Amazon has two e-book reading services; Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited. In this article we’ll do a deep-dive to examine which service may best suit your personal e-reading needs.
Believe it or not, it’s been 15 years since Amazon launched Kindle in 2007. Since then, kindle has been a leader and driving force in the e-book market. Kindle sells multiple e-readers, offers Smartphone options for reading e-books, and has sold millions of e-books over the last 15 years.
The average cost of an e-book on Amazon is between $10-20$, which isn’t nearly as much as hardcover books, but for some readers, who read more than 2 books a month (approx. 15$ each), that cost can quickly add up, with an estimated price tag of $360 a year.
With the rise of TV and music subscriptions services, Amazon decided to get in on the trend, and in 2016 began to offer a subscription service: Amazon Prime Reading. This allowed readers to have the option to subscribe to a large collection of books, instead of buying e-books individually.
Rather than paying $360 for 24 books, you could pay for a regular Prime Membership, which is $139.00 a year, for access to thousands or millions of titles; depending on the service you choose and the add-ons you pay for.
Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited both offer this service, but the way they approach it, is vastly different.
What’s the same between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited?
- Audiobook versions of certain titles are available on both services, allowing users to listen to books with Audible Narrations.
- Although not required, both services are best experienced on a Kindle e-reader. If you don’t have a Kindle e-reader, you can still access Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited using the free Kindle app on any iOS/Android device.
What’s the difference between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited?
- The amount of books offered: As of February 2022, Prime Reading has approximately 2,500 titles available to consume, compared to Kindle Unlimited, who’s users have unlimited access to over 2 million books.
- Variety in materials: With Kindle Unlimited, members can get 3 free magazine subscriptions, whereas Prime Reading has a small focused selection of magazines to choose from.
- Limits on titles: Prime Reading limits you to 10 titles at a time, while Kindle Unlimited restricts you to 20 titles at a time.
While it may seem like Kindle Unlimited is the best choice overall, it’s still nice to have Amazon Prime as an option, as it depends on what someone wants to pay.
Kindle Unlimited is a standalone subscription and separate from everything else Amazon offers, costing $9.99/month following a 30-day free trial. Whereas, Prime Reading is included in the regular Amazon Prime membership along with several other perks. Anyone who is already of Prime Member has Prime Reading for free, but if they want access to Kindle Unlimited millions of titles, it will cost an additional $9.99/month.
It’s also worth noting that while the Kindle Unlimited library keeps expanding, Prime Reading books are turned-over and rotated over time. This means that Amazon Prime long-time users will be able to read more books over time, than the number of currently available titles.
There’s one last point to consider: is it worth it?
That answer really boils down to how much of a reader someone is.
Casual readers are likely to be fine with Prime Reading’s offerings. However, if you are an enthusiast book lover, breezing through several books a month, you may wish to consider adding Kindle Unlimited to your catalogue.
An avid book reader, Angela Waterfield is new to the world of e-Readers. She has a background in education, emergency response, fitness, and loves to be outside. She has contributed writing to The London Free Press, The Gazette, The Londoner, Lifeliner, and Citymedia.ca.