Kindle Unlimited

I have a kindle, and I enjoy it. I haven’t always had a Kindle, I started as a Sony reader fan, and then an iPad user, but I succumbed to inevitability, and bought a Kindle.

I like it. I do prefer a eInk reader to a tablet, and today, you have to work really hard to live in this space and not use a Kindle.

I buy lots of books. Most are just throw-away pulpy fiction that I enjoy reading. Like the Doc Savage series (modern), or The Destroyer series. Mostly they are a couple of bucks, I enjoy them and delete them from my Kindle.

I have also borrowed a couple books via the Prime lending library. I wish I had something to say about that, but really, it is trivial to borrow, read, and “return“. Very uneventful.

Now I am struggling with joining Kindle Unlimited. Looking at the books included, much of the pulpy fiction things are there. So it would probably save me a few bucks (but not much, and I rarely spend more than $10 a month on those throw-aways.

But the convenience of Unlimited is tempting. Grab a book or 5, and try them. If they suck, you aren’t out any money.

The ethical qualm is how little of that $10 goes to authors. You have to read some percentage of the book for them to get any money, and the fee paid to them is low. Why should I care?

Good question. Unlike the average Slashdot user, I don’t subscribe that the near zero marginal cost of an e-book means I should pay pennies for it. I know how much effort it is to write, edit, and package even an e-book. I believe that the written words are the value, not the paper, ink and distribution costs.

Herein lies the problem. Kindle Unlimited appears to be a bad deal for authors. They are pressured to participate, but, like Spotify, the amount of subscriber or advertiser money that trickles to them is minuscule.

I prefer to spend the few bucks, have more of that go to the authors, and hopefully, they will continue to write things I want to read.

So, while Kindle Unlimited seems awesome, and a great deal, I will continue buying books, as I believe that will help the authors make a living, and thus not have to go back to a day job to put food on the table.


Yes, I still use Spotify. However, I have bought many albums based on things I have found there. I find that if I really enjoy (read: replay songs) an artist, I will buy their album(s) to help support them.