Kindle eBook Programs: Which One Is Best for You?

Did you know there are many different ways to get your hands on Amazon Kindle eBooks, each with their own terms and conditions? This post compares the various options so you can figure out which ones will work best for you.

Standard Retail

This is the most basic way to get Kindle eBooks—you just buy the ones you want from the full catalog at whatever the current price is. Since most books nowadays have a Kindle version, you can just search for a specific title or browse the various book categories to find ones you want. If you’re specifically looking for books on sale, check out the Kindle Deals page, which includes daily and monthly specials. You can read these books on any device, including Kindle e-readers, Amazon Fire tablets, and virtually any computer or mobile device using the free Kindle reading app.

Browse the full Kindle eBook catalog now. >>

Kindle Unlimited

This is the program for heavy-duty readers. It lets you read or listen to more than a million Kindle books, thousands of Audible audiobooks, and select current magazines for $9.99 a month. (There is a 30-day free trial period.)

Learn more about Kindle Unlimited and sign up for a free trial. >>

Prime Reading

This program is one of the benefits included with an Amazon Prime membership. It allows you to borrow an unlimited number of books and magazines from more than a thousand eligible titles and you can read them for free on any device.

Browse the Prime Reading catalog now. >>

Kindle Owners’ Lending Library

This program is for Amazon Prime members who own a Kindle, Fire tablet, or Fire phone and it lets you borrow one title a month for free. You can only find eligible books on by going to the Books > Library menu on one of those devices and selecting Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Likewise, you can only read the books on the devices, not through the Kindle app. The library includes hundreds of thousands of titles, including ones you can’t get through the Prime Reading program.

Learn more about the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library program. >>

Rent Kindle Textbooks

I remember how expensive textbooks were when I was in college oh so long ago… I can only imagine how much they cost nowadays!

Some Kindle textbooks are available to rent at a lower cost than buying them. I can’t find any way to search for titles that have this option. As far as I can tell, you’ll only know if it’s available when you search for a specific book. I found this architecture textbook, Urban Design Reader, if you want to see what the option looks like.

Learn more about renting Kindle textbooks. >>

Check out the full E-Textbook catalog. >>

Borrow from the Library

Many Kindle books are available to borrow from more than 11,000 public libraries around the U.S.

Learn more about borrowing Kindle books from the library. >>

Borrow from a Friend

I’m not a big reader these days but as a kid I was addicted to mysteries. Not having an unlimited budget, unfortunately, I relied on sharing books with my friends to make sure I always had something new to read.

You can lend and borrow Kindle books for up to 14 days, but an individual title can only be loaned one time. You can read borrowed books on any device.

Learn more about sharing Kindle books with friends. >>

Happy reading!

You may also be interested in:

The Benefits of Amazon Prime

You Don’t Need a Kindle to Read Kindle Books

Elizabeth Kricfalusi

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