Kindle Unlimited vs. Prime Reading – The Battle Begins

Today in this post, I’m reviewing Kindle Unlimited vs. Prime Reading.

Kindle Unlimited is a standalone subscription service that gives unlimited access to over 2 million e-books for a monthly fee.

On the other hand, Prime Reading is a perk included in an Amazon Prime membership and gives access to a rotating selection of books, magazines, and comics.

In this post, I’ll compare the two services and help you decide which is right for your reading habits.

Similarities Between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited

Before we delve into the differences, let’s take a look at the similarities between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited:

  1. Access to a Variety of Books: Both Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited provide subscribers with access to a vast collection of e-books, magazines, comic books, and audiobooks.
  2. Audiobook Versions: Both services offer audiobook versions of certain titles, allowing users to enjoy the narration through Audible.
  3. Compatibility: You can access both Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited on Kindle e-readers or through the free Kindle app available on iOS and Android devices.
  4. Free Trial: Both Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited offer a 30-day free trial, allowing you to explore their offerings before committing to a subscription.

Now that we’ve explored the similarities let’s dive deeper into the differences between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited.

FeaturesKindle UnlimitedPrime Reading
Titles availableOver 2 MillionAround 3000
Price💰$9.99/mo$14.99/mo or $139/year
Varieties➡ 2 Major American Publishers
➡ Self-Published Authors
➡ Few Best Sellers
➡ Bestseller Like Harry Potters
➡ Rotating Titles
Borrowing Limit20 books 10 books
First Reads AccessNoYes
ExploreExplore moreExplore more

What do I like about Kindle Unlimited over Prime Reading?

  • Kindle Unlimited offers a larger selection of books with more than 2 million titles, while Prime Reading only offers about 3,000 titles at any given time.
  • Many self-published authors and indie authors are available on Kindle Unlimited, which can be a great way to discover new and diverse voices.
  • Kindle Unlimited is a stand-alone service, so it’s easy to justify the cost if you are a frequent reader

What do I like about Prime Reading over Kindle Unlimited?

  • Prime Reading gives free access to Amazon’s first read program, where you can get new releases for absolutely free whereas Kindle Unlimited does not offer this perk.
  • The rotating titles are also great for discovering new reads.

Upfront Bottomline:

Kindle Unlimited is great for avid readers who want access to a larger selection of titles. Although Prime Reading is a great option, the limited number of titles and being included in a Prime membership holds it back.

If you’re just looking for an added perk to your Prime membership, then Prime Reading might be the better option for you.

But if you’re a frequent reader and want access to a larger selection of books, Kindle Unlimited may be worth the monthly subscription cost.

Titles Available

Both Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading have a wide selection of titles, but Kindle Unlimited offers over 2 million compared to the rotating selection of 3000 ebooks on Prime Reading.

Rotating selection could be good for discovering new reads, but may not have the titles you want.

Variety In Titles

Where prime reading only focuses on literature, and popular books, Kindle Unlimited offers access to a variety of books including indie authors and self-published works.

Even KU is the best place to access books by self-published authors because It offers them a large platform and readers the opportunity to discover new voices.

That said Kindle Unlimited has its Limits.

They had struggled from the beginning when five major publishers decline to distribute their book through their service

screenshot of article that states five major publishers opted out of kindle unlimited

Out of the five big American publishers, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster offer their titles to be included in the service.

Still many bestsellers may not be available on Kindle Unlimited. Every day, Kindle Unlimited tries to invite smaller publishers and independent authors to be a part of its service, offering a wider selection of diverse voices.

Winner: Kindle Unlimited

First Reads Program

One perk that Prime Reading offers is the First Read program, where Prime members can access new release books for free. Kindle Unlimited does not offer this perk.

KU members have to pay the standard price like everyone else.

Winner: Prime Reading


With prime reading, you can borrow up to 10 titles, whereas Kindle Unlimited allows you to have 20 titles borrowed simultaneously.

Winner: Kindle Unlimited


A Prime membership costs $139 a year or $14.99 a month, while Kindle Unlimited is only $9.99 a month. (Of course, both come with a 30-day free trial)

Justifying both services based on pricing isn’t easy because you have to weigh whether the Prime membership benefits can outweigh the KU program.

But that varies users-to-user, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference and reading habits.

I don’t recommend having a Prime membership for the sole reason of getting Prime Reading. But if you plan on getting a Prime membership, it’s a great added perk.

Winner: Tie

Which One?

Comparing these two options isn’t the right choice because of the pricing structure. If you’re a prime member and only read a few books or magazines a month, then prime reading would be your best option.

If you’re an avid reader and want access to a larger selection of titles, Kindle Unlimited may be worth the extra cost.

Overall Winner: Kindle Unlimited


Is Kindle Unlimited the Same as Prime Reading?

No, Kindle Unlimited is separate from Prime Reading while Prime Reading is included as a perk in Prime membership. Kindle Unlimited is a stand-alone service

Can I have both Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading?

Yes, you can have both services opted for at the same time

Do Prime Members Get Kindle Unlimited for Free?

No, Prime members do not get Kindle Unlimited for free but they sometimes get an offer of an extended trial period towards a Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Do I Lose My Books if I Cancel Kindle Unlimited?

Yes, if you cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription, you will lose access to all books that you have borrowed from the service.

Bottom Line

Now that we’ve explored the similarities, differences, and pricing of Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited, it’s time to consider which service best fits your reading needs. Here are a few factors to consider:

  1. Reading Preferences: If you’re a casual reader who enjoys various books and genres, Prime Reading may be sufficient to meet your needs. However, if you’re an avid reader who craves a vast library of options and wants the freedom to explore different authors and genres, Kindle Unlimited offers a more extensive selection.
  2. Budget and Additional Benefits: If you’re already an Amazon Prime member and take advantage of its other benefits, such as free shipping and access to Prime Video and Music, Prime Reading provides excellent value as it is included in your existing membership. On the other hand, if you’re solely interested in unlimited access to e-books and want to explore a wider range of titles, Kindle Unlimited may be worth the standalone subscription cost.
  3. Book Limits: Consider how many books you typically read at once. If you prefer to focus on a few books at a time, Prime Reading’s limit of 10 borrowed titles may be sufficient. However, if you enjoy reading multiple books simultaneously, Kindle Unlimited’s limit of 20 borrowed titles provides more flexibility.

Ultimately, the choice between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited depends on your reading habits, budget, and preferences. Both services offer great value for readers, and you can always try out their free trials to get a firsthand experience before making a decision.


About Author

I'm Shehraj Singh, I started the eReader.blog to help people learn more about eReader specifically Amazon Kindle, and help them fix any issues they may have.

I have a lot of experience with Kindle, and I want to share my knowledge with you so that you can make the most out of your device.

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