Being a KU member for several years, I’m diving deep into whether or not a Kindle Unlimited subscription is actually worth it or not
Books just give me all the heart eyes, as most of you know by now.
I’ve fallen back in love with reading as of last year and I’m now a thriller loving beast who can’t be tamed.
I love my Kindle and I’ve seen lots of back and forth on whether or not a Kindle Unlimited subscription is worth it so today I’m here to give you all the info so you can decide for yourself.
What exactly is Kindle Unlimited? How does it work? If these are questions you’ve asked, you’re in the right spot.
The Kindle Unlimited Basics
Kindle Unlimited offers unlimited access to over 4 million titles (so they say), including books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and more.
The number one question is usually about how much it costs.
Until quite literally a few weeks ago, Kindle Unlimited was $9.99 a month. They’ve now upped that to $11.99 a month because….why not, ya know? They’re money hungry and if you’re wondering – yes. I’m absolutely salty about it and here’s why:
Nothing has changed in the subscription. There’s not some really cool new feature, there’s not an influx of incredible new books, nothin.
Now, if you buy a Kindle, you have the option of purchasing it with 3 months of a free trial of Kindle Unlimited which was how I was first introduced to it back in 2018 or so.
When Charlotte got her Kindle for Christmas, I upped the subscription since I didn’t renew after my free trial and had recently rekindled my love for reading.
Get it? Rekindle? K let’s move on.
There’s also a free 30-day trial available to get your feet wet before committing to the subscription fee if you’re interested too.
One of the biggest draws of Kindle Unlimited is the promise of unlimited reading.
With just a single subscription, you gain access to over a million titles spanning various genres, from romance to mystery sci-fi to self-help.
And yes. If you’re a hoe for thrillers like me, you can absolutely find tons of really decent thrillers. (Freida McFadden is queen tbh).
However, as with any monthly subscription, Kindle Unlimited has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look at the good, bad and ugly.
Pros of Kindle Unlimited
Convenience and Portability
With Kindle Unlimited, your entire library fits in the palm of your hand.
Whether you’re commuting, traveling, or lounging at home, you can access your favorite books with ease.
Because we have been trying to travel more with a family, there is a 0% chance I’m traveling without a book, even if I only have a few minutes to read a day. Lugging around 4 hardbacks on a weeklong vacay ain’t cute, but with my Kindle and a KU subscription, bam. Always at my fingertips.
Discovery of New Authors
Okay, this passes the vibe check.
I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to write a book and put your life into it and then have nobody read it. Of course I don’t know what it’s like on the author side of Kindle Unlimited, but one thing I love is the treasure trove of discovering new and independent authors there.
The subscription model encourages lesser-known writers to showcase their works, giving readers an opportunity to unearth hidden gems.
I never would have known about Frieda McFadden if it weren’t for KU. And my first Jeneva Rose book I ever read was The Perfect Marriage and it was SO GOOD!
If you enjoy exploring fresh voices and uncharted literary territories, Kindle Unlimited may be a great option for you.
In case you didn’t know this, you don’t own books with Kindle Unlimited. It’s more of a lending service, like a digital library loan using an app like Libby or Hoopla.
While some may not like this, if you’re indecisive like me, this gives you flexibility because you don’t have to commit to buying a book and then hating it (or worse, loving it and having no more of the series!)
Plus, you can read as many books as you want each month without worrying about going over your budget – which is especially helpful if you’re an avid reader like ya girl.
Sync Across Devices
You do not even have to have a Kindle to use Kindle Unlimited (although I don’t know why you would?)
You can use the Kindle App on your iPhone or ipad. I personally do not like reading on a screen and yes, I know the Kindle is a screen, but it looks so much more like paper and is way easier on the eyes than a phone or tablet.
Whispersync for Voice
Admittedly, this is not a feature that I have utilized because I typically am already listening to an audiobook and reading a physical book at the same time.
But KU has a really cool feature where if you’re reading a book from the catalog, but then realize you need to do some chores, you can switch it to audiobook and it will read it to you on devices that allow that.
Even if you have a Kindle that doesn’t allow it, you could just do it from the Kindle app on a phone or tablet so no matter what device you’re using, you can pick up exactly where you left off!
There is nothing I hate more than getting so invested in a book series and then finding out that my library doesn’t have the other ones or I can’t find the other ones anywhere.
The best part about KU is that *usually* they will put an entire series in the catalog. This way, you don’t have to worry about hunting down the whole series and can just keep reading!
Cons of Kindle Unlimited
Recent Price Increase
As previously mentioned, Kindle Unlimited recently upped their subscription fee from $9.99 to $11.99 a month. While I understand that inflation is real, and businesses need to make money, this still seems like a bit of a cash grab to me.
Even at $9.99 a month, that can just be something people can’t afford. Especially when you throw in all the other brands that looooove a revolving subscription like Amazon Prime itself, Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music – you name it.
