It’s official! Kindle Unlimited is here with 639,621 titles

It’s official! Kindle Unlimited is here with 639,621 titles

After an apparent leak of the information yesterday, Amazon has announced in this

press release


Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is live!

While I certainly wasn’t the only person predicting it (and I thought it might happen before this year), it is fun for me that I got the name right back in December. 🙂

Before I talk about what this might mean for readers and the industry, let’s take a look at the service itself.

  • There are over 600,000 e-book titles available…and you can read as many of them as you want for $9.99 a month. Even if they never added any more (and they’ll be adding books daily, I think), you could read a book a day for more than the next 1,750 years 🙂
  • There are also over 2,000 audiobooks…again, you can listen to as many as you want
  • You can get a free trial of one month right now by going to the above link and clicking a button (for me, it was on the video link graphic, but you can’t count on things being in the same place)
  • You can have up to ten books at a time, no due dates
  • You can read them on hardware Kindles AND on free Kindle apps
  • You can browse for them on  Kindle devices, Kindle for Android, and Kindle for Samsung, or on your computer for other devices
  • NOTE: to read a book under Kindle Unlimited and not purchase it, you will click “Read for Free” NOT “Buy”
  • You can return a book from the device (Kindle Unlimited is in the Shop under Books…on non-Fire Kindles, you select “All Categories” to get to Kindle Unlimited) or from
  • In terms of the audiobooks, the free ones will have the words “with narration” on the Kindle Unlimited splash. Per Amazon: “Some Kindle Unlimited books have Whispersync for Voice upgrades that are not free. Only titles that include “with narration” are free.”

Those are the highlights. Next:

Kindle Unlimited Terms of Use (at AmazonSmile)

  • USA customers only (at this point)
  • Titles can be added or removed at any time
  • If you stop being a member, you will no longer have access to titles you’ve selected (need to see what would happen if you’d already downloaded a title and were in the middle of it…it could be that it would become available–that might require that you connect with Amazon’s servers, but it wouldn’t need to mean that. They could require a “go” affirmation each month from the server for a book to stay usable)
  • Membership fees may be taxed
  • “We only accept credit cards for payment of your membership fees. Please do not sign up for the program with a debit card. Also known as a “check” or “ATM” card, a debit card typically has the word “debit” printed on the face of the card.”
  • If you cancel your membership, you won’t get a pro-rated refund…in other words, if you’ve already paid $9.99 for the month and quit in the middle of the month, you don’t get any of that $9.99 back…that seems reasonable to me
  • “When your membership is cancelled, the titles you have selected from the program will be removed from your account, devices and applications.”
  • “You may not transfer or assign your membership or any Kindle Unlimited benefits. We may take reasonable actions necessary to prevent fraud, including placing restrictions on the number of titles that can be accessed from the program at any one time.”
  • If Amazon cancels your membership (that’s going to be very rare), which they could do at any time, they will pro-rate your refund: “…However, we will not give any refund for termination related to conduct that we determine, in our discretion, violates these Terms or any applicable law, involves fraud or misuse of the membership, or is harmful to our interests or another user.”

Nothing seems out of line to me so far. Ten books at a time may limit some accounts (which can have hundreds of people on them), but I assume the “simultaneous device licenses” still hold (I’ll check that). Most books have six SDLs, meaning that six devices on an account can have the book at the same time…if it’s different from that, it will say so on the book’s Amazon product page. So, I would guess that in most cases, you could have sixty people on an account reading a free book at a time.

Update: I did just borrow a book, in part to test it…and yes, I could read it at the same time on multiple devices on the account, just like I could if I bought the book (actually a license) in the Kindle store. You know what? Kindle Unlimited is incredibly freeing! I always like to be reading a book that relates in some way to my work (in addition to other books), and to not have to worry much about which book I got was great! When I do it through the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library), I have to make a very careful choice…with Kindle Unlimited, not so much. 😉 Yes, there is that limit of ten books at a time (not ten books a month), but that’s entirely doable. That’s a key difference: it’s not ten books a month, it’s ten books at a time. You could read 100 books in a month with KU, as long as you kept returning books you had finished reading. The ten books just puts an effective limit on the number of people using KU on the same account, which again, I think is reasonable. This is truly what serious readers have only been able to imagine in the past.

