The Discussion Post – Is Amazon Kindle Unlimited Worth It?

To begin this is not any sort of paid content or advertisement – It’s more me musing out loud and gratefully accepting anyone’s opinions! So a while ago I did a post about how reading can be a quite expensive hobby and the different ways to get hold of books. The other day when I was looking for a Kindle Freebie (I’d got an email to tell me the first book in a series I wanted to read for free for a few days) and I spotted this in the menu.

Amazon Prime.png

So what is Amazon Kindle Unlimited?

For those of us in the UK – I’m not sure if Kindle Unlimited is available throughout the world, and how it differs in different territories – it offers unlimited books, audiobooks and magazines to read across your devices using the Kindle app for £7.99 a month.

The UK version is available for people living in the UK, Ireland, Gibraltar, The Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey

So is it worth it?

I’m not 100% convinced. Unlimited books and magazines to read sounds fantastic which has got me wondering is it too good to be true?

The Books

For some I guess the biggest issue would be you don’t actually own any of the books you download using Kindle Unlimited. For me, it’s not really a big problem, there are certain books I re-read, but probably the majority of the books I own I read once and haven’t picked up since. If a book makes that much of an impact on my there’s nothing to stop me then buying it, either for my kindle or in print.

Amazon make a big claim that there are over 1 million books available to borrow through the scheme, and to be fair to them that’s accurate – A quick check shows there are currently 1,527,372 titles that are eligible for download as part of Kindle Unlimited. This sounds amazing but as we all know you can self publish for the Kindle, so I suppose the question is how many of these books are obscure self publications (which there’s nothing wrong with) and how many are available from major publishing houses – I don’t mind paying £7.99 a month, but is there any point spending that when I’d then have to buy 90% of the books I want to read in any given month. A random check of my current TBR found 1 out of the 10 books I looked for to be available, and about a third of the books in the current Top 100 Paid Bestsellers.

The Magazines

I’m not a big magazine reader at the moment so I’m not sure this would really swing it either way for me. It’s not clear from the website which magazines are available to read as part of this, but it sounds as though the selection available varies month to month.

The Audiobooks

This is the one area that probably could have swayed me as I currently have an Audible subscription which is the same price per month as Kindle Unlimited. I’ve currently got a few credits backed up, and as with books I rarely listen again to an audio book so not actually owning it wouldn’t really both me, and if the audiobooks I wanted were available I’d probably make the switch.

There are 24,819 audiobooks available through the scheme, all have whispersync so you can swap between the eBook and audio version with ease (supposedly – not something I’ve tried out). I checked out the Crime and Young Adult categories as for me these are my most read areas – but there wasn’t really anything that jumped out at me as wanting to read, although there were some authors/books I recognised, for example The Hunger Games trilogy is available


My Conclusion

I think for me in it’s current form the scheme is just not worth the £7.99 a month. As I mentioned it’s not the not owning the book that bothers me, I’m a big fan of libraries, although it’s not always the easiest to get to one, so this has the potential to be a really useful system. I think at the moment though there’s just not enough of the books I’m currently looking to read, and £7.99 a month (on top of my Audible, Netflix, and Sky subscriptions) for the off chance of discovering an unknown gem is just a little too much. If Amazon were to reach agreements with some of the mainstream publishers maybe it would probably be worth it, even if there was a delay of 6 months or so before the big new releases were added to it. Alternatively I already subscribe to Prime Video – which is £4.99 a month, I’ve often considered upgrading to the full Amazon Prime package, especially now they’ve introduced the monthly payments, which work out a little more expensive, but better than waving goodbye to £80 in one go, if Kindle Unlimited was included in this I’d probably go for it.

I’m quite happy to admit that I’m totally wrong though, so if you have it and you think it’s worth it let me know!

Sarah

22 Comments

  1. Don’t know if you’re aware of it but overdrive is awesome. It’s so you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks from your local library. All you need is a library card! Sometimes you do have to wait for books to become available but it’s free, so what’s not to like?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just had another look at it. I signed up when I first joined the library up here and I remember the books I was looking for at the time weren’t on there so I was a bit put off, but I’ve just managed to borrow 1 that I was looking to read and I’ve reserved a couple of it’s not as limited a range as I thought it was! Not perfect but definitely a better selection that Kindle Unlimited.

      I wonder though as it’s linked to your library if the range you get offers differs around the country so some people might find a lot more books than others

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sarah! I saw a post on FB and thought of you as Prime have now introduced Prime Reading and there are a tonne of books now available for free on Prime! Having a browse and really impressed actually, there’s even graphic novels =O

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think KU is okay if you are interested in read a lot of indie and self published authors. When it comes to more popular authors they are hardly on there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also use Overdrive for a good but of my reading and listening that aren’t ARC’s. But I also subscribe to Kindle Unlimited because the library doesn’t have books that some of the lesser known authors write. I have found that a probably read at least one book off my Kindle Unlimited account a month which pays for the subscription, so I feel it’s worth the cost. It doesn’t bother me at all to not own the book. If I love it, I’ll want it for my library and will purchase a copy!

