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Kindle Unlimited Review – Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

kindle unlimited review

Stream Books Just Like Videos with Kindle Unlimited

I used to read six books a year, maybe. That’s generous; it was probably more like three. Last year I read 15 books on my Kindle with my Kindle Unlimited subscription. Who knew that was possible?! The 30 day free trial to Kindle Unlimited made it easy for me to learn that it’s a great product for me. 

What is Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited is a streaming service for…reading. My inner introvert squealed when I learned this. Instead of paying for an individual book, you pay a monthly fee of $9.99 for access to over one million titles, including Harry Potter! The subscription includes e-books, magazines, and audiobooks. What I love most about the subscription is that it allows me to indulge in my Cosmo magazine binge (shameless confession), while also perusing The National Geographic and best-sellers like The Overdue Life of Amy Byler. You can have up to ten titles out at any given time with Kindle Unlimited…without paying for ten books or carrying the weight of ten books. 

What’s the best Kindle to use?

So Kindle is the e-reader invented by Amazon 12 years ago. What most people don’t know is that you can just download the Kindle App for free and turn your phone or tablet into a book whenever you want! It’s a great starting point if you aren’t sure about the investment. If you’re ready to buy an e-reader, you should know that I am obsessed with my Kindle. It’s changed a lot over the years; there are three types – Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis. The Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis are even waterproof now. I do love the Kindle Oasis, which is pricey, BUT I will call out that I used my last Kindle for 8 years so the thing is durable. 

What do I love about reading with Kindle? 

So many things! I love that when I’m reading and a quote reminds me of someone, I can select the text, make a photo quote, and share it with a friend. It looks beautiful! It’s real-time thoughtfulness while I’m reading, just like how I can send a text when I’m watching a TV show or share a song I’m listening to. Finally, I can share that same “thought of you” sentiment with a book. No more forgotten mementos to share with a friend.

 

Another confession: I also have a terrible vocabulary, and I’m lazy. Whenever I would come across a new word while I was reading a paper book, I never looked it up (Shhhh!). Now reading with Kindle I can just tap and hold the word on the screen and the definition of the word pops up.

What do I love about Kindle Unlimited? 

I love the idea of endlessly streaming books like I can stream movies and TV shows. I also love that there’s a free trial to see if it’s for me. You can sign up for the easy 30 day free trial with Kindle Unlimited here, and then it’s $9.99 a month for the subscription. I recently read The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms and absolutely loved it. There was audible laughter from me multiple times while I perused the pages. I recently discovered there are cookbooks on Kindle Unlimited, too! I just started baking bread at home with Bonnie Ohara’s Bread Baking for Beginners: The Essential Guide to Baking Kneaded Breads, No-Knead Breads, and Enriched Breads

What other things do I love about the Kindle world?

This is a secret tip because I have yet to hear anyone talk about this: check out Amazon Charts to see what’s trending in books.   

 

We are playing with the idea of doing a book club. Are you interested? Let us know in the comments section!


Written by Salina West

Salina is a fellow subscription addict. She was an early adopter of Stitch Fix in 2014 and is still a customer. With her crazy travels, she is always looking for ways to bring balance and continuity to her life with digital subscriptions. Her day is incomplete without using a meditation, fitness, wellness, or streaming app. Current favorites include Headspace and the Peloton app.

Comments (35)

  1. That only works in America, I live in Canada and did not have that option until switching my Amazon accounts to .com

  2. Amazon has a new service that might be fun compared to Kindle Unlimited for some.

    It’s called Audible Escape and it features famous contemporary authors and other well known people reading both classic and modern- classic and new popular fiction.

    I just bought Bose wireless headphones for $100 off in the color rose gold, and the Audible Escape was suggested to me by Amazon.
    This is another way to have LITERATURE, but with narration instead of text.

    Why this is interesting and useful to me: I’ve had a mild case of COVID-19 and my eyes ( and arms) felt very weak, like the rest of me. I couldn’t read, but I COULD listen. I listened to TV shows I like to try to focus on something else.
    I also listened to music with my Echo and Amazon Music Unlimited.
    But, this service, Audible Escape, is all literature, not music, and it dovetails very nicely into Kindle as MOST of the Kindle books offer an Audible option.

    Thanks for letting me share a huge steal on high quality headphones and on the Audible ” Escape” service which is geared to women’s literature. 🙂

  3. $9.99 a month to read fifteen books a year seems like poor value to me. Check out your local library and see if they offer Overdrive ebooks, Hoopla, and RB Digital. Read for free. Amazon has enough of our money.

    • Great tip! Thank you. I also recently discovered the Libby app, which helps take out ebooks from libraries.

  4. KU offers some popular magazines for those who have short attention spans, like me. But I do agree that there is a lot of worthless stuff too, especially self-published. What happened to editors and editing? When I notice misspellings or incorrect references, is that because the book isn’t riveting enough, or just bad editing?

    • Some self published books I’ve read are really good. It is hit or miss, but not all self published books are worthless.

      I notice typos and other errors in all kinds of kindle books, including Game of Thrones, Outlander books and some other very popular books.

