The Kindle app is available for most major smartphones, tablets and computers. That means you can buy a Kindle book once, and read it on any device with the Kindle app. You can also read that same Kindle book on a Kindle device if you own one.
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If you don’t have a Kindle e-reader, a tablet or a smartphone, you can still access your Kindle books. You can do it on any computer, by opening a web browser and entering the special url address.See also:
- Download Kindle app for iOS. On your iPad or iPhone, go to the App Store – the app with all applications available for the iOS (iOS is an operating system of the iPad and iPhone). Use the search feature to find the Kindle app. Tap “Get” button, and wait until the download is complete (see screenshot above, on the left).
- Download the free Kindle app for your PC, tablet or phone. To receive an app download link enter your email or phone number.
- The Kindle app for Android (pictured) iOS, Windows and Mac OS allows you to create Collections on your other devices just as you would on the Kindle. Now go back to the Show drop-down menu.
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Kindle Cloud Reader is a free, web-based app that you can visit by going to read.amazon.com.
On one side, it’s a good thing. You don’t have to spend money on Kindle e-reader or Amazon Fire tablet. You don’t even need to own a smartphone with a screen large enough to let you comfortably read. All you need is an Amazon account.
Kindle Cloud Reader has the interface similar to dedicated Kindle apps. You’ll see here a list of books you bought on Amazon, and be able to read them.
Before we move on to the details, there is one thing to be clarified. Many users confuse Kindle Cloud Reader with other services and features offered by Amazon.
Let’s take a closer look at each one:
Amazon Cloud Drive
It’s a cloud storage service offered by Amazon, similar to Google Drive or Dropbox. It has nothing to do with your Kindle books.
You can use it to store pictures and personal documents, to make them available from any device by simply signing in to your Amazon Cloud Drive account.
Kindle cloud library
All the books added to Kindle account are stored on Amazon servers, not on the particular device. This remote archive is called the “cloud”, and you can access it from any Kindle device or app, and obviously Kindle Cloud Reader.
The Kindle cloud is everything under Manage Your Content and Devices (formerly Manage Your Kindle) section in your Amazon account settings page.
Kindle Cloud Reader
It’s not the Kindle e-reader, not Amazon Cloud Drive, and not your Kindle cloud library. It’s a way to access your Kindle cloud library via the web browser.
So, in fact, it’s a webpage with a special interface that lets read books on a computer.
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Kindle Cloud Reader – tips and facts
1. Access your Kindle books from any computer with a web browser
If someone says “access your books from any device”, they assume you understand it as “any device you own”:
- your own Kindle e-reader,
- your mobile device with a Kindle app installed,
- your computer with a Kindle app installed.
Kindle Cloud Reader is the missing part. You don’t need to have any of your devices with you, to access your Kindle books.
In fact, you don’t need to own any device at all. Any computer in a public space, like a library or internet café, is enough to access the books stored in your Kindle cloud.
Find the computer, open the browser, and go to read.amazon.com url address. Sign in with your Amazon credentials. That’s it. Under the Cloud tab you’ll see all books you bought in the Kindle Store.
2. It’s available for Kindle users around the world
Kindle Cloud Reader was launched in August 2011. At that time it was available only for Kindle users registered in Amazon.com.
Now, the web-based Kindle app is available globally, including users of localized Kindle Stores (UK, Germany, France, or India, to name the few).
No matter which Kindle Store you’re logged in, you can access your books in a web browser – from anywhere in the world.
The pattern for url address is the same in all Kindle Stores – type “read” before the domain of your local Amazon site. Here are the examples:
- Kindle Store UK – read.amazon.co.uk
- Kindle Store Italy – read.amazon.it
- Kindle Store India – read.amazon.in
- Kindle Store Canada – read.amazon.ca
Users from countries, where localized Kindle Stores were launched, may have two accounts: one for Amazon.com, and one for the local Amazon site. This might be the source of confusion.
Some users expect they could access the Kindle books from both accounts. That’s not possible.
Example. If you live in Germany, when you sign in with Amazon.com credentials, you’ll see only the books bought in the American Kindle Store. To see the books bought in Kindle Store Germany, you’ll have to sign out from Amazon.com, and sign in with Amazon.de credentials.
