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I love my Kindle Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Books Suck: Why I Love My Kindle More Than Dead Trees Modern e-readers hold thousands of novels, weigh next to nothing, have built in lights, and don't give you a concussion when they hit your nose. Read More — it’s the best way to read books. You can have hundreds of titles in one tiny package. I also love subscription services The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation The End of Ownership: Netflix, Spotify, and The Streaming Generation Read More — I’ve signed up for Netflix, Spotify, and a few others. So when I found out about Kindle Unlimited I was pretty excited: a subscription service for Kindle books? This I could get on board with.

Unfortunately Amazon’s promise of more than a million eBooks for just $9.99 a month is too good to be true. Let’s look at why.

There’s a Poor Selection of Books

Amazon likes to trumpet that Kindle Unlimited has more than one million books available for subscribers to read. Unfortunately, you won’t find many bestsellers or popular books in there. None of the major publishing houses have made their books available on Kindle Unlimited. That means no Penguin Random House, Hachette, Macmillan, HarperCollins, or Simon & Schuster. If you have a favorite author, there’s a good chance their work is published by one of these Big Five.


While writing this article I decided to dig a little deeper into the problem. Right now, there’s 1,293,482 books available on Kindle Unlimited. That number will have changed by the time you look; Amazon is adding new books every day. Of that, 1,259,598 books are Amazon Exclusives. This means they’re not available for sale anywhere else; in other words, they’re all self-published. That leaves just 34,884 non-exclusive books which is about 2.7 percent of the total. A large portion of these are also self-published, but some are likely to be from small publishing houses.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with self-published books, and success stories like Twilight and The Martian show there are some great books to be found, the lack of any books from popular authors is a problem. I don’t have the time or the interest to dig through the heap to try and find the next The Martian. I want to know that the books I’m reading are well written, properly edited, and entertaining.


The other side of this is even if you love reading indie titles, you’ve probably got a few major authors whose work you want to read too. For most people, Kindle Unlimited simply can’t replace buying books. If you want to pick up the latest George R.R. Martin or Bill Bryson title, you’ll have to buy them in addition to your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

It’s Expensive

Although $9.99 a month may sound pretty reasonable for all-you-can-read-eBooks, when you consider the price of the titles available it’s actually quite expensive.

The vast majority of self-published books on Amazon sell for less than $5. Many are less than $3 and some are even less than $1. This means that to make up for the $10 subscription fee, you’re going to need to read quite a few books a month.


If you only read the most expensive titles you can find, reading two books a month will see you saving some money, but you’ll most likely have to read three or four to make a saving. While plenty of readers can get through a book a week without any hassle (myself included), the temptation to read non-Unlimited books is going to be high.

Looking at the selection and the prices, I just don’t see many people being well served by a Kindle Unlimited subscription. If you like self-published books, you can easily pick up two or three a month for less than Unlimited costs, without the recurring payments. That way you can be far more flexible with how you spend your money.

You Need an Internet Connection

The best thing about the Kindle is that, unlike your phone, it doesn’t need to be charged every night or constantly connected to the Internet to be useful. If you use Kindle Unlimited, you lose some of this flexibility.

With Kindle Unlimited you can only have 10 books checked out at once. While that sounds like a lot, for many readers, this simply isn’t enough for an extended period away from WiFi. If I’m on holiday, I’ll get through a book a day. If even one or two books proves to be boring, or short, or any of a number of other things, then those 10 books won’t stretch to a week. That means that at some point I’ll be off hunting for a way to connect my Kindle to the Internet.


Although this might be an extreme example, the thing I love most about my Kindle is that I don’t have to update it all the time. Every couple of months I’ll load up on books. Unless something special catches my eye, I won’t connect my Kindle to the Internet from one month to the next.

Amazon Prime Is a Better Deal

If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber you already have access to Kindle Unlimited’s library for free. You can only take out one book a month, but if there’s a few titles you want to check out without paying for them, it’s a decent way to do it.