      I have recently discovered that I have the ability to report errors on my kindle fire and suggest what the edit should be when I highlight a specific section… I’m not sure if this will help to improve the book in the future, but I’ve started reporting them.

      As fo KU, I can access many kindle books from my public library for free. I will sometimes use my no rush shipping rewards for books not available from the library (these are usually the self published ones), so I’m nowhere close to spending $10 a month on books. If I didn’t have library access though, I might be tempted to try KU.

  5. I am a Kindle addict myself. I’m on my 5th Kindle, an Oasis. You don’t mention the X-Ray feature. It’s a real shame so many publishers don’t bother doing the setup for it because I find it really useful. If it’s done right, you can long press on a character or place name or (in the case of my Wakanreo books) a made up word and see a definition or explanation. I wish readers would complain to publishers but I suspect the absence of X-Ray is mostly due to publishers wanting to limit the popularity of ebooks. And yes, all 3 Wakanreo books are in KU.

    • I love the X-ray feature too! Thanks for sharing! It’s so handy when there are lots of characters to follow. I used it a bunch when I was reading “My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante (not a KU book, FYI).

  6. I tried KU when it first came out but I didn’t like the limited selection and ended up buying books outside of the subscription. After a few months I canceled it.

    Years later my friends finally convinced me to give it another try. I did a cost analysis for a few months and kept reading what I normally would then comparing what I spent on books to what I would have spent if I subscribed to KU. After a few months of this I noticed that I would have consistently saved money month after month if I had the subscription because so many of the books I read are now on KU.

    I took the plunge and subscribed again last year and haven’t been sorry since. In fact I took advantage of the Audible discounted price for Audible Escape so now with less than $20/mos I have all the ebooks and audiobooks I could ever want. Best of all, I no longer feel obligated to finish a book I don’t like. I just return it and pick another one. It’s the very rare ocassion that I want a book not on KU. In that case it’s a book I want to keep and so I buy a nice hard cover copy.

    • That pressure is gone of feeling like I have to finish a book – totally feel you on that! I haven’t tried Audible Escape yet, but will check it out. Thanks for the tip!

  7. KU has some of the worst books ever brought to light. How do they do this? They require the author’s sworn alliance to only publish there in KU.
    They figure a way to use ridiculous math to weedle payments by page reads. Some authors play the system to cheat for more page reads.
    It’s a corrupt system I refuse to support.

  8. I liked KE also. Most of my books from them were audio. About 4 weeks ago, the audio books stopped syncing. This is a major problem, since I have to stop driving or what ever else I’m doing to determine where I’m at in the book. I’ve contacted KE and Amazon for solutions. I’ve tried all their suggestions and they did not fix the problem. This problem is on both of my devices using the KE App. My other audio books from other sources do not have this problem. I have discontinued my subscription until they have a solution that fixes the problem. As I said, their prior solutions has not fixed this problem. I have spent time on the phone with their reps to solve problem and the just keep having me repeat the same things over and over.

  9. I love Kindle unlimited and I read a book every day now. I am an Amazon prime subscriber since I frequently order from and subscribe. Kindle unlimited is included with my Prime membership and there are so many books to choose from that I rarely find books I don’t like. Some of the famous authors don’t offer books on Unlimited, but there are many books to choose from that I don’t have a problem finding something good to read.

  10. I too have had KU for years, and last year took advantage of an offer for a discounted multi year subscription.. As a medieval/Scottish history buff, I maintain 10 books in my “library” all the time. I download them to my cloud reader and then no matter where I am or what platform I’m on, my books are accessible. At home I read them on my desktop theough read.amazon.com.

  11. I have quite a bit of spare time to read at work so I typically go through a couple of books a week. These are usually scifi, fantasy, and post apocalyptic and usually in a series. It’s true that the quality may be lacking at times but many of the books are well written and reasonably well edited. It does take some trial and error reading to find what suits you but I’ve been equally disappointed with many books I’ve paid full price for, so when I pick up a book on KU it’s a non-issue because I can return it and it costs nothing extra to just start another book. As mentioned above if you do like the service and content there’s an additional bonus if you use audio books. After borrowing a book on KU you can purchase the audio book at a deeply discounted price and it’s yours to keep, usually between $1.99 and $7.49. I read and listen to a large number of books so this saves me hundreds of dollars a year versus Audible.

  12. I’m on my 4th Kindle and since we are fairly locked down at the moment, it has been on almost constantly. With Ku as a free 3-month bonus I am devouring books and will keep the subscription going. The best item I’ve ever purchased. As a lifetime avid reader I couldn’t ask for more.

  13. I love KU for a couple of reasons – 1. It’s cost effective if you read at least 10 books a month because most of the KU books are also available for $1.99 or more and I read 3 or more books a week so it’s definitely worth it for me. 2.If, after I start a KU book I decide I don’t like it I can send it back and get something else. My only gripe is that Amazon doesn’t tell me if I’ve already read a book or started one and didn’t like it. They do this on purchased books and many times it’s kept me from buying a book twice.

    • I totally agree! This feature would make a huge difference for me, also!