Last thing before I look at the selection: just a reminder that you don’t own these books, you are borrowing them. Buying access rather than ownership has been a wave in consumer culture for some time…this matches up with those values, as I’ve discussed before.

Okay…books! 🙂

There are many books here that I have purchased in the past, and I think that’s going to be true for a lot of my readers.

Here are just a few of the titles (and just for fun, if I’ve read them, and if there has been at least one movie and/or TV show):

  • Water for Elephants: read it, movie
  • Life of Pi: read it, movie
  • Flash Boys: movie in development
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: movie
  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: read it
  • Wonder Boys
  • The Great Santini: movie
  • Kitchen Confidential: TV series
  • Animal Farm: yes (soon to be a major motion picture…with Andy Serkis involved on motion capture)
  • Wool Omnibus Edition: reading it, in development
  • Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet: read it
  • The Princess Bride: read it, movie
  • All the King’s Men: movie
  • Cat’s Cradle: read it
  • The Giver: soon to be a movie
  • The Good Earth: read it, movie
  • Hunger Games series: read them, movies
  • Lord of the Rings series: read them, movies
  • Harry Potter series: read them, movies
  • Pines: read it, soon to be a TV series
  • 1984: read it, movie
  • Sophie’s Choice: movie
  • Marathon Man: movie
  • Flowers for Algernon: read it, movie
  • North and South: TV series
  • Delta of Venus: movie (some people may not realize adult titles like this are in Kindle Unlimited…Kindles do have parental controls, but some people may dive into KU who haven’t been Kindle content consumers before. Even though checking the content would seem reasonable to me, I suspect we’ll hear some complaints about this)
  • Under the Volcano: movie
  • The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: movie
  • The Name of the Rose: read it, movie
  • Everything is Illuminated: movie
  • The Blind Side: movie

I could do this all day. 🙂

Okay, now let’s talk about what this means.

Do I think it will succeed?


Do I think it spells trouble for other subsers (that’s what I call subscription services) like Oyster and Scribd?

Yes. Since people can get a free trial of KU, they can try it alongside Oyster and Scribd. If they have Kindle devices, or have Kindle apps (or get one for this), they’ll probably find the interface so much easier that if they choose one or the other, they’ll stay with KU.

Will people pay less money for books in a year?

Yes…and no. 🙂 My guess is that many serious readers will use this as an add-on. They’ll continue to buy individual books, and they’ll tack on the $9.99 a month for KU. Some people, who haven’t been buying many books, may start doing this. For example, let’s take a family with limited means, and a child who is an avid reader. They haven’t been able to afford to buy enough books to keep the kid in letters…and the library may have been a challenge to reach (especially since many of them are not open outside of work hours, or not open for long during those times). They might start paying $9.99 a month, and skip going to the library as much.

Will this cut into other book sales?

The tradpubs (traditional publishers) who don’t get into this are in trouble…unless they can find some viable alternative. While I think serious readers may simply up the amount they pay for books in a year, casual readers probably won’t. If you can give somebody a $9.99 gift card to get a month of books as a gift, and you don’t know all that much about books, wouldn’t you do that instead of buying an individual book and maybe getting something the recipient already has or doesn’t like? No, it doesn’t end book gift sales altogether…but iTunes gift cards have had an impact on CD sales and MP3 album gifts, I’m sure.

Does this give an advantage to non-tradpubs?

Absolutely! Amazon can promote things on the KU pages. They can wave a wand and make an indie author a professional author. They can promote their own tradpubbed books, again making household names out of authors. Reading a book for free could lead to buying other books.

In short: this is a major game changer for readers and the industry.

In a later post: the impact on authors.

What do you think? Am I overstating this? Is the drive to own (as opposed to consume) a book different from the one to own or consume music? Am I counting too much on the backlist driving people? I haven’t addressed yet how this might affect the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which could also affect Prime…what do you think will happen? Should Prime members have gotten a break on this? I’m not a big audiobook user: how is that affecting your perception of this? Have you already signed up? Will you? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

New! Join hundreds of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.


28 Responses to “It’s official! Kindle Unlimited is here with 639,621 titles”

  1. Alison Says:

    Another thing is noticed is that they may have part of a series in Kindle Unlimited, but you would have to purchase the rest. I bet that will draw people into buying books they hadn’t considered previously. I get so busy I haven’t read as many books lately, but I am very excited to try KU.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Alison!