Amazon Prime is awesome 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now 6 Amazon Prime Benefits You Might Be Ignoring Right Now Scratch the surface. Amazon Prime has so many more benefits that people have forgotten about or simply don't realize exist. Read More and well worth signing up for with or without the free eBooks. Unless you’re ripping through self-published Kindle Exclusives, an Amazon Prime subscription costs less and offers countless other benefits like free shipping, great TV shows 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money 10+ TV Shows That Make Amazon Prime Worth the Money Netflix is undoubtedly the king of the movie and TV show streaming services. However, Amazon Prime has some fantastic television shows that make it worth the asking price. Read More , and Amazon Prime Music Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance Why You Should Give Amazon Prime Music a Second Chance There are several reasons why you might want to give Amazon Prime Music a second chance. It certainly deserves much more credit than it's currently getting. Read on to find out why. Read More .

Other Services Are Better

While Oyster appears to have been acquired by Google Oyster's Dead: What's the New Netflix for eBooks? Oyster's Dead: What's the New Netflix for eBooks? The popular eBook subscription service Oyster just shut down, so where are you supposed to get your ebooks? Read More , Scribd is still around and for $8.99 a month you can read three books and listen to one audiobook. The big difference is that Scribd’s catalogue includes books from HarperCollins Scribd And HarperCollins Launch All-You-Can-Read Book Subscription Service For $8.99/m Scribd And HarperCollins Launch All-You-Can-Read Book Subscription Service For $8.99/m Scribd is getting into the digital book distribution market with the launch of a new subscription service, offering a significant amount of the HarperCollins catalogue to subscribers. Read More and Simon & Schuster. You’ll actually find books from bestselling authors like Stephen King or Walter Isaacson available for you to download.


You can’t use your Kindle to read books you take out on Scribd — you need to use a Web browser, or an iOS or Android device — but that seems to be a reasonable trade off for access to a far better library. If you want to sign up for an eBook subscription service, it’s a better option.

Wrapping Up

Kindles are amazing and eBooks are the future. While Spotify and Netflix have managed to be really successful at turning music and movies into a subscription service, Amazon hasn’t seen the same results. Kindle Unlimited is a great idea but until the Big Five come on board it’s always going to lack the books most people want to read. When that finally happens, and it will happen, I’ll be the first to sign up.

Have you tried out Kindle Unlimited? What did you think of it? Do you agree with us that it’s not yet worth the money? Or do you love it, and couldn’t live without it? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  1. Maggie-Ann Smith
    March 22, 2017 at 1:11 am

    Thanks for sharing your research. I was thinking of unlimited but if it doesn't give me the books I want to read there is no point. I'll just keep buying them, but I wonder what happens when my dear little paperwhite runs out of space. Maggie-Ann

  2. Jack Ballas
    March 9, 2017 at 4:54 am

    I agree with Harry Guiness. Fortunately, I have taken advantage of the free trial period. After reviewing the Unlimited Library I found very few books worth reading unless you have a penchant for romance novels and fictional and non-fictional murder stories. Very few authors of any significance are on the huge list of titles and even less chatter about the books on the list. Almost no historical volumes and, other than entertainers, not much in the way of biographical material.
    In short, it was extremely disappointing.

  3. zachary Huss
    February 25, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I have bought e-books for a while now and their fantastic. When I get into a want for reading I read 600 pages in 2 days maybe 3 all depends on my work schedule and if the book is good. For instance i just read a 300+ page book in roughly 1 day at $2 for it, however there's times I don't read for months. At $10 a month when I read it's well worth the money however when i don't well it's a waste of money. Recently I bought $15 of e-books and didn't want more on the bill so I had to wait which was very frustrating due to wanting to read the rest of a series. All around the unlimited seems a good deal for me when I'm reading, Especially when I could buy way more books then I do now.

  4. Chad Nichols
    February 24, 2017 at 3:32 am

    You make some very good points. However, I want to point out that while you are likely correct for the majority of people, there are going to be some whose "mileage may vary", to use internet parlance. I personally enjoy the Urban Fantasy genre, and for that, at least, there are plenty of examples: Melissa F. Olson, Jasmine Walt, and John G. Hartness come to mind first. As I can easily go through three books a week, Kindle Unlimited is a godsend.
    As I mentioned, I'm an exception to the rule, though. Most people will likely find you to be correct.

