I’m spending more money per month with Kindle Unlimited…and it’s a great deal

I’m spending more money per month with Kindle Unlimited…and it’s a great deal

I used to spend a lot of money on books.

Even when I didn’t have much money, it was a significant percentage. I once literally turned orange…well, one arm did, anyway, because books were that high a priority for me.

How did that happen?

At first, I really didn’t know: I thought I’d been radiated or something. The top of my left arm (as I recall) was bright, like pumpkin orange.

I went to the doctor who said, “How many carrots are you eating a day?”

Me: “A pound or so.”

Doctor: “Don’t eat so many…” 😉

I had “carotene poisoning”…not dangerous, but it certainly looked odd.

How does that tie into my love of reading?

Carrots were cheap, filling, and healthy. I could eat those, and still money to spend on books. I would go into a used bookstore, and see a book I wanted. My rule was that I would have to leave the store for an hour, and then come back if I still wanted to spend the money on it. Suffice it to say, I made a lot of round trips. 🙂

Since the Kindle, though, my spending has gone way down. E-books are cheaper than p-books (paperbooks) generally. There are also many free books, and books on sale! I can gorge on 19th Century literature (which I enjoy), and not spend a dime on it.

$9.99 a month for an “all you can read” program sounded great! I went for the free month, and then we’ve kept

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

Now, I knew going into it that it wasn’t actually unlimited…that should be pretty clear, despite the occasional tale of shock and woe that gets posted in the Kindle Forums. For example, you can’t read books which haven’t been written yet. 😉 Many books still haven’t been put into Kindle format.

I also knew, just from looking at the website and a bit of easy research that the biggest publishers weren’t going to participate at this time.

Yes, Kindle Unlimited has a limited set of books.

What it doesn’t have is a limit on how many you can check out i a month…just how many you can have at a time, which is ten. If you can read and return ten books in a day (my record is three and a half novels in a day), you could check out three hundred and ten books that month (if it’s a month with thirty-one days).

You say you can’t read ten books in a day…that’s beyond your physical limit? See, there are limits on how many books you can read. 😉

I thought I’d take a look, and we haven’t been spending $10 a month a books…in August and July of this year, for example, we spent $4 and $3.98…less than half the $9.99 we spend for KU.

Still, I do think KU is great!

The difference is that I’m reading much more expensive books with KU.

I recently wrote about

#1 New York Times bestsellers available through Kindle Unlimited

and many of those are more than what we’ve typically been paying for Kindle books: $9.99, $10.99…even $13.99 (although that one contains three books).

The “These Are the Voyages” books about the creation of Star Trek that I read and so enjoyed? $9.95 and $14.95.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have paid that amount for either one of them…I might have put them on a wish list and hoped my family and friends go them for me, but it’s hard for me to justify spending almost $15 for a book, now, when I have so many less expensive options.

Reading them as part of KU at no additional cost, though? Perfect!

I wonder if this is true for a lot of people…that they actually spend more with KU than the did before on average, and they consider it worth it.

How about you? If you are a KU member, go to Your Account on Amazon and take a quick look at your digital orders. Are you spending more or less than $9.99 a month on e-books from the Kindle store? If you are spending more, does it seem like it is worth it, or not? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Update: when I find someone infringing on my copyright, I typically try to reach them without identifying them publicly. I have received an apology and retraction in the past: in some cases, people simply don’t realize that what they are doing is illegal. In this case, I can not find a way to contact a site called Kindle Updates. I discovered that this entire post appeared on that site. When looking for a way to contact them, I found many of my copyrighted posts appearing there without my authorization. There are posts from other sources as well, but I don’t know if they are gaining the necessary legal permissions from the legal rightsholders. They also appear to be selling advertising on the site, making the use of the material a commercial use, I believe. If you know of a way to contact them (I assume they are reading these articles, although it could be more automated than that), please ask them to remove the material, or to contact me to make arrangements for publication. That’s the best way to handle this for all involved. I’ll check the site again in the future to see if the material is still there before taking any other action. If you are with the site, you can comment on this post as a way to contact me and I will keep it anonymous if you like: I noticed you also included a comment link, which brings you back to this blog.

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.