  14. I have never been a reader, I have horrible reading comprehension. I have tried kindle unlimited twice now and found alot of books I actually want to read. I love anything medieval and there are a lot of series of these type for me, but I cant seem to finish the books. What I did try and absolutely love is audibles, listening to books is much easier for me and I have been using it daily since I got it almost 6 months ago. I love the fact that if you listen to a book and then decide that you really weren’t happy with it you can return it and they will give you your credit back to get another book. I usually select very long books to listen to that I know I would never be able to get thru if I read them traditionally. So far I have listened to 4 game of throne books, 4 Harry Potter series, chronicles of Narnia, and am working on the lord of the rings. You also get 2 out of 6 selections from their free offerings, and while some may not be the greatest, it has helped me branch out and listen to things out of my comfort zone. I also like the fact that some are audio dramas that have music, sound effects, etc that add to the experience. I do know that when you have audible and kindle unlimited you get extra perks, I am go back to unlimited and try again at a later date but it’s not in my budget right now, but for me audible was the way for me to go in spades I love it.

  15. I read 3-4 books a week so unlimited is definitely worth it to me.

  16. I have Kindle unlimited and Kindle Oasis. Bought a pre-owned device. I see myself reading more. Why did I buy the Oasis??
    Because I have a iPad pro and Kindle app loaded. Found it too bulky to read at night and carry around. The Oasis is small, light, and can put in my pocket. Display is great without glare. I can download books from our local library.

  17. I have kindle unlimited and I love it. They need to add more bestsellers and expand their selection, but I’ve discovered several independent authors that I just love. So $10 a month is absolutely worth it to me.

  18. I’ve had Kindle Unlimited for years and I use it often. In a reply above me, someone mentioned borrowing your books from your local library. For those of you in the US, if you have a library card, log on to a service called Hoopla. Chances are, your library allows you to check out x number of ebooks, audiobooks, and/or movies per month.

    The selection is awesome! My library allows each patron to borrow 10 items per month.

  19. I had Kindle Unlimited for years, and deleted every book without reading due to the low quality of the content. I did not get what I paid for, and when I got a new Kindle Fire 10″ this spring, I deleted the max of 10 e- books, one last time, and cancelled the service.

    I could be wrong, but IMO, people should have their choice of up to 10 new bestsellers and long- lived bestsellers to choose from, not self-published first novels or something slightly not current. It’s jut e-content, and it is ” returned” to Amazon so what exactly are they providing me?
    I decided they were promoting their Amazon self- publishers.

    The same goes for the free Kindle First at the first of every month. I look at the selections, and shake my head that they are never the genres which interest me or by authors I’ve ever heard of, or part of a new series by a popular author.

    • Agreed! There’s definitely a limited selection.

  20. I love and adore Kindle Unlimited (KU). Then again, I have bookbub (BB) and read a TON of really terrible free books so the quality on KU doesn’t bother me as much as it might bother some others. I have also found that when I do find a gem on BB it’s almost always the start of a series but I can find the rest of the books on KU. Still, I do agree that if you’re looking for new releases or certain categories, you probably won’t find it here.

    • I love Book Bub and agree you definitely have to be patient to find good ones. I love the Outlander Series (I was a fan about a decade before the start of the TV show), so of course I get “historical romance” bodice-rippers in my suggestions. You’d think they would get the hint, but I still see them! It’s actually pretty funny to read the names and descriptions of some. 😂

      I usually don’t go for the free stuff because it’s typically no charge for a good reason, but as I’m sure you know, every week publishers discount amazing books for a short time (price range is usually $1.99-2.99). If something looks interesting I grab it for that price.

      I’ve found a bunch of stuff through BB that I’d never had seen before, so I love perusing my email from them every morning…ripped bodices and all! 😉

      • Agree 100%

    • I love my kindle and kindle unlimited. I have had it for about 6 years. I read about 25 books a month. I love book bubalso

  21. I would do this in a heartbeat if every book in Kindle format was available to borrow, but the titles are limited and pretty lame, for the most part.

    • No. Au contraire. Nope. Download Overdrive (free books from the library). Download Hoopla (free books and movies from the library). Download Libby (ditto). Subscribe to BookBub (books from free to a max of $6, based on what you’re interested in. All of these work with Kindle software. And at least try Kindle Unlimited, there are 1.5 MILLION titles available. Surely, you can find something.

      • Indeed! This is my list of subscriptions exactly and I love KU with all these options! Would also be open to a book club!

  22. I love my Kindle and am on it daily. I get my free Kindle books from my library. They have a great selection, and no fees. Worth checking out in your area!

    I tried Kindle Unlimited, but a lot of the books are just awful. I think the trial is great, because it lets you see the catalog. I’m sure it depends on the types of books you enjoy.

  23. I use this and love it. I’ve had a few offers come through my email to get a few months at a time at a discounted rate. $10 a month works for me because I’m a frequent reader, but I’m super excited to get it for $6-7 a month if I pay for 6 months upfront. I know I’ll burn through books, so it’s an obvious choice for me…

  24. I also want to note: Ku isn’t just ebooks! Many ebooks come with Audible Narration that you can download for free too!

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