  5. Pam
    February 11, 2017 at 1:09 am

    I love Kindle unlimited. Before I discovered it I was spending well over $100 a month in books. Yes, I do have to still buy some of my favorite authors which are not included but the vast majority of my reading material comes from unlimited. This month I spent less than $20 on books including the $9.99 subscription. Sooo worth it for me!

    • zachary Huss
      February 25, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      I believe there's more of us that read heavily then people that read very little taking advantage of e-books. I for one don't wanna buy hard copy books or else I'd run out room and money very quickly. I do believe kindle unlimited is fairly priced and is a good choice.

  6. YODAT
    February 9, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    The one thing that this fails to account for is those of us that listen to audiobooks. On kindle unlimited, you can listen to a lot of books for free with the subscription. Or if they aren't 'read and listen for free' titles, you can check the book out on KU, then buy the audiobook straight from audible for $2. I'll listen to 5 to 10 books a month, and even if I'm paying $2 for each one, at $30 for 10 audiobooks, that's a bargain considering an audible credit costs $15.

  7. Kelly
    February 6, 2017 at 3:10 am

    I have only had Kindle Unlimited since December 2016 and so far I love it. I read a lot--I go through 2-3 average size books a week (3-400 pages) and prior to KU I was spending one to two hundred a month on books. I have found many choices from authors I like (Koontz, King) and have discovered several authors and titles I never would have tried had I gone into a bookstore and had to pay $10-$15 dollars each for them. Since the books are free (except for the monthly subscription fee), I don't feel cheated if I try a new book that turns out to be something I don't like or want to finish. The way I see it, if I find one book each month that I really like, I'm breaking even. So far, in 2 months, I have read 10 books that I have thoroughly enjoyed and am waiting for the next books in 2 of the series to be available.

  8. Carla
    January 25, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Since I often read 2 to 3 books a day and love fantasy, it is not unusual for me to read 30 or more books a month. for me Kindle unlimited is a bargain as I am not interested in who wrote the book per se', I am only interested in whether or not I wanted the story to continue.

  9. Mary
    January 23, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    I totally agree with all of the points made about Kindle Unlimited. Yes, if you really search you can find some talented authors but I always end up reading many subpar books in the long run. I read about two books each week so based on pricing I am getting my money's worth. However, they are not the books I would LIKE or CHOOSE to read if I really had unlimited options. Go to your library or an in town thrift book store. Skip Kindle Unlimited.

  10. Darlene Malley
    December 19, 2016 at 4:50 am

    I have begun to realize that I can't read that much in one month. I wish to stop the subscription but can't find where to do this.

    • MJ
      December 23, 2016 at 6:21 am

      Go to your Kindle Unlimited library (using a web browser). From that page you'll see either "manage my subscription" or "cancel my subscription". Just cancelled mine yesterday.

  11. Barb f
    December 19, 2016 at 2:28 am

    Unlimited sucks, for the reasons the article stated. And prime is only OK. The best is using my local library, free! Especially with an overdrive account on my kindle!

    • Darren Downs
      February 15, 2017 at 12:03 pm

      Between using my library's e-book program & Bookbub, there's no need for KU. Amazon is great for shopping, especially living in a rural area but KU just isn't a good fit. Love my Kindle Paperwhite. Had the same one for about 3 years, love that it doesn't need to be charged but about once/month.

  12. stacie markham
    December 5, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    I someone who loves to read and goes through a book every 2 or 3 days, I can't imagine having to pay for 2 or 3 books a week. And yes, you do have to dig to find descent books. But you can always find one if you bother to do some research. Sure you find a lot of cheesy books, but you can also find good ones. I like to read new authors and have managed to find some really talented writers through kindle unlimited.

    • Nana
      December 14, 2016 at 6:05 am

      Exactly. I was just going to write nearly the same thing. The article itself states "The vast majority of self-published books on Amazon sell for less than $5", so that's less than the cost of two books at $5 each for an entire month. If, like us, you read 15 to 25 in a month, it's a bargain and a half!

