Like it or not, Amazon Prime has become a major lifeline for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing them to get food and supplies delivered quickly to their home. And while free two-day delivery is probably the most popular feature of the service, if you’re only using your account for ordering stuff, you’re missing out. Yes, there’s Amazon Prime Video — but did you know that your Prime subscription also comes with a large selection of free books, comic books and magazines? Here’s how to access them — even if you don’t have a Kindle device.
How to access free books through Amazon Prime
First of all, as Michael Crider points out at Review Geek, this isn’t the same thing as Kindle Unlimited; that’s a separate subscription service with a much wider selection of books. Instead, to peruse your Prime options, you’re going to want to go to Prime Reading. This section will show you what’s currently available for free via your Prime account. (Another note from Crider: These selections rotate constantly, so if you’re interested in reading something, download it now, because it wont’t be there forever.)
Prime Reading isn’t the digital equivalent of the sale rack at the bookstore, full of rejects no one wants to read. There are nonfiction offerings by David Sedaris, and about Mister Rogers. There are classic children’s books like Harold and the Purple Crayon and The Giving Tree (if you need a book to read to your kids and a good cry). Alongside fiction by Dean Koontz and Lucinda Berry there’s also a decent selection of print magazines (as in, the ones you’d normally have to pay for at a newsstand) like Real Simple, Men’s Health and Smithsonian.
Do I need a Kindle device?
No, you do not need an actual Kindle or Fire device to reap the digital literary benefits of your Prime account. Your phone, tablet or computer will do you just fine, because you can access these free books and periodicals via the Kindle app on iOS or Android phones or tablets, or on a standard web browser via the Kindle Cloud Reader.
As long as you’re paying for Amazon Prime, you might as well take full advantage of the subscription, including its digital print options.