Got an old Kindle? Amazon will turn off your access to new books but is offering something better in return…

If your Kindle e-reader is an old one, Amazon will pay towards its replacement AND some new books

An Amazon Kindle ereader being used to read a book
(Image credit: Pexels)

Amazon's Kindle e-reader is that rare bit of technology that doesn't really age. Sure, there are occasional hardware and software upgrades to make newer models more attractive – so for example I love the warm white backlight in the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition, although not enough to replace my trusty Kindle Oasis (2019) – but provided the battery's still good there's never really much need for you to upgrade from what you've got.

Until now. 

Later this year, Amazon is going to make a software change that'll remove a really important feature from its oldest Kindles. They're not going to suddenly stop working or zap your e-book library, but you'll lose access to the Kindle store on your device. The good news is that Amazon will soften the blow by giving you free money and ebooks if you upgrade to a newer model.

Kindle ereaders in black and white colourways

(Image credit: Amazon)

Which Kindles are affected, and what's Amazon offering?

The affected devices are the 5th Generation Kindle and earlier models. In tech terms these are positively ancient devices – the 5th-gen Kindle came out in 2012 – and if you've got one registered to your Amazon account then you should have, or soon will have, an email from Amazon telling you about the change. I haven't received mine yet – mine is a four-Kindle family, with older ones passed down to the kids when the adults upgrade – so it looks like the mails are going out to US customers first.

The deal Amazon is offering is a good one: its email includes a promo code for 30% off a new Kindle and $40 in ebook credit. If you decide after all these years to go for the best Kindle available, the latest generation of Kindle Oasis with 32GB of storage and Audible audiobook support, that's a saving of nearly $80/£80, and it's a better deal than we saw in last year's Prime Day discounting so it's definitely worth taking advantage of Amazon's deal.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (