One of my biggest impulse buy temptations is Kindle books. For years, I was a hold out and refused adapting to e-books. I thought I preferred an actual text in my hands, and I liked the look of books on a shelf. Doesn’t that make you seem smarter? Anyway, my office staff gave me a Kindle, 2nd generation a few years ago, and I was hooked. No more carrying books around. No more not having a book when I want one. I upgraded to a Kindle Fire about a year ago, and it’s like crack for avid readers. Almost any book in a few seconds. What’s not to like?
Well, that also presents a problem. I have been known to binge read. It’s kind of like binge watching, but can cost much more if you have to buy several books in a series. I am not one who can space it out either. It’s a wonder my family got fed during the four days it took me to read the Hunger Games trilogy. I try to limit my Kindle purchases, but it’s really hard if I find a series or author I like. When I heard about Kindle Unlimited, I wondered if this might be a good deal for binge readers like myself.
What Is Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is a new subscription service from Amazon that costs $9.99 per month. With it, you can read or listen to as many books or audio books as you want on any device. Obviously, Amazon would like you to have a Kindle or Kindle Fire, but you can download a Kindle app on just about any tablet or smartphone. As long as you pay the monthly fee, you can keep these books on your device and read them as many times as you want. If you stop paying, all the Kindle Unlimited books go back to Amazon.
Isn’t This The Same As Amazon Prime?
One benefit of Amazon Prime is that you can “check out” one book per month from a certain list of eligible titles. You can keep it as long as you like, but you are limited to one per month and one at a time. When I first signed up for Amazon Prime back in January, the selection was pretty crappy, but just like Prime Instant Video, it has improved remarkably over the past year. I actually discovered Kindle Unlimited from a book I borrowed on Prime. I got hooked on the Wayward Pines series by Blake Crouch and now I want to read everything he’s written. It’s kind of like Stephen King meets Twin Peaks, and he has lots of books! That’s why I signed up for Unlimited. One a month was not gonna cut it.
Are There New Titles on Kindle Unlimited?
Yes and No. There is a list of new releases, but it isn’t full of New York Times Best Sellers. If you want to read books by John Grisham or the Fifty Shades of Grey series, you won’t find them on Kindle Unlimited. I do read popular novels, but I usually like more obscure things, so Unlimited seems to have plenty of those. I was also pleased to see some personal finance books like I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi. The big names like Dave Ramsey, David Bach, or Suze Orman are not available on Unlimited or Prime for that matter. I guess they need to make more money than a subscription service offers!
What About Kid’s Books?
I’m happy and sad to say that my daughter is shaping up to be a binge reader like her mom. She has already read most of the series books at the library like Junie B. Jones and Magic Treehouse. It’s hard to keep her in reading material, so I was glad to see a pretty good selection of children’s books on Unlimited, including things like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter.
Can’t You Just Go To The Library?
Yes, you can. I love the library and use it all the time. The problem with our local library is funding. They have limited resources and don’t get tons of new books. Yes, you can do interlibrary loan, and it’s smart to do that. However, if there is a book I really want and it takes a month to get, I will buy it on Kindle. Again, not proud, but that’s my Achilles heel. Smart people would choose the library option and forget Kindle altogether, but I only look smart because I have lots of books.
Is Kindle Unlimited a Good Deal?
Well, just like any other purchase, it depends. If you read more than $9.99 worth of Kindle Books per month, it’s a great deal. If you don’t read and don’t buy books, it’s a waste of money. I look at this expense as entertainment. If it works with your entertainment budget and you use and value it, it’s a good deal.
Free 30 Day Trial
Kindle Unlimited gives new users a 30 day free trial, which is what I’m in the middle of. I still have no idea if I’ll keep it or not. Some months I read quite a bit, then I might go 2 or three months without books. I get lots more sleep when I don’t have a good book around! If you do sign up and don’t use $9.99 worth per month, don’t forget to cancel. Paying for anything you don’t use is never a good deal.
Have you tried Kindle Unlimited? Do you think it’s a good deal or a rip off?