I regularly use the Instapaper service to send articles from my browser to my Kindle (Paperwhite if it matters). The settings allow for sending a new digest every time there are X new articles to be read. This works great if you regularly read and mark articles as archived before new ones collect. I don't. The resulting mess has always bothered me and I'd like a way to clean it up. There must be a better work flow; perhaps I'm missing something obvious.

Is there…

  • …a way to configure each digest sent out to only include articles not previously sent to my device?
  • …a way to have the new digests replace all old ones so that there is only ever the newest complete set of un-archived clips?
  • …some other way not to have duplicate articles in several digests on my device?
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    Well it was one of the reasons why I switched to Readability(.com). There you can set up your daily digests to archive the already sent articles. (Another reason was the better support for images in the sent files.) Jan 19, 2014 at 20:15
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    @ZsoltBotykai I won't say it hasn't occurred to me to switch, but I've been pretty pleased with the service otherwise. I also use Pinboard and the integration is great. The Android app and other extensions suit me well, etc. I can't see what would make it worth the pain involved in switching. Not this alone for sure.
    – Caleb
    Jan 19, 2014 at 22:12
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    I have not used Instapaper in a while (I use grabmybooks now, which works better with pictures). If I remember correctly there where two links in every instapaper issue. One for marking all articles as read and one for downloading the newest articles. This would at least be a workaround if you have wifi available.
    – Tim
    Jan 20, 2014 at 11:14
  • Tim is right about those link. At least this is a solution to the mess. Jan 20, 2014 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


While Instapaper does not have the full capabilities you desire at this point in time, there is a way to cut down on the mess to get over 1/3 of what you want, mainly by eliminating any possibility for duplicate articles on your Kindle. Here's how:

Note that regular Instapaper users always get 10 articles sent to Kindle. On Instapaper's Kindle settings page of the web site, you may select how many new articles triggers sending to Kindle. Choose 10.

If you do all your reading on your Kindle and nowhere else (and you never archive any of the most recent 10 articles), then each Kindle digest will have exactly 10 new articles you've never seen before.

I personally do 5 because I only clip to Instapaper once every few days and I'd rather get a digest twice per month rather than once per month. So in my case, I know that I can read the 10 most recent articles, and if I want to go back further I'll have to skip the previous Kindle digest which will have 5 duplicate articles. By skipping one digest, I get to a digest which has no repeats.

  • Interesting hack. I wonder if I can adapt it for my rather heavier reading load...
    – Caleb
    Jan 20, 2014 at 22:46

You might be interested in reading this article by David Smith. It highlights some of the best functions of using your Kindle with Instapaper to read articles, especially the archive function, which will stop duplicate articles being sent to your Kindle.

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