On Wednesday, Amazon India launched the Kindle Unlimited subscription service that allows customers to "borrow" Kindle library books which they can read and return, up to 10 at a time. Confirming what NDTV Gadgets had reported last week, Kindle Unlimited is available in India for Rs. 199 per month, and you can sign up now to get access for the first month for Rs. 99.
This is different from the US model where the first month is free, but then, the monthly fee there is $9.99 (or around Rs. 650), so Indian users are still getting a good deal on this.
It's worth noting that you need to have an India account in your country settings - if you had not already done this, then you're going to have to do so now to take advantage of Kindle Unlimited. This will take away one-touch ordering from the Kindle though; of course, if you bought your Kindle after August 2012, when Amazon launched the Kindle Store in India, then your settings were most likely on India anyway.
As we noted last week, with a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you get access to ebooks and audiobooks (which are still in the pipeline for Kindle Unlimited in India) , on any of your devices - if you don't own a Kindle, then you can still make use of the subscription by using the Kindle app on your iOS or Android device, or on the Web. You can "borrow" up to 10 books or audiobooks at a time, for as long as you'd like.
While the low pricing makes Kindle Unlimited sound like a great deal, it's worth noting that not all the books on offer will be the bestsellers that most people want to read. Not all the books you'll find on the Kindle store are going to be a part of Kindle Unlimited.
Our first look through the Kindle Unlimited catalog has also not been too promising. While there are some books which are popular, such as Chetan Bhagat's Half Girlfriend, Making India Awesome, Immortals of Meluha by Amish, The One You Cannot Have by Preeti Shenoy, Daily Inspiration from the Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma, War Brides by Helen Bryan, All I Need Is You by Julia London, Stay Hungry Stay Foolish by Rashmi Bansal, 13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck by Ashwin Sangh, we couldn't find too many books we wanted to read.
There's no easy way to browse through the Unlimited library without coming across a small mountain of self-published books; and while there can be some gems there, it's often a collection worthy of a publisher's slush pile.
At the face of it, Kindle Unlimited seems like great value, but if finding a good book to read among millions is such an uphill struggle, then how many people are actually going to make use of the subscription?