I came across a post on reddit the other day that outlines a workaround to use dark mode—white text with a black background—on older Kindles that lack the official dark mode feature.
In fact this would work on any E Ink ebook reader, not just Kindles, and it’s so easy to do I’m surprised more people haven’t suggested it before.
Basically all you have to do is add an extra bit of code to your ebooks using Calibre to set the text as white and the background as black, so it doesn’t even matter if your device offers a dark mode feature or not.
There’s a full writeup with pictures and directions on this Kindle thread at reddit: Dark Mode for ANY Kindle.
It’s surprising how many people prefer to use dark mode on Kindles, but it’s only available on the Kindle Oasis 2 and 3 and the latest Kindle Paperwhite.
None of the earlier Kindles have dark mode, and neither does the current entry-level Kindle, so most Kindle owners are left out on that feature.
Luckily there’s an easy workaround if you’d like to try dark mode on any Kindle. The screen refreshing and frontlight won’t have the same tweaks to improve readability like on Kindles with the official dark mode toggle, and with this method you’ll still see a white bar at the top and bottom of the screen, but at least you can easily try it yourself to see if you like it or not with this free hack. Personally I don’t like using dark mode because it messes with my eyes too much (afterimage effects), but some people really like it, enough to upgrade to a newer model.