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If you received a book recommendation along with the helpful tip that "it's on Kindle Unlimited," you might be intrigued to find out more. In short, it's an e-book subscription service from Amazon that launched in 2014. You can access a massive library of digital books, audiobooks, comics, and magazines for a monthly fee.

Kindle Unlimited lets you read as many books as you want with no extra cost or due dates, and it works on nearly any device with a screen.

How does Kindle Unlimited work?

Kindle Unlimited is a monthly subscription available via or the Kindle Store. You don't need an Amazon Prime subscription, but you must have an Amazon account, which you can create in seconds. All you need is an email address.

After you sign up, you can browse the Kindle Unlimited catalog of over 4 million titles, which includes new books, bestsellers, popular book series, classics, fiction of every kind imaginable, and nonfiction.

A screenshot shows the Kindle Unlimited website.

You can download up to 20 Kindle Unlimited books at a time and keep them as long as you want. That means avid readers can start a few nonfiction books, delve into a classic, and still have plenty of room to have fun exploring several other great books simultaneously.

You can listen to thousands of audiobooks hands-free as part of your Kindle Unlimited subscription, a great addition to make your commute fly by even if you're stuck in a traffic jam. If an Audible audiobook version is available for free, you'll see a download option when you get the e-book.

Some books have an Audible version that costs extra.

Popular magazine subscriptions like People, Prevention, Food Network, and Consumer Reports are also included with Amazon Kindle Unlimited.

How much does Kindle Unlimited cost?

The monthly price of Kindle Unlimited in the U.S. is $11.99 per month. The cost and content are different in other countries. For example, in Canada, it costs $9.99 Cdn, but there are about a million e-books, significantly fewer than in the U.S., and no audiobooks are included.

You can get Kindle Unlimited with a free 30-day trial if you are a new subscriber. Amazon occasionally runs promotions with longer trial periods. Three months of Kindle Unlimited is included when you order a Kindle device.

You can cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription anytime if it doesn't suit your needs.

Why should you try Kindle Unlimited?

If you like to read books, it usually makes sense to test a Kindle Unlimited membership. It's a great way to discover new authors and genres or catch up on your reading list. Kindle Unlimited is a bit like Netflix in that you can access a massive library of content. As you read more in the free Kindle app, Kindle e-reader, or cloud reader, Amazon learns your preferences and recommends similar content.

If you like the ease and eco-savings of e-books, Kindle Unlimited will satisfy your need with a seemingly endless supply of fresh content. If your book budget is tight, you can only buy a few paperbacks and hardcovers. For example, cookbooks, art, and craft books can be expensive.

With Kindle Unlimited, your reading library can grow dramatically. Audiobooks and magazine subscriptions sweeten the deal further.

Kindle Unlimited isn't for everyone

If you find digital books distasteful and yearn for the tactile nature and familiar smell of a paperback or the solidity and heft of a hardback, you might not like Kindle Unlimited.

You get Prime Reading for free if you're an Amazon Prime member. It doesn't have as large of a content library (about 2,000 titles), but it's a rotating catalog that includes magazines and comic books, as well as one free pre-release e-book each month from the editors' picks as part of your Prime membership.

A screenshot shows the the Amazon Prime Reading website.

Amazon Prime also includes Prime Video and Prime Music, so you can read, watch movies, and listen to music with one subscription.

If you don't own one of the many nice, low-cost Android tablets, a Kindle device, or an iPad, and your smartphone screen is too small for comfortable reading, you might prefer physical books. Still, you can use Kindle Unlimited from a desktop browser if you don't mind reading on your computer.

How to use Kindle Unlimited

You can download and read Kindle Unlimited e-books with any Android or iOS device. Audible narration also works on smartphones and tablets. Download the free Kindle reading app from the Google Play or iPhone App Store.

If you own a Kindle Paperwhite, Oasis, or other Kindle device, the Kindle reader is preinstalled. There are several to choose from, and Amazon has released updated versions over the years. To get the best Kindle, check out our comprehensive guide.

You can find e-books in the Kindle Unlimited section at or in the Kindle app to download. If you look in the general book section, look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on the cover or in the listing to make sure you can get it for free. When you're finished with a book, click return to make space for another e-book.

If you have 20 titles checked out when you try to download another, you're reminded to return one of the e-books on your device. You'll never pay extra for a Kindle Unlimited e-book, but you can buy a book if you want to keep it forever.

Is Kindle Unlimited worth the cost?

Considering the vast amount of e-books and other content available, Kindle Unlimited is a great value. However, with any subscription, it's a good idea to take a moment to consider how often you use it and whether your money might be better spent elsewhere.

Another great thing about Kindle Unlimited is that you can share it with family members, reducing the cost per person. In a four-person household, the monthly cost averages about $3 per person. Still, you have to figure out how to share a download space limited to 20 e-books.

Since the subscription is monthly, you can cancel at any time and resubscribe later with no penalty. You might want to get Kindle Unlimited for a vacation or when you know you'll have extra time on your hands. A good e-book lasts longer than a movie and is often more satisfying.

If you've never tried Kindle Unlimited, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial and cancel before the subscription starts if you decide against it, a risk-free way to explore what it has to offer.