Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Prime Reads, Amazon First Reads and Kindle Unlimited

One of the reasons I love Amazon, especially Prime is all the things that come with that monthly or annual membership. I get free cloud storage of my photos, I have a free streaming app, a subscribe and save service where you can get regular delivery of household items you use on a fairly regular basis like TP. I also get an email every day with the special deals, like that previous deal I shared where a $40 plus bottle of COQ10 was on sale for 17 bucks. I am definitely gonna wish I had ordered more of those than I did.

But I joined Amazon originally for books (and video), years ago when I lived in a place with no English library and limited television in English. And books, albeit mainly kindle books, are still a large part of my Amazon purchases-even if most of them are free or deeply discounted-or even borrowed from Amazon via the library.

Did you know that if you are an Amazon prime subscriber you can get two free kindle books a month?  The first option to get a book is from Prime reading, which allows you to read a free book a month and some times more.

The second option is something called AmazonFirst Reads, or Kindle First. Each month Amazon chooses six new books that have not yet been released and gives Prime members the first option to read and comment. These books are usually of varying categories, thriller, romance, mystery, family, historical, memoir, fantasy and so on. Some I have loved and some I have not, although I have yet to read a bad book or a book I was sorry I tried. 

If you're a Prime member, you may want to give both options a try, especially since Prime reading also has magazines available. To those folks who have yet to move to the dark side, I have yet to meet anyone who regretting getting a kindle, even if they didn't use it all the time. And you can add the kindle app to literally any device including a laptop in order to take advantage of the digital magazines and free books, without buying a kindle. 

The final way to get "free" books is with a monthly subscription known as Kindle Unlimited. Now, I'm not a big fan of subscriptions. I even put my on hold until I had time to give it the attention it deserved (which will be in another month) and I even put my Great Courses on hold for awhile while I delve into the richness of Utube. Some subscriptions are worth having, and KU has been so for me. I read lots of books, am always looking for new books to read and new authors to try and when it comes to non fiction instructable kinds of books, the subscription allows me to keep a book as long as I need without buying it.

Admittedly, I don't get the James Patterson, Danielle Steele, Harlan Coben, John Sandford kind of new release or book on my kindle. Publishers like Hatchette are not part of the deal, except for older books. If that is the only thing you read, I would say that KU is probably not a good idea.

Kindle Unlimited is good for things like reading early books from good authors (it's the way I found the authors James Grippando and Dana Stabenow, among others. It is also very good for finding new authors that normally might not get a chance and you might not read. Yea, you might have to kiss a frog on occasion, but overall my KU reads have been pretty good. I am now following the Morgan Dane series, The Mercy Kilpatrick series (mysteries about a detective who was raised in the prepper community in Idaho),  and the author Robert Dugoni among others.

Where Kindle Unlimited really shines (In my own opinion) is the access to non fiction books, especially those on creativity, cooking, and other topics. Since I'm learning to make paper and fabric beads out of leftovers (more on that later) I have two books on beading. and if there were two books on insta pot or slow cooker cooking when I looked today there were a hundred. My wish list for trade outs include a book on learning to crochet, one on farmhouse soups, and a couple classics to re-read.

Just in my brief scan this morning on KY, there were books on cross country rail travel. A book about D Day through the eyes of Germany that has like three thousand five star ratings, the Book Chasing Excellence. The early Harry Potter Books, the Handmaid's Tale, and the Simarillion were all there as well.

I can have up to ten books on Kindle Unlimited and keep each book as long as I like (good when you are learning a language or some other skill as there is no three week limit like at the library). Right now my kindle library includes 3 mysteries, two bead books, a book on making yarn from colorful T-shirts and turning them into jewelry, rugs and other cool stuff, a book on purposeful retirement and a book on the best money making apps on my phone. I also have a long list on my wish list.

All of this for the price of $10.50 a month. Which works for me, and may or may not work for you.  As with everything else, a free trial is probably the answer!

And if course if you have a kindle and are a true addict, I'm assuming you already know about Bookbub, the free Kindle book section on Amazon itself, Project Gutenberg and other places-including your local library. 

Cause while I love Kindle Unlimited, free is well, free.


  1. Wow, I clearly am not using all the freebies that come with my Prime account. Thanks for this post. I need to come back and study it in depth.

  2. Thanks for the review of Amazon Prime Read Free. Even though I prefer reading from actual books than reading on my chromebook, I appreciate getting the list of authors and will check some of them out at the library which I use a lot.

    1. I'll tell you what I do, or used to. Amazon has somewhere something that used to be called popular pre-orders (now I think they just come up in my book recommendations). I made a list of those by month and reserved them as soon as I was able to that I was always one of the first. I actually choose whichever book is first from the library be it digital or paper.

    2. Thanks for the tip. I'll check into whether I can do that too.

  3. I got so hooked on the library, I forgot about the free stuff on Amazon. Thanks for the review!

    1. Don't get me wrong the library is still my best friend!

  4. I use BookBub all the time, and download Kindle free books to my tablet.

    I really do need to make a trip to the library very soon as I have heard through the grapevine they have gotten a great many new best sellers.

    God bless.


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