So far, I have hesitated to try any of the new services — Oyster and Scribd — that offer you unlimited access to books for a flat monthly fee. Why? Rohit put it best on Twitter, “Feels a bit like gym membership – feels good to have it, not sure if it is fully utilized. Besides, buy+read seems to work.”
These services’ book selection is long of total numbers of books, but is short on the books I really wanted to read. Much like Netflix in the early days, you have a lot of indie-content and old catalog content with some new stuff. Sure they have deals with folks like Harper Collins and Simon & Schuster, I stuck to the true-and-tried buy+read formula. However, when I first heard that Amazon was ready to announce its Kindle Unlimited service — I was interested.
Given the breadth and depth of Kindle library — at $10-a-month, it seemed like a bargain. Especially, considering I normally end up buying three-to-four ebooks a month. So, when the service became available, I quickly signed up and very quickly realized that Kindle Unlimited was less than interesting.
Sure there is Harry Porter and some other well known books, but frankly going back and reading those books is not how l like to spend my time. Books are my time machine: taking me to places I have not travelled — both physical and metaphorical. That is why I read books — mostly to learn and imagine.
And just as quickly, I signed up for Kindle Unlimited, I unsubscribed. $120-a-year is just too much money to experiment with the service. It is even less interesting from book selection perspective than its rivals, if you ask me. “I think this is a bit of a stumble for Amazon, a money grab,” is how one blogger puts it. I see it as a lost opportunity for Amazon and a reason for them to go back to the drawing board.