I took the opportunity when Amazon offered a three month trial for $.99 back in July to give Kindle Unlimited a test drive. Let me share my review thoughts on it.
I’ve avoided this reading service in the past because of three reasons.
- I worked out from the cost of the monthly subscription ($10 a month) that I would need to commit to at least four books a month to make it worthwhile. Between my own stack of unread books and all the generous review offerings I accept, I already had access to more books than I can ever read in a month.
- I would be paying to borrow a book I wasn’t going to be able to keep.
- I was worried that after paying the fees that I wouldn’t come across many books I wanted to read.
But, the trial cost and time span of three months to really get a feel for the KU service got me off the fence and willing to give it a go. I now have a better idea of what it offers and left me with a startling conclusion.
Let me first address the specific concerns I had going in:
- I was able to stay on top of all my review commitments for the time involved partly because I’m taking fewer books these days. I was able to read quite a few books from my own shelf and the library. And, I was definitely able to read/listen to at least five to six KU books a month exceeding the amount needed for the service fee to be worthwhile. It felt like a nice balance.
- I thought I wouldn’t like the idea of paying for something I couldn’t keep. Kinda still don’t, but, I’m not as averse to it as I thought I would be. I realized when I was clearing my shelves that I bought plenty of books over the years that I don’t keep after I read them once or twice. They were good, but I wasn’t likely to re-read them. Borrowing and returning not only frees space on my shelves, but saves me having to find a home for a book at a later time.
- As to finding books I would like and want to finish, I found that I at least liked let alone loved all the books I found to read. It was freeing to try several new to me authors I’ve had recommended or discover ones for myself that turned out great. I also encountered authors I already enjoy their books and got to read a few I hadn’t gotten around to before. The KU recommendations that popped up once I started reading KU books made it easy notice books that qualified. I have more books I’ve seen in the KU service I want to read or listen to than I can read in a year so no fear that I would be stuck with books I didn’t care about reading.
And, another thing that I didn’t factor in when I was considering KU. Several of the KU books are available in both audio and print formats. The audio factor alone is a ginormous plus and one audiobook a month would already make the service worth it! It was easy to go back and forth between the formats and between devices (I read/listened on Kindle, phone, and computer) and, like Whispersync, it picked up right where you left off on your other device.
Getting to the books was simple. I went to a book’s page on Amazon, checked that it was available through KU, and then clicked on the ‘Read It For Free’ button instead of the ‘buy’. The book is loaded to all your devices that allow you to read Kindle books or listen to Audible books. You can load about 10 books into your KU stack if you want more than one at a time. Then, you can return them by going to ‘Manage Your Content and Devices’ section of your personal account to return the book. A few international countries can access KU through their Amazon marketplaces as a friend in the UK told me when I asked if they had KU, too.
There you have it! My conclusion is two-fold. Not only is the service reasonably priced, but I might actually sign up for it at some point after my trial is over. It’s been a wonderful experience and I still have a month left to enjoy it.
Here is the link to the frequently asked questions at Amazon if you want more information: https://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?docId=1002872331#faq
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