The most reviewed books in Kindle Unlimited

The most reviewed books in Kindle Unlimited

Don’t let anybody tell you that there aren’t popular books available in

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

That’s Amazon’s $9.99 a month subser (“subscription service”).

Yes, you may not see the most current most popular books in the country…at least, when you are looking at the p-book (paperbook) charts.

The biggest publishers (the “Big 5”) aren’t participating…although I’ve speculated that at least one of them will this year.

That doesn’t mean, though, that there aren’t books that have been popular!

I thought I’d look at the books with the most reviews…that, I find, tends to give me the most mainstream titles.

I’ll tell you, if I had listed the top ten or twenty or even fifty and asked people what they had in common, I doubt that KU would have come to mind. 😉

If you walked into a brick-and-mortar bookstore and these titles were on the shelf, I don’t think you’d feel like you were in a post-apocalyptic world.

Sure, you might ask where the New York Times bestseller section was, and be told that the store didn’t have one (although at least one book has been in KU while it was a current NYT bestseller).

I suppose it might feel more like one of those little, non-chain bookstores…where it was more about quality and some quirkiness than being what’s happening now.

Here’s a link to

Kindle Unlimited sorted by most reviews (at AmazonSmile*)

which, by the way, has 891,998 titles at the time of writing…more than ten times what the USA Kindle store had when it first opened. 😉

  1. The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins | 4.6 stars out of 5 | 23,323 customer reviews
  2. Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 3) by Suzanne Collins | 4.3 stars | 18,767 reviews…this third book in the series most ties into the most recent movie, which, I think, explains why it beats the number two book in the series.
  3. Catching Fire (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 2) by Suzanne Collins | 4.7 stars | 15,877
  4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, Book 1) by J.K. Rowling | 4.8 stars | 10,060 reviews
  5. Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal (Libro 1) (Spanish Edition) by J.K. Rowling | 4.8 stars | 10,060 reviews (happy to have one in a non-English language towards the top…but it seems like a bit of cheating to have the same review count. A translation is not the same as the original; it even gets a separate copyright)
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Japanese Edition) by J.K. Rowling | 4.8 stars | 10,060 reviews (I will say, though, when I’ve wanted to learn a foreign language, I found two things particularly good…comic books, and the phone book ((yes, it’s been a while)) 😉 In the phone book, I would go to the Yellow Pages…those often seemed to have pretty natural language, with pictures, of fairly common items)
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, Book 3) by J.K. Rowling | 4.7 stars | 9,652 reviews
  8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, Book 7) by J.K. Rowling | 4.7 stars | 9,652 reviews (Book 3 and Book 7 have the exact same numbers of reviews? That seems suspicious to me…and this doesn’t appear to be an omnibus edition)
  9. The Atlantis Gene: A Thriller (The Origin Mystery, Book 1) by A.G. Riddle | 4.2 stars | 9,240 reviews (I’m guessing this is the first one many of you didn’t know, but it’s popular)
  10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien | 4.7 stars | 7,780 reviews
  11. The Giver (Giver Quartet, Book 1) by Lois Lowry | 4.3 stars | 7,772 reviews (old or new, books that get labeled as “Young Adult”, appropriately or not, have a lot of reviews here. I’m guessing that has something to do with the demographics of people who tend to write reviews on Amazon, but I don’t know)
  12. War Brides by Helen Bryan | 4.2 stars | 7,253 reviews (one of these things is not like the others) 😉
  13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, Book 5) by J.K. Rowling | 4.5 stars | 7,073 reviews
  14. The Lord of the Rings: One Volume by J.R.R. Tolkien | 4.7 stars | 6,780 reviews (if I was getting something from KU and could get an omnibus edition, I would tend to do that…it takes up fewer of your maximum number of borrows you have at one time)
  15. The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien | 4.7 stars | 6,870 reviews (see, something is rotten in the state of Amazon. 😉 The odds that an individual book would have the same of reviews (as long as it is a substantial number) as one of the books in the series seem as low as Khazad-dûm 😉

Looks like at this point, we can say that there are three series to rule them all…The Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

There are lot of other books in Kindle Unlimited, but these have all crossed over from serious readers to the mainstream…


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* 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! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

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.


5 Responses to “The most reviewed books in Kindle Unlimited”

  1. dsmallc Says:

    One reason not to go with the omnibus LotR volume would be to take advantage of the excellent (and also free with KU) narration available via WhisperSync.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, dsmallc!

