Last week Amazon released a new service for getting ebooks for Kindles called Kindle Unlimited and the web immediately exploded with expectations. What is it, how does it work? What does it mean for readers, writers, publishers, libraries, and bookstores? Tim Worstall, an opinion writer for Forbes suggested mischievously that it might be a good idea to shut “down the lending libraries and buy every citizen an Amazon Kindle Unlimited subscription.” But we here in library land know that there’s room for both of us in the world of ebooks.
With a subscription of $9.99/month Kindle Unlimited provides access to ebooks and audiobooks. All ebooks and all audiobooks available to all subscribers at all times (aka no waiting list.)
Sounds pretty good. But, there are some limitations to the service. There are many titles that won’t be available through Kindle Unlimited because the major book publishers like Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hatchette are not part of the system.
Here at Kitsap Regional Library, we provide ebooks and audio books through two different vendors Overdrive and OneClickDigital. Between the two you have access to a library of best-sellers, popular titles, and strong backlist titles for free. While with Kindle Unlimited you must use the Kindle format, our ebooks are available for a variety of tablets and devices.
There really isn’t any fight between Kindle Unlimited and the Library, both serve an important function in bringing different titles to you, the reader. Together we all hope to enhance your reading experience, connecting you to education and entertainment in a way that is most convenient for you.