Amazon introduced a new service today – Kindle Unlimited. For $9.99 a month, subscribers get unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of eBooks on their Kindle reader. I read a lot of books, and I am reading more and more of them in electronic format. And most of the eBooks that I read, I read in the kindle app on my iPad. So at first, I thought that this service was perfect for me. Then I thought some more.
Most eBooks on Amazon cost about $10, so anyone buying more than one book a month would seem to be better off the the new unlimited service than buying individual books. But Amazon is only making a few hundred thousand titles available under the unlimited service – as compared to the millions of eBooks available on Amazon. I doubt that any books published by Hatchette are available on Amazon Unlimited.
I read several books a month, but I don’t generally buy them on Amazon. I’ve learned that my local library has a large, and growing, collection of eBooks that are available via the library’s web site. Just like with physical books in the library, I browse the virtual shelves and check out the books I choose to read. Just like with physical books, if the copy is already checked out by someone else, I have to wait for it to be checked back in before I can get it (and I can place a hold for any books that I want to read that are currently checked out – just like with physical books).
On my recent trip to Spain and Morocco, I didn’t carry any physical books – only library eBooks. I took five – with no increase in weight at all and completely free because they were all library books.
I love having access to a huge collection of books that is searchable online. I don’t see why I would pay $9.99 every month for that access when I get it for free as a member of my local public library.