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Cheap Kindles & e-book readers

£49 Nook, £59 Kindle or £30 Kobo Mini

As e-book readers surge in popularity, you can nab a new Kindle for £59, a Nook for £49, or - if you're lucky and they're in stock - a refurbished Kindle Paperwhite for £80.

This is a rundown of cheap dedicated e-book readers and Kindles, where to buy e-books and how to get a stash of books for free.

Of course, the cheapest way to read's by borrowing books from the library, but if you're set on buying one, below is a rundown of the cheapest e-readers. If you're not sure which one would suit you best, read our tips for choosing an e-book reader.

Still undecided? Read our resident tech writer MSE Becca on Kindle vs Kobo.

Already got an e-reader? If you're looking for some cheap books to fill your e-reader with, check out our Free Books guide.

Prefer a tablet? E-readers are great if you're just looking for a device on which to read books. However, if you're after something with more functionality, check out our Cheap Tablets guide, which features the tablet versions of the Kindle (the Kindle Fire) among others.

Cheapest Kindles

The original Kindle first hit US shelves in 2007, at a whopping $399 (£249). But as technology has improved and newer models have come out, prices have fallen dramamtically. You can now get a Kindle for less than £60.

Is a Kindle right for me?

Here's a breakdown of all of the Kindles available in the UK today, as well as info on where to get them cheapest.


Kindle - standard model £59 online at Amazon

Amazon's best-selling Kindle e-reader is £59 delivered from Amazon*.

As well as being cheaper than previous models, Amazon also claims the latest Kindle has 15% faster page turns. Like previous versions of the e-reader, it uses e-ink technology, has a 6in screen and weighs only 170g.

It uses Whispersync technology which synchronises the last page you read, along with bookmarks and annotations, across all your Kindle devices and apps, so you can continue reading where you left off, whether online, on a phone/tablet or on your e-reader.

Kindles are available from other retailers, though discounts are pretty rare. When they are available cut-price though, they will be mentioned in the free weekly MoneySaving email. Consider a refurb model if you want it a little cheaper. Prices are around £59 delivered.

Read the full specification

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite - read in the dark £109 online at Amazon

With its revolutionary new techonolgy that lets you read in the dark, reviews suggest the Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon's best and most advanced e-reader. It costs £109 (including delivery) from Amazon*.

Aside from the read-in-the-dark technology, the main reason for plumping for the Kindle Paperwhite over the standard model is the battery life. The Paperwhite will last for around two months if wi-fi is turned off, compared to one month for the basic Kindle.

If you're weighing up whether to get a standard Kindle or a Paperwhite, you're essentially deciding if a sharper display and a longer battery life are enough to warrant an extra £50 spend.

Read the full specification


Kindle Paperwhite 3G - free web & read in the dark £169 online at Amazon

At only £70 more than its wi-fi only counterpart, the Kindle Paperwhite 3G is worth considering as an alternative to tablets, which need monthly subscriptions for web access.

It's £169 delivered from Amazon* and offers free unlimited 3G web access. The experimental web browser is based on WebKit, and the 3G enables you to connect to the Kindle Store and access Wikipedia. Unfortunately web browsing on other websites is only available over wi-fi.

It isn't available at other retailers just yet, but Tesco hopes to have it in stock soon.

Read the full specification

What about refurbished Kindles? Look out for stock online from Amazon Warehouse and Argos, as well as on eBay

Amazon Warehouse, Amazon's legit outlet, sells returned refurbished items.

It sometimes offers both Kindle Keyboard models (the original wi-fi only model which is no longer available as new, and the 3G model above) at a seriously reduced price, as well as other refurbished Kindle models.

The refurbished models we've seen in the past look like new, so are worth considering if you're looking to save money on a gift. Stock levels fluctuate, though, so keep checking the Amazon Warehouse Kindle page*, even if there are none in stock at the moment.

Argos's eBay outlet* often has refurbished Kindles too.

It's also worth checking eBay for bargains on Kindles*, as well as other brands of e-reader. eBay is a mammoth marketplace with thousands of deals, but it's easy to get scorched if you're not careful. Read the full eBay Buying Guide for scam-busting tips and other tricks.


What does refurbished mean?

Do you still get a full one year warranty?

How much stock is available?

What's the return policy?

Cheapest Kobos

The Kindle's biggest rival is the Kobo, which entered the UK market in 2011. While not as well-known as the Kindle, it is a competitively-priced alternative to the Amazon e-reader, with prices starting from £29.99.

It's worth noting the Kobo allows books of almost any format to be downloaded onto it, while the Kindle only allows AZW files. This means that there's a wider choice of free books available, and you can shop around for cheaper prices before you download any that you have to pay for, meaning it's much more MoneySaving.

