Kindle Unlimited Review 2019: Is It Worth It?

Kindle Unlimited Review 2019: Is It Worth It?

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Amazon has it all.

I mean, seriously.

It’s no longer just about buying products… they have their own television subscription service, music service, grocery service. 

That’s right. Amazon sells groceries for purchase and delivery now. 

But, before becoming the online giant it is today, Amazon began as a bookseller.

Designed to rival the Barnes and Nobles and B. Dalton’s of yore.

Am I dating myself? I have a tendency to do that.

Books were Amazon’s bread and butter… made the company what it is today.

And thanks to Kindle Unlimited, that tradition is not lost.

Kindle Unlimited delivers unlimited reading and audiobook listening… on any device.

Sure, you can buy a Kindle Fire… which is an awesome tablet for a fraction of what an iPad costs; but, you don’t have to.

As with its other successes, the geniuses at Amazon realized that not everybody wants to carry a tablet or eReader with them all of the time.  

Smartphones are an integral part of our lives – both personally and professionally.

Laptops too.

So, with this Kindle Unlimited Review, I’m going to break down all you need to know to get reading (or listening) again.

I will cover:

  1. Features of the Kindle Unlimited program
  2. The different platforms it's available on
  3. How to find Kindle Unlimited books on Amazon
  4. Pros and cons of the program
  5. “Who” is it for
  6. Final Thoughts… is it worth it?

 Let’s get started, shall we?

What is Kindle Unlimited? It’s Features Explained…

In its broadest sense, Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service designed to make reading accessible for anyone. 

Kindle Unlimited is for:

  • Booklovers
  • Power Readers (reading a few books each month)
  • People who struggle to make time for reading
  • Magazine Lovers
  • Audiobook fans

Kindle Unlimited offers unlimited reading each month with over 1 million titles to choose from.

The service also includes access to a selection of popular magazines each month, as well as thousands of audiobook titles.

These will often rotate to keep your choices fresh and timely. 

You are allowed to borrow up to 10 items at one time.

Two things to Note:

  • Not all of Amazon’s eBooks are included with a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
  • Kindle Unlimited is not part of Amazon Prime. Your subscription to one does not grant access to the other.

Currently, Kindle Unlimited is offering 2 months for just a few dollars, with a small price increase every month after that for access to its selection of engaging titles. (The price fluctuates each month, so I can’t write down the exact cost in this post.)

The service can be cancelled at anytime.

And if you cancel prior to the two month period being up, there are no additional costs to try it out.

Amazon will also offer a 30-day free trial from time to time; however, that promotion did not appear available for existing Amazon members at the time of this article. 

Immediately upon enrolling for the trial, you will receive a welcome email.

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If you already have an Amazon account, book suggestions will also pop up based on your order history… which was pretty cool.

For instance, a few children’s book series popped up on my screen.

You then have a choice to add those suggestions to your library, or skip it to continue browsing.

If you don’t yet have an Amazon account, you’ll be asked to sign up for one before being given the opportunity to answer questions to determine your areas of interest for Kindle Unlimited.

You are then brought to your personalized home page.

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When browsing, you can click on any title you want to learn more about to be brought to a description page[3] . 

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You will be provided with a description of the book and its author… as well as have the chance to “look inside”, so you can read a few pages before committing. 

Once you decide on a title, simply click “Read for Free” to add it to your library.  This counts towards your 10 book limit.

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You then simply choose to download the eBook or audiobook version to the device of your choice from the pull down menu.

And voila!

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You can access the titles in your  Kindle Unlimited Library at any time by selecting “Your Kindle Unlimited” from the account & lists pull down menu on the homepage.

Where Can I Read or Listen to Kindle Unlimited Books and Magazines?

So as I mentioned, Kindle Unlimited content does not need to be downloaded until a Kindle Fire.

The Kindle App is available for PC, Android and Apple devices.

Once downloaded, you will gain access to all Kindle Unlimited titles across multiple platforms.

Want to learn something new? No problem!

Care to read a bestseller while commuting to work on the train? No problem!

Want to pick up where you left off on your eReader in bed? No problem!

This is possible because the Kindle App allows all downloads to be seamlessly synced across devices… automatically marking where you left off – along with any bookmarks, highlights, or notes.

This way, you can start reading on one device and pick up where you left off on another.

Pretty awesome, right?

If you think that is cool, here are some more key features being offered with the Kindle App:

  • Read your way. Customize your text size, font type, margins, text alignment, and orientation (portrait or landscape)—and choose whether to turn pages from left to right or continuously scroll. Read comfortably day and night with adjustable brightness and background colors. Go to the Aa menu in your book to get started.
  • Look up words, people, and places while you read. Breeze through words you don’t know and characters you can’t remember with the built-in dictionary, X-Ray, Wikipedia lookup, instant translations, and search within your book. Simply tap and hold a word to view its definition, or use the Google and Wikipedia links to get more information.
  • Track your reading progress. See what percent of the book you’ve read, real page numbers (for most top titles), and how much time you have left in the chapter or book based on your actual reading speed.
  • Bookmark places you want to revisit, and make highlights and take notes throughout your book. Open My Notebook to see all your notes in the same place.
  • Hop, skim, and jump with Page Flip. Flip between pages or get a bird’s-eye view of your book with Page Flip—don’t worry, we’ll save your place.
  • Zoom in on high-definition color images in Kindle books, magazines, comics, and manga.
  • When you can’t read, listen. Switch seamlessly from reading your Kindle book to listening to the Audible book, all within the Kindle app.
  • Get notified when authors you love have new releases, or when books you’re interested in are on sale.

How Do I Find Kindle Unlimited books on Amazon

There are two ways to search for Kindle Unlimited books using your computer.