  13. Dawn
    November 29, 2016 at 4:01 am

    I am a big reader and I love Kindle Unlimited. I have been turned on to a lot of new authors that I wouldn't have normally read.

  14. Robert DeNike
    November 22, 2016 at 2:37 am

    Harry, this is exactly what I sensed from the trial membership. I'm now GLAD I canceled my subscription before I got my first bill! Thanks for corroborating my suspicions that it would be a waste of money!

  15. Angela
    November 14, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    I love Kindle Unlimited but I hate Amazon and their exclusivity . Way to kill competitors Amazon and make authors depend on your kindness.

  16. Nancye Jolly
    October 29, 2016 at 4:31 am

    I love unlimited You can have. 10 books at a time when u are finished you delete the one you read. Some of the best books I've ever read are self published. There are several popular authors that occasionally offer a book on there. Give it a try. I love the mysteries and thrillers and humorous ones.

  17. Velma Bourn
    October 25, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I wish to cancel the kindle unlimited. Velma Bourn. DO NOT TAKE ANY MORE MONEY OUT OF MY ACCOUNT FOR IT!!!

    • Nathan Hancock
      November 28, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Are you aware that leaving a comment on a random comment section on the internet will not actually deactivate your Kindle Unlimited account? I'm curious if, now being one month later, you've successfully deactivated your account or if you've blown up on a random call center employee who works for an unrelated company because you were charged for another month of the Kindle Unlimited service.

      • Tanya
        December 16, 2016 at 7:26 am

        Haha! I was thinking the same thing.

        • Joy
          January 8, 2017 at 4:56 am

          "I declare bankruptcy!!"

  18. David Hefner
    October 14, 2016 at 1:34 am

    I've been using Kindle Unlimited since March '15, and have used it for at the absolute least, 200 books (by my guestimation, most likely closer to 300). For me, it's definitely worth the money. Just the Star Force series by Aer-ki Jyr was 105 books (at 3.99 each, as I read them singularly, not in the multi-packs). I've found myself giving authors I'd never heard of a chance simply because the books were available for free, and found several series I quite enjoyed. I do still buy the occasional new book by my favorite authors (Charles Stross, Larry Correia, David Brin, etc) when they are released, but supplement the time between their releases by delving into others I've never heard of (like the Star Force series, if I hadn't had Kindle Unlimited, I'd never have given it a chance). I find that I read much more than I did before flipping the switch on Unlimited, and I'm now reading several books a week, where I used to read maybe a couple a month at most. For me, it's absolutely worth the monthly fee.

  19. Christine
    October 9, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I think it depends on how much you read. I read way more than $10 a month of books. I'm currently reading an entire historical fiction series that runs $1-3 a book, and I'm on book #23 in less than two weeks. These are shorter books; I average about 3-4 books a week. Even at $1 each, that's still more than $10 a month. :)

  20. Momoko Y
    October 7, 2016 at 5:25 am

    Thank you for your review. I was thinking about giving Kindle Unlimited a try. But sounds like it's better to stay with Scribd.
    With Scribd, I could find my favourite authors & if you pay annually, it is way cheaper ($48/year).
    Audiobooks are available as well.
    I loved Audible. But since Scribd started audiobook service, I've cancelled that too.

    Maybe I will check out again next year, my annual renewal time.

  21. Romancefantasy
    October 6, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    Interesting article. I love my kindle unlimited subscription and would not want any other. The kindle unlimited program was made for people like me. A ravenous trashy romance novel reader. Historically, romance novels account for about 50 percent of all paperback novels sold. Many romance novel readers are notorious for reading a book a day. Back in the old days I would carry two books in my purse, just in case I finished one on the bus going back and forth to work. I spent every payday in the bookstores buying five or six romance novels. I was a member of Doubleday book club, and the literary guild, and love swept book clubs. I read romance exclusively. I started reading ebooks back in the early 2000s on a palm pilot. I was buying ebooks from Amazon back when they were adobe pfd and Microsoft reader format. I was a member of when it was mostly sci fi and fantasy marketed towards geeky guys. I was buying indy romance ebooks from small publishers who are now long gone out of business back when everybody was saying ebooks would never catch on and they would never read one. I recall getting mad when my favorite indy author was published mainstream because back then that meant they would not be available on ebook format anymore. It took mainstream publishers a long time to get on the ebook bandwagon. And all that time indy authors and publishers were cranking out interesting romance in niche genres that the big boys wouldn't touch. LBGT romance, erotic romance, speculative, sci fi, paranormal, etc. So I will read indy self published romance until I die. Amazon knows there are a lot of women like me out there. We are their bread and butter. We will read anything with a happily ever after ending and a baby in the title lol. Kindle unlimited was made for me and people like me who like reading a specific genre and don't care who wrote it or published it as long as it is fun to read.

