If you have a Kindle, you’ve likely heard of Kindle Unlimited. It’s typically offered as a 3-month free trial when you buy your Kindle, and if you haven’t yet tried it. This subscription allows you to “rent” books to read on your Kindle for a set price each month so that you don’t need to purchase new books every time you want to read a new book. In a previous post, I reviewed the Kindle Paperwhite. In this post, I am going over whether or not Kindle Unlimited is worth it. I am sharing what Kindle Unlimited is, how it works, what books are offered, and my overall thoughts (the good, the bad, and the alternatives).
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Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?
What is Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service for Kindle books offered by Amazon. With the Kindle Unlimited membership, you pay $11.99/month and have access to a large library of books. You can add up to 20 books to your device at a time. When you are finished reading the book, you then return it to the Kindle Unlimited library. There is no wait when you are downloading a book like you would have to wait at the normal library. In addition to books, you can also download audiobooks, comics, and magazines from the Kindle Unlimited library. There is no due date for returning books you have downloaded. Once you download the book, you are free to keep it as long as you like (as long as you have the subscription service).
What Books are Offered?
There are over 4 million books in the Kindle Unlimited library. Not all books are available on Kindle Unlimited. While the library is vast, it doesn’t include every single book out there. Some newer releases or popular titles may not be available. There are many books in the Kindle Unlimited library that are self-published. The selection of books available is constantly changing. The selection is updated and some books are removed as new ones are added.
If you are looking for a book on Kindle Unlimited, you can filter by those offered on this subscription. When browsing the book store on your Kindle, there is a banner at the top of the book for those in the library that says “Kindle Unlimited.” On the Amazon desktop website, if you search by book, you can see options to purchase the book or download it with a Kindle Unlimited membership.
Keep in mind that you are not buying books on Kindle Unlimited. You are essentially renting or borrowing the books from the library. Once you finish a book and return it, the book will no longer be available. Likewise, if you cancel your subscription, your books will be returned. You can always download a book again after returning it.
Libby as an Alternative Option
From my experience, Libby works as a great alternative to reading books for a lower cost on the Kindle.
Libby is a free mobile app and web platform that lets you borrow ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines from your local library. Think of it as a digital extension of your library’s shelves, but accessible from anywhere with your device. You do need a library card to access Libby. Once you are logged in with your library card, you can borrow ebooks and select the option to read them through your Kindle. The available titles come from your local library’s OverDrive collection, which can be surprisingly large and diverse. You’ll find popular ebooks, audiobooks, and even magazines across various genres, languages, and age groups.
With Libby, your books are automatically returned at the end of the designated period of the rental. The rental period is typically 21 days. You also need to place books on hold if they are currently checked out. Once they are available, you can get them. It works the same as the library. You can put up to 20 books on hold at once, and check out up to 15 books at a time. With Libby since it is through your local library, you can check out new releases or popular books that may not be available on Kindle Unlimited. However, there may be a wait to access them if they are currently checked out.
Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It?
When Kindle Unlimited is Worth it
Kindle Unlimited is worth it depending on your reading habits. This subscription is $11.99/month and many of the books you can rent are typically on the cheaper side (think $1- $5). If you read several books a month and do not want to read newer or popular books, Kindle Unlimited might be worth it. It allows you to be flexible with what you read. You can have any genre or length of book you want at the second you are ready to read it. It’s a great option if you like to read a variety of different books, discover new indie or self-published authors, or don’t want the commitment of finishing a book you’re not a fan of just because you bought it.
When Kindle Unlimited isn’t Worth it
If you like to read newer or popular books, do not read often (at least 2 books a month), prefer specific authors, or want to own the books you read, I would say that Kindle Unlimited would not be worth it for you. If you don’t mind not owning the books or waiting for popular books, Libby might be a better (and free!) alternative.
I had Kindle Unlimited for almost a year after getting my Kindle. Since I like to go back and forth between my Kindle, physical books, and audiobooks, I found that I wasn’t reading enough books to make it worth it. By only reading one book on the Kindle a month, I could just buy the book I really wanted to read. Otherwise, I would settle for a book that is included in the subscription. Now that I am entering back into an era where I want to read on the go, I am getting my Kindle Unlimited membership back. The Kindle is just more convenient for that need!
Final Thoughts on Whether Kindle Unlimited is Worth It
It depends on your reading habits whether or not Kindle Unlimited is worth it! If you are interested in trying this subscription and have not previously, there are always deals going on to have your first couple of months discounted. You can check out the current deal, or sign up for Kindle Unlimited by visiting here.
I hope this post helped you decide if Kindle Unlimited is worth it. Have any thoughts on Kindle Unlimited? I would love to hear it in the comments below! Looking for more bookish posts? Be sure to check out my favorite books of 2023, or my tips on getting back into reading.