Monday, September 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Review: Amazon unlimited e-book service is limited

By
From page B8 | July 20, 2014 |

Anick Jesdanun

NEW YORK — Amazon’s new “unlimited” e-book service lets you read 600,000 books. That sounds like more than you’ll ever read, but I found myself struggling to find the books I wanted.

It turns out that the library of 600,000 is bit like a small bookstore with a few current titles such as “The Hunger Games,” attached to a block-sized bargain bin of obscure stuff mixed with “Robinson Crusoe” and other classics that are in the public domain and available for free online anyway.

Startups Scribd and Oyster both offer better value for avid readers of popular books.

Though Oyster has only 500,000 books and Scribd has 400,000, both offer extensive libraries from two of the largest publishers, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster. Kindle Unlimited doesn’t.

Kindle Unlimited and Oyster both cost $10 a month, while Scribd goes for $9. All three offer the first month free.

Weeks ago, as I was reviewing Scribd and Oyster, I asked colleagues to suggest books that ought to be on such services. I also added titles from my own wish list. Of the 75 I checked, Oyster had 17 and Scribd had 16. That’s not a lot. I got even fewer with Kindle Unlimited – six matches, plus one that’s free for everyone.

But through Amazon’s $99-per-year Prime program, I could already read four of those six books for free on Kindle devices. Only “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson and “Flash Boys” by Michael Lewis require the Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Under Prime, however, I can read only one book a month. Kindle Unlimited lets you download 10 books at a time on up to six devices. Those devices don’t have to be Amazon devices, as Prime requires.

Kindle Unlimited also beats its rivals in several ways:

— It has 2,000 audiobooks from Amazon’s Audible business. They’re synchronized to the corresponding books, so if you need to break off reading to drive, you can have the audiobook play instead, starting where you left off reading.

— For the first three months of your subscription, you can choose one additional audiobook per month from Audible’s larger catalog. You get to keep these books even if you cancel your subscription.

— Only Kindle Unlimited permits reading on Kindle e-readers such as the Paperwhite. I personally prefer reading without distractions from email and Facebook.

— Kindle apps for phones and tablets are more sophisticated than the competition. For instance, you get 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.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vaca Christian hits FM airwaves

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Hazmat crew responds to Fairfield after spill Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

SBDC schedules free workshop for small businesses

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Cordelia Rotary to host Senior Center fall dinner

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

CHP offers teen drivers class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Golf tourney to help uninsured children

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Dixon Scottish Games return to Solano

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Hospital launches farmers market in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Local governments schedule meetings

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Master Gardeners schedule annual plant exchange

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Il Fiorello Olive Oil Co. hold butchery class

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
American music makes a sweet sound Sunday

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

Popeye’s seeks Fairfield site

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
North Bay Pediatrics celebrates anniversary

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

Sutter Solano has new leader

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B8

 
‘Peter Pan’ earns Elly awards for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

.

US / World

Some California wells run dry amid drought

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
More drought forecast next year across West

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

32 structures destroyed in California wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Melted glacier sends miles of mud down Mt. Shasta

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Crews cleaning fuel spill in San Francisco Bay

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police say rifle carried by ambush suspect found

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Gov. Brown signs clean-air vehicle legislation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Feds censure local police, yet give lethal weapons

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Del. authorities: Bus overturns, at least 1 dead

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Sierra Leone concludes nationwide Ebola lockdown

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2016 may loom, but Jeb Bush is focused on business

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
China, US, India push world carbon emissions up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

New Afghan president, but vote totals kept secret

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA’s Maven explorer arrives at Mars after year

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

North Korea powerful temptation for some Americans

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
Craig Ferguson plays it loose with new game show

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

‘Maze Runner’ races past ‘Tombstones’ with $32.5M

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Burning issue of the day? Statehood for D.C.

By Ann McFeatters | From Page: A8

 
Pulse poll: Will the drought end this year?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
Idealists made mess of 20th century

By Jack Batson | From Page: A8

Thanks go out to Telstar Instruments

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Today in History: Sept. 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Sept. 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Ned’s drinking is ruining our parents’ business, health

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

 
Horoscopes: Sept. 22, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

Horoscopes: Sept. 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

 
TVGrid Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

.

Sports

 
Giants swept by Padres; fall 4 ½ behind Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Stanton leads Cardinals past 49ers 23-14

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Donaldson’s walk-off HR powers A’s past Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Penalty nixes Raiders rally, Patriots win 16-9

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Seahawks hold off Broncos 26-20 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

NFL roundup: Cowboys erase 21-point deficit, beat Rams 34-31

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Armijo boys run to 2nd-place finish in Irvine

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

Hamilton wins in Singapore, takes F1 title lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Ex-Titans kicker Bironas killed in car crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Hur pulls away for LPGA Tour win in Alabama

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Logano wins at New Hampshire in 2nd Chase race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

.

Business

 
Native Americans getting final settlement payments

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

5 ways to protect yourself from data breaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Dilbert Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Get Fuzzy Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baby Blues Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Crossword Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Bridge Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Cryptoquote Sept 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Peanuts Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Zits Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Frank and Ernest Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Rose is Rose Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Sally Forth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

B.C. Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku Sept 23

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7