[Guide!!] What is Amazon Prime Reading? Is it Worth it? - TheBookBuff.com (2022)

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If you’ve briefly gone over what you get as an Amazon Prime subscriber, you might have noticed “Prime Reading.” On the surface, it seems like a service with exclusive premium access to content not available outside (like Prime Video).

But, Prime Reading isn’t like Prime Video; it is more like Prime Music.

Amazon Prime Reading is a feature that allows eligible readers to get free access to read books but not keep them perpetually. The access is valid as long as the reader has a Prime Membership. This service is similar to Kindle Unlimited but is packaged with Amazon Prime.

In this article, we will explore in-depth what Prime Reading is and how it differs from Kindle Unlimited. The pricing of both services, alongside their key differences, will be compared to conclude which one is better for you.

You’ll also learn how to access and navigate the Prime Reading library. But first, we should return to the initial question for deeper analysis.

[Guide!!] What is Amazon Prime Reading? Is it Worth it? - TheBookBuff.com (1)

What is Amazon Prime Reading and How Does it Work?

Amazon Prime Reading is a digital library that Prime Members can access exclusively. To qualify for Prime Reading, you need to have an Amazon Prime account. This shouldn’t be confused with Kindle Unlimited, which is a broader library with a monthly subscription model minus add-ons.

Prime Reading works by checking a user’s account status and redirecting them to either the reading catalog or a custom sales page for Amazon Prime.

When you visit Amazon Prime Reading, your Amazon account status is checked by the server. If you’re logged in and are a Prime member, you can select titles to read.

You can also do the same via your Kindle browser, device, or app. In case you’re not logged in, you’re lumped in with non-prime members and are shown information regarding Prime Reading, including some of the titles that are available.

It is somewhat surprising that despite being the conglomerate’s native page, the Prime Reading landing page doesn’t sum up the subscription add-on’s key features in a clear way.

Key Features of Amazon Prime Reading?

One thing to note before we take a look at the benefits of Prime Reading is that you need to be a member of Amazon Prime in order to access Prime Reading!

Here are some of the key features of Amazon prime reading.

1. Free Access to Premium Titles

One of the frustrating things about Kindle Unlimited is that it has an inflated selection of books with little regard for quality.

The Prime Reading catalog is better curated and has more premium titles with traditional publisher backing. In contrast, a bulk of what Kindle Unlimited features are author-published books that were enrolled in the Kindle Select program. Authors usually enroll books in this program for reach and exposure.

2. Access Top Magazines

Amazon Prime Reading includes top magazines subscriptions. Among the magazines, you can read digitally as long as you have a Prime membership are the following:

  • Reader’s Digest
  • Golf Digest
  • Wired
  • Family Handyman
  • All Recipes
  • Eat Well
  • Bon Apetit
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Vanity Fair
  • Men’s Health

Individual subscriptions to these magazines would cost more than the price of a Prime membership. If you’re a habitual magazine reader, then getting a prime subscription means the rest of the Amazon prime benefits are free.

3. Get Audiobooks

While this feature is limited to books that have narration set to available by the publisher, Amazon Prime Reading does feature a sizable catalog of audiobooks that can be consumed via Prime Reading.

Please note that “Audible Narration” and “Listen Free” are two separate features.

Prime Reading works in sync with audible, so you can pick up an audiobook (you purchased) from where you stopped reading the text version (free access). The titles that say “read and listen free” are the only ones that have free audio access.

That said, you can get access to Audible with a 30-day FREE trial. Simply click on the link and sign in to your account!

Amazon’s service sets sometimes overlap, which can be confusing.

Is Prime Reading the Same as Kindle Unlimited?

The two services that overlap not just in their mode but also in their presentation are Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited. On the surface, both seem like means to access books without paying per title, but that’s not the case.

Prime Reading is not the same as Kindle Unlimited. Prime Reading is a value-added service that’s a part of the Amazon Prime experience; you don’t pay specifically to get Prime Reading. With Kindle Unlimited, you don’t pay for anything except access to the Kindle Select catalog.