3. You can’t add and read your personal files
Usually, users can add personal documents to the connected Kindle device or app, by sending them to a special email address. They can also download these personal documents from the Kindle cloud to particular Kindle apps.
However, this useful feature is not available in:
- Kindle Cloud Reader
- Kindle for PC
- Kindle for Mac
In other words, when you open Cloud tab in the Kindle Cloud Reader, you’ll only see the books purchased from the Kindle Store.
This is the major disadvantage of the Kindle Cloud Reader. Amazon just doesn’t want users to treat Kindle Cloud Reader as a web-based reader of mobi ebook files downloaded from other sites.
I don’t think Amazon will enable an option to add and manage personal files in the Kindle Cloud Reader any time soon.
If you are looking for ways to read free books online, the best option is to go for any app that supports epub format, not mobi.
Adding own files to Google Play Books, associated with your Gmail account, is the easiest possible way. Plus Google offers inline translation in a web-based Google Books app.
Another option to read epub files on the web are browser extensions, naming only Readium or Magic Scroll.
4. You can add and read free books from the Kindle Store
The good news is that you can add to the Kindle Cloud Reader any free book found in the Kindle Store. It could be:
- a book from Top 100 Free Kindle Titles,
- a book listed in Free Popular Classics section,
- a free sample of any Kindle book.
Simply, go to a page with book details, double-check whether the Kindle price is displayed as $0.00. Then, from the green widget on the right, under “Deliver to”, select Kindle Cloud Reader, and hit Buy button.
You don’t need to send the book directly to Kindle Cloud Reader to access it.
Once you add it to any of your Kindle devices or apps, it automatically gets stored in your Kindle cloud library. That means you can access it from any other app connected with your Kindle account.
Owen jones twitter rotherham. When you sign in to Kindle Cloud Reader for the first time, you’ll see all the titles from your Kindle cloud library under the Cloud tab.
5. Get Kindle books for offline reading
By default, only a few books that you are currently reading are being downloaded to your browser, so even if for a short while you lose an internet connection, you’ll still be able to access them.
You can, however, decide which Kindle books you want on your computer for offline reading. To enable this option, click on Downloaded tab on the top (see screenshot).
Click on Enable Offline button. By doing so, you are in fact downloading a Kindle Cloud Reader web app, that will let you manage stored books in the browser’s memory.
The offline mode is available for major internet browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and even Internet Explorer. You can read detailed installation instructions on this page.
To download the book to the browser, simply right-click (PC) or control-click (Mac) on a book cover, and select Download & Pin Book option from a drop-down menu.
Once the book is downloaded, you will see it under the Downloaded tab. It’s also marked with a green pin under the cover.
6. A way to copy your Kindle highlights
Kindle Cloud Reader offers very basic features: highlights, notes, or search within a book.
Just like in other Kindle apps there is no way to make highlights editable. But Cloud Reader has one advantage over the rest – you can copy the highlights without leaving the web browser.
Once you highlight the text, it is automatically added to your Kindle activity account that you can reach in the web browser at kindle.amazon.com.
With a couple of minutes of delay, all the highlights appear in Your Highlights section. From here, you can copy the highlights to whatever app you want.
Imagine you’re going to the library. You don’t have to grab your own computer there. One of the library’s computers is enough to work with texts from various sources.
Open Kindle Cloud Reader in one tab, Kindle highlights in the next, and in the third tab you’ll have a Google Docs text document in which you write your book, essay or blog post.
7. Access two Kindle accounts at the same time
Earlier, I used an example of a German user, who has accounts in both the US and German Kindle Store. This may happen when someone decides not to migrate the Kindle account from US to a local one.
In this case, some books are available through one and some through the other account. Not convenient at all.
Kindle Cloud Reader can be really helpful here. Let’s say, you are using the Mac laptop. In the Kindle for Mac app you can login with Amazon.com credentials, and in the Kindle Cloud Reader on Safari, you can use Amazon.de.
What’s more, you don’t even need to download the Kindle application at all, if you only use on your Mac any other browser than Safari. Use Safari for one account, and the other browser for the other one.
Kindle Cloud Reader works also fine in the iPad’s Safari browser. Again, you can use Kindle iOS app to login with one Amazon account, and Kindle Cloud Reader for the other.
