller set of books.

Considering how much this type of core content would normally cost, scribd is still a good deal, but if you were thinking unlimited bestsellers sound too good to be true, you’re right.

2. book companion

Closer to ku in terms of reach and number of subscribers (only a few million) is bookmate, which has a library of around 500,000 books. distribution deals with harpercollins and bloomsbury give it a commanding edge, though no other service can really match scribd in that respect.

what makes bookmate unique is its social element: users can create personalized profiles and follow friends to see what they’ve been reading, as well as what’s on their tbr “bookshelves”. Think of it like Ku meets GoodReads: If you love sharing and talking about books with other people, you’ll probably enjoy Bookmate. you can try it free for 7 days, after which it costs $9.99/month.

3. 24symbols

There is also 24symbols, a subscription service whose biggest advantage is its price: only $7.99/month or $90/year. Like Ku, 24symbols provides access to over a million books that are mostly lesser known or independently published, with only a handful of major titles on offer, such as The Alchemist and Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey. . you can read online or simply download books to your preferred device using the 24symbols app.

In general, whether or not you should subscribe to ku is completely up to you as a reader. What kinds of books do you enjoy, where can you find them, and how many would you like to read each month? your decision will depend on your answers to these questions; consider them carefully and they will guide you in the right direction.


if you’re an avid reader, sign up for reedsy discovery to access the latest new reads, or apply as a reviewer to give us your best opinions.

Content Creator Zaid Butt joined Silsala-e-Azeemia in 2004 as student of spirituality. Mr. Zahid Butt is an IT professional, his expertise include “Web/Graphic Designer, GUI, Visualizer and Web Developer” PH: +92-3217244554

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