The books available in both can overlap, but the services maintain their separate catalogs.

Also Read – Kindle Unlimited vs Prime Reading: A Complete Guide!

This brings up the question of superiority. Which library access package is better? Given that many Prime Members don’t even know they have access to prime reading.

One can safely assume that said service doesn’t have as much product support as Kindle Unlimited, which accounts for one of the largest subscriber bases for any conglomerate in the world.

In other words, Kindle Unlimited has more people working on, constantly sourcing books, making deals with publishers, and offering incentives to authors to get the right books in front of you. Prime Reading has fewer titles, less effort behind it, but a greater wow factor.

Take magazine subscriptions, for instance. Kindle Unlimited has a catalog that features over 60 magazines but limits you to a subscription maximum of three. Prime Reading started with only the Condé Nast titles and went on to include all 61 titles that are available on Kindle Unlimited.

Related Article –

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime for Prime Reading only, you’re too early and are probably paying too much. Kindle Unlimited seems better priced for reading. However, Amazon Prime’s wider service set is what makes the price of Prime worth it.

How Much Does Prime Reading Cost?

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Prime Reading costs $14.99 per month or $139 for the year (deducted as a single payment). This comes with all the Prime benefits, including faster delivery, access to exclusive shopping deals (alongside Prime Day sales), and Prime Video. Twitch Premium and Prime Music have also been added.

That said, the price isn’t worth the value if you’re subscribing to Prime just for the reading access. At $9.99, Kindle Unlimited has a wider catalog, including audiobooks.

But when you compare Kindle Unlimited to Prime Reading and realize that for only three dollars more, you can get access to premium video, music, streaming, and quicker deliveries alongside the Prime library, Amazon Prime does sound more lucrative.

Is Prime Reading Free for Prime Members?

Prime Reading is free for Prime Members as it falls under the value-added service umbrella of the overall Prime experience. Paying only $3 more than Kindle Unlimited, you get access to the Prime Reading library, premium music, streaming, same-day delivery, and exclusive deals.

The difference in catalog size might make Kindle Unlimited more appealing to those who care about books more than TV shows, shopping, and music. Kindle Unlimited includes books from independent authors as well and isn’t free for Prime Members.

Can You Access Prime Reading on Kindle?

You can access Prime Reading on a Kindle device, app, and browser as the access is integrated with your account’s Kindle experience. Prime Reading titles cannot be downloaded as offline PDF copies as the subscription entails DRM-protected lending only.

Kindle Unlimited Titles can be temporarily downloaded and sometimes be broken free of their DRM restrictions. We advise against that because, given the service’s price and the potential liability of such actions, it isn’t worth the trouble.

In the legal sense, both Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited are paid services that side-step the pay-per-title model and can be accessed on the Kindle apps and devices.

How to Use Prime Reading?

Now that you know that Amazon Prime Reading can be accessed via Kindle, the question is how.

Since it is possible to buy a book that is available on Prime library even when you are a Prime Member, you might end up buying a book erroneously when you have the ability to access it for free. Avoid this by following the steps below:

  1. To use Prime Reading, you must subscribe to Amazon Prime, visit thePrime Reading website and find the title of your choice. Click “read for free” to read the book or “read and listen for free” to get Audible access. You can also use your Kindle’s discover tab and set filters to books you can read for free.
  2. If you have access to Prime Reading, you will be able to find the titles with a “read for free” prompt next to them. Navigating Prime Reading titles is a little harder than finding the books available on Kindle Unlimited.
  3. As much is obvious from the bold price-alternative tag, “or read for $0.0 with Kindle Unlimited.” This is because Amazon prefers to have people paying for their library service instead of getting more out of a library service thrown on top of their already full premium services stack.

The following steps will make using Prime Reading easier for you:

1. Check Whether You have a Prime Subscription

You can do this by first going to amazon.com and logging into your account. After you’ve logged in, you can visit the Prime Reading page to check your subscription status.