If you are interested whether the Kindle Cloud Reader can run in Chrome on Android tablet, the answer is “no”. The page prompts to download Kindle for Android app.
• • •
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Blog – Posted on Thursday, Apr 23
If you’ve ever heard the term “Netflix for books,” you’re already familiar with the book subscription model. Book subscription services allow readers to “borrow” books from vast reserves of reading material — sort of like a virtual library.
And if you’re a serious book lover, chances are you’ve at least thought about subscribing to one of them! Which means you’ve probably heard of Kindle Unlimited, one of the most prominent book subscription services on the market today.
However, the inner workings of Kindle Unlimited remain a mystery to many readers. You probably have tons of questions like: What is Kindle Unlimited? How does it compare to Amazon Prime? And is Kindle Unlimited really worth the $9.99/month price tag? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this comprehensive guide to Amazon Kindle Unlimited.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the number of great books out there, you can also take our 1-minute quiz below to narrow it down quickly and get a personalized book recommendation 😉
What is Kindle Unlimited?
Kindle Unlimited, or KU, is Amazon’s subscription service for books, audiobooks, and magazines. Subscribers have access to a pool of over a million titles, plus a selection of accompanying audiobooks. Users can borrow up to 10 items at once and return them at any time.
You can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited right now from the link above! And you can use it on any device you want — not just a Kindle — through the Kindle app or on the Kindle Cloud Reader.
Of course, you’ll also need an Amazon account, but that’s easy enough to sign up for (if you’ve somehow managed to go this long without one). The only other qualification is that you live in the United States, or at least change your country to “US” on Amazon, which you can do in your account's Country/Region Settings.
How much does Kindle Unlimited cost?
A Kindle Unlimited subscription costs $9.99 per month, or $119.98 per year. There’s also a free 30-day trial so you can test it out beforehand.
If you’re in for the long haul, keep in mind that Amazon sometimes runs price promotions on Kindle Unlimited, such as deals on three-month and one-year subscriptions:
Look out for these promotions if you’re hoping to get a deal on KU. Pending eligibility, they should appear on your digital subscription page. You can get there from any page on Amazon by selecting “Accounts and Lists” (in the upper righthand corner) → “Your Kindle Unlimited” → “Click here to join.”
Is Kindle Unlimited free for Prime members?
Amazon Kindle Unlimited is not included in Amazon Prime, which is Amazon’s premium subscription service for all products. KU is a completely separate service that focuses on written content. However, Prime members do get access to Prime Reading, which is comparable to Kindle Unlimited (and which we'll cover in greater detail below).
How does Kindle Unlimited work?
Kindle Unlimited lets you borrow up to 10 books, audiobooks, and magazines at a time, and then return them whenever you’re done! Again, you can read KU titles on any device — not just a Kindle — so long as you have an Amazon account.
Featured items to borrow will appear your Kindle Unlimited dashboard, which tailors its suggestions based on your browsing history. On Amazon, you can access this dashboard by clicking on the “Shop by Category” icon (which looks like three horizontal lines in the upper left corner), then “Kindle E-readers & Books” → “Kindle Unlimited.”
From there, you can also check out the full Kindle Unlimited catalog, under “Browse the catalog” on the right side of the dash.
To borrow a book from your dashboard, simply hover over it and click on the green button that says “Read now.” If you want to save it for later, click “Add to Library.”
To borrow a book from the KU catalog, click on its product page and then on the yellow button on the right that says “Read for Free.” This same button will appear if you’re browsing as usual and stumble upon a Kindle Unlimited title, so you’ll never accidentally pay for a book that you can get through KU.
You can also find Kindle Unlimited audiobooks by selecting “Show results for: eBooks with Audible narration” on the left side of the catalog. This should filter results to only show books that also have audiobooks on KU. When an audiobook is available, the yellow button on the product page will say “Read and Listen for Free.”
Finally, to view which books you’ve borrowed and return them when you’re ready, go to Your Borrowed Items page. You'll find it under “Accounts & Lists” → “Your Kindle Unlimited,” underneath info about your membership.
Click the yellow “Return” button in order to return a book. But feel free to keep each book as long as you like — unlike a brick-and-mortar library, it’s not like you’re preventing someone else from reading it! The Borrowed Items page also keeps track of which books you’ve read in the past, so you can take pride in your literary prowess. 💪
What kinds of books are on Kindle Unlimited?
