Kindle Unlimited: a change of heart

October 16, 2014 General 2

It’s only a couple of weeks since I wrote about Kindle Unlimited, Amazon’s all-you-can-read subscription service, and concluded that I probably wouldn’t bother with it.

And there I was this morning, looking at a non-fiction work and dithering. It was one of those how-to books that are so common nowadays, under a hundred pages but not too expensive. So why did I dither? Because I knew perfectly well that if I bought it, I would skim through it, find a few paragraphs interesting, forget the rest and never read it again. Very few such books are real ‘keepers’, that I would want to go back to repeatedly.

I could have got it for free through my Prime account, of course, but I can’t do that from the Amazon book page. I would have to find my Kindle, connect to the store, search for the book all over again and only then can I click the button. And I can only read it on my Kindle, not on the computer or tablet or phone. Plus, it’s limited to one book a month.

Then I saw that seductive ‘Read for free’ button. The little spiel about Kindle Unlimited. The free trial. Sign up, it called to me, and you can have this book and loads more without paying a penny. Reader, I signed up. And lo, it was simple to one-click that book, just as simple as buying it. Then Amazon helpfully offered up a bunch of similar books that I might like. So I one-clicked them, too (except the one that wasn’t in KU, dammit).

All of a sudden, I see a point to KU. It’s not so much for fiction (I still have my backlog of 50+ books waiting to be read). It’s for all those non-fiction books that may (or may not) be useful, but the sample is too small to tell. I can download them, skim them, send them back if they’re useless. Probably I’ll use it to try out fiction too, to see if I like an author or not, experiment with genres. It’s a no-risk option.

I’m converted. Who’d a thunk it?

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