E-Reader News and Reviews

Kindle Unlimited: What do you think?

What do you think of the Kindle Unlimited plan? For $10 a month, you can “rent” as many books as you want. Two questions immediately come to mind: 1) which books are available? And 2) does the book disappear from my Kindle at a certain point?

A quick scan of my Kindle purchases shows that I buy about 3-4 books per month, on average $8-9. That’s a range of $24-36 per month.

So this might be a good deal for me, depending on the answers to the above questions.

Question 1: What’s available? According to Amazon, there are 600,000 titles in the pool. Which sounds like a lot. Except, except a scan of the books I bought in the last six months, and the books on my “shopping list” shows that none of them are available in the “Kindle unlimited” plan. That’s a deal breaker for me.  If I go to the library I’m willing to try something new I didn’t plan to read — but not for $10 a month. 

Question 2: How long do you keep the book? According to the website, you can keep up to ten books, and return them any time to get more. That’s not bad, if you don’t care to hang on to most of your books. I’m not a big re-reader, since there’s so much I want to read. But I do like knowing a book is there when I want to refer back to it. Of course you could buy outright the books you love, or the books in a series you might need to refer back to. But then that gets you back to the question of whether this is a cost savings.

I won’t be signing up for this until all or most of Amazon’s books are available under this plan.

It seems to me Amazon is grasping at straws a bit, with their Fire phone and this new plan. I wish they were a little more focused on just selling books at reasonable prices and continuing to improve the Kindle. This feels like a gimmick, one more thing to sign up for and mindlessly pay each month.  I know I’m good at signing up for things like that, and bad at canceling them. 

What do you think?

9 thoughts on “Kindle Unlimited: What do you think?

  1. As a supporter and power user of the library, including their ebook selection, i am not sure why i would use this. Easy to use ebooks, no late fees and with the library they do grab it by the due date. Sometimes you have to wait for a new book, but i find that it isnt too long, and that many of my to read books are always available. So i have opted to remain with my free library option.

  2. I hadn’t heard about this but if they don’t have the books you are interested in then its a waste of money. It could be just a way for them to offload books few people are buying

  3. I originally thought it sounded like a good idea, but I’ve since seen that a lot of books I would have bought aren’t included on the unlimited plan, as many publishers aren’t participating. I agree that they’re grasping at straws, and I’m interested in seeing what happens with it, especially since their Hachette debate.

  4. Why pay $10 a month when I could get the same thing for free using Overdrive through my local public library?

    Most of the books that I read aren’t available through the Amazon plan, and in general, I mostly use my e-reader for NetGalley and for purchasing short fiction. Amazon Prime lets you borrow one Kindle book each month, and I’ve used that feature exactly two times. Amazon tends to feature bestsellers and self-pub through their subscription programs, and that’s just not what I prefer to read.

  5. I also was initially excited, but quickly lost interest when I found out that none of the “big five” publishers’ books are included here. I rarely pay full price for an ebook, usually choosing a library book or a cheaper used actual book instead. So I already know that I am not spending $10 every month on ebooks, which makes Kindle unlimited unattractive to me. I think Amazon simply needed something to compete with the other subscription services out there, in case such a service catches on in the future. As far as I know, none of them are hugely successful at the moment.

  6. Pingback: It’s Monday, What are You Reading? July Wrap-Up | The Book Stop

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