Kindle book Won’t Open – This will Get You Back to Reading

 Minute Read
June 28, 2023
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Sometimes a Kindle software update does not necessarily bring new features or enhance your reading experience.

More recently, users have come to their device only to find they cannot open the book they were reading, or any book in their library!

If you’re reading this, it’s likely this has happened to you.

So, what can we do about it?

How to Open Kindle Books that don’t want to

In a hurry and just want the b*** book to open?

Here are three workarounds that are guaranteed to work and get you back to reading.

1. Kindle Bar Search

One elegant workaround is to enter the title of the book in the Kindle Search bar at the top of the home screen.

When you type in the title you should see the name of the book along with the Library Icon, to indicate it is in your library.
kindle book won't open

Select this and the book should open to the last page you were reading, so you can continue from where you left off. This generally works for almost all cases with this issue.

2. Open via Kindle App

Try reading on another Kindle device (if you have one) that has not had the operating system updated, or on the Kindle App which is accessible via any mobile device.

3. Kindle Cloud (Internet Browser)

Did you know you can read any book you own on an internet browser using Kindle Cloud Reader?

Log into Amazon and find the book you wish to read.

If you have purchased this previously, select Read Now.

A new web browser window should pop up on the current page you’re reading.

Or alternatively go to, log into your account to view your library. I can't tell you the number of times I need access to a book for a quote on an article I'm writing.

Bear in mind that the suggestions mentioned are just workarounds and may not fix problem.

If the issue is software related following an update it may be worth continuing using this method until a new software version is released. Sometimes this can take a few days if Amazon have introduced a bug. To help speed things up you can submit a fault report tor each out on community forums to raise the issue, I’ll show you where and how to do this later.

My Book Still Won’t Not Open

If the workaround above did not work for you, we still have a few things we can try to get you back on track.

1. Engineering Restart

While you may have seen the restart option previously in the power menu, this is not the same[1] as an engineer restart:

  1. Press and hold the power button 40 – 50 seconds until the screen goes blank.
  2. The Kindle logo should now re-appear with a progress bar which displays how much of the system has been initialized.
  3. Once complete, you should see the home page.
Do you know? 💡
As with most electronic devices nowadays, Kindle never powers off, instead it goes into standby or sleep mode. I make a habit of restarting my Kindle at least twice a year, just to brush the electronic cobwebs off.

The power button location varies from different make and models but is either on the top or bottom edge of the device. On the latest Kindle Scribe and Paperwhite, it is at the bottom next to the USB-C connector.

Once the screen goes blank and the Kindle logo appears the device has restarted and re-initializing the operating system.

In Library, tap on the book cover that has been causing the issue to see if it will open.

If it’s a success, huzzah congratulations and enjoy your reading!

2. Remove and Download

At this stage, if you have tried all of the methods previously discussed, the next logical step would be to remove the book from your library and download the content again.

In theory, provided that the current software version does not have a bug, if the content has become corrupted (for whatever reason), downloading a fresh new version of the book “should” resolve it.

Warning: Removing the download in your library will likely remove your position in the book.

Provided that you are comfortable with this or are aware of your position in the book, here’s how to remove the content.

  1. Tap the 3 Dot Icon at the bottom right of the front cover of the book.
  2. Select Remove Download.

The Percentage Progress bookmark at the top right of the front cover should have now disappeared, thus indicating that the content has been removed. Notice that the front cover is still in your library.

Be sure that you have WiFi turned on for this next part.

To re-download the book, tap on the cover. You should see the text “Queued” at the bottom of the book cover followed by the download percentage. Once the download is complete you should see the text “Ready to Open”.

Tap on the cover once more and with any lucky it should open, allowing you to get back to reading.

[1] Amazon have never confirmed whether the engineers restart is any different to the power restart, but given that the engineers take longer to do, I prefer to use this when users have technical issues such as a device crash.

3. Subscription Ended?

One possible explanation could be that the book you are reading is part of a Prime or Kindle Unlimited subscription that has ended.

Check your subscription status

If the page is blank, you have no subscriptions.

To continue reading the book you could re-subscribe or purchase outright. Be sure to find the book on Amazon’s website and check which subscription  

Do I Need WiFi to Open a Kindle Book?

You do not need WiFi to open a book, as the book was downloaded previously to your device.

However, if the book has been corrupted in some way or partially downloaded, Kindle may need WiFi on to complete the download. If this is the case, it may be worth removing the existing download and re-downloading the content to see if this resolves the issue.

Have you ever experienced a kindle book that won’t open? If so how did you resolve it? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below if you found a different way to resolve this.

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Dave is our resident tech expert with a 25-year track record as a hardware design consultant and specializes in E-ink and battery management design. He holds a bachelor’s degree BEng in Electronic Engineering and is a member of the IET,
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