Book Reviews Books for Adults

Is There Anything Better than Free Books?

Have you heard of the Kindle First program? It’s a simple (and free!) way to get new releases if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

A few months ago, Bart mentioned to me that he’d read a Forbes article saying that more than 60% of American households had Amazon Prime.

That basically blew my mind.

We’ve actually never had a long-term Amazon Prime membership before.

We’ve done a few free trials here and there, but I never really saw a need to have it.

Then I got another automated offer for a free trial last month and this month?

I’ve suddenly seen the light of Amazon Prime.

You heard it here first, but free two-day shipping on practically every product in the universe? That’s DANG convenient?

Who knew?

(More than 60% of American households, that’s who).

This time, I’ve been trying to take more advantage of all the perks of an Amazon Prime account and I stumbled on the Kindle First program (they just recently renamed it “First Reads“).

Kindle First

Are you familiar with this?

Each month the Amazon editors team chooses about a half dozen titles across different genres that are brand-new.

For September, those categories are Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Memoir, Children’s, Thriller, and Suspense, and each of the books only came out in the last five days.

From those six books, you can choose one of them as a Kindle version for a whopping $1.99.

And if you’re a Prime member?

It’s FREE (have I ever mentioned that free is my favorite price?).

By the way, if you don’t have a Kindle, you can always download the free Kindle app to your phone or tablet and read on that – I have a real Kindle, but I still use my Kindle app on my phone all the time.

AND, if you don’t have an Amazon Prime membership, you can get a free trial here.

You can also get a hardcopy of the book for less than $10.

As you probably already know about me, there’s nothing I love better than a book list, and so it’s super fun for me to be able to see their picks each month (and six is such a manageable number).

And, even better, you can see all their PREVIOUS picks here.

(If you’re wondering about my ideal evening after the girls go to bed? It’s looking at book lists and maxing out my library cards. Give me a good chocolate chip cookie to eat while I do it and I’m basically the happiest camper on the planet).

(Yes, I’m the most gigantic nerd on the planet. It’s cool).

Anyway, I get so many emails about how to get books without breaking the bank, that I couldn’t not share.

If you end up using it, let me know which book you picked and how you liked it!

And if you’re curious, this month I picked The Ragged Edge of Night because I can’t resist a good WWII historical novel, especially not when it has excellent reviews AND comparisons to The Nightingale.

But I was sorely tempted by The Rule of One.

Near-future United States, one-child policy, and identical twins that pretend to be one person, swapping back and forth?

I’m crossing my fingers that I chose wisely.


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  • Reply Ros September 4, 2018 at 5:53 am

    Amazon Prime is a life saver. I would like to be able to avoid it (I’m not a huge fan of their business practices…) but I live in a really rural area and can’t really drive the hour into the nearest city for anything except work (and then I have to leave to get the kids at daycare on time, no shopping time allowed) so: delivery.

    And they’re convenient, quick, affordable… yeah. Life saver for rural living with kids.

  • Reply Amanda September 4, 2018 at 6:22 am

    I *devoured* The Rule of One over the weekend – very good story. Definitely worth 1.99 if you’re thinking about it! And the ending is set up for a sequel.

  • Reply Vanessa September 4, 2018 at 6:43 am

    Amazon Prime is more expensive in Canada – I think it’s either $80 or $85 a year – and that’s just too much for me. I’ve opted for the Free Trial a couple of times before, and like you, I never understood what the overall appeal was. I mean, if you’re shopping on amazon constantly then I suppose it’s convenient to have a Prime membership, but if you’re just a casual, infrequent amazon customer (like I am), then I can’t justify spending $80+ a year on a membership.

  • Reply Halie R Pullen September 4, 2018 at 6:51 am

    I literally have a tab open for each of this months picks already – gonna go read the synopsis of each before choosing! But I like knowing which one you chose!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw September 4, 2018 at 10:55 am

      Its’ so hard to pick, isn’t it? Let me know which one you decide on.

  • Reply Diana September 4, 2018 at 10:02 am

    I had NO idea this was a thing! Or that SO many people have Amazon Prime, I mean, it makes sense because I feel like 60% of people I know have it. I just got The Rule of One and I’m pretty excited about it! Thanks!!

  • Reply Casey September 4, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I also love the Amazon Matchmaker feature. With most of the Kindle Firsts selections, you can purchase the accompanying audiobook for $1.99! I love it, it’s like getting the book and audiobook for $1.99.

  • Reply Lauren September 4, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    This is one of my favorite Prime perks! I usually wait about a week after they come out and then read the reviews- I always end up picking correctly if I wait, haha. We are also huge fans of prime music (we don’t have Spotify or anything like that) and we do use it for their prime tv too. I also love that they have a student program and have recently started offering prime for low-income families too (at a reduced cost).

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw September 4, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      So many good perks! And that’s a good hint to wait a few days!

  • Reply Brittany September 4, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing this!!!

  • Reply Alison Walker September 5, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    I also picked The Ragged Edge of Night but was tempted by The Rule of One!

    (My sister turned me onto this perk of Amazon Prime just a few months ago.)

  • Reply molly September 5, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Awesome!! I’m so glad you mentioned this – I had no idea! We LOVE Amazon Prime & I just picked the children’s book from the list:) Can’t wait to read it with my kiddos! Thank you!! xo

  • Reply Christie Hurst September 7, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Amazon prime is so good! It’s another way to avoid cable as well. I know we’re talking books here, but there are some good shows as well. Just Add Magic is the cutest show that the whole family enjoys together! Prime music is also a huge perk for us! It’s really a great deal! I’m so glad you posted about this and can’t wait to read The Ragged Edge of the Night! I LOVED The Nightingale!

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw September 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      I’ll check that show out! Thank you for the recommendation!

  • Reply Jennifer September 7, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I can’t belive I’ve been a prime member for so long and didn’t know this!! I’m so excited, it’s like Christmas morning! ❤️

  • Reply Lexie September 9, 2018 at 4:27 am

    If you have a Kindle there’s Kindle’s Own Lending Library where you can borrow another free book a month. It’s a limited selection, but a lot to choose from. I have been able to find books to read and usually only buy a few books a year between all the prime benefits.

    Also, Daniel Tiger is on Prime to watch and you can download them for road trips!

  • Reply Laurie September 9, 2018 at 9:25 pm

    Amazon Prime also offers ‘Prime Reading’. You can borrow up to ten titles at a time, including children’s books and magazines from a small but decent group of titles (I just borrowed Siblings without Rivalry and The Handmaid’s Tale.) And they change it up periodically.

  • Reply Katie September 22, 2018 at 11:36 am

    I was struggling to find a book that I could get digitally and remembered this post. Thank you! I grabbed the Ragged Edge of Night, but plan to get the Rule of One from the library once it’s out

  • Reply Anne November 6, 2018 at 11:38 am

    I had NO IDEA this was a thing! My husband and I have had Prime for awhile. This is just icing on the cake for me! FREE BOOKS HOORAY

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