Kindle Unlimited Vs Prime Reading: Which Is Better?

Sonia Akavan
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What Is Kindle Unlimited?

With Kindle Unlimited, you can read as much as you want, from a wide selection of titles and authors.

The service is accessible through your web browsing, your Kindle devices, or the Kindle reading app for most smart phones. You can even listen to the books in the audio version.

With a subscription, you can access a reading library of over eBooks and audiobooks. Over 2 million titles are at your disposal.

This provides you with a great way to read no matter which type of Kindle compatible device you have.

The features of Kindle Unlimited that really make it stand out from the other services are the fact that you can choose to read several books at the same time, and you can easily switch between books without losing your place.

What Is Prime Reading?

Amazon Prime members can now browse, read, listen to, and watch select magazines, Kindle Short Reads, comics, e-books, short works, and more on their Kindle devices and reading apps, all available with no additional cost. You don’t need to own a Kindle device either, only a device with the free Kindle reading apps.

This service is a definite one-up for Amazon ‡over its competitor, the Kindle Unlimited Reading Subscription, which I will be comparing it to.

What Selections of Books Do Each Offer?

Kindle Unlimited Books

Amazon Prime Books

Amazon Prime subscribers receive a lot of perks that allow them to access much more than the perks that are listed on the main Amazon website. Prime perks include: movies and music streaming, free two-day shipping, free same-day shipping on select items etc.

But Amazon Prime members receive a specific library perk; they get unlimited access to over a million books and magazines using the Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited, and Prime Reading.

While this feature does not compare with the enormous library of the Edelweiss App, Prime Reading does offer a decent selection of books, a few magazines, and some notable newspapers, along with a limited selection of audiobooks (you can choose from a few first-in-series titles from prominent authors), all for free. Prime Reading works on any device with in-home Wi-Fi and, for the subscription-based Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading, the dedicated Kindle Reading app.

On Which Devices?

Amazon Prime Reading is actually separate from the regular Amazon Kindle Unlimited program. Both programs are available for Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets (dating back to 2014). The Amazon Prime Reading program, however, is available only if you’ve paid for an Amazon Prime membership.

At this point, our recommendation is to stick with Kindle Unlimited if the device support is a concern. Having the option to use your Prime account on a wide variety of reading devices is valuable.

What Are the Costs of Each Program?

Kindle Unlimited Pricing

(for Americans only)

Amazon Prime Reading Pricing

You can join Prime Reading for free. Prime Reading gives you access to a rotating selection of e-books, magazines, comics, and short stories.

It’s nice to be able to read so much without having to pay anything, but that is all you’ll get. You can read as many e-books as you want for free, but you’ll have to pay for your fun if you want additional services offered by the Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Amazon Prime Reading includes a few books that you can download each month, but only a few books. You won’t get your hands on the most popular books. If you go for the free trial, you can read ten free books per month.

In general, Prime Reading offers books that have already been published for a while, books that are too long to read in three nights. So, using Prime Reading when you’re developing a new skill is not such a great idea. You’ll be more interested in reading books on the most modern subjects and Kindle Unlimited has the best selection of those.

The Verdict – Which Program Is Better?

There is no clear winner.

The truth is that individual needs will ultimately be what determines if one program is better than the other.

Both the Kindle Unlimited (KU) and the Prime Reading programs are good programs. But that’s not the whole story.

Even though the programs offer a variety of books, suggesting reading materials, there is a part of the user experience that very few people talk about.

Readers may be interested in knowing that there is one clear defining characteristic of the programs that separates them … the books that are freely available.

The biggest difference between the Kindle Unlimited and the Prime Reading programs is that in the KU program, if you are an Amazon Prime member, you have access to over a million books. In the Prime Reading program, there are only around 1000 books in the catalog.

Thus, for a reader who is interested in a very specific category of books, the Prime Reading program will likely be disappointing. This is because the program focuses on the new releases and is not interested in becoming a wide catalog.