The first is to go directly to the Amazon home page and select “Kindle Store” from the gray pull down menu in the search bar.  Then, simply leave the search bar blank and hit enter… unless you know the specific title you are looking for.

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You will then be brought to the Kindle Store, where you can narrow your search down to just Kindle Unlimited Eligible titles.

That, or you can simply click the Kindle Unlimited tab below the search bar and be brought to a page with recommendations for you.

The second way to browse for titles is to use this link, which will take you directly to the Kindle Unlimited browsing page.  There you can narrow your search by:

  • Release Date (Last 30 Days, Last 90 Days, Coming Soon)
  • Prime Reading Eligible (Prime Reading is a benefit included with every
  • Amazon Prime subscription that provides access to free eBooks)
  • Audible Narration
  • Category
  • Customer Reviews

If you are using the Kindle App, you will need to go to the “Discover” tab and select “Kindle Unlimited.” You can browse and manage titles from here.

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To borrow an item, select the title you’re interested in and then select “Add to Library.”

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To manage or return an item, click on the “manage your titles” link rather than “Discover”. You’ll then see your borrowed titles and have the ability to return it.

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Pros and Cons of Kindle Unlimited

I’ll start with the positives.

  • Kindle Unlimited works across multiple platforms, for seamless enjoyment from one device to the next.
  • Kindle Unlimited membership gives you access to over 1,000,000 titles each month, in addition to current magazines and audiobooks.
  • You can borrow up to 10 titles at one time.
  • Offers a separate collection of books, exclusive to Kindle Unlimited.
  • You don’t need to own a Kindle, simply download the free Kindle App.
  • Most of the titles offer a free Audiobook version.
  • The free 30-day trial, or $1.98 USD for 60 days offer, makes trying the service out virtually painless.
  • The subscription fee is nominal and you can cancel at any time.

Now, for the negatives.

  • Kindle Unlimited is not included with Amazon Prime,  nor is it discounted from Prime members. There is a borrowing service that is free and exclusive to Prime members in the United States, called Prime Reading. The service is similar, but offers a much smaller library of content than Kindle Unlimited (about 1,000 titles).
  • You won't find every single book on Kindle Unlimited, especially those from some of our nationally-renowned authors, due to contractual agreements. That isn’t to say there aren’t some big names on there… it just depends on your personal tastes.
  • The Kindle Unlimited selection tends to be a bit older… kind of similar to how Netflix works. Books may be released months, even a year, after they are published.

Overall, the good outweighs the bad. And that bad really isn’t all that terrible.

Who is Kindle Unlimited For?

Kindle Unlimited is perfect for avid readers… as in those who enjoy reading at least one new book each week.

Reading a minimum of 3-4 books per month is important for it to be worth the monthly fee. 

Also, if you love independent authors, Kindle Unlimited is perfect for you. In fact, some books are “exclusive” to Kindle Unlimited… self published by up and coming writers. 

Kindle Unlimited is also great for magazine lovers, looking to indulge in some light reading… without having to load themselves down with paper copies. This is a huge plus for travelers!

Audiobook fans will also love Kindle Unlimited, as many of the titles are available in audible versions.

This is a great feature for those of us looking to time manage hectic schedules… cooking or working out to an audio book you’ve been dying to read is a great way to pass the time – not to mention kill two birds with one stone.

If you are a parent struggling to get your child to read… Kindle Unlimited has a great kids selection available for download. 

Unlike many of the adult novels, Kindle Unlimited’s children’s books boast the works of many trending authors.

So, is Kindle Unlimited Worth it?

So when someone asks the question, “Is (or was) it worth it?”… they are basically asking if a choice you made was the best decision, if the pros outweigh the cons.

And in many cases, it either has to do with emotional or financial fall out.

As I outlined in this article, there are more pros to Kindle Unlimited than cons. Among the top benefits are:

  • Low cost
  • Seamless transition across platforms via the free Kindle App
  • Ease of Use and Search Feature
  • Vast selection of titles
  • Audiobook companions
  • No hassle cancellation policy

On paper, this seems like a no brainer for someone who enjoys reading.

But it is important to remember that this is not a free service… and like with everything else, if you don’t do or use something enough, it may not be worth the money.

Amazon Unlimited is meant for the power reader… the book junkies… the independent author fanatics in search of the “next big thing” to tell their friends or bookclub about.

If you download 3-4 books (or audiobooks) each month, the subscription pays for itself… and is well worth the indulgence.

If you read here and there… then check out Amazon Prime Reading, included with Amazon Prime memberships.  The selection is not nearly as large (Kindle Unlimited offers 1,000 times as many titles to its members); however, it has some good stuff there.

1,000 titles to choose from is nothing to scoff at… and more than enough to keep the occasional or vacation reader happy. And, like with Kindle Unlimited, the titles do change rather frequently.

All of that being said, the fact that the Kindle App allows for uninterrupted reading (or listening) from kindle, to tablet, to computer to smartphone… makes it much easier to enjoy more titles each month.

Add to that the fact that the entire family can enjoy a variety of books on one account… and it seem even more cost effective.

For instance, I am currently reading “This Will Only Hurt a Little” by Busy Philipps on a Samsung Galaxy pad, while my 9-year-old son is reading “Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja” on his Fire Tablet.

Bottom line: if you have a desire to read a few books each month… and are open to trying new authors on for size… then Kindle Unlimited is just what the doctor ordered!

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Nicole Krause has been writing both personally and professionally for over 20 years. She holds a dual B.A. in English and Film Studies. Her work has appeared in some of the country’s top publications, major news outlets, online publications and blogs. As a happily married (and extremely busy) mother of four… her articles primarily focus on parenting, marriage, family, finance, organization and product reviews.

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