The Kindle e-book reader is a perennial best-seller on Amazon.com, and the online retailer claims to have sold more Kindles than any other product on its website. Because the various Kindle models offer portability and easy-to-read high-resolution displays, they are primarily used as e-readers, even though they offer other usage options as well. When you are considering the purchase of a Kindle, you might wonder how many books the device can hold. The answer varies from one Kindle model to the next.
Four generations of Kindle e-readers have been released as of March 2012, and the storage capacity has increased with each generation. The earliest Kindle is simply called the Kindle; the second generation is the Kindle Touch. The third generation includes the Kindle Keyboard and the Kindle DX, a larger version of the Kindle Keyboard that offers the same storage capacity. The fourth generation is the Kindle Fire tablet, which adds a full-color screen, multimedia functionality and an Android-based operating system that supports downloadable applications.
The first-generation Kindle offers 2GB of storage, sufficient to store about 1,400 books, according to Amazon.com. The Kindle Touch doubles the storage capacity to 4GB and can hold about 3,000 books. The Kindle Keyboard and Kindle DX also come with 4GB of storage space, but thanks to software optimization, more of this space is available for e-book storage. Amazon estimates these third-generation Kindles can store 3,500 books. The Kindle Fire boasts 8GB of storage, but only 6GB is available for use. This fourth generation Kindle can store about 6,000 books, which assumes that the user has up to 80 apps or other media installed as well.
In addition to the storage space on your Kindle, all models come with free Amazon Cloud storage for e-books and other Kindle content purchased through the Kindle Store or Amazon.com. This gives users the ability to delete books from the Kindle to free up space; deleted books can be downloaded again at any time using a 3G or Wi-Fi connection. There's no storage limit for Kindle books and other content stored in the Amazon Cloud.
The numbers provided by Amazon.com are merely estimates of how many books the various Kindle devices can hold. Most e-books are typically small files, ranging between 300KB to 500KB in size, but there's no uniform file size, and larger e-books as well as those with images will consume more of the Kindle's storage space. Other multimedia content, such as audiobooks, MP3 music files, video files and Kindle Fire apps, will consume substantially more space, reducing the amount of storage space available for e-book downloads.