The Kindle Unlimited program, on the other hand, is the most equipped to offer diverse reading materials. This is because it includes all the books that are available on the Kindle platform. As such, it is worth being an Amazon Prime member just to gain access to the Kindle Unlimited library.

FAQ Section

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What is the difference between Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading?

Amazon Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited are two reading services offered by Amazon.

In essence, Prime Reading is a library of free books that you can borrow for free.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription based service that comes with over a million books. With a subscription, you can borrow any of the books for free with Prime reading being part of that subscription.

Which one is better? It depends on your needs.

Prime Reading is an extension of your Prime subscription. The best thing about Prime Reading is that you get access to books from a wide variety of genres.

That’s one of the best things about Prime Reading. It’s like you have access to a library of free books in your Kindle. These books are also high quality. They are often published by major publishers and usually have good ratings.

With Kindle Unlimited, you have access to more books as well. The books you borrow from Kindle Unlimited, however, are often self published and of lesser quality. The categories are more restrictive, but if you need to find something specific – this may be your choice.

How does Kindle Unlimited work and what are the limits of Kindle Unlimited?

Starting your free trial is pretty straightforward. First, you’ll need to download the Amazon Kindle Reading App.

Next, you grab the item that you want to borrow from the Read for Free catalogue. There are thousands of titles that are included in the service, including books, audiobooks, short stories, graphic novels, magazines and more.

Once you have the item you want to borrow, the next step is to download it to the Kindle app for a computer, laptop, or iOS/Android device. You can borrow from a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Once you’ve downloaded a book to be read on any of these devices, you’ll receive access to the title for a period of 7, 14 or 30 days. You can begin reading your borrowed book immediately. As long as you’re using your Kindle app, you will continue to have access to your borrowed Kindle Unlimited books.

If you prefer physical books, you're in luck. You can also select the Kindle version for free with the Kindle app for computer, which enables you to read the book on the computer as well. This means you can switch over to your iPad and continue reading seamlessly.

What are the best Kindle Unlimited Books 2021?

If you enjoyed the best Kindle Unlimited books, I recommend getting a Kindle Unlimited Book Subscription. It will give you unlimited access to over 1 million Kindle books and thousands of audiobooks.

It’s a great way to read more books and also to find new authors who are outside of traditional publishing channels.

There are many best-selling authors like James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, and Michael Connelly who are only available to read through Kindle Unlimited.

How does Kindle Unlimited work on the app?

Kindle Unlimited works well on the app. It’s a one-click purchase from the Kindle Store that gives you access to a library of books. You’ll be able to read books on the Kindle tablet and also read on your smartphone, by downloading the Kindle app and logging into your account.

A monthly subscription fee allows you access to over one million titles in the Kindle catalog. If you don’t want to read the books on your tiny Kindle screen, you can also download it to the Kindle Cloud. Then you can read it on your Kindle app on your smartphone.

You will be able to browse up to ten e-books per month using the WhisperSync function on the app. You don’t even need to own a Kindle.

What is included in Kindle Unlimited?

To be clear, Kindle Unlimited is not really a river of books. Instead, it’s a place where you can borrow books for a flat monthly fee. Every month, there are a certain number of books available for Kindle Unlimited subscribers for free.

If you like to read, it’s a no-brainer. Kindle Unlimited subscription can help you save on buying all those books. As a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can choose any book from the massive selection available and download it for your Kindle.

In addition to that, you can choose from the hundreds of magazines that are available for Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Kindle Unlimited is currently available to U.S. customers only. And you need an Amazon prime membership to subscribe to it.

What is the difference between Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime?

Prime Reading was launched in December 2016 to give customers who are subscribed to the Amazon Prime program and members of Amazon Prime Student, an opportunity to read unlimited books, or as they say in their marketing copy, “read free for a month.”

Amazon has not made any formal announcement of the exact number of books available, but they did provide a general range with thousands of books from popular authors such as Khaled Hosseini, James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, and others. This has been a welcomed addition to the Kindle Unlimited Library which was launched in November 2014.

