Have you considered signing up for Kindle Unlimited but aren’t sure if it’s worth the price? Here is my completely honest review of the Kindle Unlimited subscription and whether or not I think it is worth paying $9.99 per month.
I love reading. One of my fantasies is spending all day curled up on the couch with a stack of books, sself-refilling coffee mug, and incredible food that I didn’t have to cook or clean up after. What can I say? I’m a simple and easy to please girl.
When I heard about Kindle Unlimited I was intrigued but couldn’t justify the $9.99/month price tag for books. I mean, we are pretty darn frugal and I’m all about getting books for free or as close to free as possible. I love the library and being able to read just about any book I want without it cluttering up my home when I’m done. I typically don’t want to own books, I just want to read them and move on. The only books I want to own are the few that I want to go back to over and over again.
And that’s the perk of Kindle Unlimited - the variety of a library without the clutter in my home. So is it worth it?
Before I dive into my review of Kindle Unlimited, let’s talk about what’s included in a subscription.
What You Need to Know About Kindle Unlimited
What do I get with a Kindle Unlimited subscription?
Kindle Unlimited gives you access to over 1 million books and thousands of audiobooks, all for one monthly fee. You are allowed to read as many as you choose each month and there are no due dates or late fees.
How can I read books included with Kindle Unlimited?
How do I listen to audiobooks included in Kindle Unlimited?
You can use the free Kindle Reading app to listen to audiobooks or you can download the free Audible listening app. Titles with included audiobooks will be designated on Kindle Unlimited with a “With Narration” icon.
How many books or audiobooks are you allowed at a time?
You can borrow up to ten titles at a time. There are no waits or due dates which means you can download titles as soon as you want and keep them for as long as you need. Borrowing and returning books can all be done from the Kindle Unlimited dashboard either in the Kindle Reading app or on the website.
I live outside the US - can I subscribe to Kindle Unlimited?
Unfortunately Kindle Unlimited is only available to US customers right now through Amazon.com. If you live in the UK, Germany, Italy, India, France, Brazil, Spain, Canada, Mexico, China, or Australia you can sign up in your local Amazon marketplace.
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My Honest Review of Kindle Unlimited
I finally took the plunge to sign up for Kindle Unlimited in July of 2018 when Amazon offered a deal for Prime Day. The deal offered a three-month subscription for only $0.99 so how could I pass that up? I could easily dig in my couch cushions or dig in the laundry bucket to find a dollar in change. I ended up reading ten books during my three month subscription which works out to about $0.10 per book. Super great deal!
I did not renew my subscription when the three months were over but instead signed up again at the end of November when Amazon offered the same 3-months for $0.99 deal. So far I’ve read over twenty-five books! I found an author I’m really enjoying and nearly all of her books are available in Kindle Unlimited which makes finding my next book to read super easy.
But after two successful and enjoyable subscriptions to Kindle Unlimited what is my opinion?
What do I enjoy about the Kindle Unlimited subscription?
I love how easy it is to download and return the books I read. A simple click to “Read Now” downloads the book to my device and another click to “Return” removes the book from my device. No hoops to jump through!
I appreciate that books in a series are recommended in order as I finish a book. There is no hunting to find what book comes next - it tells me!
The books sync across devices. I can read on my Kindle Fire for a bit then pick up my phone later and it will start where I left off on the Fire. It’s incredibly helpful if I drain the battery on one device but can’t stop reading.
Lots of highly rated books are available. A few friends were talking about Verity by Colleen Hoover and I wanted to read it - sure enough it was available on Kindle Unlimited. Three days later I was done with the book and able to hop in on the discussion.
Zero waiting periods for books. While I love the library and greatly appreciate apps like Overdrive and Libby for ebooks there is often a wait, sometimes of months, for a book due to a limited number of copies. If I find a book I want to read on Kindle Unlimited I simply click “Read Now” and I can start.
Huge selection from authors. If an author is a part of Kindle Unlimited, usually their entire library of works are available. Occasionally a couple will be omitted but with the authors I’ve discovered I’ve been able to read every book they’ve written. Amazing!
I can read as much as I want. Hoopla doesn’t have waiting periods like Overdrive and Libby, but you are only allowed five books per month. I’m already in the double digits for January!
I’ve discovered new authors. Amazon wants you to keep reading so they are always recommending books and authors similar to books you’ve finished or browsed. Because I’d read books by Rachel Dylan and Dani Pettrey I was introduced to Christy Barritt and now I’m hooked! I’ve read over thirty of her books during my two subscription periods!
What do I wish was different about Kindle Unlimited?
I wish there were more new releases from top authors available. There are lots of new releases, but often best sellers like Homebody by Joanna Gaines or The President is Missing by James Patterson, the books everyone is reading and talking about, are not included. If I want to read these types of books I either need to buy them or get on the wait list at the library.
Gift subscriptions and long term subscriptions should be available more often. Around the holidays Amazon offered discounted subscriptions for Kindle Unlimited where you could sign up for a long term subscription for a one time fee. The longer subscription you paid for the more you saved. Normally a year cost you $120 but it was available for only $80.31 and a 24 month subscription was slashed 40% from $240 to $143.86. I would have loved to jump on that deal but spending that much money at Christmas for myself wasn’t in the budget. Another time of year? I could maybe handle that splurge.
Are there decent books included in Kindle Unlimited?
I’ve yet to read anything I haven’t enjoyed in Kindle Unlimited but I’m also focusing on specific authors and their series. I’ve stuck mainly to Christian suspense and mystery because it’s the genre I most enjoy to lose myself in.
There are books in every genre and many are written by well known authors such as Neil Gaiman, Melinda Leigh, and J.K. Rowling. There are also loads of books with 4 and 5 star reviews with thousands of reviews like Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan and The Storyteller’s Secret by Sejal Badani.
In addition to books there are also comics and magazines. You can read Marie Claire, Better Homes & Gardens, Parents, Sports Illustrated, and more with Kindle Unlimited - all without adding extra clutter to your home.
Is Kindle Unlimited worth the full subscription price?
Honestly, not to a super frugal person like me. I want to say yes because I see the value in it, but I simply can’t justify $10 per month to read when the library is free (or nearly free if I forget to turn things in on time).
If we had more disposable income, adding a Kindle Unlimited subscription would probably be a big ol’ YES! but right now it’s not there.
As long as you are able to read or listen to several books per month you could justify the cost.
Compared to what you pay for streaming services the cost seems right on par, but people tend to put a higher value on video than on books. It’s also easier to consume large amounts of videos for the price we pay for Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime versus what we are able to read.
What are my final thoughts?
Kindle Unlimited is a fantastic service that I really enjoy using, but is normally out of my price range. For what is offered I think it is priced correctly, but if you are on a budget you are better off sticking to Prime Reading with the smaller selection or making good use of your public library. I will continue to sign up for Kindle Unlimited anytime they offer a steal of a deal, like I’ve done before, but I don’t see myself signing up for a full priced subscription any time soon.
Want to try Kindle Unlimited for free?
Amazon offers a free 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited. You will have complete access to the full selection of books, magazines, and audiobooks during your trial. The subscription will automatically renew after 30 days so make sure to set an alarm or make a note in your planner to cancel if you don’t want to continue.