Kindle Unlimited vs Prime Reading – Is it worth upgrading?

If you’re an avid reader, then you’ve likely checked out all of the different reading subscription services available online. There aren’t too many options available if you’re trying to get some eBooks for your Kindle eReader.

Two of the most well known options out there both come from Amazon, and are pretty heavily advertised. You have their Kindle Unlimited service, which gives you access to a full range of their books. But, you also have the Prime Reading service as well. Between both of them, things can get a little confusing.

So, how do Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading compare to one another, and which one of these should you opt for? We’re going to look at the differences between them now.

Kindle Unlimited vs Prime Reading

The main difference between the two is that Prime Reading is included within the cost of an Amazon Prime subscription, and it only gives access to 1000 or so books. Kindle Unlimited is a different subscription service, with over a million different books to choose from.

For many people, the additional cost of Kindle Unlimited may be a little off-putting. When you add that on top of the other subscriptions most of us have (Prime, Netflix etc), it’s another bill to pay. So if you’re going to opt for Kindle Unlimited, it’s definitely worth making sure that it’s the right choice for you.

If you tend to read a new book each month, then you’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough material to get through. For this, the Prime Reading books may not quite be enough. With that said, let’s look at Kindle Unlimited first.

Kindle Unlimited

Kindle Unlimited is Amazon’s main reading subscription service. It’s intended to give people an easy way to read a large number of books on demand – it’s been referred to as a “Netflix for books”, which is a pretty accurate description.

There’s more than just books available through Unlimited, as you get access to magazines as well. Plus, the majority of the 1,000,000+ books that are on Unlimited are available in Audio format as well.

Is Kindle Unlimited worth it?


So, we know that Kindle Unlimited has a whole lot to offer that you won’t get included in your Prime subscription. But at £7.99 ($9.99) a month, over the course of an entire year, the costs will definitely add up. This leads many folks to wonder whether it’s even worth them signing up to a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Most of the books that are included with the Kindle Unlimited service are pretty cheap themselves. They tend to average out at around the £4 ($5) mark, which is pretty reasonable for a book. And if we take that into account and compare it to the Kindle Unlimited price, then it’s the same as buying 2 books per month.

So it’s pretty easy to work out if Kindle Unlimited is going to be worth it for you. If you’ll read more than 2 books per month, then it’s probably worth at least trying out the Kindle Unlimited subscription service. But if you’re only an occasional reader, then stick to buying eBooks as and when you need them.

Does Amazon Prime include Kindle Unlimited?

Another pretty common question about Kindle Unlimited is whether it’s included within an Amazon Prime package. This makes sense, as Amazon have wrapped up their parcel delivery service with their movie packages, so why not reading as well?

Unfortunately, Amazon Prime doesn’t include Kindle Unlimited within its package deal. In fact, the cost of Kindle Unlimited alone is the same price or more expensive than simply having Amazon Prime for many of us.

This doesn’t mean to say that at some point in the future, this won’t happen. It’s pretty likely that eventually Amazon will come out with a package deal for everything, as their whole intention is to corner several different markets at once.

But at the moment, there’s enough people signing up to both services separately that there’s no need for them to combine them into one deal. Most people who have Kindle Unlimited are already signed up for Amazon Prime anyway.

4 Reasons not to Opt for Kindle Unlimited

Now that we’ve looked at everything that Kindle Unlimited has to offer, it’s only fair that we look at the potential downsides of the service. There are some good things about it, but there are also some negatives that you’ll want to think about too.

The selection of books – It sounds impressive when you say that there’s more than a million different titles to choose from. However, a large percentage of these are self published by Amazon themselves. This leaves a big selection of books missing from the pile.
The pricing – The pricing of Kindle Unlimited can be looked at as a good thing, as you’re getting a lot of titles for a fairly low price. If you read daily, then it could be worth your while using the service. But if you’re only going to be reading 1 or 2 books per month, it may prove to be better to buy them individually.
Books Only – With Prime Reading, it’s part of something else. You’re not just getting a thousand or so books per month; you’re also getting free next day delivery and Prime Video, which includes a ton of films and tv shows to watch as well. Kindle Unlimited is just eBooks.
Have to stay subscribed – If you buy an eBook online outright, then you own it. You can read it for as long as you want at your own leisurely pace, and re-read it later if you desire. When you end your Unlimited subscription, you can’t access any of the library again, which makes re-reading impossible.

