Review: Amazon unlimited e-book service is limited

Jul 19 2014, 15:11 IST
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Kindle Unlimited and Oyster both cost $10 a month, while Scribd goes for $9. Kindle Unlimited and Oyster both cost $10 a month, while Scribd goes for $9.
SummaryAmazon says its new 'unlimited' e-book service will let a subscriber read 600,000 books.

an estimate of how much time you need to finish the chapter or the book, based on your personal reading speed. Oyster does that only for the chapter, while Scribd offers neither.

- Kindle apps are available for a greater range of devices. Oyster works on iPhones, iPads and Android devices. Scribd supports those, plus Macs and Windows devices. Kindle does all that, plus webOS and BlackBerry devices.

Back in 2011, Amazon began making a selection of movies and TV episodes available for free to Prime members. At the time, the free service had 5,000 videos - but few that I actually wanted to watch. That's been expanded to more than 40,000 and includes decent movies and shows. Amazon has even commissioned original shows for Prime, including the John Goodman comedy ''Alpha House.''

Kindle Unlimited will have to follow the same path and expand its library to be useful for most people.

With any of these services, you need to be reading three or more books a month to make it worth the subscription. Otherwise, buying the e-book through Amazon or a discount service such as Entitle is more economical. The limited selection makes it tougher to find those three books a month, especially for those who already get a book a month for free through Prime.


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