      Yes, “first one free” can be a good strategy. 🙂 A few years ago, we were seeing that from traditional publishers, but not as much any more, I think.

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    Thanks for the great write-up. This is pretty exciting.

    When you say ‘2000 audiobooks’ that means ‘ebooks with narration included’. You will still have to use the Kindle app for iOS, Android, or a 2nd gen or later Fire to listen (and not the Audible app), since those are the only devices/apps that support ‘narration’ of text. The Audible app will not work, for example, and neither would eink Kindles with audiobook player (Kindle Keyboard, Kindle Touch), or the 1st gen Fire. Not an issue for me: I’ve got 4 qualifying devices.

    Also: you state that one can return books on a non-Fire Kindle without going to Manage Your Content? Hope that is true, and am also wondering about the iOS and Android apps. That’s always been one of my issues with Kindle Owner Lending library – a rare instance where amazon has not made things convenient. KOLL has not been a staple in my reading rotation, and (assuming I subscribe to KU) I will definitely be using it even less.

    Last night I checked to see which books on my Kindle wish list were in KU. Turned out that it was only about a dozen out of 259. So from that perspective, KU does not offer much in terms of books I’ve already ‘discovered’ and theoretically have an interest in reading. While I’m sure to discover some additional things in KU, it will never supply me with everything I want to read; it is not going to save me money, and quite likely I’ll wind up spending more. But it may help me pass up on some of the Daily/Monthly deals that I feel compelled to purchase, while not having any time to read.

    A couple of KU books that jumped out for me were best-sellers ‘Capital In the Twenty-First Century’ and ‘Flash Boys’.

    KU is much better than I’d expected, and is going to make life tougher for Oyster and Scribd, who are many years behind Amazon in terms of their reading ecosystems.

    • Tom Semple Says:

      It looks like (on the Fire) you can download the audiobook without the book. And it does show up in my Audible apps, so I can download it there too. Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch should be able to download them as well. So that is nice!

      I cannot locate a link to Kindle Unlimited in the Kindle Store on my Paperwhite. It is not in ‘All Categories’ as it is supposed to be. I got to the KU landing page by selecting a KU title for download and clicking the link there, but have not been able to get back there since, even after a restart. I imagine the link will show up before too long.

      On iOS/Android apps there does not seem to be an in-app way to return. So you have to launch a browser to do it.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Tom!

        How are you downloading the audiobook without the e-book? What I’ve done successfully so far is borrow the e-book (one with “narration”), and then download the audiobook in my Audible app. I haven’t seen a spot yet to download an audiobook without the e-book.

        On my Paperwhite (gen 2), I can get to Kindle Unlimited by doing:

        Shop – Books – Menu

  3. Tom Semple Says:

    By the way (and off topic) Amazon Instant Video is coming soon to Google Play (apparently Amazon has confirmed this). That’s pretty huge, and may signal a shift in Amazon’s positioning of the Fire. I’ve wondered how they could afford to ignore more than half of the mobile market for video sales.

  4. Phink Says:

    I love this not so much for myself but for others who may use it. You know me, I love whispersync where I can follow along in the book while the audiobook reads it to me. If I do this it will probabaly be for the audiobooks because sometimes financially I just can’t buy both. the audible and kindle books. Although many times buying both is not much more than buying one because the audible book many times is only $3 or $4 if you buy the kindle book too. Sometimes 99 cents more.

    I’m not sure I will use Kindle unlimited because for one thing and I know this is odd but I just feel the need to own what I read. I know that’s a psychological thing and I have borrowed a few books using Prime but it’s rare. There is something else. I have 12 books in my wish list and only two of them were eligible. Once the big publishers sign on I might do it and will probably see that reading books I do not own will not kill me LOL.

  5. Bob Anderson Says:

    How are authors getting paid for their work?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Bob!

      See, that’s why I mentioned I was going to write another post on authors and KU: I knew people would be interested. 🙂

      I still plan to do that, because I want to look at the implications.

      I’ll give a short answer for now…two short answers, actually.

