What Is Kindle Unlimited and How Does It Work?

Reading at home or on-the-go has never been easier

Kindle Unlimited is sort of like Netflix for Amazon's digital e-books, called Kindle books.

You pay a monthly subscription fee for access to the full Kindle Unlimited library where you can read and enjoy as many Kindle books as you want. That's exactly why it's called "Unlimited."

Kindle Unlimited Explained

Book publishers can choose to include their books in Kindle Unlimited when they list them on Amazon. There are over one million book titles, thousands of audiobooks and popular magazines included in the Kindle Unlimited library.

Just like you don't own movies you watch on Netflix or songs you listen to on Spotify, you don't own any books you read through Kindle Unlimited. You're essentially borrowing them until you're finished reading them and decide to remove them from your account—or until you decide to end your Kindle Unlimited subscription.

How Does Kindle Unlimited Work?

Kindle Unlimited works in a similar way to purchasing regular Kindle books. When you want to read a Kindle Unlimited book, you add it to your account and deliver it to your devices with just one click. The only real difference is that you're not charged for the individual price of the book.

How Much Does Kindle Unlimited Cost?

Kindle Unlimited is $9.99 a month. Amazon offers a 30-day free trial so you can try it out and see how you like it before you decide to pay for a subscription.

How Do I Sign Up for Kindle Unlimited?

Follow these instructions to sign up for your 30-day free trial and start reading your first title.

  1. Go to Amazon.com in a web browser.

    In the app, type "Kindle Unlimited" in the search bar. At the top of the page, is a clickable link to sign up for Kindle Unlimited and start your free trial or sign up for a subscription.

  2. If you're not already signed in, hover your cursor over Hello, Sign in in the top right corner to enter your login details and sign in to your account.

  3. Enter Kindle Store in the search field and Return.

    Amazon.com with Kindle Store entered into the search field
  4. Select Kindle Store Kindle Unlimited in the search results.

    Amazon search results with kindle store kindle unlimited highlighted
  5. Select Learn More under Kindle Unlimited at the top of the screen.

    Amazon.com with Learn more selected in the Kindle Unlimited section
  6. Select the 30-Day Free Trial option. During special promotions, the free trial may be for 3 months. Whichever one you see, the price should show as $0.00.

    Kindle Unlimited free option button on Amazon.com
  7. Select the Start your free trial button. Your free trial starts immediately. Unless you cancel before the trial period ends, the payment method you have listed at Amazon is charged. If you don't have a payment method on file, you are prompted to enter one.

    Start your free trial button on kindle unlimited screen
  8. After you successfully sign up, you are taken to a page with suggested Kindle Unlimited titles to start reading. You can browse through these or see the full Kindle Unlimited library by typing "Kindle Unlimited books" in the search field or by selecting Kindle Store in the Department section of the sidebar.

    Kindle Store selected in the Departments section of Amazon

    If you want to browse Kindle Unlimited titles on the Amazon mobile app, the best way to do it is to use the search field at the top to do a search for "kindle unlimited," "kindle unlimited books" or a related term since there's no dedicated section in the menu labeled Kindle Unlimited like there is on Amazon.com.

  9. When you're ready to start reading your first book through Kindle Unlimited, select the title to go to its Kindle page and select the gold Read for Free button or the Read and Listen for Free button (for books with audio elements) to the right of it. The title is automatically added to your content and any devices you have integrated with your Amazon account.

    Read for Free button in Kindle Unlimited account
  10. To see all of your Kindle Unlimited titles, hover your cursor over Your Account & Lists at the top of the screen and select Your Kindle Unlimited in the drop-down menu.

    Accounts & List drop-down menu with Your Kindle Unlimited highlighted
  11. Scroll down on the Your Kindle Unlimited page to the Your Borrowed Items section to see a list of up to 10 books you've borrowed. Select Read Now next to a book to read it on any of your compatible devices or select Return to make space for a new item.

    Your Borrow Items list in Kindle Unlimited
  12. You're now all set to read and enjoy your newly added Kindle Unlimited books on your Kindle device, on your iOS or Android device through the Kindle app, on your Mac with the Kindle Mac app or on the web with Amazon Cloud Reader.

Even though you can enjoy an unlimited number of titles through Kindle Unlimited, you can only keep up to 10 titles in your account at a time. If you already have 10 in your account and want to add more, you'll have to delete at least one title to make room.

How Do I Cancel My Kindle Unlimited Subscription?

If you decide that you want to end your Kindle Unlimited subscription either before or after the free trial, you can do that on the same Your Kindle Unlimited page that lists your borrowed books. Just select the Cancel Kindle Unlimited Membership button.

The Your Kindle Unlimited screen with Cancel Kindle Unlimited Membership highlighted

If you already have an Amazon Prime membership, you might not need Kindle Unlimited at all since you automatically have access to Amazon Prime Reading.

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