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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.



Amazon, amazon kindle, amazon prime, amazon prime vs kindle unlimited, Kindle, kindle books, kindle ownder’s lending library vs kindle unlimited, kindle owner’s lending library, kindle unlimited, kindle unlimited has a poor selection, Kindle Unlimited: Not so Unlimited, one book a month
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Thoughts and Ponders

Does Anyone Else Think $9.99 is a Little Much?

I am all for authors making money, I’m also all for me spending the least amount of money possible. I’m a cheap skate. As many books as I buy each month, I only end up spending about ten dollars on those books. I get my books on the cheap. The thrift shop is my main go-to, but I also peruse the free books on Amazon for my Kindle. The thing about e-books is that if you want a new release you’re going to pay out at least $9.99 if not more.

As I am a cheap skate, $9.99 seems a little steep. A printed version of a book I can totally understand being $9.99. I remember paying twenty-something dollars for each of my Harry Potter books. That’s fine. They’re printed. They have a rather nice dust jacket and I’m getting something people are going to enjoy for years to come. A lot goes into printing a book. You have to think about the author writing all the words. Then someone editing those words. You have to think about somebody formatting all of that. I’m sure that is quite the job in itself. Then you have to think about the cost of the paper. The actual printing process. The ink used to print the words. The glue and binding to hold those words together. the cover. The dust jacket. The artist who designs the dust jacket. The person who writes the little blip concerning what the book is about. The short blurbs on the cover of the book from various reviewers. Then promotion and distribution come into play. How much does it cost to get the author from point A to point B to do a book signing. Blah, blah, blah. It’s a lot of work.

Now as for e-books, it isn’t quite as much work. On an e-book we’re out the author’s time writing the book, the editing, and the formatting. That’s pretty much it. There is no cost for paper or printing services. I can’t quite see $9.99 going towards an e-book.

It has been mentioned before that e-books must provide a huge profit margin. I don’t know the exact numbers, but I have to agree. I think the profit margin is probably greater on e-books than it is on printed books.

There are the advantages to paying $9.99 for an e-book though. You don’t have to wait for it. You don’t have to go to the store to get it. You don’t have to hope it shows up at the thrift shop one day. It’s in your hands right away. It also doesn’t cost quite as much as the printed version of the book, well, most of the time the e-book is cheaper than the printed version.

Sometimes we run into situations where the printed book is actually cheaper than the e-book. I’ve seen this plenty of times on Amazon. Why? It stands to reason that if your price for the printed version drops, the price of the e-book should equal or be less to the price of the printed version.

There are plenty of books that I would love to read on my Kindle or my tablet. You know what though? I’m just not going to pay that much to read them. I have a library a couple of miles down the road if I’m that desperate. I find a lot of my best stuff at the thrift shop for fifty cents or a dollar.

I consider the $9.99 price too steep for what I’m getting in return. Now, if the e-book is a thousand pages long or so, that is a completely different story. I can go for $9.99 then because it seems like a bargain.

Many other people have brought up the same point, but the prices seem to stay the same. I’ll stick with the free and the cheap stuff for now.


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Collected Works, Comical true life, Non-Fiction, Torkells-Erik

#74 A Stingray Bit my Nipple: True Stories from Real Travelers by Erik Torkells and the Readers of Budget Travel

Summary:

Just imagine, you’re on vacation, when something unexpected happens……you get bit by a stingray on the nipple. I will level with you, I had to read this after reading the title. Where in the world, besides here, are you going to find the words ‘stingray’ and ‘nipple’ in the same sentence? Nowhere! When two completely unrelated items are in a title of book you know it’s going to be comical and this definitely was.

This books holds a collection of short paragraphs sent in by readers of Budget Travel. Each story is quite entertaining. There are quite a few stories about incidents with animals, including the one about the stingray.

There are also hilarious stories about tour guides and waiters on cruise liners. Wear a black dress to dinner on one cruise line, no matter your sex, and get plenty of attention from the waiter.

Also contained in this collection are stories about interesting and embarrassing cultural experiences. Bidet stories abound.

What I liked: It’s short and easy to read. There are also pictures, which add quite a bit to the stories. This book is currently free on Amazon for Kindle, so snap it up for some light reading. You could actually read the entire book in one sitting if you chose to do so.

The stories were comical and heart-warming at the same time. One of my favorites is about ordering a side dish called something like “we tell you you’re beautiful all night long” and it’s not actually food. The waiters just tell you that you are beautiful the entire time you are there, which is just awesome.

 What I didn’t like: I think there could have been more stories. There were quite a few and I really liked them, but there could have been more. They could have also been arranged into categories, for example, animals, culture, transportation, etc..

The formatting wasn’t the greatest for the Kindle. Pictures were on separate screens than stories and screen space was wasted after the ends of the stories. Who ever decided to release this on Kindle, needs to go back and format it correctly for the Kindle so it doesn’t look so bad when you’re clicking through it.

Overall impression is, it’s funny and it’s short. A good item to have to pick your mood up.

