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A Love Letter to Kindle Unlimited and their AmazonClassics Collection

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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

The affliction is all too familiar. For some reason or another a classical literary novel comes up in conversation and it’s that one you were supposed to read when you were 14 but you didn’t. Or it’s an author you really should know but can’t imagine which book they wrote–Salinger, García Márquez, Dostoevsky. Maybe it’s a pub quiz night and you suddenly can’t remember if Austen wrote Jane Eyre—or did she write Emma? Or was that Charlotte Brontë? Every time it happens you feel a little duller, and wish you had paid a little more attention in school.

If it happens to you enough, like it has with me, you may come up with a resolution to read more classics. Maybe you Google “Top Pieces of Classical Literature Everyone Must Read” and maybe you even check a book out from the library. But even I, a passionate English major, will admit: some books just seem impossible to read. Boring, slow, long. Who decided 400 pages was an acceptable length? How many ways can Tolstoy describe Russian farming practices? For me, my attention wavers quickly as soon as I crack the cover, especially with the demands of everyday life. 

Committing to enriching your life with classical literature can be a hard promise to keep to yourself. But it is an enrichment: when mixed in with contemporary fiction and journalism, your grasp of the English language is not only much stronger, but your understanding of people, culture, and history is profound. And (bonus) you can show off a little the next time it comes up in a conversation with your mum’s friend from university when she comes to visit and talk about her younger kid’s literary curriculum. And ultimately, sometimes Classics just sound good. 

So what to do instead of just checking the book out from the library? Introducing: Kindle Unlimited. (This article is not sponsored–I’m just a superfan). 

Kindle Unlimited is a service through Amazon that you can sign up for with or without Prime. Prime Reading itself is also a great service with many Classics available through ebooks on any of your devices, but what I love about Kindle Unlimited is its audiobook feature. Kindle Unlimited will narrate the book to you while you read the text, meaning you are reading and listening to the book simultaneously. You can change the speed of the reading to align with yours and stay with the narration because Kindle Unlimited will highlight the word it’s reading. For me, this means that I can either solely read the book with narration, or have it propped next to me while I am doing some mindless task and occasionally glance at it to stay with the story. I can also take the narration on a walk or to Tesco and listen while I shop for dinner. Kindle Unlimited is the best mix of ebooks and audiobooks and is available on all your devices–just look for the “AmazonClassics” editions. It even helps me get through those large Classics for my English modules. 

As a student, I know the cost can make one hesitant. If you haven’t had Kindle Unlimited before, there is usually some kind of deal going on with a free trial as well. There is other content on Kindle Unlimited as well, depending on how adventurous you are feeling, and you don’t need a Kindle. I use the cost to hold myself accountable. At the start of the month I am essentially paying the price for a new physical book and therefore have to get through at least a book to make it worth it. If I get through two books? Even better.

I’m currently reading The House of the Seven Gables, a perfect read as we roll into October. The book is a Gothic supernatural romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne and I am nearing the end. My next target? To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf with some Paradise Lost mixed in for my English module. 

Riley Raab

St. Andrews '26

Hey! My name is Riley and I am a Texan transplant studying English and Management at the University of St Andrews as a first year. I am passionate about European chocolate, weighted blankets, spending time outside, reading, and writing.