Digital Reading | April 27, 2015

Announcement: Discontinuing Kindle Program


Worldreader discontinues Kindle program, promoting digital reading on tablets and phones

28 April 2021 – San Francisco, California. For more than a decade, Worldreader has supported reading with a curated library of books using Amazon’s Kindle e-readers. Since 2014, we’ve also worked hard in house to develop a set of applications that run on inexpensive phones and tablets available in the US and worldwide. 

With the support of donors and partners, we’ve helped over 17 million readers. And, together, we aim to reach 8 million more by 2025. 

Last year, Amazon let us know that they will no longer be supporting the systems that we use to load and manage books onto Kindles. At the same time, COVID has shone a light on how phones can help children and young adults read wherever they are.   

Just since March of 2020, more than three million people have read books using our child-friendly reading application BookSmart and our youth-focused Worldreader application. We’ve designed both to run on inexpensive hardware that many children and school systems already have, display books beautifully (and in full color), be very easy to use for children and parents alike, and use data sparingly – all important to families everywhere. 

Consequently, we have decided to focus our energy on supporting readers with BookSmart and our other Worldreader apps on Android tablets and phones. Our school and library partners are keeping all of their Kindles and e-books. And, most importantly, students can continue to read without interruption. But as of June 1, 2021, we will no longer start new reading programs or add new content to Kindles. Partners can reference this page for support with transitioning to self-management.

And regarding our partnership with Amazon, Amazon Web Services continues to be a key strategic collaborator, providing us grants and technical support for our AWS-based data infrastructure.

The technology we use will continue to evolve. But our belief in the power of reading lasts forever.