Amazon Prime's one and only goal is to get you to sign up for it. You'll get free shipping along with a selection of free movies, music and TV. And, as of today, a bunch of free books to read.
“Prime Reading” is the name of Amazon's new feature, and it's exactly what you think it is: Access to a selection of over a thousand free ebooks. Some, like The Man in the High Castle, even tie in to the TV shows Amazon also offers Prime members for free.
“Prime is the best deal in the history of shopping and today it got even better,” said Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime, in a press release about the new feature. “Prime members can now enjoy an awesome selection of books including The Hobbit, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Man in the High Castle, plus magazines and more with Prime Reading – all for free on any device.”
Prime Reading follows after two other book-related benefits available for Prime members: the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library and Kindle First. Readers hoping for more options can get complete access to Kindle's one-million-plus books and audiobooks through the Kindle Unlimited program.
“This is a new and exciting way for our premium brands to reach and engage with Amazon’s Prime members,” said Monica Ray, Executive Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Condé Nast, in the press release cited above. “Prime readers can now keep up with all the latest news, trends, tips and so much more with the rotating selection of our magazine brands.”
Put more clearly, Prime Reading is just the next step in a long series of value-adding features that Amazon hopes will lock down the consumer base they need to continue monopolizing multimedia. Still, their claim to ” the best deal in the history of shopping” is pretty accurate. And now you can read Stephen King while you shop.