5 Reasons to go for Kindle Unlimited

At the other end of the spectrum, there are some good things about Kindle Unlimited too. We’ve been through the negatives, but what are some of the good things about the service?

It’s the top eBook subscription service – If we compare Kindle Unlimited to other subscription services out there like Scribd, then it’s a lot better in terms of the selection that it provides. There’s a reason why Kindle Unlimited is still breathing and other big book subscription services, like Oyster, have shut down.
It works well across all platforms – As you’d probably expect, the best device for you to use with Kindle Unlimited is typically going to be the Kindle, as it makes for a good reading experience similar to reading a book. But, you don’t need a Kindle to use it – you can simply download the Kindle app on your tablet if you wish to and use that instead.
It allows 10 books at once – If you’re like me and can easily switch between several different books over the course of a week, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can use Kindle Unlimited to read up to 10 different titles at the same time. This is good if you want to switch between genres.
There’s a fair amount of audiobooks included – Although you don’t quite get the selection that Audible allows you to have, there is a good range of different audiobooks to choose from with Kindle Unlimited. Many of the self published titles that Amazon have released have an audio version too.
Very intuitive recommendations – I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I struggle to find a good book to read. This is one of the reasons that I love Unlimited. The recommendations that come up are based on the books that you’ve previously read, and they’re actually pretty accurate at finding things that you’d actually like to read.

Prime Reading

Now we know that there are good and bad things about Kindle Unlimited. A major catalyst in your decision whether to go with Unlimited or not will likely be the whether Prime Reading is enough to tide you over.

The good thing with Prime Reading is that there’s usually something there you’ll be at least half interested in. If you’re going to sign up to Prime anyway, then it’s worth checking out their included Reading section before you look at anything else.

Before you use it though, it’s worth knowing exactly how it works. This way, you can decide whether it’ll be enough to satisfy your reading thirst, or whether you should take advantage of one of the Kindle Unlimited offers that arrives in your inbox.

How does prime reading work?

Generally, there will always be more than 1000 different books and magazines that you can read with Prime Reading at any one time. There’s a good variation between different genres and fiction and non fiction books, which some magazines in there too.

Another area where Amazon Prime Reading has a surprisingly good selection is in the comic books section. This is because Amazon have their own publishing platform, ComiXology, which is designed to offer downloads of some of your favourite comic books.

The titles will cycle in and out each month. So with every new month that comes, a few more titles will be added to Prime Reading. Although there’s not the same variation of different books you can get with Unlimited, for casual readers there may well be enough there for you to use without signing up to another service.

You can loan up to 10 books out simultaneously with Amazon Prime Reading, with no worries about having to pay any fees if you don’t return your copy in time. You can keep it as long as you want, too. Prime members may as well check this out as you’ve really got nothing to lose.

Can I get Audible books with Prime Reading?

As mentioned, you can borrow up to ten books are the same time with Prime Reading. This should give you enough reading material to cycle through before having to hand your book back in to loan out a new one.

Many of these books will come with Audible narration, and you can listen to them either on your Kindle or through another device if you wish. Though the selection isn’t infinite, and it may not be enough for the average book lover.

However, all things considered it’s pretty fair, as you don’t need to pay any additional subscription fee above your standard Prime membership. Though not all books will have the ability to be used with Audible, many of them will.


In conclusion, there’s a massive difference between these two services, and depending on what you’re looking for, they’ll probably appeal to different markets.

Most people won’t be buying an Amazon Prime subscription specifically for the Prime Reading benefits. Most of us get Prime to get things delivered quickly and to use their streaming services.

Prime Reading is a nice addition to this, and if you find the odd book there you want to read, then great! But, it’s not the sole reason to get Amazon Prime. Although, I have been impressed with their selection of children’s books recently, and spotted a few Harry Potter books on there too.

Kindle Unlimited is going to appeal to bookworms only. Although it may be considered expensive, it’s still the best eBook subscription service out there right now. So if you read a lot, then Kindle Unlimited might be worth checking out, as you can usually always find something worth reading on there.

Avatar of Melissa
About Melissa

Hey! I'm Mel, I write the occasional article for Spacehop, amongst other things. I love meeting new people and chatting, so if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.

Leave a Comment


Tablets vs Laptops – Which would suit you better?

How to factory reset ipad, restore and more!