      Good point!

      I generally don’t listen to audiobooks, and that didn’t occur to me.

      It does have text-to-speech, although I suspect it would be mightily challenged by some of the names and such. 😉

  2. alanchurch Says:

    Hunger games crossed from serious readers to mainstream . Serious readers? The serious readers I know read literary fiction, good and great writing. Certainly not hunger games.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, alanchurch!

      In the phrase, “serious readers,” “serious” is an adjective modifying the noun “readers”. It doesn’t have to do with the nature of the books, it has to do with the people reading the books.

      It’s used to separate people who read a lot from people who only read occasionally (the latter may also be called “casual readers”).

      For example, here is one blog using the terms that way:

      although it would also support your contention that a “serious reader reads serious books”, as this Washington Post article puts it:

      I’d have to go back to verify it, but I’m quite sure I’ve seen that term used in studies/surveys/polls which use how many books someone reads in a year as a market definer.

      According to this Pew report

      the median number of books read by respondents in 2013 in the USA was five. Only 76% of adults said they had read even one book in 2013.

      As a former bookstore manager, we treated those as different markets. Let’s make this simple and say that a “serious reader” (the term “frequent reader” could also be used) read, on the average, at least a book a week. They were serious about reading: they allocated time for it, sacrificed other activities for it. In terms of the store, those readers were willing to seek out a book which wasn’t prominently displayed, and needed less help finding it. Books for casual readers had to be placed in “wishing wells” (a type of stacked display on the floor), on the end caps, in the bestseller section, and in the window.

      However, frequent/serious readers are clearly a minority. The “mainstream” of readers read relatively few books in a year.

      What I mean by a book crossing from “serious readers” to the “mainstream” is that many books are read only by people who read a lot. When a book becomes very popular (what I also call “People Magazine books”), it may be read by someone who only reads a few books in a year.

      Now, as to your other comment:

      Your use of the term “different worlds” is quite science fictional: perhaps you are more influenced by that genre than I am. 😉

      I think it’s important metaphorically as well, though.

      To me, we are simply moving in different aspects of the same world. There isn’t an inhospitable gap between two viable atmospheres.

      I think we would find that I’ve read a higher percentage of the books which you have read than that you have read a higher percentage of the books which I have read…and certainly, you may consider that to be a good thing. 😉 I’ve read Faulkner, Hemingway, and Roth…the three you mention. I’m assuming you are referring to Philip Roth (Goodbye, Columbus), by the way, not Veronica (the Divergent series)…I haven’t yet read the latter. 🙂

      I like to read a wide variety of things: you may have a more limited literary palate. There is nothing wrong with that: many people choose to read only what you describe as “literary fiction, good and great writing”.

      Others of us like to read those books, and additional books as well.

      Some people never read literary fiction. I think it would be good for them to do so: I think it’s beneficial for people to be exposed to different types of writing and different points of view.

      What I read as a disdainful dismissal of an anti-war allegory (although I’ll admit that the anti-war sentiment isn’t very hidden) by you is something I wouldn’t tend to do.

      You’ve asked (I assume rhetorically, but I tend to answer those, just in case) if Harry Potter is serious.

      Certainly, it’s tragic as opposed to comic, although there is quite a bit of humor in it.

      Taken as a whole, the books are a complex literary tale.

      I’m curious: do you think they are not serious because they contain elements (front and center, of course) of fantasy?

      I would have to assume, then, that these authors have at least written works which you would not consider serious:

      * Shakespeare
      * Charles Dickens (A Christmas Carol is a ghost story, and there is spontaneous human combustion in Bleak House)
      * Philip Roth (The Plot Against America)
      * Jack London (The Scarlet Plague, for just one example)…you might not consider London a serious author, of course

      Hm…it might be an interesting effort to look at winners of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction to see how many of them have written fantasy/science fiction books. My intuition is that it would be most of them. That may be a good post for this blog…

      Once again, thank you for making stimulating comments! While I think we move in the same world, I also think our conceptions of that world differ. I find great value in reading the opinions of someone when they are different from my own…it gets me thinking about my own thinking.

  3. alanchurch Says:

    Also Harry Potter is serious? How about Faulkner, Hemingway, Roth,etc. we move in very different wordlds.

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