Gone are the days when you had to bring along books during your commute or travel to keep up with your current read. E-readers such as the Kindle have made it possible to carry hundreds of books with you wherever you go and read anything you find interesting on demand. Heck, you can even read these e-books on your tablet or smartphone.
Although purchasing is one way to get e-books on your Kindle e-reader or the Kindle app (on your tablet or phone), another (kind of cost-effective) way to do it is to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. But what exactly is Kindle Unlimited, what books can you read with it, and is it worth it?
Here’s everything you need to know about Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription (free trial).
What Is Amazon Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is an e-book subscription service from Amazon that gives you access to a massive library of e-books along with comics, magazines, and audiobooks.
Amazon offers the Kindle Unlimited membership in these countries: US, UK, India, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Australia.
How Does Kindle Unlimited Work?
Being a subscription service, Kindle Unlimited requires you to pay the subscription cost every month to access the entire digital library of books along with audiobooks, comics, and magazines. After you’ve subscribed, the service lets you explore all the titles in its catalog and download the ones you wish to start reading right away.
Kindle Unlimited allows you to download and read Kindle Unlimited books on your Kindle (or a Fire tablet) or on the Kindle app on any other device, like your computer, tablet, or smartphone. The Kindle app is free and available on all major mobile and desktop platforms.
Kindle Unlimited lets you borrow and hold onto 20 titles at a time. There’s no due date for borrowed books, but you should return the ones you’ve read to borrow new ones.
How Much Does Kindle Unlimited Cost?
Amazon offers the Kindle Unlimited subscription on a monthly basis at different prices around the world. People in the US can subscribe to the service for $11.99 per month. If you live in the UK, Kindle Unlimited costs £9.49 for one month. In India, you need to pay Rs 169 per month to access the entire catalog of books under Kindle Unlimited.
What Does the Kindle Unlimited Subscription Include?
As a subscription-based digital book service, Kindle Unlimited gives you access to over four million digital books along with thousands of comics, magazines, and audiobooks. These digital books span various genres, such as self-help, crime and thriller, literature and fiction, science fiction, and business and economics, among a few others.
If you prefer listening over reading, audiobooks are a great way to enjoy books. Simply turn on the audio narration feature in a book, and you can listen to it during your drives, commutes, or workouts. In some sense, it’s kind of like Amazon’s Audible service but with a very limited selection of audiobooks to choose from.
Amazon also offers subscriptions to magazines and many of the popular newspapers. You can subscribe to these magazines and newspapers, and the service will send you their latest editions each month as long as you’re a Kindle Unlimited subscriber.
Kindle Unlimited Vs Prime Reading: What’s Different?
Just like Kindle Unlimited, there’s another reading service offered by Amazon. It’s called Prime Reading, and as its name suggests, it’s a part of the Amazon Prime membership.
However, when compared, there are some differences between the two services that you should know. First, Prime Reading comes as a perk with your Prime membership. On the other hand, Kindle Unlimited requires a separate subscription, which you need to pay for each month.
Two, the difference in the collection of books available on both services is significantly huge. On the one hand, the Kindle Unlimited subscription gets you access to more than 4 million digital books in addition to thousands of comics, audiobooks, and magazines. Meanwhile, Prime Reading only gives you access to a few thousand tiles, with just a few audiobooks, comics, and magazines.
Third, with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can borrow up to 20 books at a time and read them simultaneously. In contrast, Prime Reading limits the count to just 10 titles.
That said, you can access both Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading on an Amazon Kindle and an Amazon Fire tablet. Or, if you don’t have one of these, you can still access the library and read and download books in the Kindle app on your computer, tablet, or phone.
Who Is Kindle Unlimited For? And Should You Get It?
If you’re a casual reader who enjoys different kinds of books, isn’t too particular about the books and authors, and can finish multiple books in a month, a Kindle Unlimited subscription should serve you well.
You can enroll in the 30-day Kindle Unlimited free trial if you’re a new subscriber to test this out for yourself. Or you can explore the service’s benefits through free trials available with a new Kindle device purchase or promotional offers and find out if the subscription is worth your money.
However, if you’re a voracious reader, the selection of books on offer might not please you much. Simply put, due to the way the licensing works, most authors and publications don’t agree to put up their work as part of the Kindle Unlimited subscription. Hence, you won’t find a lot of best-selling authors and popular books with Kindle Unlimited. And therefore, you might not be able to get your money’s worth with the Unlimited subscription.
Of course, if you like the feel of a physical book, an e-book is perhaps not meant for you, and Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription won’t serve your purpose. In this case, checking out Amazon for physical books can help you find some interesting titles, and getting them delivered to your doorstep would be a better idea.
FAQs About Kindle Unlimited
1. Do you need a Kindle to use Kindle Unlimited?
No. As we mentioned initially, you can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited and access all the books as part of the subscription on not just your Kindle reader but even the Kindle app, which you can download on any device, be it a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone.
2. Is Kindle Unlimited free for Prime members?
No. Kindle Unlimited is a separate subscription service. It isn’t a part of the Prime membership, so you need to subscribe to Kindle Unlimited separately to access its library. This also means that you don’t have to be a Prime member to access the Unlimited subscription.
However, as part of the Prime membership, you do get access to Prime Reading. Although it has a relatively smaller library, it has some popular titles that you can check out. If you aren’t an avid reader, Prime Reading is a good way to get started and build a reading habit.
3. Why all books are not free in Kindle Unlimited?
Special licenses and approvals are required to make a book available for free as part of the Kindle Unlimited subscription. Since not all authors agree to these terms, their books aren’t available to read for free with your Unlimited subscription.
4. Does Kindle Unlimited Offer Free Trials?
Yes. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial for Kindle Unlimited to all its new subscribers. Alternatively, you get a free Kindle Unlimited trial—for 3 months—with the purchase of a new Kindle device. Amazon also runs promotions and offers every now and then, where it offers longer free trials to Kindle Unlimited.