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.
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?
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.
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.
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
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!