8GB Vs. 32GB: How Many Books Can a Kindle Hold, And Which One Should You Choose?

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Are you gearing up to join the e-reading revolution for the first time? Or maybe you’ve owned a Kindle for years, and it’s finally time to upgrade?

Whether you’re a Kindle virgin or a seasoned digital reader, if you’re shopping for a new model, you’ll probably have some questions.

After all, there’s a lot to consider; do you go for the regular Paperwhite or the Signature Edition? The Oasis or the Kindle Classic? Each option has different pros and cons, but that’s a discussion for another post.

Today, we’ll be focusing solely on storage capacity and comparing the 8GB and 32GB models to find out how many books each one can hold. So, if you’re in the market for a new Kindle and you want to avoid the dreaded buyer’s remorse, read on.

The 8GB vs. 32GB Kindle: How Many Books Can Each One Hold?

By examining average file sizes for ebooks, graphic novels, and audiobooks, we can get a pretty good estimate of how much you can expect to store on your device.

But first, let’s look at the many benefits of owning a Kindle, whichever model you choose.

The Benefits of Owning a Kindle

The Benefits of Owning a Kindle

Nothing beats the feeling of reading a physical book; the smell, the texture of the pages, the satisfying weight in your hands, not to mention the bookmarks! These are all part of the traditional reading experience.

I’m the first to admit that I prefer reading a ‘real’ book rather than a digital one. But that being said, I love my Kindle, and I use it a lot.

It makes reading on the move so much easier, and I love that I can choose from hundreds of titles, depending on my mood.

If you’re not already a Kindle convert yourself, here are 7 things to consider that might just change your mind…

1. Store Multiple Books in One Place

When you have a Kindle in your pocket, you actually have hundreds, if not thousands, of books in there too, and they’re ready to read at the touch of a button.

And not only can you store a multitude of books, but you can have several titles on the go at once.

So, if you’re a reader afraid of commitment, then a Kindle is a great choice.

2. Read Wherever, Whenever

On the train or on the treadmill, you can read pretty much anywhere with a Kindle. And thanks to the clever anti-glare technology, even the brightest sunlight isn’t an issue.

3. Save Space on Your Bookshelves

If, like me, you live in a small apartment, you’ll know how quickly your book collection can start to take over.

When you’re short on space, a Kindle is the ultimate book-lovers tool to help you declutter. Plus, you no longer have to feel guilty about buying new titles!

4. New Books Cost Less

Ebooks cost considerably less than paperback or hardback versions, so if you’re trying to save money, then a one-off Kindle purchase is a great investment.

5. Adjust the Font Size

If you prefer reading in a bigger font, you can instantly make text larger (or smaller) to suit your preferences.

6. Supercharged Battery Life

Unlike a cell phone or tablet, Kindle’s battery typically lasts for weeks on end before you need to recharge. So, there’s no need to lug around cables or limit your usage; you can read away to your heart’s content.

7. A Worldwide Library at Your Fingertips

Kindle’s epic library lets you discover brand new authors and titles whenever, wherever. You can also find plenty of books by self-published authors that you’d be unlikely to find in a regular bookstore.

How Many Books Can a Kindle Hold?

How Many Books Can a Kindle Hold

So, now we’ve discussed how truly awesome owning a Kindle can be, let’s get down to business and figure out how many ebooks your new device will hold.

In this post, I’ll be comparing the 8GB and 32GB versions. However, if you have a lower storage capacity on an older model, you can still use the information below to figure out averages for your existing device, too.

Kindle Storage: 8GB vs. 32GB

Kindle Storage 8GB vs. 32GB

Whether you opt for a budget-friendly 8GB or shell out a little extra for the full 32GB, your Kindle will be able to hold thousands of ebooks.

But to find out how many exactly, we need to take a few things into consideration aside from the number on the box.

1. Storage Space Occupied by System Files

Whichever Kindle you choose, part of the built-in storage capacity will be taken up by the device’s operating system and system files.

That’s around 1.8GB for an 8GB model and 5GB for a 32GB model.

So, 8GB leaves around 6.2 GB of space to play with, and 32GB offers around 27GB for you to fill up as you please.

2. Average File Size: Ebooks

The most popular files installed on a Kindle are regular plain text ebooks, with few to no images and no additional audio files.

These types of ebooks take up very little room on your device, around 2MB for an average book.

But of course, the longer the book, the bigger the file size, so if you love 1000-page epics, you can expect those to take up 5 or even 10MB.