With the ability to get digital books right to your Kindle from your local library for free with apps like Libby or your phone/tablet with Hoopla, it seems like a Kindle Unlimited subscription just isn’t necessary.
While they claim to have over 4 million titles, there are definitely some limitations with what you can find on Kindle Unlimited. Some popular series may not be available for various reasons, or some recent books might not be up yet either.
While I have found some incredible books that honestly I’m surprised are on Kindle Unlimited, there are also tons that I wish were and aren’t. That’s when I just love up on my local library and hit up the Libby or Hoopla app.
Loaning, Not Owning
This can go either way, as owning a book has its positive and negatives.
With Kindle Unlimited, you have to return it so if you find a book that you love and want to keep forever, you’d still have to buy it.
So if there’s something special about holding a tangible book in your hands, Kindle Unlimited won’t satisfy that urge.
If you’re debating a Kindle Unlimited membership, it’s likely that you don’t mind digital reading.
As you’ve seen from my book reviews monthly, I love reading on my Kindle but I also really love holding a book and checking the top to see how far I’ve read in it during my reading sessions.
So if you’re a person who likes to hold physical books, again, this subscription may not make a lot of sense for you to do.
Limited Selection of Bestsellers
There really are tons of great books on KU (even CoHo if that’s your speed), but it still may not include the latest bestsellers or titles that are going viral on TikTok.
If you like to get your hands on copies of books as soon as they come out, Kindle Unlimited won’t help you there. Big-name publishers often prioritize sales on a per-book basis, which means some highly sought-after titles might not be available under the subscription.
Good Stuff May Be Buried
Much like those seemingly bottomless bins of clothes at Goodwill you have to dig through, sometimes the best books in the genre of your choice may not be front and center.
That means you’re going to have to spend time looking around and reading lots of reviews and such to find your diamond in the rough.
Some people love a challenge. Other’s ain’t got the time for it.
I will also say something I don’t love is that you can have your kid have their own KU subscription (kids version) on their Kindle that will be hooked to yours, so while they can’t see your books you can see theirs and nothing screams 8 year old more than 50 books about poop between your thrillers.
Who is a Kindle Unlimited Subscription For?
This may be a match made in book heaven if:
- You devour books. You’re a literary monster. Hoe for reading. However you wanna say it.
- You love different genres and don’t mind reading things outside of your norm
- You have commitment issues and like the idea of being able to get a book off your digital “shelf” if it ain’t for you
- You have an extra $11.99 a month laying around.
- You’re open to new authors
Who is Kindle Unlimited NOT For?
Kindle Unlimited may not be the best fit for you if:
- You like new and shiny. You have to have the latest releases always.
- You like physical copies of books. You like seeing them on your shelves and it’s your happy place
- You don’t read that often; maybe a couple books a month or less.
- You do not have an extra $11.99 a month laying around
- You’re a creature of habit. You know what authors you like, what genres you like and would rather not explore and have to dig for the good stuff.
In the end, whether Kindle Unlimited is worth it or not depends on your reading habits, preferences, and budget.
If you’re an avid reader like me with an insatiable appetite for books, love exploring new authors and genres, and value the convenience it offers, Kindle Unlimited can be a fantastic addition to your literary adventures.
However, if you’re more interested in owning the latest bestsellers or prefer building a permanent book collection, you might want to explore other options.
Personally, I have a subscription and because I wanted to lock in that price, I paid for a year in advance but I’m curious to see how much I use it within the next year. When my subscription renews next year, I will be forced to go to their $11.99 monthly pricing.
Either way, best of luck!
Frequently Asked Questions
No, Kindle Unlimited is a separate subscription service and is not included for free with Amazon Prime membership. However, Prime members do have access to the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which allows them to borrow one book per month from a limited selection. In my experience, it’s mid at best.
Absolutely! You don’t need a physical Kindle device to enjoy Kindle Unlimited. The Kindle app is available for smartphones, tablets, and computers, allowing you to read Kindle books and magazines on multiple devices. Simply download the app, sign in with your Amazon account, and get it poppin.
You can have up to 20 books at any given time. Once you reach that limit, you’ll have to return one before you can borrow another. But as long as you have a subscription, you can have those books in your library for months on end.
Absolutely. If you decide it’s not the right fit for you, simply go to your Amazon account settings, navigate to the “Memberships & Subscriptions” section, and manage your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Kindle Unlimited books can’t be shared directly with other people outside of your Amazon “household”. However, a workaround would be that you can share devices with the Kindle app on it and logins. But I would lie if asked to testify.
Nope. Like we talked about earlier, think of Kindle Unlimited as a digital library. When you borrow through Kindle Unlimited, it’s accessible as long as you have a subscription, but when you cancel it, poof! Those books are removed.