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Despite what the purists might say, the Kindle has done a lot to modernize the reading experience, even to the point of allowing people to read more every year. Being able to effortlessly carry hundreds of books with you anywhere you go will do that.
Sadly, most people don’t know that there’s more to it than simply “buy on Amazon and read on Kindle”. Amazon offers a handful of services that can help you find new stuff to read and acquire those eBooks for significantly less money in the long run.
And the best part is that most of these benefits apply whether you’re using a Kindle device or a Kindle mobile app. So if you like eBooks, no matter who you are, you owe it to yourself to check out these Kindle services.
1. Kindle Unlimited
Kindle Unlimited grants you access to Amazon’s massive library containing millions of eBooks and thousands of audiobooks. As long as you’re subscribed, you can read as many eBooks and listen to as many audiobooks as you want every month.
Kindle Unlimited only costs $10-per-month. That puts it on par with services like Netflix and Hulu, and in a lot of ways Kindle Unlimited is basically “Netflix for eBooks and audiobooks”, so if you prefer to get your entertainment from books than shows or movies, this is perfect for you.
Do you think it’s too expensive? Consider the fact that most best-selling books sell their Kindle versions for $10 to $15 a pop, meaning Kindle Unlimited is a steal even if you only enjoy one book per month!
2. Kindle First
Most people subscribe to Amazon Prime for the free two-day shipping and access to the Prime Video library, but there are so many other benefits to having a Prime membership that may interest you — including the Kindle First program.
With Kindle First, you get an email every month with a choice of 4-6 books that are releasing next month, and you get to select one of them for free. In other words, you get free one-month-early access to a book every month! And yes, you keep the book afterwards.
Each month’s offerings are spread across multiple categories (e.g. Legal Thriller, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Nonfiction Essays, etc.) so there’s a good chance that something will catch your eye every time.
3. Kindle Owners Lending Library
The Kindle Owners Lending Library (KOLL) is another one of the many benefits that come with a Prime membership and is accessible to anyone who has a full Prime account, a free Prime trial account, or an Amazon Student account (but not an Amazon Student trial account).
The KOLL allows you to borrow one book per month from Amazon’s vast library. You must return that book in order to borrow another book the next month, but once borrowed you can read a book as many times as you want before returning. No due dates.
4. Kindle Personal Lending
The ability for Kindle users to lend and borrow books from and to each other was a big feature when the Kindle first came out, but has seemingly been forgotten by many. That’s a shame because it’s such a useful feature if your friends are fellow bookworms.
There are some limitations and restrictions though, the biggest being that an eBook can only be loaned once. Once loaned, the borrower only has 14 days to read it before it must be returned. While loaned, the eBook cannot be read by the lender.
5. Kindle Public Library
The last big borrowing-based feature for Kindle users is the ability to check out Kindle eBooks from public libraries. According to Amazon, there are over 11,000 public libraries in the U.S. equipped to lend out Kindle eBooks in this way.
Such eBooks are offered through a service called Overdrive. Search for your library to see if they’re eligible, and if they are, then all you have to do is get a free library membership to start borrowing.
Every library will have its own unique selection of books on offer, and once borrowed you will need to return said books within a specific time period (usually 21 days).
6. Kindle Newspapers and Magazines
Amazon also offers a unique service for those who like subscribing to periodicals like newspapers and magazines. This feature, called Kindle Newsstand, is admittedly somewhat niche but surprisingly convenient.
You can essentially subscribe to individual newspapers and magazines through Amazon itself. Each periodical has its own price (e.g. The New York Times for $20-per-month) and each issue will be automatically delivered to your device(s) when made available.
Every subscription comes with a free 14-day trial, which is nice, and subscriptions can only be made using credit cards at this time.
7. Kindle Family Library
The last lesser-known Kindle trick that you should be aware of is the fact that Kindle users can benefit greatly from an Amazon Household setup: when two Amazon accounts are linked, they can share media using the Family Library.
Each account can designate whether they want to share ALL of their media or only select individual items. So what can be shared through the Family Library?
- Kindle books.
- Kindle audiobooks.
- Kindle apps and games.
- Access to Kindle Owners Lending Library.
- Access to Prime Video streaming.
What can NOT be shared through the Family Library?
- Kindle newspapers.
- Kindle magazines.
- Access to Prime Music streaming.
- Music or video purchased or rented through Amazon.
Take Full Advantage of Your Kindle Now
We recently wrote about how avid book readers should get a Kindle even if they prefer real books and these Kindle benefits are just some of the many reasons why. Personally, I prefer eBooks because they’re so much easier to organize and carry.
Thinking of grabbing a Kindle? Check out our conclusive guide to picking the right Kindle model. And if you’re a voracious reader, don’t be afraid of shelling out the cash for a Kindle Oasis. It may seem like a gimmick, but the improved ergonomics make it well worth the money.
Are there any other Kindle services that we missed? What do you love most about your Kindle? Or do you prefer physical books? Let us know by leaving a comment down below!