Amazon Adds Prime Reading Perk for Members

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If you're not already an Amazon Prime member, what are you waiting for? I mean, what do you do when you need something you can't get at the corner market or store? Wait more than two days to receive it? Honestly, I'm not sure what my little Millennial self did in the days before I could get most things delivered on the same day I ordered it. 

In addition to the free shipping, Prime comes with a number of other perks: Prime music, Prime Instant Video, Prime Photos, and much more. Now, last Wednesday, Amazon added an additional benefit for Prime subscribers: Prime Reading, which opens up over 1,000 books, magazines and comic books for free to read on Kindle devices and any Kindle app. 

For the most part, Prime benefits suffer from a bad case of trying to do many different things kind of well vs. one thing really well. Their original content and streaming choices are getting better, but the music choices leave a lot to be desired and for the most part, it looks like Prime Reading is in the same boat. Some titles offered at the initial launch include The Hobbit (but not Lord of the Rings) only the first Harry Potter book (um, what?) and some titles that seem to be perpetually on sale or discount on Amazon, like My Sister's Grave and The Paper Magician

On the flip side, though, you can now read all of the Scott Pilgrim books - in color - for free (check out my review of the Scott Pilgrim series, which I'm re-reading, coming soon), The Man in the High Castle, the inspiration for the Amazon original show (waaaait a minute....) as well as current editions of magazines like Sports Illustrated, People and Entertainment Weekly. 

Despite this being a lower-tiered version of Kindle Unlimited, and an obvious way for Amazon to entice you to shell out an additional $10 a month for that service, it still might be worth checking out what's available to see if there's anything enticing for you. To me, it's definitely intriguing, although in the end will probably feel a lot more like a crappier version of Netflix for books: just enough things you maybe wanted to read to keep you interested, but not enough to really be a game changer. 

And if you want to see some alternatives to spending any money to get free books, here's one person's less-than-positive take on Amazon's continuing book dominance. 

Here's the full press release on Prime Reading.