    I haven't bought a novel in a bookstore in years and don't intend to ever again if I can help it. The amount of ebooks in my tbr pile will last me forever already. I still have peanutpress/ books I have not read in prc/pdb format yet. I don't like Stephen King or any of those types of authors anyway. I used to read Dean Koontz and out of curiosity I joined his mailing list. For the price of his new book in ebook format I can buy a used textbook. I need the textbook, I don't need Dean Koontz.

    I wrote a whole lot just to say that Kindle unlimited was made for a base audience of hard core genre fans. And I am sure Amazon is making money on us and so are the authors we support. If I like a good author I will read all of their books and I will even buy the ones that are not unlimited books too. If you are reading a niche genre then Kindle unlimited is the way to go and not a waste of time and money.

    • Mindy
      November 17, 2016 at 7:33 pm

      Thank you for this review of Kindle Unlimited! It was very helpful. I, like you, am also a strictly Romance reader. More Comtemporary Romance bordering Erotic. I can plow through about 5 books a week, so it CAN get costly even at $3.99 per ebook! I find myself going on a LOT of " no buy" periods...not ALLOWING myself to purchase anything unless it's free or $.99...this month I think I bought something like 10-12 $.99 books!...LOL! I don't work anymore and have health issues that cause me to stay home, so reading my "smut books" as my adult children call them, is my sole enjoyment! I think Kindle Unlimited would pay off for me. I LOVE Indie writers, and almost all the books I see on Amazon that I want to buy are on Kindle Unlimited. Before I looked into and started reviewing it, I thought you got to KEEP all the books you downloaded. Now I see they are just BORROWED. Yes, on a rare occasion, I WILL re-read a book I love. I'm not sure you can re-borrow a book if you wish to re-read? Do you know the answer to this?

      • Nana
        December 14, 2016 at 6:09 am

        Yes, you can re-borrow, as many times as you want. You are allowed up to 10 at any time, so if you want, you could even keep a title or two on your device, if you re-read it often.

        I love the service. It's really lightened the cost of my book devouring habit.

  22. Cherise Kelley
    September 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    Twilight was NOT self published. Perhaps you're thinking of Fifty Shades of Grey.

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Would you believe if I said it was a test? ;) You're 100% right.

    • Helen Karol
      December 9, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't self-published either.

    • Helen Karol
      December 9, 2016 at 1:10 pm

      Fifty Shades of Grey wasn't self published, either. Popular myth.

  23. Alexandria Constantinova
    September 2, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    I had KU for over almost two years, but I cancelled after getting exhausted searching for books that were not romances. Seems like virtually every self-published book on Amazon is a romance, no matter if you're looking for suspense, mystery, thriller, literature, etc. No matter which genre I picked, the same titles came up in KU, and there's no way to get to titles nearer the end of the list. Amazon calls books with 2 reviews "Best Sellers." I was sick of reading romances that were pretending to be other genres, books published by Amazon imprints (they are the definition of formula fiction), and poorly written/edited self-published books, all of which dominate Ku. As you wrote, I also couldn't find any books published by New York publishers or NYT bestsellers that were eligible for KU. After the 15-billionth romance parading as something else, I dropped my KU subscription.

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 7:58 am

      Hahahhaha that sounds like some other reports I've heard. There's a really healthy romance scene but not much in the way of anything else.