Anderson-Nephi, Books set in Europe, Christian Fiction, Fiction, Finding Your Self, Romantic Fiction, what if

#73 Added Upon by Nephi Anderson

Summary:

This is the second time I have read this book and I love, love, love, love it! This is one of the sweetest, simplest books I have read. I think I could just about read this book everyday and not get tired of it. It’s just a beautiful little book.

This is a Christian fiction book. So, yes, it does discuss beliefs.

There are basically two main characters in this story. A man and a woman. The woman is at first known by the name Delsa and the man known by the name Homan. Homan and Delsa meet in something called the pre-existence. The concept of the pre-existence isn’t something you hear about too often in Christian religions, but many people believe in something like it anyways, despite not being taught by their clergy specifically that it exists. Basically, it’s the concept that your soul or spirit existed before you arrived on the Earth. What makes you, you, has been around for a longer time than the twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, etc., years you’ve been alive on the Earth. Got it?

So Delsa and Homan become friends in heaven before they ever arrive on Earth. Then we follow each character in their trials and lives on the Earth. Homan is known as Rupert on the Earth and he is a hard-working young man who tries very hard to be industrious and take care of his widowed mother and younger sister. He does very well, and makes a dry valley flourish, but does eventually let pride get the better of him.

Delsa is known as Signe on Earth and lives in Norway. She is a young woman not quite sure of what her life should be and she admires the world around her. She ends up running away from a rich man who wants to marry her because she doesn’t feel that he is the right guy.

From this point in the story we also follow the rich man, who is named Henri Bogstead. His life is not easy either. His fiance and family try to disown him when he chooses to convert to a different religion from them, but he finds he is at home in his new religion. He eventually finds his way to the United States.

Signe also finds her way to the United States and eventually meets up with Rupert.

The story then follows each character through their mortal lives on Earth and then their afterlife, heaven, the spirit world, whatever you want to call it.

To know all the exact happenings you’re just going to have to read it. Good news! This book is free from project Guttenberg as an e-book, so you don’t have to spend any money or drive to the library to read it.

What I liked:  Honestly, I just adore this book. I know it’s not often that I give this much praise to a Christian fiction book. There are some of them I really like, but none of them come close to touching how much I like this one .

I like all the characters. Some are very sweet and some have had their troubles. They each learn during their cycle of life. In this case the characters aren’t just restricted to sixty or seventy years on the Earth, the reader gets to see an entire progression of the characters. I really love that. The reader gets to watch as the characters come to terms with going down onto the Earth from heaven, which they love, to be educated, tested, and tried. Then the reader gets to watch how each character grows in his or her life on Earth. We get to see how the people who met in the pre-existence, meet on the Earth. I mean isn’t that just an awesome concept? Wouldn’t it be totally cool to realize that you were awesome best friends with your best friend before your soul was ever on the Earth?  I think it’s a neat concept. The reader gets to see how each character is spending his or her afterlife. It’s just such a neat concept for someone who believes that there is life after Earth.

I like how Anderson writes. He could be very poetic. It wasn’t poetry, but the words flowed so well. It just seems like people don’t write like that anymore. By the way, this book is very old, so some things mentioned are a bit antiquated.

I also love the fact that this book lends to the belief that there is a heavenly father and a heavenly mother. That isn’t a wide-spread concept in Christianity and I love it. It just makes sense to me, so I love how Anderson can see it. I love how he was able to put this all together.

One of the greatest things I love about a Christian fiction done really well, is that I can really see why the author believes the way they do. It’s not just some sappy-sweet story about God, it’s a true testament as to why the author believes. Quite frankly, I wouldn’t care what religion a book promoted, as long as the author really made me feel why he or she believes that way through his or her inspired story. There are truths in all things. Any book that describes the truths a person knows, in such a fervent manner that it’s almost poetic, is beautiful. There can even be patriotic books like that and I have read a few patriotic writings that were just amazing. I want to be able to feel the author’s belief and Nephi Anderson succeeded in doing that in this book.

What I didn’t like: There isn’t much I didn’t like. There are a couple of discrepancies due to the age of the book. Primarily outdated technologies and outdated facts. Even with that said, Anderson was almost prophetic in predicting green energies. Yes, it’s mentioned in the book. Anderson speaks about processes and techniques that people are just now beginning to champion, which is amazing that he could see it that way. He also speaks of some outdated technologies, which is what I was talking about.

I don’t think Anderson expected the world to be around for as long as it has been. I think Anderson might have been of the personal belief that the second coming of Christ, which pretty much all Christians believe is going to happen some day, was going to happen soon. There are a few individuals that do things like not saving for retirement because they figure Jesus is coming back before they retire. It happens. I know it doesn’t make much sense, but every once in a while, you hear about a person that does something like that. Anyways, Anderson didn’t accommodate for more advancement in the world, even though he was talking about green energies, which was very clever. He must have reasoned that in the future people might want to live a little more environment friendly. After all, people in the year 1900 or so weren’t that worried about what they were doing to the Earth.

Not everyone is going to like this book as much as I do. Obviously people who don’t have a religion aren’t going to like the fact that it’s about religious matters. People that are still religious, can also be very closed-minded in concerns to other religions, so those people might not like this book either.

I honestly love this book. It’s a short read and it’s free.