Prime Reading

Everything you need to know

By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
What is Prime Reading? - Amazon Prime Insider

If your library card gets more of a workout than your ATM card, and book-club night is your favorite night of the month, you'll probably love Amazon's Prime Reading benefit. But you may not know all of what's included and how to take advantage of this benefit, which is automatically included in your Amazon Prime membership.

Here are some frequently asked questions to help understand what Prime Reading is all about.

What exactly is Prime Reading? Think of it as a private library that lets Prime members read free. Prime Reading includes a selection of more than 1,000 books and magazines. We recently added Prime Reading to the list of benefits you can share in your household.

How do I get started? Make sure you are logged in to your Amazon account and your Prime membership is current. Then go to to start browsing the titles currently available in Prime Reading. When you find a book, comic or magazine that looks tempting, simply click "Read for Free," and the item will be available for download. Or click "Read and Listen for Free" for the titles that have Audible companions.

Dozens of Prime Reading books are available with Audible narration — so you can listen while you are busy cooking, gardening or commuting.

How can I access Prime Reading? You can use a Kindle E-reader or Fire tablet, or download the Kindle app for use on your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet.

What kind of choices are available? Options abound. The frequently updated selection includes recent and popular fiction and nonfiction titles, literary classics, children's books, comic books, magazines and Kindle Singles.

What if I download a book and change my mind — or if I finish a book and want to select a new one? No problem. You can continue choosing new books and magazines until you have downloaded 10 titles. If you want more titles, you will be prompted to return one title to download a new choice.

What about when I need hands-free reading? Dozens of Prime Reading books are available with Audible narration — so you can listen while you are busy cooking, gardening or commuting. With Whispersync technology, you can pick up right where you left off, switching seamlessly between reading and listening.

What is Amazon First Reads? This is another Prime benefit that gives members a sneak peek at certain books before they are released to the general public. Amazon First Reads allows Prime members to download one free book each month from a selection of six editors' picks. New titles are announced at the start of each month and publicized in the weekly Prime newsletter.

What is Kindle Unlimited? If Prime Reading whets your appetite, sign up for a free 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited, Amazon's premium reading program. For $9.99 a month, your reading choices will expand to more than 1 million titles, including thousands of audiobooks and current magazines.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops?: The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s, as well as The Totally Sweet '90s.

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