      There are two types of books in KU: traditionally published ones(such as those from Workman or Scholastic) and independently published ones (that went through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing).

      On the former…we don’t know. 🙂 Publishers don’t release contract information like that, typically, and the royalty may vary by author. Amazon may be paying the publisher what they would pay for a purchase of the book, or it may be more complex than that.

      With the indies, they are getting paid basically like they do for borrows from the KOLL (Kindle Owmners’ Lending Library), with one big difference. The basic thing is that there is a pool of money each month (which is greatly being increase with the addition of KU), and you get a share of it based on how many borrows you book has. If there is a million dollars, and there are 500,000 total borrows, and your book was borrowed once, you get $2. The difference with KU is that you get that money after someone has read 10% or more of the book…you don’t get it just when it is downloaded.

      More later… 🙂

  6. Edward Boyhan Says:

    So a couple of questions..

    The basic difference between KOLL and KU: is that on the latter I can have 10 books outstanding as opposed to one per month for KOLL? Will the inventory be different on KOLL vs KU? Will I be able to browse title availability in KU without being a member?

    Will there be some way on the manage my content page to tell what books I’ve acquired at any time in the past via KU — I do see a KU selection on the MYC&D page — can’t tell whether that’s current titles only or all that I’ve ever borrowed?

    There doesn’t appear to be an easy way to keep track of KOLL titles either. On my KT, a search for “[returned” shows me all the KOLL books that I’ve borrowed and then returned from that device, but it doesn’t show me the current title (that I can find on the MYC&D page under books->borrows.

    The kindle content management pages (as I’ve said before) leave a lot to be desired. One thing on MYC&D that I’d like to see is the ability to search across all content types; also show what cloud collections content items are in.

    As it is for KOLL, if I can’t easily keep track of what I’ve already borrowed/read under KU, then no matter what the selection and financial aspects for me might be, using the service would be too much of a hassle.

    I believe I read some where that Simon & Schuster said they would NOT be participating in KU — probably because they already have an arrangement with the other subscription services: Oyster and Scribd.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Edward!

      Let’s go through your questions:

      * Yes, you can have ten books at a time with KU versus up to 1 book a month with the KOLL. That “a month” versus “at a time” is very important. You can read a hundred books in a month with KU if you want…you just have to return them periodically. I think that’s to limit multiple users of the account. Some, though, might argue that the main difference is paying $9.99 a month 🙂

      * The inventory is different between KU and the KOLL, although there is massive overlap. I have seen books in KU which are not in the KOLL

      * Yes, you can browse KU availability without being a member:

      Kindle Unlimited

      One especially nice thing is that you can search within KU just like you can in the general Kindle store…using a searchbox or categories.

      * I don’t know yet about past tracking of KU borrows…I’ll let you know after I return one. 🙂 My guess would be no, just as there isn’t past tracking of KOLL borrows at MYK. It’s interesting to me that it would be a dealbreaker for you: did you shop in brick-and-mortar bookstores? They didn’t track purchases for you. 🙂 I don’t think my public library could have given me a list of prior borrows either in the old days…I still used that. You got me curious, so I checked the product page of a book I currently have out: it didn’t indicate that I had it out. When I clicked “Read for Free”, though, it did tell me that I already had it out and wouldn’t let me borrow it again (the same kind of message you get when you try to buy a book that you’ve already bought with the ASIN). It did direct me to where I could get to it. I would think that, like the KOLL, if you just make a note in the book saying when you borrowed it, that should be available to you at

      even after you return the book. Not sure, though.

      I don’t think being involved with other subsers is a barrier: it’s like having your books sold in more than one store, unless you’ve signed an exclusivity agreement. A bigger barrier might be terms…

  7. Laura Says:

    I just did a quick search of 6 of the books my book club read this year: none were available on Kindle Unlimited. Then I looked for books I might want to read for work: 1 out of 4 were available. I don’t think KU is “there” yet enough for me to make use of. It’s not that I can’t hunt up books to read on it, just that they would not be my first pick of books. Or more accurately, sometimes they’d be my first pick, but not often enough to make it worth it. Same reason I don’t use KOLL all that much.

