Kindle MatchBook: Get Free or Discounted Digital Versions of Paper Books You've Bought Before

Finally a way to build your digital book collection with purchased paper books.

September 3, 2013, 11:31 AM
PHOTO:  Kindle Paperwhite e-reade
A close-up of a man using a Kindle Paperwhite e-reader in a cafe setting, Jan. 14, 2013.
Future Publishing/Getty Images

Sept. 3, 2013 — -- So you've bought some paper books from Amazon over the years, but now you read your books on a Kindle, a tablet or smart phone with the Kindle app and don't have access to those paper tomes. Well, Amazon finally has an answer to that problem.

Today, the company announced Kindle MatchBook, a program that will give readers the ability to buy a Kindle edition of print books they have previously bought from While the program won't be rolled out until October, Amazon said some will be able to get the digital version for free or for anywhere between $0.99 to $2.99. Yes, that means you might have to re-buy a book you bought many years ago for a few dollars, but it sure beats re-buying the book for the full e-book price.

"If you logged onto your CompuServe account during the Clinton administration and bought a book like 'Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus' from Amazon, Kindle MatchBook now makes it possible for that purchase -- 18 years later -- to be added to your Kindle library at a very low cost," Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content, said in a statement.

But while Amazon isn't putting a timestamp on your purchased books, not all of your old books will be available through the service, though the company is working with publishers to get as many as it can into the new service.

When MatchBook launches in October, more than 10,000 books will be available, including titles by Ray Bradbury, Neal Stephenson, Jodi Picoult and Michael Crichton. When the program launches, you will be able to log into your Amazon account and see which books are eligible for MatchBook and for download on your many e-reading devices.