Kindle Unlimited: Not so Unlimited

 Kindle Unlimited:  Not so UnlimitedKindle Unlimited:  Not so Unlimited

I’ve been trying out KindleUnlimited. Amazon recently released this idea. You pay $9.99 a month and you get unlimited access to books and audio books. That sounds great, right, especially if you’re a heavy reader. Well, it’s not so great. I’ve had KindleUnlimited for about a week now, maybe a little longer. It’s been a great way to get more books in on my yearly book count, but the selection is not that great.

Now, here’s the thing, when I saw the word “unlimited” I imagined all access to everything that Amazon has in e-book form. What did I actually get? You get unlimited access to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and maybe a few more books, plus access to a few audio books. So while it’s nice that you don’t have a one book a month limit, it’s not nice that the selection sucks.

I was expecting a lot more out of this. Let’s work this out. If you have Amazon Prime, you pay $99 a year. With that you get the Prime streaming videos, Prime music, the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library,  and of course the holy grail of it all–free two-day shipping. $99 a year is more than reasonable price for all of this.

If you wanted to venture into the territory of KindleUnlimited, you would be paying approximately $120 a year for the same books in the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and a few audio books. I’m not an audio book person for the most part, so I’m in it just for the e-books. Now if I wanted to keep Prime and Unlimited that would run me about $220 a year. Quite frankly, I can go to the thrift shop each week of each month and get several books each time and come out cheaper than that.

I have looked. I honestly don’t see anything that exciting in Unlimited. I was looking in the children’s book section, which you would think would have just tons and tons of Unlimited books in it–it doesn’t. Most of the children’s books are for pay. There aren’t really any newly released books in Unlimited, unless you count Kindle Direct Publishing. That’s great if you like reading lots and lots of self-published authors.

Honestly, I would be happy if my book number for the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library would change. Instead of one book a month, I would say one book a week. One book a week is something I would be highly satisfied with. If you don’t have Amazon Prime, but you like to read a lot, KindleUnlimited may be a good choice for you, but why you don’t have Prime is beyond me. Prime is more than worth the money. Prime is honestly the better choice if you were going to choose between the two. You in no way need both. You just don’t. Nobody does. I don’t. You don’t. That guy down the road doesn’t. Nobody needs both KindleUnlimited and Amazon Prime.

For KindleUnlimited to be worth it, Amazon would need to have every book, or at the very least a much larger number of books accessible in KindleUnlimited. I’m saying at least one in three books needs to be in KindleUnlimited, if not one in two. Amazon could even do something like, “New releases aren’t in KindleUnlimited, but will go into KindleUnlimited after six months or a year.”

As far as I know, you can’t search through Kindle books by page count, which needs to be a thing, Amazon. So I can’t tell what books are short and what books are not. You can’t go into a category and filter for Unlimited, however, you can go into Unlimited and then select a category, such as “arts and photography,” but you can’t really filter that section any further. This is all on the actual Kindle by the way, further filtering may be possible when browsing from a computer.

I will probably use KindleUnlimited from time to time to get large amounts of books in during a small period of time, but with the limited selection that’s going to be difficult. I’m not going to read random crap just because it’s in Unlimited. The bright side of this is that there is a thirty-day trial period, so if you would like to try it out for yourself, you can.

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