  24. Janae
    August 30, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree! I signed up for the free trial before a vacation and was disappointed to find none of the three titles I was specifically looking for for my book club were available. With two young kids I have less time for reading and don't enjoy wasting that time searching for something I'm interested in when I already have a long list backlogged. Thanks for the article.

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 7:59 am

      Exactly Janae. It's not that there aren't books there, it's just that there aren't the books most people want to read there.

  25. Mike
    August 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I have been reading e-books for a few years. I started by buying from Smashwords and have spent a couple hundred dollars there. Gradually, all my favorite authors migrated to Amazon. I get good value from Kindle Unlimited for 3 reasons (which you may not have):

    1. There are 2 readers in my household who use the service, so the price is effectively half (something to use those old phones for - as long as I still own the phone, it is "my device", even if it is in another family member's pocket/purse.)

    2. We both like Zombie, Post Apocalyptic, and Space science fiction. There is a HUGE, and I mean really huge, growth in books in these genres.

    3. When you find an author you like, they usually have 3 - 10 books they have written and usually keep writing more in the same series or in a similar series.

    I have my own music playlist and am not interested in new songs. I already have over 100 hours of purchased songs. Between Librivox (free audio recordings), super cheap old time radio recordings, Gutenburg (free public domain classic books), netflix (watch a series at a time), and Kindle unlimited, we spend less than $20.00 a month for in-home entertainment. This allows us to spend entertainment dollars supporting live performers in our community (plus the occasional Director's cut DVD's, such as the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit trilogies.)

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 8:02 am

      Glad to see you're finding value Mike, and most importantly, that you're going to actual live performances. Way too many people miss out on how awesome the theatre and live music is.

  26. Laura
    August 16, 2016 at 12:30 pm

    As someone who reads 2-3 books a week, I find Kindle Unlimited really useful. Yes, I still buy some books outside of the subscription, but I would anyway. I have prime as well, which I use for videos & music. I've just cancelled an audible subscription because a lot of the kindle unlimited books now also come with narration (useful when I'm driving / in the allotment).

    Some of the books aren't great, but I've tended to find series or authors I like and then done a load of them together.

  27. Colin
    August 15, 2016 at 9:11 pm

    The points you make are excellent. There are certainly kinks that need ironing out. Amazon ought to develop a method for clearing the smog from the dark satanic mills of hacks and scammers if they expect the customer base to continue to grow.

    But as an indie author, I have not found a more promising program than Kindle Unlimited. I'm using it for a sci-fi series.

    Currently rated 4.5 stars, readers liken it to Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

    (And yes, it's well written, properly edited, and entertaining.)

    • Harry Guinness
      September 16, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Yeah, great points Colin. It is good for Indie authors. It'd just be great if Amazon stopped bragging about how many books they had, and started making it so that they had a lot of good books readily available.

  28. Tany B
    July 8, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I have been a member of Amazon for over a decade, Prime for over almost three years and Kindle Unlimited for over a year. I love to read and as a mom who works a 9-5, Monday through Friday, I devour books on my downtime. On a weekend when there is nothing going on or when I'm waiting for the kids at one of their events, I have my Kindle and I'm reading. Having access to over a million different genres of books, is amazing. No, you're not going to have access to bestsellers but I have been introduced to many self published outstanding authors that I've followed from their first book to their 14th. These authors have well-written and edited books that can often compete with mainstream published authors. Bonnie Lamer, Nicola Claire, A&E Kirk, or one of my favorites - Elle Summers.

    Anyone that reads this article is being misled and as an avid reader and Kindle Unlimited subscription holder, I can attest that you will find excellent paranormal, romance (historical, time travel), science fiction and even cookbooks. My children are older but I've found excellent YA novels that compare to the Twilight series that are clean and "free" for my daughter.

    While KU isn't for every reader, it is still worth the price for us because we can easily go through 40 books (sometimes more) every month. For my family, KU is an amazing value.