  8. Kerry Montgomery Says:

    Since I became employed by a public library, I have enjoyed checking out ebooks and audio books for my Kindle and Kindle ap on my Samsung Galaxy. Before this I used to feel guilty about obtaining so many free books through info on Book Gorilla, etc. (I mean about the authors not being compensated.) With the ability to access ebooks through the library for free, I wonder why more people don’t take advantage of that free service. (And, knowing that the Library is buying all these books alleviates my guilt! 😉 I hadn’t previously because I simply wasn’t aware. I really can’t see spending the money on Kindle Unlimited with these other resources, plus KOLL through Prime.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Kerry!

      Thank you, also, for working for a public library! That is a noble and heroic choice.

      Feeling guilty is…a bit odd, to me, since if a book is free from a legitimate source like Book Gorilla, it is either because: the author chose to make it free (in which case, you are fulfilling the author’s wishes by downloading it for free); or it is in the public domain (not under copyright protection, often because the term has expired). I have explored the idea in the past of making copyright permanent (perhaps my most controversial post) in exchange for greater Fair Use provisions:

      Should copyright be permanent?

      and I suppose, if you don’t agree with current copyright provisions, you might feel guilty then. My Significant Other, though, would quickly point out to me that guilt doesn’t have to be logical. 😉

      As to why more people don’t use the public library for e-books:

      * Like you were, a large number of them are probably unaware of it

      * Many public libraries either don’t have a good inventory or don’t have a good system. That was especially true in the past, when the publishers were even less friendly to public libraries for e-book terms than they are now. If someone had encountered that difficulty when they were establishing their e-book procurement habits, I think it’s unlikely they would have gone back and checked

      * In my situation, I can afford to buy my own books (or my own access, in the case of KU), and I know many people can’t. I also know that public libraries have limited licenses. I don’t want to make someone who can’t an e-book another way wait longer for it. I did try the public library a couple of times, to test the system, but I deliberately picked relatively unpopular books with no waiting list and more “copies” available

      For example, I just checked my local public library’s supply. Looking at the most popular fiction titles:

      Gone Girl: 36 people waiting
      The Goldfinch: 182 people waiting
      The Husband’s Secret: 128 people waiting
      Sycamore Row: 59 people waiting

      I just don’t want to make them wait even longer when I can afford reasonably to get them myself. 🙂

      The authors in KU (unless, again it is public domain), will be compensated…and I like that I can get even more compensated than I might have otherwise. I’m feeling freer about trying books through KU than I would if I bought them individually. Especially during our free month!

  9. alliemda Says:

    Bufo Calvin Says:
    “Okay…books! 🙂
    There are many books here that I have purchased in the past, and I think that’s going to be true for a lot of my readers. Here are just a few of the titles (and just for fun, if I’ve read them, and if there has been at least one movie and/or TV show)”

    I’m quoting you here because if you’ve actually already purchased and/or read these titles in the past, it does you no good to have them available via this new Kindle Unlimited.

    In fact, I already predicted that many books that will be available will be books that are already so popular/famous that: everyone who’s interested already owns them (or at least has already read them), and everyone else has already decided they aren’t interested. This has proven true by your own words, as evidenced by the long list of books that you have already read………… This issue causes a steep drop in the amount of desirable borrow-able content.

    I, and my immediate family, buy quite a lot of kindle books every month – more than we can read at any given time – we are all fans of having our OWN library of books to browse through. We do re-read a lot, especially me, so it could come in handy if there’s a book I really like that I don’t own… but it is rare that I have not already bought a copy of any book I find to be “re-readable”.

    So I’m thinking, with what is available via “Unlimited”, we will actually find a very limited number of choices for us and within our account.

    Despite all of this, I am considering giving this venture a try – but solely for the use of audiobooks. I can borrow kindle books from my local library but the selection is limited, and the selection of audio books is even more limited. Yet audio books are so darn expensive! (And I hate the computer-y Text-To-Speech “voice” available on many kindles.)

    Unfortunately, glancing over the site, it seems somewhat difficult to find which books are available as audio and which not. My best plan is to sign up for my free month and then find out… but I don’t want to spend my trial period figuring out how to use the program. I want to go in already aware of what I can and can’t do, and then spend the free trial period to see if that works for me. So right now my main concern is that, even if I am a member of “Unlimited”, I will *still* find it difficult to search through. Does anyone have a tip or two for browsing through audiobooks available under the Unlimited Program?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Allie!

