If you’re surprised by this I don’t know what to tell you other than that you should pay more attention to where your products come from.
Does anyone have a good alternative to the kindle store? Its the only big FAANG service that I still rely on, but its often hard to find the books I want elsewhere.
Maybe I should at least jailbreak and backup my books just in case.
You don’t need to jailbreak your kindle, you can back them up and strip out DRM/change them to epub with Calibre. You just need to auth with amazon to do it. There are plugins that handle it for you pretty cleanly.
Have you tried your local library? My library is part of some national network for ebooks.
There is always libgen, which has most things. That of course may not align with your eithics. I usually buy a paper copy if I want to support the creator. It’s also very nice to see if I actually want/need to read a book.
Second your local library for alternate options.
I get not wanting to send people directly to libgen as a first run. I like books, and money is a way to incentivize that.
But I recommended libgen last night to a friend who “bought” an online book, and was greeted with a “oh its really a rental for 180 days for $20”. By the end of the call, he had the PDF. Neither of us had any qualms of guilt. Gotta love predatory academic book “selling” (aka digital rental).
I like libgen as well. Buying a paper copy doesn’t necessarily send much money to the creator though. Generally speaking it’s the publisher, not the creator, that receives most of the money from a book purchase.
I am happy with Kobo. Besides the usual eReader experience, I get a lot of value from overdrive and pocket integration. I’ve setup the Dropbox integration as well but haven’t used it yet.
Can you read your amazon-bought books there?
you can’t read your amazon books outside of a kindle device or app. Unless you break the DRM with Callibre, which is easy to do and then you can read it anywhere. I’m not advocating doing it because moving away from a Kindle device but remaining inside the Amazon ecosystem would still get money in their pockets and add friction into my life. I moved to Kobo and am using either the Kobo store for fiction books or buying non-DRM books direct from the publishers.
I moved from Kindle to a Kobo a while ago. Calibre made stripping the DRM from my amazon purchases and converting them to ePub (and kepub, the enhanced Kobo ePub format) pretty easy.
It involves some sort of jailbreaking the kindle, right? Do you have a decent guide on how to do that handy or should I just google it?
Not in my experience – it involves downloading (in my case) the Mac Kindle app, which enable the Calibre de-DRM plugin to strip the DRM from the books. I did this with all my previously purchased books when I switched from Kindle to Kobo. I also keep a VM with an ancient(ish) version of OS X on it so I can strip the DRM from books I purchase from the Apple iBook store.
No need to jailbreak your Kindle. It just required a couple of Calibre plugins and having the kindle app installed on my computer (the plugins scrape the DRM key out of the app iirc)
Right, now I remember that I’ve stopped using calibre for a while and then came back and couldn’t get things off my kindle. I have to go fish for that plugin.
This is what you want: https://github.com/apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools
As a side-note, the related Obok project allows you to remove DRM from your purchases from the Kobo store, if you decide to try those devices in the future.
There is The-Open-Book project that might result in a decent alternative!
I wonder what kind of energy footprint the tracking has. I guess it’s just logging and sending a network request, but it’s not like the rest of it is energy intensive so it might add up to a decent amount of discharge. For an ebook reader, as long as I can read the screen the only thing I care about is battery life.
I still have a first-gen paperwhite kindle and the battery lasts me a couple weeks. I keep my light level on the lowest setting though (personal preference), so YMMV.
I recently replaced the battery. Lasts munch longer now.
I left my old kindle in a taxi. When I got a new one later, I remember being surprised at how often I have to charge it. Even if I read very little, the battery goes down.
I wonder keep it offline it stores the data until next time it goes online.
I’d love to see a frequency histogram of percentage of a book read for books that have been purchased and started. I imagine it to be quick drop off to a long valley that rises to a small peak at the end.
Honestly, this article doesn’t list anything being sent to Amazon that is particularly surprising or alarming. A Kindle is a book-reading device. So it’s sending data about books and pages and things like device orientation.
Based on the clickbaitish title, I might have expected it to be turning on hidden microphones, sending audio files, checking ambient lighting conditions, and so on.
I remember seeing this and thinking that “invasive behavioral information” is critical to how the app functions across devices. If you never read kindle on your phone then your kindle or tablet, perhaps this seems like surprising info, but if you do it’s not immediately obvious how any of the syncing would work without it. The whole piece seems to miss this. But if the bookseller knowing where you are in the book on their locked down device bothers you… well… try a different system.
The article details a lot of information that is being sent back that is not relevant to the reader’s position in the book. In fact, that information is sent to an entirely different URL than the metrics data.