Contrary to the name, the reading material on Kindle Unlimited isn’t quite “unlimited.” Yes, there are plenty of Amazon Kindle books to choose from, but you can’t just read anything you want.
The vast majority of the KU library is self-published books, in part because every author who enrolls in KDP Select automatically has their book added to it. This is great for readers seeking up-and-coming titles that haven’t entered the mainstream yet, and even better for the authors who want to gain more exposure.
However, it’s not ideal for people hoping to read lots of contemporary bestsellers. While KU excels in the indie department, it’s rather lacking in mainstream books. There are a few recent-ish bestsellers available, such as the Hunger Games books and the Harry Potter series (which KU strives to promote, as you can see below). But these are few and far between compared to the number of self-published titles on KU.
But that doesn’t mean that the quality of books available on Kindle Unlimited is any lower than, say, an actual library. Indeed, thousands of KU titles have a 4-star rating or higher! You might have to sift through them to find something up your alley, but you shouldn’t discount KU on literary caliber alone, because there are some amazing self-published books out there.
As of January 2020, here are the 10 highest rated books available on Amazon Kindle Unlimited, along with the number of stars and customer reviews they have:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling ⚡ 4.8 stars and 20,297 reviews
- From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon ⏳ 4.7 stars and 5,967 reviews
- The Trapped Girl by Robert Dugoni 👧🏻 4.7 stars and 2,987 reviews
- Jeff Gordon: His Dream, Drive & Destiny by Joe Garner 💪 4.7 stars and 321 reviews
- Wool by Hugh Howey 👇 4.6 stars and 15,365 reviews
- Vicious by L.J. Shen 😈 4.6 stars and 3,375 reviews
- Close to Home by Robert Dugoni 🏡 4.6 stars and 1,986 reviews
- The Short Drop by Matthew FitzSimmons 💧 4.6 stars and and 9,814 reviews
- A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White 🖤 4.6 stars and 7,249 reviews
- 1984 by George Orwell 👁️ 4.5 stars and 9,993 reviews
Is Kindle Unlimited worth it?
So, are the benefits of Kindle Unlimited worth its $9.99 monthly ($119.98 yearly) price, or would you be better off investing in something else?
As we touched on in the “kinds of books” section above, the deciding factor for most people considering KU will be what they like to read. If you already read tons of self-published and indie books on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited could be a great way forward! But if you gravitate toward Big 5 titles, you’re probably going to be frustrated by KU’s less-than-mainstream selections.
The other main factor to think about here is how many books you read per month. As some KU skeptics have pointed out, the regular prices of many self-published books on Amazon are very low — often $5.00 or less. This means you’d have to read at two or three Kindle Unlimited books per month for your subscription to be worth the money… money that you could otherwise spend on mainstream books in the Kindle store.
Kindle Unlimited vs. Prime Reading
Readers may also be curious how Kindle Unlimited stacks up against Amazon Prime. Again, KU isn't included in Prime — it's an entirely separate service. But Prime does provide a similar option to KU in the form of Prime Reading.
Prime Reading allows subscribers to borrow from a library of over 1,000 books, magazines, comics, and other works. As with Kindle Unlimited, readers can take out 10 books at a time and return them at their leisure. There's also a higher ratio of mainstream titles to indie titles on Prime Reading, which will appeal to those in the zeitgeist.
However, readers looking for a truly extensive library may be disappointed by Prime Reading. Yes, 1,000+ titles sounds like a lot — but compared to the 1,000,000+ Kindle Unlimited books, the Prime Reading library is actually pretty puny. Then again, you still might find its small mainstream pool preferable to KU'S vast ocean of indie books.
In terms of how you can enjoy these books, Kindle Unlimited and Prime Reading basically offer the same reading options. On the plus side, neither requires you to own a Kindle device; you can access both KU and Prime Reading materials through the Kindle app or the Kindle Cloud Reader. Also like KU, Prime Reading offers accompanying audiobooks for some works, though certainly not for all.
Now let's tackle the million-dollar question (no pun intended): how do they compare on pricing? As mentioned above, Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99/month or $119.98 per year. An Amazon Prime subscription, which includes Prime Reading, costs $12.99/month or $119/year.