6 Responses to “I’m spending more money per month with Kindle Unlimited…and it’s a great deal”

  1. Phink Says:

    Why I am not a KU member. I will skip the obvious stuff most put such as lack of participation by the big guys. My main reason is I like to own what I read. It’s something in my psyche. I don’t understand it but it’s just me. It’s important I point out again I read my first book at 27. That’s why at one time I literally owned every book I had ever read. Then we had a yard sale and for reasons I cannot explain I sold a whole slew of them. A few days later I hated myself for it. I probably did bring joy to someone by selling them but I regretted it none the less. What I would not give for those back again. If I had a list of what they were I’d buy them all over again. Anyway, that is still with me. And since I no longer own every book I’ve ever read I have borrowed a couple here and there from Amazon but if it’s good at all I wind up buying it. I just can’t get myself to do that very often. Perhaps someday they’ll have a pill for what ails me LOL.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      I do understand. 🙂 When we were tight on money at one point, I sold a bunch of records (actual LPS, vinyl) that I’d had since I was a kid. I still regret that today: we didn’t get that much money for them (I took them to a store, rather than selling them as one at a time collector’s items), I’m not convinced they “went to good homes”…and, well, I miss owning them. I’ve said before that I’ve never regretted keeping anything, but I’ve regretted not keeping things.

      That said, it’s very different for me if I didn’t own them initially, and that’s the case with Kindle Unlimited. When I go see a movie in a movie theatre, I don’t feel like I own that movie. That’s pretty analogous with KU: in both cases, I pay money for the ability to enjoy the content, not for ownership. That mindset makes KU work for me emotionally.

      It does mean that I’m not acquiring as many books…but oddly, I’m okay with that.

      As a collector and completist (I’ve bought several different editions of the exact same book, just because they were different), I’ve felt like that urge stems in part from the “territorial imperative”. Just as, reportedly, some animals will starve rather than give up their home turf, a book can become part of an owner’s “territory”. However, the territorial imperative doesn’t apply to watering holes you just visit, and the same can be true of books you borrow.

      Things you have collected? That’s different. I’m still sad over the break up of Forry Ackerman’s collection…that no well-heeled science fiction/fantasy fan (and there are many who loved Uncle Forry’s Famous Monsters of Filmland) stepped in and kept it together. Forry freely shared it with so many…if the “Ackermansion” could have been preserved as a museum with its collection, it would have been a great thing for the world, and a way to honor Forry’s generosity in sharing love of content with the world.

  2. Tom Semple Says:

    I’m not sure I am spending more, but if so, it is likely less than $9.99 more: I’m not purchasing any Deals that involve KU titles, where before I might well done so before, and I’m more inclined to pass on Deals that are not KU titles but are of more abstract interest. I add KU titles that I’m interested in to a ‘Kindle Unlimited’ Wish List that I created for this purpose (at 77 items and counting…).

    And I’m reading KU books I probably would not have purchased at the normal selling price (including ones I would not have read as Prime Lending Library borrows, due to the inconvenience of doing that).

    My latest KU ‘discovery’ are ‘art books’, specifically those put together by Daniel and Denise Ankele from public domain images of the works of famous artists of centuries past. They look great on my 1280×800 tablet, even when stretched to 1920×1080 (via HDMI). The images in many of the dozens if not hundreds of titles are often HD quality and so should look even better on HDX, iPad etc. I’ve also started borrowing ‘instructional’ books (music, drawing), though I have yet to actually work through any of them. These are examples of books I don’t care to own, so long as I can borrow them on demand, and which represent significant value to me that I was unable to capture via KOLL, or more than I’d want to pay to purchase, at any rate. I like it that they go away after I return as well (I ‘bookmark’ the ones I might re-borrow by adding them to another Wish List (‘KU favorites’). My library is littered enough with titles I’ve purchased but have no real prospect of reading in the foreseeable future.

    The availability of many audiobook titles (either through KU directly or as low cost ‘add-ons’) is something that is also of value to me.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      It sounds like you are really getting a good value out of KU! I think what you are saying about how it is different books than you would be using without it is key.

  3. Mish Says:

    I just joined Kindle Unlimited and will be sharing borrowed ebooks with my elderly dad, who has failing eyesight due to glaucoma and cataracts. After discovering that he can still see to read his favorite westerns and mystery novels on a lighted tablet, he is once again engaging in his favorite hobby – reading. Because KU gives me the option to download to multiple devices, I can download a western novel to his tablet and a different book, usually something sci-fi or historical, to mine. And with the ability to have 10 books at any one time, neither of us will ever be out of reading material. And I’ll definitely be saving money. I’m sure I was spending at least $10 every other month on Kindle books anyway and now I can read a lot of the ones that I couldn’t buy because they were a little out of my budget. So glad I discovered KU (and your blog)!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Mish!

      Thanks for the kind words!

      The rise of e-books has been wonderful for those with print challenges, like your dad. Initial surveys indicated a perhaps surprisingly large percentage of the Kindle owners were older, even in the “Greatest Generation” (before the Baby Boomers).

      There are a lot of great Westerns in KU! Here is a search for

      KU Westerns by most reviews

      I find that tends to surface well-known ones, and on the first page, I found Louis L’Amour and Zane Grey.

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