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    1. Yeah, as I said the not owning is a problem, when I was looking at the Kindle Unlimited selection so many of the books seemed to be available to buy, for the kindle at least, for 99p. I’d need to be reading on average 8 of those a month to make it pay and I just can’t see it happening.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’ve got a good point!

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  4. Like you, I checked through my wishlist and there were so few of them available for Unlimited I decided to skip it. As others have said, libraries supply e-books, and audiobooks usually, for free, so I don’t really see the advantage of paying £7.99. I love Prime though for video and music, and because when I order a paper book, I want it now! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have Kindle unlimited. But it’s $10.99 a month here. I think it’s worth it, cause I read a lot of New Adult books that are on there. Books that I read once and never read again. So pay $11 to read 5 books or pay $3.99 for each book? That’s really what it comes down to for me. But after reading the other comments, I will definitely have to check out OverDrive. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me that maths just didn’t add up, it seems like the UK pricing for a lot of the books included in Kindle Unlimited was 99p, obviously there were some more expensive than that, but realistically to make it worth while I was going to have to be reading towards 8 books a month from it, timewise I just don’t have to time to make that realistic on top of work, reading ARCs and other books I already own, or borrow from the library. Plus then you have the time it takes to look through the hundreds of thousands of books to find the ones you want to read.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s true. I love it, but it’s not for everybody. Especially the price differences. 😊
        Great discussion post!

        Like

  6. […] On Saturday I posted a discussion post – Asking is Kindle Unlimited worth the £7.99 a month? […]

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  7. fairydancer221

    I remember in 2014 that Kindle Unlimited in the US said something like you could only read 10 or 20 books every month, which isn’t exactly a problem if you mostly read novels. My problem with that is that I would like to maximize such a subscription, but I feel like it’s a waste if I can’t read somewhere close to that maximum. I also don’t read nearly as many ebooks as I used to. The other features you mention, like the magazines and audiobooks, I don’t use those often, so it’s not worth it. If I read a magazine, I want a physical copy even more than I do a novel. I read maybe 1-3 audiobooks every year. Besides, I’m not sure what the real difference is between Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime (I don’t subscribe to this either) when it comes to books. Great discussion post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! It’s unlimited now (in the UK at least) but I don’t think there are enough of the books I want to read to make it worthwhile. I’ve never subscribed but I felt a bit cheated when I looked into it more, the UK landing page makes a big thing about having Harry Potter available, so I thought great there are some big publishers / authors signed up to this, but then it looked like the only well known series on it was Harry Potter.

      Amazon Prime doesn’t include anything on the Kindle (again in the UK at least) although you can get free next day delivery if you order an physical book. If they included it within Prime I’d be tempted to upgrade as I already have a Prime Video subscription.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. fairydancer221

        I went to read an article that looked further into the U.S. side of Kindle Unlimited since I live there. Amazon Prime here does let us read 1 book for free, but the best part of Amazon Prime for me is free 2-Day shipping. The article also tried to analyze the books available, and in the US most of the Amazon non-exclusive books (like from Hatchette, Simon & Schuster, etc.) are not included in Kindle Unlimited. Whatever the apparent perks in the US or UK, I still don’t think Kindle Unlimited is worthwhile for me.

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  8. I don’t think I’d pay that much for it either. I also have an Audible subscription but I’m considering cancelling it soon until I’ve listened to the backlog of audiobooks I have!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m definitely reconsidering my Audible subscription – It’s served me well when I wasn’t reading as much as I could have been but since the beginning of the year I’d been reading so many more physical books I’ve not really listened to many – if any – audiobooks, I’ve got a backlog of ones I’ve downloaded to listen to, and a backlog of 3 credits to do something with!

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      1. I guess the good thing about it is that you can cancel and just come back whenever you like!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. True – I paused it for a few months last year, but you can only do it once a year

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  9. I did a free trial of KU but didn’t end up keeping it because I am already so overloaded with books that I need to read, there was really no reason to pay $10 a month to add more to the pile! Oh, and I agree with what everyone has said about the library. My library has a fantastic selection of audiobooks, so I get all I’d ever need from there!

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  10. Kel

    I tried the Kindle Unlimited free trial a little while back, and it didn’t have enough titles I was interested in to stay with it. I’ve been meaning to run a trial on Scribd and see how that goes; I think they might have a little more from mainstream publishers, and they might still be doing one audiobook a month, too?

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  11. I’ve been using it for a few weeks as part of a free trial, and will renew when the trial is up. Kindle Unlimited includes many of my favorite titles, and I’ve found tons of books I’m interested in on KU. I had an Audible subscription a few years ago and cancelled it after a few months.

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