Own an older Amazon Kindle? It might be about to lose its biggest feature

The Amazon Kindle Keyboard
The Amazon Kindle Keyboard (Image credit: Future)

If you own an Amazon Kindle from a few years ago, may we direct you to our guide to the best Kindles to buy? Because you're going to need it - Amazon has confirmed that five of its older ereaders are losing one of their most important features.

As spotted by GoodEreader, Amazon has been emailing people who own an old Kindle to tell them that their device soon won't have access to the Kindle Store anymore. These devices are the basic Kindles from the second- to fifth-gen models (which includes the Kindle Keyboard), as well as the Kindle DX.

The Kindle Store is the onboard library that lets you buy, download and borrow books straight from the device – in other words, it's a pretty integral part of the Kindle experience.

This isn't the first bit of bad news for owners of these devices either, as the phasing out of 3G networks means lots of them recently lost the ability to connect to the internet outside of Wi-Fi spots.

If you have one of the affected ereaders, Amazon is offering 30% off your next Kindle, as well as a $40 voucher for more books (it's not clear what people in other countries are being given), which may go some way to getting you your next ereader. But it's not all doom and gloom if you do own one such Kindle.

Analysis: you can keep using these Kindles

If you're perfectly happy with an older Kindle, you don't necessarily need to throw it away just yet. You can keep reading books on it, though you need to jump through a few hoops.

Firstly, any books you currently have on the Kindle will remain there, so download loads before you lose access if you want.

But you can still buy books via your Amazon account on a separate device, and send them to your Kindle. This means you can use your smartphone, desktop computer or tablet to keep buying books.

When you buy a book through these means, you're often given the option to deliver it to a Kindle tied to the same account – by doing this, you can still get books on your ereader.

If you want other types of books too, you can still send non-Kindle texts to your device too. Sending these to your Kindle is a little fiddly, but we've got an in-depth guide on how to send PDFs to your Kindle, and it actually works for a range of documents beyond PDFs. Give it a read to learn more.

In a world where we constantly buy newer and newer gadgets, our first impulse upon hearing this Kindle news might be to buy a new device. That's a perfectly fair response, and if you do, make sure to recycle or pass on your older ereader. But if you're perfectly happy with what you've got, it's good to know that you don't necessarily need to throw it away.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.