If you are taken to a sales page for Prime Reading, then you’re not a Prime Member and must get the subscription. It is also possible that you might have multiple accounts and are logged into one that isn’t enrolled in the prime program.

Switching accounts and visiting the Prime Reading page can help.

2. Opt for a Device to Use Prime Reading on

Once you’re sure you have Amazon Prime Reading, you can pick a device you’ll use to explore Prime Reading. If you want to read books on your web browser, then use the Kindle cloud reader after getting the title via the Kindle store.

Otherwise, use the device on which you want to read. In most cases, this will be a Kindle reader or the Kindle app on a smartphone.

Suggested Reading: Kindle vs. Phone: Which is Better for Reading Books?

3. Go to the Search/Discover Tab

In your Kindle reader interface, as well as the smartphone app, you will find a tab dedicated to searching and discovering titles. Tap on it and search for the title you’re looking for.

If you’re a Prime Member, the eligible title will say “read for free with prime.”Click that, and you’ll be able to read without paying for the title.

Sometimes this button says “$0.0 with Kindle Unlimited.” if the book is available on Prime Reading and you have a Prime subscription, it will say “read for free with prime”, even if the title is also available via Kindle Unlimited.

Can You Borrow Books on Prime Reading?

You can borrow books on Prime Reading as long as you don’t intend on renting more than ten titles at a time. This is more accessible than the lending library, which allows owners to rent one book at a time. You cannot own books on Prime Reading. All titles are borrowed.

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You cannot share books on Prime Reading. Book owners are the only ones who can lend ebooks on the Kindle interface. Since Prime Readers don’t own any Prime titles and only rent them without charge, they don’t have lending rights.

Can You Access Prime Reading on Smartphones or Tablets?

You can access Prime Reading on smartphones and tablets, including iPads, iPhones, Samsung smartphones, Huawei phones, and other phones and tablets that run the Android framework. You can also access Prime Reading via Amazon devices like the Kindle reader and the Fire tablet.

How Many Books Can You Access Using Amazon Prime Reading?

You can rent up to 10 titles at a time from thousands of titles eligible for Amazon Prime Reading. This also includes 61 magazines, popular titles like the Harry Potter books, and highly acclaimed classics.

The most popular Kindle titles are enrolled in the Prime Reading library after a few years of their launch.

Is it Worth Upgrading to Prime Reading?

Because Amazon Prime offers such an incredible value stack, consumers end up getting a subscription for one feature without realizing that there are other benefits they can avail themselves of.

It is not worth upgrading to Prime Reading for books alone. However, if your main reasons to get Amazon Prime are quick delivery, exclusive deals, free music streaming, and Prime Video content, the Prime Reading service is worth the three dollars more you pay compared to Kindle Unlimited.

This is the case with Prime Reading, as it is one of the most underrated aspects of a Prime subscription. But its value as a stand-alone reading service isn’t something to rave about.


What does Prime Reading mean on Amazon? ›

Answer. Prime Reading is a benefit for Amazon Prime members that makes over a thousand eBooks available for borrowing, at no extra cost. You can keep up to ten eBooks at a time and there are no due dates. You can also borrow or purchase the Audible narration for many of these eBooks.

Is Prime Reading free with Prime membership? ›

Amazon's reading services, such as Prime Reading, Amazon Original Stories, and Amazon First Reads, allow customers to discover new books and authors—at no additional cost to their Prime membership.

Is Prime Reading worth? ›

It is not worth upgrading to Prime Reading for books alone. However, if your main reasons to get Amazon Prime are quick delivery, exclusive deals, free music streaming, and Prime Video content, the Prime Reading service is worth the three dollars more you pay compared to Kindle Unlimited.

What is the difference between Prime Reading and Prime Unlimited? ›

Prime Reading gives you access to a little over 1,000 titles that rotate in and out periodically. Kindle Unlimited gives you access to over 1,000,000 titles. In fact, the Prime Reading titles are just a subset of what's available on Kindle Unlimited.

