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News18 » Tech
3-min read

Amazon Prime Reading for India Complements Kindle Unlimited , Readers Can Rejoice

Amazon Prime Reading is in many ways, a sampler to the main course which is the Kindle Unlimited subscription. There may not have been a better time to be an avid reader.

Vishal Mathur | News18.com@vishalmathur85

Updated:September 26, 2018, 9:20 AM IST
Amazon Prime Reading for India Complements Kindle Unlimited , Readers Can Rejoice
Amazon Prime Reading is in many ways, a sampler to the main course which is the Kindle Unlimited subscription. There may not have been a better time to be an avid reader.

Amazon has just added a new dimension to the Prime subscription in India. In addition to Video and Music, there is now a bundled subscription for books as well. It is called Prime Reading, and Amazon Prime subscribers don’t have to pay extra for it. But you must surely be wondering how it is different from the Kindle Unlimited subscription option that is also available on Amazon India? We look at the fine differences.

For starters, Amazon Prime subscription in India has two subscription options. You can take the annual subscription pack that costs Rs999 per year, or alternatively subscribe to the monthly subscription package which is priced at Rs129 per year. This is where the first difference between Prime Reading and Kindle Unlimited comes in.

The Prime Reading catalogue is available as a part of the Amazon Prime subscription, which also includes access to movies and TV shows on Amazon Video and music streaming on Amazon Music. With Prime Reading now bolted on to the subscription, the troika of video, music and books—and not to discount the faster shipping options and discounts that Prime subscribers often get while shopping on Amazon.in. In contrast, the Kindle Unlimited subscription is not included in the Amazon Prime subscription. Readers who sign up for that, have to pay Rs169 per month to get a massive library of books and reading material on their Kindle e-readers and Kindle apps for smartphones and tablets.

At present, Prime Reading includes hundreds of books, comics and graphic novels. Some of the books available under Prime Reading include JK Rowling’s Harry Potter titles, John Thomas’ The Big Switch, Preeti Shenoy’s Why We Love The Way We Do, quite a few Lonely Planet titles, Farhana Qazi’s Secrets of The Kashmir Valley, among others. The comics and graphic novels include Captain America, Avengers vs. Thanos, Tenali Raman stories, Guardians of the Galaxy and some Afterlife with Archie titles.

There are a lot of Indian language books as well which are a part of Prime Reading, including books in Hindi, Marathi, and Tamil. At present, magazines are not a part of Prime Reading as well.

In many ways, Prime Reading is a watered-down version of Kindle Unlimited. A sampler if you may. Kindle Unlimited, for instance, has over 1 million titles that are available to read at no extra cost, once you subscribe. The variety of titles is significantly larger too. It is not clear how Amazon will treat new book launches in the future and make all available on Prime Reading as well as Kindle Unlimited or keep some as exclusive for the latter. Kindle Unlimited can also be accessed on the Kindle e-readers as well as the Kindle and Kindle Lite apps for smartphones and tablets.

In many ways, curation will remain a big challenge for Amazon, as the library expands. While a Kindle Unlimited subscriber will mostly know what to search for, a Prime Reading user may casually start browsing for books—and may need some suggestions or hand-holding initially.

While Prime Reading has a limited library at the moment, the variety of titles clearly is quite good. Though human nature to demand more, we really cannot criticize the current library of Prime Reading, considering it is bundled with the existing Amazon Prime subscriptions. For the more serious readers, Kindle Unlimited remains the best bet. But Prime Reading is purely designed to get more people into the habit of reading, and hopefully make the upgrade to Kindle Unlimited at some point. Perhaps, the Kindle name in the Unlimited subscription best betrays its serious credentials, while the Prime Reading has a friendlier approach to getting new readers hooked to the idea.

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