    • Donna Flynn
      October 9, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      I agree. I love Kindle Unlimited. I read anywhere from 30-50 (sometimes more) books a month and that would add up if i bought every one of those books. Yeah, KU only lets you check out 10 books but I can return them and get 10 more any time I want. As for the books that are available, yeah I can't get James Patterson (so I will buy those or go to the library) but the authors that I do get are great. I have found so many new authors that I didn't know were out there. Some of the best books I have ever read are by self-published authors. If you only read 2-3 books a month, yeah you probably shouldn't get the membership but if you read at least 10 then you are getting your money's worth.

  29. Joann C
    June 23, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I recently joined a Book Club and the last 2 books have not been available on Kindle Unlimited. I joined the Kindle unlimited and cancelled my Audible subscription just to find out that I can't get the books I want and have to pay extra for the audible version. Very disappointed and just order from Kindle or try Google Plus.

  30. Mindy Pollock
    May 24, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I agree! I kept it because my husband was reading Robert J Thomas - Jess Williams series. There is something like 50 books in the series. He got half way through and they pulled them out of Kindle Unlimited. Meanwhile the author raised the price on the books. They are simple one day reads and so I cancelled my Kindle unlimited because I don't see anything else to get. The other problem is because he was reading this, everyone got a recommended book on our Kindles. It was a porn western with a nude woman on the front. This also went on my grand kids Kindles. When I complained to Amazon they said to just do a search for other types of this won't be recommended anymore.....Those are the types of books you find on Kindle Unlimited..

  31. Adam
    May 1, 2016 at 5:18 am

    I totally agree with you Harry - Kindle unlimited just doesnt have the kinds of books I would expect to be able to download for $10 a month. It does have a lot of self-help books and easy to read romance and mystery novels, but is sorely lacking in authors who have achieved national or international prominence. Better to take advantage of the public library in my opinion.

  32. Theresa
    April 30, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Luckily I get free kindle and audio books through the library. I think they let you check out 11 or 12. I barely use up the credit each month.

  33. Pravin
    April 30, 2016 at 3:49 pm


    I completely disagree with this article. You know why?

    1) I have used Kindle Unlimited in the past and it's worth more than the price we pay. I was very much satisfied with the collection of books offered in all genres. Yes, you don't get all best-selling books on Unlimited. But there are many many many good books out there.

    2) I love reading and writing, pen(cil) and paper mostly. During my subscription period, I would have read at least 8-10 books a month on Unlimited. If I had to buy those books, it would be between 35-50 USD.

    There's a limit on number books you can read/borrow at a time. That's absolutely fair. I always take notes and concentrate on a few books at a moment, that doesn't bother me at all.

    The only reason I stopped my subscription was due to time constraint. I didn't have much time besides my freelance work. I still enjoy paper books and notes when I get time. That's still my cup of tea.

  34. ChaiSpice
    April 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    $9.99 is expensive for access to over a million books? I have a subscription and read about 3 books a week, fiction and nonfiction. Most good, some bad. I frequent Barnes and Noble each month and buy 2-3 books. Most good some bad. But I get it you're trying to sell people Oyster. Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful service for voracious readers.

  35. Royale With Cheese
    April 28, 2016 at 1:35 am

    Just plain wrong. There are tons of great indie fiction authors and the cost of the subscription more than pays for itself when you factor in non-fiction. But, if you do(read) what you're told by groupthink, then of course you would lament not being able to find the limited scope of books and authors provided by the big 5.

    • Isabella
      December 27, 2016 at 4:24 am

      This! I have no interest in reading James Patterson, or Stephen King, or Danielle Steel, or Nora Roberts. I PREFER to read indie authors in the genres I like. So much good stuff out there. And I find not having to wade through the NYT bestsellers that I have zero interest in to be a BONUS. It is very rare for there to be anything on the NYT list that I'm remotely interested in reading - but I usually get some good gems from Amazon's recommendations.

  36. Tanieka
    April 28, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I hate to be the bad guy but I have several points that make this post false. Most of the good romance writers are self published and many have there series on Kindle unlimited they are amazing authors with huge amounts of readers but are not publish by the big houses. I go there 40 to 50 books a month with my unlimited scribd use to be unlimited but now only give you 3 books a month that a joke. For a serious reader of mc romance, or paranormal that is the way to go

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      I'm glad you're getting good use out of KU. It's not that there aren't people like yourself, it's just that the vast majority of people aren't going to get enough use from it.

