Checking in on checking out…books of Kindle Unlimited March 2016

Checking in on checking out…books of Kindle Unlimited March 2016

It’s been a while since I’ve written in this blog about some of the interesting books in

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

That’s Amazon’s “subser” (subscription service). Members pay $9.99 a month, and can have up to ten books at a time borrowed on an account…out of 1,285,096 (at time of writing) books.

I’ve been a happy member since it started. My Significant Other and I have both read lots of KU books.

Now, I do want to be clear: I may be paying more than I was before KU…at least, right before.

Before e-books, I would typically spend well over $120 a year on books.

With e-books, that dropped off considerably.

I like 19th Century books…and I can get those legally for free.

Then, there are lots of other inexpensive books, and other books legally offered for free.

So, a nice thing about KU is that I’m reading more expensive books again.

It’s hard for me to justify spending more than, oh, $4.99 for a book for myself when I can read all I want for much less than that.

I also like to keep the more expensive books for other people to give me as gifts. 🙂

Books can hypothetically move in and out of being in KU, so even if I’ve mentioned a book in the blog before, I’ll do it again this time.

Here are just a small slice of the books available through KU:

  • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (illustrated by Mary GrandPré)
  • The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien (including The Hobbit)
  • Wool (the Silo series) by Hugh Howey
  • Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (we both read this recently and liked it)
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry (only that book in the series)
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Pines (Wayward Pines) and many other books by Blake Crouch
  • 1984 by George Orwell
  • The Hangman’s Daughter by Oliver Pötzsch
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People by Stephen R. Covey
  • What to Expect When Your Expecting by  by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel
  • Kill the Competition (and others) by Stephanie Bond
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (this was on the New York Times bestseller list while it was in KU)
  • Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Terms of Enlistment by Marko Kloos
  • Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • Guns (Kindle Single) by Stephen King
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  • The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker (I found this book quite interesting)
  • Whiskey Sour – A Thriller (Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels Mysteries Book 1) by J.A. Konrath and Jack Kilborn
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • No Ordinary Billionaire (The Sinclairs Book 1) by J. S. Scott
  • The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain by Gregory Berns (I thought it was fascinating!)
  • Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
  • The Walk by Lee Goldberg
  • The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and Gennady Spirin

I’ve read many of those, and liked them. I’m sure there is $9.99 worth of choices there for most people! You may also be eligible for a trial month.

All of the above have something in common: at least 1,000 customer reviews at Amazon.

There are many well-known books below that threshold…older books often don’t have as many reviews at Amazon. You can read all of the original Ian Fleming James Bond books through KU, for example (they are now e-published by Amazon). Amazon also publishes the 87th Precinct books by Ed McBain…and they are also in KU.

Another draw for KU: audiobooks (available with “Whispersync for Voice”)…over 10,000 of those.

That can be particular valuable with classics. While you can get the e-book for free for these, these audio editions aren’t usually freebies.

Regular readers know I don’t normally listen to audiobooks (although I listen to text-to-speech for hours a week)…unless I’ve already read the book, which is commonly going to be the situation for the public domain books.

Here are some audiobooks available through KU:

  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
  • Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • April Morning by Howard Fast
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

While it is always better modeling for an adult (human) to read to a child, these could also be read by the Alexa Voice Service devices…you can see those here:

Echo, Dot, Tap, or Fire TV? Which Amazon Alexa device is right for you?

Am I saying that Kindle Unlimited is right for everybody?

Nope. 😉

I think, though, it is right for more people than are currently members.

I do think KU is impacting the market, and may increasingly do so. Amazon isn’t giving those figures, and I’m not suggesting that subsers will wipe out individual book sales (people still buy individual videos, even with Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime…we have all three).

I’m just saying you might want to consider it…and consider it as a gift for others. We did that for a family at the holidays.

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

Oh, and while it hasn’t gotten to be very popular, I do have the

ILMK Readers’ Recommendations: book discovery zone

where you can recommend KU books to people by “voting” for them.

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

2 Responses to “Checking in on checking out…books of Kindle Unlimited March 2016”

  1. Robert Anderson Says:

    Is there a reading history?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Bob!

      Not directly at Amazon, but through their integrated social reading site, Goodreads. If you want to add your books there, it is very simple. First, you set up a free Goodreads account.

      Then, when you open a book you borrow from KU, it will ask you if you want to mark it as Currently Reading. That’s it: it’s then at Amazon’s searchable book management site.

      You can do more than that, if you want…tweet how far you are into the book and what you think of it, write a review, and so on…but you don’t have to do any of that.

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