      That is a fascinatingly different perspective!

      My point in listing books which I had previously read was to let people know about books in which they might be interested…to show the strength of KU. I wasn’t concerned in doing that for myself…you are right, I won’t tend to re-read those books. I was doing it to show other people the possibilities.

      There are so many books for me in KU that I haven’t read and want to read, though! I’m not having any trouble finding titles. In fact, I’ve started a separate wish list (just to keep track), so I’ll be able to jump to them more easily. 🙂

      One good example is that I always like to be reading a book that relates to my work (I typically read several books at the same time). I’ve been borrowing some from the KOLL…these aren’t usually things I want to buy and keep. That’s quite limited, though, since it’s only up to one book a calendar month. With KU, I don’t have to worry if I borrow one and it isn’t very good. I do finish every book I start (eventually), but no problem here returning one that didn’t help much and getting to another.

      It’s also interesting to me that you suggest so many people would decide a book is “uninteresting”, and wouldn’t read it even at no additional cost. I relish the opportunity to read something which doesn’t immediately appeal to me. 😉

      Here are audiobooks in KU (they are available because of Whispersync for Voice):

      Kindle Unlimited Whispersync for Voice

      Note that not all of those are available at no additional cost: it’s the ones that say “with narration”.

      I think that one tip ought to cover it. 🙂

      My regular readers (and I hope you’ll become one, and comment again…this was a well-thought out and written comment) know that I prefer text-to-speech to audiobooks…unless I’ve already sightread the book. I don’t like the narrator (whether actor or author) interpreting the characters for me. If I’ve already read it, that’s different…it’s like seeing a movie. Nonfiction is different, and I will listen to an audiobook of that…but it’s still pretty rare. I did borrow an audiobook (by borrowing the e-book) from KU to test it out.

      Hope to hear from you again!

      • alliemda Says:

        Thanks for your thoughtful response. There is one point that I made in my initial comment that seems to need some clarification and I’d like to take care of that ASAP!

        I’ll quote from you again here:

        “It’s also interesting to me that you suggest so many people would decide a book is “uninteresting”, and wouldn’t read it even at no additional cost. I relish the opportunity to read something which doesn’t immediately appeal to me. 😉 ”

        When I used the phrase “popular/famous” books, I really meant sensations – I gather, if you hate vampire books (or books written for teenage girls 😉 , you’re going to skip Twilight. And then, ok, say you tried it. You hated it. Are you going to read New Moon, the second book in the series? Are you then going to “relish the opportunity” to read the third in the series? That is what I mean when I talk about deciding *not* to read popular books. (I am way too old but enjoyed Twilight and its antecedents … what can I say, I’m a sucker! lol) On the other hand, I skipped 50 Shades of Gray. It was free! But I picked up enough info via media, friends, whatever sources, to know that I would not really love the series and my antennae should be directing me elsewhere. After all, there’s only so much time! If I decided to read all the books I think I might find interesting AND all the books I think I might find uninteresting……………………… Well you’ve got to have a winnowing system somewhere.

        I think by my comments you can probably guess that I am also a reader of a multiple books at the same time (Pre-kindle, from very young childhood on, every single trip of my life, I added to my luggage one plain school backpack exclusively for books, a good 20 or as many as I could stuff in ..hardcovers and paperbacks. My explanation: “I don’t know what I’ll be in the mood to read!!”) I don’t lightly turn down the opportunity to read any particular book that is readily available/accessible to me. I think that clears everything up!

        Thank you for the link to Amazon’s Whispersync page & also for your thoughts on audiobooks. I do understand your perspective; however, I can think of at least two major exceptions to your sensibility regarding readers “acting” out voice-characters. But I’ll save that discussion for another time. 🙂

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Allie!

        You make a good point about books in a series. While I don’t in a blanket fashion hate books on a particular topic or geared for a particular audience (I sometimes think search algorithms must get very confused by my eclectic tastes…and at this moment, I’m wearing a t-shirt that says, “Nobody’s target market”), I would tend to treat a series as one book in the judgment of it…which is perhaps not fair. If I started reading a series and didn’t like the first one much, I’d complete that one book…but you are correct in that I wouldn’t be jumping for the next one.