How many books are free with Prime Reading? ›

Available Prime reading books include literary classics, children's books and Kindle singles, as well as Amazon-exclusive e-books. You're not limited to one title at a time with Prime Reading, as you're allowed to have 10 books checked out at any given moment.

What is the difference between Kindle and Prime Reading? ›

Is Kindle Unlimited the Same as Prime Reading? No, Kindle Unlimited is a separate subscription service that offers access to a much larger number of titles, whereas Prime Reading has a limited selection, but a subscription is included with every Amazon Prime membership.

How long can you borrow a book from Prime Reading? ›

5. When do Prime Reading books expire? Your Prime Reading books do not expire or have a due date. The only time you would lose access to your borrowed titles is if your Prime membership itself expires or you cancel your membership.

Are all books on Prime Reading free? ›

Amazon Prime Reading allows Prime members to access and read more than a thousand books or magazines at no extra cost. Amazon says you can think of it as a "private library that lets Prime members read free".

Do you keep Prime Reading books? ›

Users can "rent" up to 10 books at a time. If you hit the limit, you will need to return one book before you can download any more. Returning a book is as simple as clicking an on-screen button. Unlike a regular library, you can keep a book for as long as you want; there's no deadline and no late fees.

Is Prime Reading Unlimited? ›

The amount of books offered: As of February 2022, Prime Reading has approximately 2,500 titles available to consume, compared to Kindle Unlimited, who's users have unlimited access to over 2 million books.

Is Prime Reading the same as Audible? ›

No. An Audible Plus or Audible Premium Plus membership is separate from a Prime membership. If you haven't been on an Audible Premium Plus membership before, you can sign up for a 30 Day Free Trial and receive 1 free credit (2 credits for Prime members), along with access to the Plus Catalog.

Is Prime Reading different from Audible? ›

Audible is an Amazon service, but the two entities are effectively separate. So, unlike the movies and shows you get with Prime Video and the music you get with Prime Music, your Amazon Prime membership does not get you an Audible account.

How much does Amazon unlimited Reading cost? ›

A subscription to Kindle Unlimited gives you access to borrow from a large selection of titles without due dates. A Kindle Unlimited subscription costs $9.99 a month and you can cancel anytime. Use your Amazon account to borrow up to 20 eligible Kindle Unlimited titles at a time.

Is it better to buy a Kindle or books? ›

But, which is better – Kindle or Books? Generally speaking, reading on Kindle is better if you are an avid reader. Reading on Kindle can not only be more environment-friendly, but it can also save you money as the Kindle edition of a book is usually cheaper than the hardcover or paperback version of the same book!

Which Kindle is most like reading a book? ›

Kindle Oasis

The Kindle Oasis has the widest screen on a Kindle at seven inches and the latest version also comes with adjustable warm light to keep the eye strain to a minimum. Like the Kindle Paperwhite, the display is at 300ppi and uses e-ink technology to recreate the feeling of reading a paper book.

Is it cheaper to get a Kindle or books? ›

Generally speaking, the Kindle editions of books are usually cheaper than the hardcover or paperback versions of the same book on Amazon. On average, the Kindle version of the book is 36.5% cheaper than the hardcover version, and 32% cheaper than the paperback version of the same book.

Can you share Prime Reading with household? ›

Can I share the Prime Reading benefit with an Amazon Household member? Prime Reading Room is a benefit for Amazon Prime members but it cannot be shared between Amazon Household members. Only the account with the Prime membership can access the Prime Reading Room benefit.

How does the Amazon Prime free books work? ›

When you find a book that you would like to read on the Prime Reading website or the Kindle app, you simply select the option to borrow the book for free, download it to the device of your choice, and then read it whenever you like.