Here's a rundown of the latest Kobo devices, and where to get them cheapest:

Kobo Mini

Kobo Mini - pocket-sized e-reader £30 online & in-store at WHSmith

If you're looking for an affordable touch screen e-reader, the Kobo Mini is £29.99 online and in-store at WHSmith*. You can get it delivered free, or order it to collect at your nearest store.

With a 5in screen, it's a lot smaller than other e-readers, but on the plus side, it can fit snugly in your pocket. Having a small screen doesn't mean it compromises on features though, as all the standard Kobo features are available, including Kobo Everywhere, Social Reading and Kobo Picks.

And if you're in the mood for changing the colour of your Kobo, the Kobo Mini is the only e-reader with interchangeable backs. Choose from coloured backs such as pink, teal and purple (sold separately).

Read the full specification

Kobo Glo

Kobo Glo - read in the dark £90 online at WHSmith

Want to read in bed, but don't want to disturb your partner by keeping the light on? The Kobo Glo is just the ticket, and it only costs £99.99 online from WHSmith* with free delivery.

The ComfortLight technology incorporated into the Glo model illuminates the screen with a soft, adjustable glow, so you can read any at any time, no matter what the lighting conditions, without any glare.

Like the Kobo Mini above, it includes all the standard features, and you can adjust the text, font size and sharpness of your screen, for a tailor-made reading experience.

It's available in a range of colours, but not all colours are sold in all stores, so check before making a visit to a retailer if you're after a specific colour model.

Read the full specification

Kobo Wireless eReader

Kobo Touch - touchscreen e-reader £60 online or in-store at WHSmith

If you want something a little more hi-tech than the Kobo Wireless, but cheaper than the Kobo Glo, the Kobo Touch is £59.99 online or in-store at WHSmith*, with free delivery.

It uses e-ink technology, has a choice of fonts and sizes, comes with 100 free pre-loaded e-books, and a 6in screen. The big difference with this model is it uses a touchscreen, allowing you to flip the pages by simply swiping the screen.

Reviews suggest the touchscreen makes this Kobo model more suitable for left-handed readers, though it isn't quite as responsive as the touchscreen on the iPad or iPhone.

Note: The link above is to the black version, but lilac, silver and blue versions are also available (pictured).

Read the full specification

Cheapest Nooks

Nook Simple Touch

Nook Simple Touch - touch screen e-reader £49 at Argos and John Lewis

US book retailer Barnes & Noble's rival to the Kobo Touch, the Nook Simple Touch is available for £49, so provides another cheaper alternative to the Kindle. You can currently get it at this price from Argos* or John Lewis*.

Like the ones above, the Nook uses the same e-ink technology as the Kindle, so reading on the device is similar to reading an actual book. It has a whopping two-month battery life and a 6in touch screen.

Where to get books?

You can buy most mainstream books via the Nook store using the device's wi-fi connection, though the choice isn’t as wide as some of the other big stores.

Crucially, the book allows the universal ePub format - so you can access public library files, many of the 100,000s free e-books in our guide, or use Calibre to convert books from Kindle.

Read the full specification

Other budget e-readers

These e-book readers, while offering many of the same functions as Amazon's Kindle devices, don't use the special e-ink technology, so reading is not so easy on the eye. They can undercut the Kindle though.

Binatone ReadMe Colour eReader

Binatone ReadMe Daily eReader £50 online at Maplin

Maplin is currently stocking the Binatone ReadMe Colour eReader* for £49.99 - order online and collect in-store, or get it delivered for free. Unlike Amazon Kindles, it doesn't use e-ink technology, so reading on it in bright light may not be ideal. However reviews suggest this isn't a problem for most.

You can select from three different font sizes though, or rotate the page so it's landscape or portrait, whichever you prefer.

Read the full specification

Choosing an e-book reader

When it comes to choosing an e-reader, whether you're buying for yourself or for someone else, there's a lot to consider. Price is obviously a big factor for MoneySavers, but you'll also need to look at size, storage capacity, the display and the connectivity of the device.

To help you choose the right e-reader for you, we've summarised these things in the table below for Kindles, Kobos and Nooks.

E-book reader Quick comparison
Name Display Wi-fi 3G? Touchscreen? Screen size Storage More info
Kindle e-ink Wi-fi No 6in 2GB View
Kindle Paperwhite Backlit e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Kindle Paperwhite 3G Backlit e-ink 3G + wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Kobo Mini e-ink Wi-fi Yes 5in 1GB View
Kobo Glo Backlit e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Kobo Touch e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 1GB View
Other e-readers
Nook Simple Touch e-ink Wi-fi Yes 6in 2GB View
Binatone ReadMe Colour TFT colour No No 7in 128MB View

Once you've decided which is the best e-reader for you, make sure you get it at the best possible price.

Unfortunately Amazon is very strict on the pricing of its products, so deals and discounts are rare. When they are available cut-price, they'll be in the free weekly MoneySavingExpert email.

Spotted a cheap e-book reader we've missed? Share in the Cheap e-book readers discussion