Math whizzes will see that Prime subscribers get a $35 discount with that annual payment option, which makes these prices a bit hard to compare — not to mention the fact that Amazon Primeincludes way more than just Prime Reading. And obviously, if you're seeking a full lifestyle update with expedited shipping on all products, Prime Video, Prime Music, and so on, the full Prime membership is the way to go.
But if you don't want any of that and only care about the reading..
Kindle Unlimited App For Mac Computer
The bottom line
If you’re a voracious, indie-book-loving reader, Kindle Unlimited could be perfect for you. If you’d like to read more indie books (or if you just want to binge-read the whole Harry Potter series) you can always give the 30-day trial a shot!
But if you’re only going to be reading one or two books a month, and you’d prefer those books be bestsellers, you should skip the Kindle Unlimited membership. For those inclined toward more mainstream reads, Prime Reading is a better option — as long as you don't mind shelling out for Amazon Prime. (And if you already have Prime and haven't taken advantage of Prime Reading, go do it right now!)
If you've already subscribed to Kindle Unlimited and want to cancel, follow the instructions below. Or if you think a non-Amazon subscription might be a better fit, check out our list of KU alternatives at the end of this article!
How to cancel Kindle Unlimited
It’s easy to cancel your Kindle Unlimited membership if you're not using it (or if you want to opt out before the 30-day trial ends). You can click here to do it right now, or navigate to the page yourself on Amazon: “Accounts & Lists” → “Your Kindle Unlimited” → “Cancel Kindle Unlimited Membership” (on the left).
You’ll have to confirm the cancellation again on the next page, but other than that you should be set! Once you’ve canceled, your card will no longer be charged, but your KU subscription will last until the next day of the billing cycle so you don’t lose what you’ve already purchased.
Alternately, if you’ve paid for a long-term subscription and cancel before it has run its course (e.g. cancelling six months into a year-long subscription), you’ll be refunded for the remaining months. However, keep in mind that if you do this, you cannot restart your subscription later — so be 100% sure about your decision before you cancel your Kindle Unlimited membership.
Alternatives to Kindle Unlimited
Kindle App For Macbook Pro
Scribd boasts over 80 million subscribers and access to more than a million published titles. Since its humble beginnings as a document-sharing platform, Scribd has grown to include works from a wide variety of authors… and, perhaps most importantly for users, titles from Big 5 and other major publishers! Yet the price is lower than Kindle Unlimited, at just $8.99 a month after a 30-day free trial.
Those let down by KU’s lack of mainstream titles will be much more satisfied by Scribd. But of course, it’s not without a catch: despite familiar claims about their library being totally “unlimited,” Scribd still has to cap users at either three ebooks OR two audiobooks/month in order to maintain profitability. After you’ve hit this limit, your reading options get reduced to a much smaller pool of books.
Considering how much this kind of mainstream content would normally cost, Scribd is still a pretty sweet deal — but if you were thinking that unlimited bestsellers sounds too good to be true, you’re right on target.
Closer to KU in terms of scope and subscriber count (just a few million) is Bookmate, which has a library of about 500,000 books. Distribution deals with HarperCollins and Bloomsbury give it a mainstream edge, though no other service can really compare to Scribd on that front.
What makes Bookmate unique is its social element: users can create custom profiles and follow friends to see what they’ve been reading, as well as what’s on their TBR “bookshelves.” Think of it as KU meets Goodreads — if you love to share and talk about books with other people, you’d probably enjoy Bookmate. You can try it for free for 7 days, after which point it costs $9.99/month.
There’s also 24symbols, a subscription service whose biggest advantage is its pricing: only $7.99/month, or $90/year. Like KU, 24symbols provides access to over a million books that are mostly lesser-known or independently published, with just a handful of mainstream titles on offer such as The Alchemist and Rupi Kaur’s Milk and Honey. You can read online, or simply download books to your preferred device using the 24symbols app.
Overall, whether or not you should subscribe to KU depends entirely on you as a reader. What kinds of books do you enjoy, where can you find them, and how many would you like to read each month? Your decision will hinge on your answers to these questions — consider them carefully, and they’ll steer you in the right direction.
Kindle Unlimited App For Macbook Pro
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