Amazon Launches eBook Program, AKA Your Nearest Public Library



As someone who spends most of her free time reading, I was initially excited to see that Amazon was launching a Netflix for eBooks: Kindle Unlimited. Sure, I have a library card, but a suburban county library can hardly compare with the 600,000 eBooks Amazon will have available. Plus, you’d never have to wait on hold for popular books. And all for just $9.99 a month.

It all sounds like a great idea, and a great deal, right? But after a bit of  research, I’ve found it’s not quite as great as it sounds.

Now, I don’t know if I’m behind the times for a college-aged reader, but I was not aware that a library card gives you access to a lot more than just the books and magazines in the library. Libraries in Minnesota (and across the country) offer access to hundreds of thousands of eBooks and audiobooks. All you need is a library card (FREE!) and one of the corresponding apps (FREE again!).

The two apps used most for Minnesota libraries are Overdrive and 3M Cloud Library. Both of these apps, like Kindle Unlimited, work for Kindle, Nook, Android, Windows and all Apple devices. The Overdrive app has more than 900,000 titles available, though availability may vary between libraries. Not too bad for a little suburban county library.

Amazon’s program, I admit, does still have its perks. Unlike the majority of the library eBook programs, Kindle Unlimited does not have due dates. Still, that’s not enough for me to switch my free library card for a $9.99 (plus tax) subscription. I might, however, try the free month trial, and cancel it before they can charge me.


Photo via: Tina Franklin



About Author

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal is a student at the University of St. Thomas majoring in Communication and Journalism with a minor in Spanish. She was born in California and has lived in four states since then, finally landing in Minnesota (maybe not for good). She loves to travel and studied abroad in London and Ireland last year with another planned trip to Argentina this upcoming year. She hopes to continue her travels after graduation without the excuse of class credit. She is an avid reader who enjoys anything she can get her hands on, from literature classics to popular trilogies. She enjoys writing in all forms, contributing to not only Minnesota Connect but also St. Thomas’s student-run online news source TommieMedia and the School of Social Work’s Perspectives.

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