Reading has gone digital and its genesis can be traced back to 1930, to a manifesto titled The Readies, written by Bob Brown who was a prominent American writer, poet, and publisher. As the story goes, Bob was inspired to write the manifesto after he watched his first sound film. Therein, he expressed that movies had pulled a fast one on books with its shift from silent films to motion pictures with synchronized sound. Thus, he opined that reading must find a new medium: a simple reading machine that people can carry around. With the technological advancement that followed over the decades, we are now in an era where people can easily access books through platforms like Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading which are powered by devices like the “reading machine” Bob envisioned.
Through Amazon Kindle, a series of e-book devices offered by Amazon, one can browse through, buy, download, and read anything from books to magazines, newspapers, and what have you available on Kindle Store, an online e-book store operated by Amazon. The Kindle Store has features that were designed for heavy readers like the Lending Library which was introduced sometime in late 2011 for Amazon Prime members. Through this, a user can borrow one e-book from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library which has millions of titles available per month. Other features include Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading which have ensured that an avid reader never runs out of what to read.
The Similarities Between Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading
At the core of their essence is to ensure that heavy readers are never at a place where they don’t have what to read. As such, it wouldn’t be too wrong for one to assert that Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading are essentially the same. Through either of the two, a user can access a robust variety of books, audiobooks, magazines, and other forms of e-publications on Kindle Books as much as they want through a kindle device, phone, tablet, or computer.
What You Should Know About Kindle Unlimited and How It Works
It was in July 2014 that Amazon introduced the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. Beginning with an unlimited offer of about 638,000 titles and more than 7,000 audiobooks for a $9.99 monthly subscription fee, the platform now has over two million titles for users to choose from; in addition to thousands of audiobooks and at least three select magazine subscriptions.
Amazon source these books from various publishers, including Timber Press, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Simon & Schuster, Lonely Planet, and Pottermore. The company pays the authors of these books with a per-page rate structure. As of 2019, it was reported that the multinational technological company paid more than $300 million to authors and publishers that have their works on Kindle Unlimited.
To get started, you have to log in to Amazon with your account, navigate to Kindle Store and click on Kindle Unlimited. Afterward, click “Join Kindle Unlimited”, follow the prompt and provide the needed information. You’ll get a 30-days free trial, after which you will be billed $9.99 per month until you cancel your subscription which you can do anytime you want.
Although the Kindle Unlimited service is at the moment, only available to US customers on Amazon.com; Readers in countries like the UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Mexico, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Japan, India, and China can also sign up for it in their local Amazon marketplace. Amazon has plans to expand the Kindle Unlimited Service to other countries.
How Prime Reading Works and What It Entails
Like Kindle Unlimited, Prime Reading offers a wide range of e-books/publications across various genres to readers through the Amazon Kindle Store. It is like a private library for Amazon Prime members.
Prime Reading is automatically included in your Amazon Prime membership and through it, one can access a selection of as much as 2,500 books and magazines. The e-books/publications available are frequently updated and they cover a wide range of genres.
To enjoy this service, one has to be subscribed to the Amazon Prime service which amongst other things, features free delivery, ad-free songs from Amazon Music, movies, and TV shows. It also features a 30-day free trial after which you will be charged $12.99 monthly.
To read any of the books available, all you have to do is log into your Amazon account and then visit www.amazon.com/primereading. There, you can browse through the titles that are available and click on “Read for Free” for any that appeals to you. For books that have audible narration, click on “Read and Listen for Free”.
The Cost and Difference of Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading
Based on the foregoing, one could already tell the difference between Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime. It all boils down to the services they offer. Kindle Unlimited is completely dedicated to readers with massive appetites. It is a standalone Amazon subscription service that grants one “unlimited” access to books, magazines, comics, and whatnot for $9.99 per month. On the other hand, Prime Reading is only one of the several services attached to an Amazon Prime subscription which goes for $12.99 per month.
Another major difference between Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading is the number of titles available to subscribers. With Kindle Unlimited, one gets unlimited access to more than two million digital titles across various genres. There are also thousands of e-books with audible narration and magazine subscriptions. On the other hand, Prime Reading gives one access to a rotating catalog of ebooks and audiobooks, magazines, and comic books. But then, titles available are just above 2,500 and nowhere near the over two million that Kindle Ultimate offers.
Is Kindle Unlimited Cheaper and Better Than Prime Reading?
Yes, Kindle Unlimited is cheaper than Prime Reading, but we can’t say it is better. That solely depends on your appetite for books and what you think of other packages that come with having an Amazon Prime subscription. As stated above, the subscription fee for the former is $9.99 per month whereas Amazon Prime subscription, which comes with the Prime Reading service goes for $12.99 per month.
But then, while Kindle Unlimited will only grant you access to millions of e-books, Amazon Prime through its Prime Reading provision; grants one access to thousands of books. In addition to that, Amazon Prime offers free delivery, over two million ad-free songs, and award-winning movies and TV shows.
So to decide which is better, you can try the 30-day free trial for Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime. Or just answer this question: would you rather have unlimited access to over two million books or unlimited access to over 2,500 books, two million songs, movies, TV shows, and free delivery service?