Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Kindle Unlimited: Made for Book Lovers

When I first heard about Amazon's new "Netflix for books" program, Kindle Unlimited, I thought it sounded crazy. Who would pay nearly $10 a month, every month, for all the Kindle books you can read? I read through a few of the lists Amazon was using to promote their new feature and didn't see any of interest to me.

Then I looked again and thought, Well, maybe that one...And there's Life of Pi, I never did read it...And I love The Hobbit, I could read it again...and so forth until I clicked on the free trial. One month free to try it out. You can download any books regardless of price as long as they're listed on Kindle Unlimited. You keep up to 10 at a time, so if I have 10 and want another, a pop up shows your list and asks if you'd like to return one.

Amazon says 600,000 books are available on Kindle Unlimited right now. Not very many when you figure there's 2 million Kindle books. However, I'm looking for quality, and so far I've been able to find some pretty amazing books.

If I lived in the States, I'm not sure I'd go for it with the availability of libraries. But where I am, I can't run to the library and check out a stack of books-- in English. So when my free trial ends, I'll keep paying $10 a month for Kindle Unlimited. We pay $9 a month for Netflix and I don't watch as many movies as I read books. As long as they have good titles I want to read, it makes sense to me.

Have any of you tried Kindle Unlimited yet? Do you plan to?

23 comments:

  1. I haven't tried Kindle Unlimited yet, though I do have a Kindle on my phone. I still have access to my school's library, so I think I'll stick with that for now. But it sounds great though; I love how these e-readers are motivating more people to read.

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  2. Hi Karen,

    First - when I come here I just pause and drink in that beautiful picture that heads up your blog - it's so beautiful and peaceful. Thank you for having it up there.

    Now, onto your post - as a Canadian we are somewhat limited to things on Netflix and with Kindle books. Like you I'm not so much of a movie/TV watcher as I am a reader. I use my local library a lot… a very lot!! For books and DVD too.

    I find some amazing books on Amazon in the "free Kindle book" section. Of course, I have no problem paying for books and as a budding author I would hope to be paid for my writing so why books are free is a puzzle to me. (as I've mentioned to you and see you've put a value to the Lighting Candle in the Snow book which I so thoroughly enjoyed).

    I've come across an author, Melissa F Miller, and read the first of a three book series called Irreparable Harm which was a page turner - and free. I've just purchased the next two ($1.03 for the 3 book set - how ridiculous is that).

    So, at those prices I can read lots of books before I ever get to the $10 mark. Though I will go and look at the Kindle Unlimited list. Weird thing with me is that I do like to read books from the long ago past - like Jane Austen's collection - love those and all such books are often in public domain and free.

    I enjoy my Kindle, but I still prefer to turn a real page (ah, I'm dating myself now… feeling my age!)

    Whatever you decide I know you'll have given it a thorough going over!

    Cheers, Jenny

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    1. I went and checked out Kindle Unlimited - it's not available in Canada, figures. :)
      It's only for the US market, at present, and offers 600,000 titles… so that's a better number than the 600 you mentioned. With that many titles I'm sure it would not be hard to find enough good reads to fill any month.

      Take care.

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    2. Oh yes, I meant 600,000 not 600! Thank you for pointing that out, and I'll go in and correct it on my post. Still 600K is not much compared to the 2 million Kindle books on Amazon.

      One thing I should have mentioned about Kindle Unlimited is that Amazon pays royalties for the downloads, even though they are free with Kindle Unlimited membership. Which is better actually than free books used for promotion, because those don't earn any royalties at all.

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  3. Love the Kindle Library and have not gone with "Kindle Unlimited". I have a good majority of these "quality" books and have a small library in my home with "posh" collection. Two full walls, well built by my carpenter are full of my style of reading, but then, I love my kindle and my ipad and always have "books on the go". I love the fact that when we go on holiday I do not have to carry a bag of books - how wonderful is that!. I also have good access to our Public Libraries in our area for e-reading or borrowing the book itself. I have collections of my personal interest in hard cover, snuggled in my bookshelves, dusted and well cared for. Its always nice to haul out an olde favourite and read again. I can see how you would enjoy being a part of "Kindle Unlimited" as your source is not as vast in Panajacel, nor is English. This method would work for you at this time. Great topic - have a wonderful day. I am off for a ride to St. Andrews on my motorbike. Cheers

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  4. Not tried Kindle but am totally thinking of Netflix!! So much choice!

    p.s. love your blog pic header - look at that gorgeous view...! Take care
    x

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  5. If one is a voracious reader, it would be worth it. Amazon isn't the first to offer this, so it will be interesting to see which of these services does the best. Others have a much wider variety at the moment.

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  6. I am someone who loves opening up a true blue book. I have a friend who, due to his job, lives out of his suitcase so i totally understood why he had a kindle but i never realized that, when living in a place where the library is far away or has limited amount of books in the language one speaks, that Kindle would be good there to. I figure if you are getting alot from it and it feels worthy, then do it! Who cares what others think as long as it is legit and affordable and it gives you what you want/need then great:)

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  7. My first three titles were just put in the program. Most of the sales come from Amazon anyhow, so I figured it was a good move. I have so many books on my read list, maybe when I catch up, I'll join.

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  8. 600,000 books are currently available on Kindle Unlimited. I really like it, they have many books that I am interested in. Many are from smaller publishers such as Open Road Media or Scholastic and independently published books.

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    1. And also from WiDo Publishing! All of WiDo's books are listed on Kindle Unlimited.

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  9. We have a small but lovely library here and I can also get books from the free domain on my e-reader, but like many people I like a real book. Why? I do some of my best reading in the bath and even though I've never dropped a book in the bath I have a fear of dropping the e-book. Crazoo but there ya go.

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  10. This is interesting Karen. I've heard about it, but like you at first, I wonder if it's what I need. I have great libraries in the city, get mobi'd a lot of free books and really love to buy print books new and secondhand. My house is stacked with books. A good problem to have.

    Denise :)

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    1. Denise, Just hearing about your libraries makes me pine for one. Until we moved to Guatemala, I'd never lived in an area without numerous libraries. Kindle Unlimited has replaced my library.

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  11. You make a compelling argument. Easy access to book in a familiar language from a remote area. There are several really remote places in the US too. The big libraries here have digital book lending too. I wonder how their inventory stacks up against Amazons.

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  12. I can't read 10 books in a year. At 10 a month, I think I would soon be able to finish every book that James Patterson writes...or at least puts his name on followed by a "with"...

    It does sound like a good idea though.

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  13. I'm with you, Karen. I read more than I watch. This is a great idea, especially for English-speaking people living in non-English countries.
    Some days, I'm in front of the computer all day and wish to turn to a physical book once I crawl into bed. Thanks for sharing this.

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  14. Dear Karen, I've decided not to try it because I'm attempting to curb my spending so as to have the money I need to travel next year. I'm so fortunate to have a fine library close by. I'm glad you're enjoyed the books you've selected. Peace.

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  15. As for Life of Pi, the movie is as good as the book.

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  16. I haven't tried it, but I think it's a good idea and hope the choices expand to more titles.

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  17. I hadn't really looked in to it yet. Until, right now that is. I think that is a great idea, if a person has the time to take advantage of it. Something to think about, that is for sure... Thanks Karen!

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  18. I didn't know what it was. Maybe I will try it later.

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  19. How are you able to use this service in Guatemala?

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