        In terms of the short amount of time in a life to read good books…that’s a topic I’ve discussed here before. 🙂 I’ve always liked John Carradine’s (David’s father’s) attitude about which movies to do. Carradine was a well-respected actor who ended up doing things like Invasion of the Astro-Zombies (not that there’s anything wrong with that). 😉

        As I recall, Carradine said that it was always the next script that was received that was the script chosen. Carradine said that it was cheating to wait for a good script or a good director: that it was the job of the actor to act, and wanting to make that easier by getting better written material was, well, lazy. I feel that a bit with reading: I love reading a poorly written book with a bit of passion behind it that gives me a different perspective on the world…I prefer that over a cookie cutter book that’s perfectly crafted. Similarly, I prefer seeing high school theatre over Broadway theatre…

        I also traveled with a suitcase just for books! That didn’t mean I didn’t run out sometimes, which led to some interesting reading adventures.

        Two other things which might resonate with you:

        * I kept a book in pretty much every room of the house, and would just read whichever book happened to be there
        * I not only always had two books with me, even on errands (in case, horror of horrors, I finished one and still had to be out for a while), but I kept an “emergency book” in the car 😉

        Yes, let’s talk audiobooks another time…I’ll look forward to it.

  10. Lady Galaxy Says:

    I’m so confused! I keep a separate wish list for books I want to borrow from the KOLL. I just checked it, and the “prime” logo is gone from all of them. For all but two of those books, the “prime” logo has been replaced with the “kindleunlimited” logo. When I click the product page for the books, instead of the button for KOLL with the monthly limit reached showing, there is a button that says “read for free,” but when I click it, it only gives me the option to sign up for kindleunlimited. Does this mean all those books are no longer in the KOLL?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Books continue to be available in the KOLL…and all of those (at least the ones published through Kindle Direct Publishing) were additionally put into KU (publishers weren’t asked first on that one).

      I thought maybe what they had done was only display KOLL availability on the devices where you can borrow it that way…but I just checked, and it didn’t give me that option on my Paperwhite. It’s possible that I would see it if I wasn’t a KU member, but that does create problems. I can see situations, especially with multiple account users, where you didn’t want to use up one of your simultaneous ten to KU something when you could KOLL it. I’ll dig a bit further.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        I just read from someone (“The Artist”, a long time Kindle Forum participant) that clicking on “Read for Free” when you have a KOLL borrow coming automatically credits it to that. That’s really going to confuse people, and may cause them to use up the KOLL when they didn’t intend to do so…don’t know if that’s true, though.

  11. jjhitt Says:

    Even though 2000 book/audiobook pair is a pretty small selection that leaves little room for niche interests, I have gone ahead and put my Audible subscription on hold. My problem with Audible is the problem I’ve always had with book clubs: I have to buy them faster than I read then. With Unlimited, I am paying 10 dollars a month instead of 15 for Audible.

  12. Helen Burns Says:

    I joined Kindle Unlimited this weekend. Like jjhitt, I put my Audible subscription on hold while we decide if Unlimited will work for us. However, we have been unable to get the audio version of Unlimited books to work on our phones. I’ve talked to 2 audible techs and one Kindle tech, and they can’t figure it out. We’ve deregistered the app to no avail. The Kindle tech doesn’t think I CAN do even it even tho the ads and Audible help says I can. I’m supposed to get a call back today. That’s the problem with being an early adopter!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Helen!

      I had already downloaded one on my Galaxy S4 to test it out, but I hadn’t tried listening to it yet. I did for you this morning: it worked just fine.

      What types of phones do you have, if you don’t mind my asking? Tell me the sequence you used in downloading the audiobook and in trying to listen to it.

      I should say, I was listening to it in the Audible app on my phone…I did not try immersion reading, where it displays the text and you hear the recording at the same time.

      • Helen Burns Says:

        Bufo, I’ve been sick so I haven’t responded. Re-reading the KU info online, and based on what the Audible techs said, a headset symbol should show up on applicable books in the Kindle app. We have Motorola RAZRM phones. I have looked for the feature in the cloud library for audible app too, tho, and they don’t show up. I tried two different books, and the “switch to audio) works fine on the Fire HDX. Any suggestions of who to call? Will MAYDAY help on a phone?

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