Sophia’s Amazon Kindle Unlimited Review

Posted October 21, 2018 by Shari in Recommendations / 24 Comments

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. I would be paying to borrow a book I wasn’t going to be able to keep.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I did the 3 month trial for $0.99 as well and agree with so much of what you said. I had never even considered the program before the offer because I didn’t like the idea of paying for a borrowing service and I already have so much to read anyway. I have read (mostly listened to) 12 books in those 3 months and also have a long list of others I wish I would get to. I was able to buy a few add-on audiobooks for a great price that I will get to at a later date. I can… Read more »

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Oh yes! I did notice the low rate add-on price, too. Forgot to mention that. And, that is another way to take full advantage of the trial.

Like you, I’ll probably be cancelling after the trial, but am now very open to the service at a later time. I’ve even considered trying to get it just a few months a year when I don’t have a big stack of new ones to worry about and quiet times with other responsibilities. We’ll see. 🙂

3 years ago

I did KU for a year, and I read so many books via the service. I also discovered a lot of authors I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. The only reason I ended my subscription was because I was not reading any of my own books.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Sam@WLABB

Yes, you hit on one of my big pros and a big con for it. I’m still tossing around what I want for going forward. I’m considering paying for a month here and there and cancelling in between to see if that works better.

3 years ago

Your first reason was my main reason not to sign up for the 3 mo trial, although I was mighty tempted. My TBR mountain is just too huge. Those free and $0.99 books are my kryptonite. Maybe I’ll finally give it a try the next time Amazon has a similar offer.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  JenM

Yes, exactly! It is still a factor and, like you, I keep one-clicking. I think maybe I could do a month here and there during the year which would leave other months for my TBR and review commitments.. At least, that is what I’m considering now.

Lover Of Romance
3 years ago

I am glad to hear that you enjoyed the subscription so far. It doesn’t work so well for me, every time I sign up I never really see books that interest me and I don’t read enough to make it worthwhile. But I know many seem to really enjoy it.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, those were two of my big drawbacks, too. I think at different times of the year depending on how busy I am with other stuff or even other books would affect it. I am considering signing up for a month here and there to see how that works for me.

3 years ago

I haven’t tried it but I confess that it’s tempting

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, it was definitely an irresistible temptation with that 3-month offer. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
3 years ago

Glad to hear that you found this a worth while service to have.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Thanks, Mary! I was definitely persuaded that its a pretty good service after that.

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

Yes, I did the 3 month as well and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it, plus the Audiobook tie in was fantastic.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

They were so smart to make it a 3 month trial. One month would have not been enough for me to feel like I was able to make up my mind. Plus, habit forming. 😉 Definitely loved having so much available on Audible.

Carole rae
3 years ago

I’ve been tempted…but I already pay for the Audible package with the added bonus of the Romance Package. I like it a lot.

3 years ago

Great post Sophia! I also got the 3 months and have not read one book altho I have a long list I want to read. I will cancel and try again with some other special maybe Black Friday. I have just 4 days off between now and Oct 31 so I won’t get anything read the next 10 days.

Alex @ HEA Book Nerd
3 years ago

I’ve tried it in the past but unfortunately didn’t really like any of the books I tried. However it was nice to try those books for cheaper. I’m definitely open to using it in single month batches when I have a list of titles I’m interested in. But like you also said, my current pile books I’ve actually bought is looming

3 years ago

I did this trial too. There were actually a lot of books I already wanted to read on there, so that was cool. It isn’t really worth the monthly price for me though. I was worried I’d lose my highlights and notes once I lost access to the books, but thankfully they’re still available.

3 years ago

I did the 99 cent thing recently as well. I did cancel at the end. I found all kinds of books I wanted to read and did read. My big con was that books were mixed in with my tbr and I couldn’t always remember which was which. Also, I’m already doing the romance package on Audible and I use it constantly. Good post!

3 years ago

Lots of great reasons to jump on board Shari, and glad you’re enjoying it so much! Hugs…RO

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

I’ve been so curious about KU, I am just not a fast enough reader with the ARCs I already have as well as the books sitting on my TBR to have the service be worth it for me. I love the idea of finding new authors though. That is a big plus. I’m glad that KU seems worth it for you, it seems like a great service and I wouldn’t want Amazon to kill it for lack of usage.

3 years ago

I do like the idea, and I’m sure I’d find quite a few books to read, but at the same time, I own so many books that I still need to get to – so I don’t think it would be worth paying money just to get even MORE behind on books. LOL Also, I don’t like audios, so I’d be stuck with just the e-reader option. It sounds like if you can go back and forth, it makes it easier to get more books in. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


3 years ago

If you have Prime they have big discounts for the service during Prime Days. It’s up to 40% for the 2 year package and I think 30% for the 1 year. They’ll probably have something during the Christmas season as well.

I enjoy it but not sure if it’s worth the full price for me. But at the time I had a lot of review books on hand and not as much time to read KU books. If that shifts then full price would be worth it.

Karen @ For What It’s Worth

3 years ago

I prefer buying books on Kobo, so I am not a big fan of the whole KU program as it means I can’t buy the books on Kobo. But I do understand how handy it is for a lot readers and authors. It does sound weird that you won’t actually own the book, but then again there are a lot of books I won’t re-read again, so the whole lending thing sounds like it works for those books and if you want to own the book you can always still buy it. Sounds like the program is worth it for… Read more »