Can I give Kindle Unlimited as a gift?

Of course you can! Amazon allows you to gift Kindle Unlimited or Prime to anyone you want for no charge. And the recipient will be able to start using it immediately.

Amazon Prime is a must for any member of Amazon family but now, you have an additional option to give as a gift. You get to choose your gift amount: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months or 12 months.

Choose the duration, check out and watch the magic happen as your recipient gets to enjoy all the benefits you get with being an Amazon Prime member.

You may now want to give it a try. Go ahead and give it as a gift!

What are the best Kindle Unlimited books of all time?

Wikihow has chosen the following books to get your Kindle Unlimited journey started with a bang. They are in alphabetical order:

  • “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern.
  • “The Underachievers” by Angela Duckworth.
  • “The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After” by Clemantine Wamariya.
  • “The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom” by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig.
  • “10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works” by Dan Harris.
  • “Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book” by Dan Harris.
  • “Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace, and Alex Ross.

Can you keep Kindle Unlimited books?

In order to have access to the Kindle Unlimited service, you need to have an Amazon Prime account. You can borrow one book per month from the Kindle Owners Lending Library for free with free two day prime shipping. That’s pretty cool!

If you are a regular reader, this will meet your basic needs. You can also borrow one book per month from the Kindle Unlimited library at no extra cost. This is a perfectly fine choice if you don’t read a lot.

There is also the Kindle Unlimited Amazon Prime book service. With it, you can borrow ten books per month. This seemingly unlimited number of books can do a marathon runner in and may meet the needs of most avid readers.

Though you can’t keep a Kindle Unlimited book, you can keep the book you borrowed from the lending library. Once your free monthly book from the Prime library is due, you can borrow another one, or you can make your selection from the Kindle Unlimited library. The double borrowing is not available on the Amazon Prime book service.

The Kindle Unlimited books are available on many devices, including the iPad, iPhone, Android devices, PC, and Mac. You can also read them using a Kindle device or Kindle reading app.

Is Kindle Unlimited free for Prime members?

It is, indeed. Kindle Unlimited is separate from Amazon Prime and is not part of a Prime membership…yet. However, it has become the feature that is most similar to a Netflix for books, giving you access to unlimited eBooks and audiobooks for a flat monthly fee.

Is there a free trial of Kindle Unlimited?

Yes, Amazon provides a free trial of kindle unlimited. And you can cancel anytime during the trial period. Click the link below to start your free trial.

How do you purchase a Kindle Unlimited subscription?

A Kindle Unlimited subscription gives you unlimited access to over 1 million titles in the Kindle Store.

Here’s how to purchase a Kindle Unlimited subscription:

Go to the Amazon Kindle Unlimited page. Scroll down to the Kindle Unlimited offer description and click then click “Start your 30-day free trial.” Enter your credit card information and follow the instructions.

Please note, you will only be able to download 10 titles at a time during your free trial.

You can cancel at any time before the trial period is up and you are charged.

How do you return books on Kindle Unlimited?

I recently checked out 2 books on my Kindle Unlimited account because I was in the mood to read something that wasn’t featured in any of my other ebook subscriptions.

I’ll be honest. I ignored the instructions on how to return the books. I clicked on “Read now” and started reading.

I finished the 1st book but decided to let the 2nd book run on. I’m not a fast reader so it wasn’t a big deal for me.

Two days later, I realized that I hadn’t returned the 2nd book so I decided to go ahead and do it.

That’s when I discovered that there was a return button and instructions available in the Kindle app. The return button was on top of the screen with a drop-down menu to go to the Kindle Unlimited help center. I immediately recognized the return button, clicked on it and a drop-down menu showed up with instructions.

I selected the next option to view all titles that I’m currently reading. This took me to a page that listed all the books that I’ve returned in the past.

How do you cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription?

If in case you are having problems with a Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription, here’s how to fix that!

Go to the Manage Subscriptions section of your Amazon account. Click on your Kindle Unlimited order. Select the Cancel Kindle Unlimited button.