How many free Kindle books do you get with Amazon Prime? ›

You also get one free pre-release book per month from a selection of editors' picks, allowing you to read some great books before everyone else. You can read on the Kindle Paperwhite or Oasis — or just download the Kindle app for iOS and Android to start reading for free. Don't have Amazon Prime?

Which is better Audible or reading? ›

While listening to an audiobook may help more with empathy and making the story come alive, she says reading is a better bet for retaining the information. She points to one study showing that reading was better than listening for actually holding someone's attention and remembering the information.

Does Prime reading include audio? ›

Prime Reading offers over a thousand eBooks that are available to borrow for free, for Prime members. With the addition of Audible content to Prime Reading, you can switch seamlessly between the Kindle eBook and Audible audiobook version of your title of choice.

Is it better to read or use Audible? ›

There is little to no difference in comprehension between the two types of consuming literature. Even though the information is processed differently by our brain, recent audiobooks vs reading research from 2021 showed that the overall difference between reading and listening in terms of comprehension was negligible.

Is Kindle Unlimited worth it 2022? ›

Kindle Unlimited is worth it if: you can read more than three books a month and you enjoy novels by Indie authors. It's also good if you read a lot of magazines or enjoy romance novels.

Do you still pay for books with Kindle Unlimited? ›

But, one question you may have in mind is whether all books are free with Kindle Unlimited! All books available as part of the Kindle Unlimited library on Amazon are entirely free for Kindle Unlimited members. However, you still have to pay for books that are not available with Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Do you keep books from Prime Reading? ›

Can you keep Prime Reading books? Prime Reading allows you to access or “check out” up to 10 books at a time. So as long as you have a Prime membership, you can keep those 10 Prime Reading books borrowed on your devices. However, you do not own these books forever but are simply borrowing them for a time.

What is Prime Reading and how much does it cost? ›

Amazon Prime Reading is a part of Amazon Prime (multi-benefit subscription that costs $12.99 per month). It gives unlimited access to a rotating selection of about 1,000 hot Kindle ebooks, popular magazines, children's books, comics, and short reads.

Do authors get paid for Prime Reading? ›

Prime Reading is an optional promotional program that allows authors to get their titles in front of Amazon's most engaged readers. Prime Reading members enjoy unlimited reading at no additional cost. Your book will remain available for regular sales and royalty earnings during your Prime Reading promotional period.

How many Prime Reading books can I have? ›

Prime Reading lets you access 1,000 titles, and there is no such limit.

Is Audible subscription free with Prime? ›

####3. Subject to these Offer Terms, if you have an existing Amazon Prime membership at the time of availing the Offer, whether paid or otherwise, you are eligible to receive 60-days Audible membership free trial in addition to the standard 30-days free trial period ("Benefit").

Do Prime members get free Kindle books? ›

Prime members access free eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more. Prime Reading.

Does Amazon pay you to read? ›

You're eligible for royalty payment from Kindle Unlimited (KU, or Abonnement Kindle in France) for pages an individual customer reads in your eBook for the first time. A customer can read your eBook as many times as they like, but we will only pay you for the number of pages read the first time the customer reads them.

Who will pay me to read books? ›

Get Paid to Read: 17 Legitimate Sites That Pay Reviewers
  • Kirkus Media. 💸 Pay: Freelance basis. ...
  • Reedsy Discovery. 💸 Pay: Tip basis. ...
  • Any Subject Books. 💸 Pay: Freelance basis. ...
  • BookBrowse. 💸 Pay: Freelance basis. ...
  • Online Book Club. 💸 Pay: $5 to $60. ...
  • U.S. Review of Books. 💸 Pay: Freelance basis. ...
  • Women's Review of Books. ...
  • Moody Press.
24 Sept 2019

How much does an Amazon author make per book? ›

If you sell books through Amazon's regular distribution network, you'll receive 60% in royalties. However, if you sell through Amazon's Expanded Distribution Network to stores like Barnes and Noble, you'll only get 40%. The printing costs for physical copies are subtracted directly from your royalties.

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