  37. unknown2070270179
    April 28, 2016 at 1:27 am

    I think KU is for voracious readers who devour a few books a week. A limited group for sure, but i've met a few.

    Also, it's great for previewing books. Looking for a book on subject x? Previews 10, 20, 100, for "free." If you search a lot, it can come in handy.

    Prime is certainly the better deal though. KU is for a niche market and oversold. Nice writeup!

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Yeah you need to really be plowing through books for it to make a difference. Glad you liked it!

  38. Brad
    April 27, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    I very much disagree. My wife and I share an Amazon account and between us we read about 15 Kindle unlimited books a month.

    There's never buyers remorse. There are a lot of good self-published series. Several have been turned into TV series, movies, etc over the years.

    If you want to read a specific book or author; and you don't read much - then I agree - it's not worth the money. But for anyone who is a voracious reader - it's amazing.

    The fact it works anywhere in the world is amazing. I live in the US; but spend 3-4 months a year in Africa or Europe and I can be sitting in the outback of Kenya, where there is an internet connection, and just grab a new book if I want. Many online systems have country lock-out where you can only get books from a single country; since these are amazon books - the system works in any country and there's no messy copyright laws.

    While its not for everyone; for those who spend hours trying to figure out what $5 book to buy - they will save a lot of money since you can just return a book so you can just pick one and see if you like the author; for those who just like to read, for people who have kids and they want to quickly grab a new bedtime story (there's a decent amount of Children's tales on Kindle Unlimited); it's a can't miss product.

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:28 pm

      "Can't miss" is a little strong but I'm glad to see you're getting use from it. I read a lot (60+ books a year) but that's got nothing on your 15 a month. For me, I want to read certain books, not any books. Amazon's Kindle Store also works as normal around the world.

    • Jeremy
      September 25, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      Hi Brad (or anyone else who may be able to help)--

      I have a random questions that it seems like you may be able to answer for me. I'm making the leap to eBooks as opposed to hard copy...i just purchased a Samsung tablet and i was just wondering how "sync'd" my eBooks will be moving forward. For instance, I plan on buying a Kindle Paperwhite in the future...will any books I purchase now on my tablet be able to be transferred over when I make that purchase? Or if I purchase an eBook on my tablet is there anyway to read it on an iPhone or anything like that? Thanks in advance for any help!

      • Debbie
        February 23, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        I know with the nook it keeps all your books on your account so if you log in on another device through barnes and noble they will show up. I'm pretty sure it's the same with the Kindle.

  39. Susan
    April 27, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Most public libraries have ebooks now, many use the OverDrive system which has the ability to download kindle versions of the ebook. All you need is your library card and for most public libraries it is free.

    You may have to be on the waiting list for popular titles, but they email you when it is available.

    • Dann Albright
      April 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

      I was just about to say that! Kindle Unlimited really isn't very impressive, but getting books for free from the library is fantastic. You won't be able to load up on a ton of books, but you can probably offset the cost of buying a bunch before you go on vacation by getting popular books for free while you're not on vacation.

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      That's a great idea. Thanks for suggesting it.

  40. Melanie Groves VonFange
    April 27, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I find the DIY section, the dimestore novellas, the instructional books more than make up for what you perceive as 'poor selection'.In the last couple of months I have downloaded and I have a used a cookbook on to teach me the basics of dorm room cooking, a book on making jewelry, a boxed set on photography, sewing for beginners, photography 'hacks', DIY blacksmithing, a boxed set on gardening, budgeting, upcycling old clothing, making my own bread, baking, decorating AND photographing my child's birthday cake, drawing the human form, painting with oil and acrylic, and how to brew my own beer if I wanted to.

    So maybe it's just that you are not the kind of person who finds value in these things. It's not a waste of my money at all. It's saved me literally thousands of dollars in classes and the gas spent, and time cost of going out to do all those things.

    • Harry Guinness
      August 30, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      I'm glad you found it useful, but most people aren't in your boat. And Amazon certainly doesn't position Kindle Unlimited as a place to learn blacksmithing!