3. Average File Size: Comic Books And Graphic Novels

As soon as we add some images into the equation, like those found in graphic novels or comic books, the file size for each title increases significantly.

High-res comic books take up an average of 1.5 MB per page, so downloading a 30-page comic book could take up 45MB for a single issue.

For graphic novels, that number is even higher. At an average of 5MB per page, and around 50-60 pages per book, expect graphic novels to take up around 250 to 300MB of your Kindle’s storage space.

4. Average File Size: Audiobooks

Audiobooks are another big consumer of your Kindle’s storage. The average audio file comes in at around 15MB per hour in standard quality and 30 MB per hour in high quality.

So, when we calculate this against an average listening time of 10 hours per audiobook, you can expect these files to take up somewhere between 150 to 300MB of storage space.

The 8GB Kindle: How Many Books Can It Hold?

So, using the information above, we can estimate the average number of ebooks, comic books, graphic novels, and audiobooks you can fit on an 8GB Kindle.

Remember, you only have around 6.2GB of free space to play with; the operating system and additional system files take up the rest.

So, with that in mind, here’s the average storage capacity you can expect from the 8GB Kindle.

  • 3,100 regular plain text ebooks, based on an average file size of 2MB
  • 138 high-resolution comic books, based on an average file size of 45MB
  • 21 high-resolution graphic novels, based on an average file size of 300MB
  • 41 audiobooks in low quality, and 21 in high quality, based on the respective file size of 150 to 300MB per audiobook.

Of course, there’s no such thing as an average ebook, comic book, graphic novel, or audiobook, so in reality, the exact number will be different. But hopefully, this gives you a rough idea of what to expect from the 8GB Kindle.

The 32GB Kindle: How Many Books Can It Hold?

Let’s do the same calculations for the 32GB Kindle and see what difference the extra storage can make.

Again, we’ll need to factor in the space taken up by Kindle’s operating system and system files, so in reality, 32GB looks more like 27GB of available storage to play with.

So, using this figure, here are the averages you can expect…

  • 13,500 regular plain text ebooks, based on an average file size of 2MB
  • 600 high-resolution comic books, based on an average file size of 45MB
  • 90 high-resolution graphic novels, based on an average file size of 300MB
  • 180 audiobooks in low quality, and 90 in high quality, based on the respective file size of 150 to 300 MB per audiobook.

Again, this is just a rough guide, and the actual number of files you can fit on your device will vary. But still, these figures should give you an idea of how much you can store on the 32GB Kindle.

So, Which Kindle Should I Choose? 8GB, or 32GB?

So, Which Kindle Should I Choose 8GB, or 32GB

After reading the calculations above, you might already have a clear front-runner in your mind. But if you’re still undecided between the 8GB and the 32GB Kindle, here are a few things to consider.

1. What do You Use Your Kindle For?

If you’re an avid ebook reader who rarely dabbles in audiobooks, comics, and graphic novels, then you will probably find that the 8GB Kindle offers more than enough space for your needs. After all, it’ll take a lifetime to read more than the estimated 3,100 ebooks you can fit on this device.

If audiobooks, comic books, or graphic novels are more your thing, then you might still have more than enough room, depending on how many files you store at any one time.

But if you’re planning a big trip or want to have a wider range to choose from whenever you’re on the move, then the 32GB could be worth the extra investment.

2. What About WiFi?

If you’re planning on taking your Kindle off-grid without a WiFi connection for an extended period of time, having as much choice as possible becomes important.

So, the 32GB Kindle might be a better option, especially for storing larger files like audiobooks.

3. Are You a Deleter or a Hoarder?

If, like me, you prefer to keep books rather than delete them after you’re done, you may eventually find yourself maxing out on storage. In this case, 32GB might come in handy, especially if you’re an avid reader. 

How Often Will You Upgrade Your Device?

These days, E-readers are cheaper than ever, but they’re still not that cheap. And so, many of us are happy to use our devices for years on end before we finally invest in a new model.

If this is you, then it makes sense to opt for the higher storage capacity, so you won’t be faced with the need to upgrade before you’re ready.

Conclusion

If you’re shopping for a new Kindle, hopefully, this post has helped you figure out the amount of storage you’ll need.

Thankfully, even the basic 8GB version can handle thousands of ebooks, but if you’re looking for the ultimate storage capacity, the 32GB could be worth the extra cash.

Have you invested in a new Kindle recently? If so, which model did you choose, and why? Let me know in the comments below!

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