Hardware

How many books can a Kindle hold?

person reading story in Amazon Kindle tablet
Big book shelves: even cheap Kindles have plenty of storage

If you’re in the market for a new Kindle, you might be wondering how much storage you should aim for. The most basic Kindle has 8GB of storage, for example, while the more expensive Paperwhite Signature Edition has 32GB. Do you need that extra storage? How many books can a Kindle hold? We’ve got the answers.

How many books can an 8GB Kindle hold?

In a word, thousands. Assuming we’re talking about regular ebooks and not audiobooks, which I’ll come to shortly.

Most Kindle ebooks have tiny file sizes. For example, Don DeLillo’s Underworld – which is an 835-page novel in the print edition – takes up 2MB of space on my Kindle. Many of the books on my devices are only 1MB, according to Kindle storage settings.

The only books that take up significantly more storage space are those with lots of illustrations, such as comic books. A Star Wars comic takes 20MB, for instance.

So, assuming you’re reading standard ebooks, there is absolutely no need to buy a more expensive Kindle for the storage alone. Assuming an 8GB Kindle has around 7.5GB of accessible storage, you’d still be able to carry around 3,750 regular books, which is surely more than anyone needs.

How much storage space do audiobooks take on a Kindle?

Audiobooks are a different story and this is where that extra storage space might come in handy, although I do stress the word ‘might’.

For example, the Audible audiobook for Stuart Turton’s The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle has a file size of 463MB. The unabridged version of that audiobook is 16 hours and 41 mins.

Jay Rayner’s The Ten (Food) Commandments, which is 4 hours and 23 mins, takes 123MB.

Judging by those books and other online sources, we can assume that you’re looking at roughly 28MB of storage per hour of audiobook. That means even an 8GB Kindle will store more than 250 hours of audiobooks, which should be plenty for anyone. Don’t forget that once you’ve bought an audiobook, you can delete it from your device and re-download it later. So you don’t need to keep your entire library of audiobooks on the device.

Even for an avid audiobook listener, I wouldn’t buy a Kindle with extra storage. And all of the Kindles you can buy today support Audible audiobooks via Bluetooth headphones, as per the table below from Amazon.

Display the clock on a Kindle

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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