Kindle Unlimited vs. Kindle? [Here’s the Difference!]

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. – meaning I may get a commission if you decide to purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you.

If you are new to Amazon’s Kindle ecosystem, you will come across several terms that seem quite similar but are very different in reality! One such pair of terms you may be confused with is Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.

The key difference between Kindle and Kindle Unlimited is that Kindle is a reading device proprietary to Amazon that comes with an e-ink display. Whereas Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service from Amazon that allows users access to over 2 million titles at a monthly subscription fee.

There’s a lot more to unpack here to understand the nuances between Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. So, in this article, we shall take a look at both these offerings from Amazon and understand the details.

Quick Tip! Check out this special deal on Amazon that offers 3-months of Kindle Unlimited for FREE with this Kindle model! You can also try Kindle Unlimited for 30 days for FREE (no strings attached!)

Difference Between Kindle and Kindle Unlimited

While it is easy to confuse the two, one way to understand the two offerings is that Kindle Unlimited provides access to digital books (eBooks) on Amazon. In contrast, Kindle is a physical device you can use to read digital books!

Let’s take a look at the two in further detail – 

What is a Kindle?

Kindle is an electronic device that is designed specifically for reading books, magazines, and other documents. Kindle uses the electronic-ink (e-ink) technology that mimics the experience of reading physical books on a digital screen. 

A Kindle has several advantages over physical books. For instance, using a Kindle allows you to carry several hundred books at a time conveniently. Whereas there are size and weight limitations when carrying physical books, especially while traveling. 

Likewise, the backlight on a Kindle allows you to read at night while keeping the room lights switched off. This prevents disturbing others from sleeping while you’re trying to read. 

Furthermore, the Kindle version of books is also usually quite cheaper than the hardcover versions of the same book allowing to save cost while purchasing books. 

If you’ve been on the fence so far but wish to purchase a Kindle, I’d recommend going with this Kindle model on Amazon. In my experience, it gives the most value for money, comes with all the features you will need in a Kindle, and has an excellent battery life! 

What is Kindle Unlimited?

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service offered by Amazon that allows users access to over 2 million book titles at a $9.99 monthly fee. You can also choose up to 3 magazines of your choice and access over one thousand audiobooks. 

Not all books on Amazon are available in Kindle Unlimited. However, you do get a really good collection of books. You’ll mostly find timeless classics in addition to books published by upcoming authors through the Amazon KDP platform. 

As you may now be aware, unlike Kindle, Kindle Unlimited is not a device. Rather it allows you to access books to read on your Kindle. 

Difference Between Kindle Edition and Kindle Unlimited

When you’re purchasing a book on Amazon, you will often see that a book is available as a “Kindle Edition” as well as for “$0 with Kindle Unlimited” in addition to the hardcover and paperback versions!

Generally speaking, “Kindle Edition” refers to the Kindle version of a book. You need to pay individually for the “Kindle Edition” of a book akin to a paperback or hardcover version. In contrast, Kindle Unlimited means that the book can be read by Kindle Unlimited members for FREE.

Kindle Unlimited allows access to more than just one book! This means you can simply add a book to your library if it comes with the “Kindle Unlimited” option. 

Suggested Read – Kindle Unlimited vs. Prime Reading [Here’s the Difference!]

It is worth noting that even though you don’t pay for the books themselves, you do have to pay a membership fee of $9.99 per month to access Kindle Unlimited books. So, technically, the books aren’t really free. 

Hopefully, this gives you a basic understanding of the differences between Kindle, Kindle Edition, and Kindle Unlimited. 

In the rest of the article, we shall learn more about the Kindle Unlimited service offered by Amazon for its users.

How Much Does Kindle Unlimited Cost? (And, How to Get it For Free!)

Kindle Unlimited costs $9.99 per month, and you get access to over 2 million book titles with this subscription fee. You don’t have to be an Amazon Prime user to access Kindle Unlimited.

You can also get Kindle Unlimited for FREE for 30 days using this link. By clicking on the link, you can access a free trial of 30 days for Kindle Unlimited, provided by Amazon. You can cancel anytime before the 30-day period if you don’t want to continue to pay for the subscription.

Related Article – Is Kindle Unlimited Worth It? [Full Guide With Stats & Roi!]

Other than that, you can also save some money by subscribing to Kindle Unlimited for a 6-month, 12-month, or 24-month period by getting the subscription deal.

How to Get the Kindle Unlimted Subscription Deal?

The typical subscription service for Kindle Unlimited is usually available for either 1 or 2 months. However, a cool trick here is to use the Kindle Unlimited Gifting Program to leverage a longer subscription period. Check out my detailed step-by-step guide on how to gift Kindle Unlimited membership.

Kindle Unlimited Gifting Program is usually a great option when you want to gift a Kindle Unlimited subscription to your loved one. However, you can also gift this yourself and benefit from the deal!

If you’re wondering how much these subscriptions cost, here’s a breakdown of the three gift subscription options available:

  • 6-month gift subscription: $9.99 × 6 months = should cost $59.94 (available for $47.86)
  • 12-month gift subscription: $9.99 × 12 months = should cost $119.88 (available for $80.30)
  • 24-month gift subscription: $9.99 × 24 months = should cost $239.76 (available for $143.80)

Here’s how you can send the Kindle Unlimited deal for a longer period to yourself – 

  1. Login from another Amazon account (perhaps your partner/friend/family member’s account)
  2. Open the Kindle Unlimited Gifting Page. Click on the deal as per your preferred period.
  3. Enter your email address, and proceed with the payment.

How Many Books Do You Get With Kindle Unlimited?

Although Kindle Unlimited provides access to over 2 million book titles, you can only access 20 books at a time. You can also access three magazines of your choice in addition to the 20 books. 

Kindle Unlimited works akin to a library where you typically borrow books to read. Once you return the books that you have borrowed, you can access more books to read. 

If you don’t borrow more than 20 books during the lifetime of your subscription, the books will remain in your account until you cancel your Kindle subscription.

How to Cancel Kindle Unlimited Subscription?

If you don’t like the Kindle subscription for whatever reason, you can cancel the subscription at any point in time.

Check out my other article for a full guide on how to cancel Kindle Unlimited subscription and things to keep in mind while doing so.

Meanwhile, here are the brief steps to cancel your Kindle Unlimited subscription – 

  1. Visit the Amazon website and log in to your Amazon account.
  2. Head over to the “Your Account” page
  3. Scroll down and look for the “Memberships and Subscriptions” option.
  4. Click on the “Kindle Unlimited” option
  5. On the next screen, click on “Cancel Kindle Unlimited Subscription”
  6. You will be prompted to confirm the cancellation. Click on “Cancel Membership”.

Doing so will cancel your Kindle subscription. You should be able to access the books until the end of the subscription cycle. After that, books accessed from the Kindle Unlimited service will be removed from your account.

About the Author

Akansha is a former business journalist and a seasoned communications professional. She is the founder of TheBookBuff, an avid storyteller, and a lifelong biblophile! Check out her profile page to know more about Akansha.

Similar Posts