If you like to read, Amazon is one of your best allies: the Kindle library has millions of electronic books you can purchase and send them directly to your reader.
But Amazon also has another e-book subscription called Amazon Prime Reading. Both options allow you to download e-books and both fulfill basically the same function – however, there are quite a few differences between them.
In this article we will walk you through both of them, look at their pros and cons and hopefully help you choose the subscription that fits your needs best.
What is Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited is an Amazon service that is similar to Netflix or Spotify, but for books, which has been available since 2014.
You can access millions of book titles in exchange for a monthly subscription, the same way you would pay for a streaming service. This subscription will give you access to books, audiobooks, magazines and even comics, in both English and other foreign languages.
The Kindle Unlimited service guarantees an entire library that you can take anywhere. To use it, you just need to download the Kindle app on your tablet or phone. There is no need for you to have a Kindle device to use the app.
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Available titles display a badge in the Kindle Store for easy identification.
Your first month will be free, after which you will have to pay $9.99 a month to read to your heart’s content.
You can cancel your subscription at any time.
How Does Kindle Unlimited Work?
To start using it, sign in to your Amazon account. Then go to the Menu set to the upper left side of the screen and select Digital Content and Devices > Kindle E-readers & Books > Kindle Store and then Kindle Unlimited.
This will take you directly to the subscription page.
What Is Prime Reading?
Being a member of Amazon Prime allows you to have free shipping on many products or shipping in less time. But you also have other advantages like Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Prime Reading. In this case, you do not have to pay a separate subscription for it (as is the case with Audible or Kindle Unlimited).
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It allows you access to a catalog of e-books, magazines, comics or audiobooks, however, unlike the Kindle Unlimited subscription, it will only allow you a limited number of books in your library.
Amazon Prime Reading works as a lending service. You can choose the different ebooks you want to read and keep 10. When you read them, you can change them for others but you can never have more than ten at a time. There are no limits and you can read as many as you want in the library as long as you don’t have them at the same time.
How Does Prime Reading Work?
Open the Amazon page and log in. Select the same steps detailed in the above Kindle section: Devices > Kindle E-readers & Books > Kindle Store. Just below the Kindle Unlimited option, you will find Prime Reading.
In a very similar way to the Kindle Unlimited page, you will be shown the sections of books that are available.
Prime Reading vs Kindle Unlimited: Which One Should You Pick?
There are some clear differences between the two services and these differences will be what matters when it comes to making your choice.
To start with: the catalog.
The Kindle Unlimited catalog is broader than that of Prime Reading – it has more than a million titles, including modern classics like the entire Harry Potter series, while the other sports roughly only around 600 books.
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If you usually read a lot, between four or five books a month, it pays you to bet on Unlimited and be able to discover new authors, but there are also well-known works that you can read and reread as many times as you want.
The Prime Reading catalog, on the other hand, rotates every month. The books disappear in order to be replaced by new ones.
In the case of both catalogs, you will find many different genres from romance books all the way to manga and science fiction.
Another notable difference between the two services is the number of ebooks that you can read at the same time.
On Kindle Unlimited, you can read however many books you feel like, all at the same time, though on Prime Reading, that number is limited to ten. If you want to add a new book and your library is full, you will have to either finish one of the books you are reading or delete it in order for one of the ten slots to be filled.
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In terms of apps, both Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime Reading allow access to a catalog of electronic books without the need for the company’s physical reader. All devices are compatible with both services, so this will not be a problem when choosing one or the other.
Next, we have pricing, which is usually the make or break factor for a lot of us.
Amazon Prime Reading is included in the Amazon Prime service, so you will not only be paying to read but you will also have access to Amazon Prime Video or Amazon Prime Music along with the offers and advantages that the subscription entails.
That means that you will pay $14.99/month (plus tax) for the whole book/movie/delivery package.
So, if you are more of a casual reader, or you mostly read monthly magazines, comic books or manga, this would be the best choice for you.
For the Kindle Unlimited subscription, you will have to fork out a monthly fee of $9.99.
If you are interested in the Kindle Unlimited, well, unlimited options but you also want to access the benefits of Amazon Prime, you will have to purchase both subscriptions.
If that is something you would prefer rather than having to choose between the two, it’s worth keeping an eye on the Amazon page, as sometimes the company has temporary offers.
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