Refurbished Kindle Paperwhite

i now refer to mine as a Kindle Paperweight, since Amazon now consider it too old for updates and half the features do not work. Strangely, I had a look at my old paper textbooks and they hadn’t deleted my notes or highlights and were still as good as the day i bought them

Go for a Kobo instead. I picked up a Kobo Aura HD for ~$80 on eBay. Then install the free/open-source Koreader software on it. It works really well for PDFs, which is the main things I actually need/want to read. (For years I deferred buying an eink reader because everyone said that none of them work well for PDFs. But that’s not true with Koreader).

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I love Calibre, too! And it does exactly what Peter said. I’ve been using it for years and it allowed me to save books from an old device and transfer them to my kindle. With Calibre, though, I can read right on my PC or laptop. Any book I have.

If you’re already ok… stretching the rights given to you by you library’s eBook system, it’s actually quite easy to load library books onto Calibre and strip the DRM off them so you can keep them indefinitely.

(Like most DRM hacking, I feel it’s justifiable because I’ve already been granted the right to read the book, I’m just time-shifting when I get to do it.)

If your library can give you the book as an ePub file, then you open it with Adobe Digital Editions, as usual, then find the file and add it to your Calibre library. There’s an easy-to-find Calibre plugin to strip the DRM at that point.

That’s pretty important to me, since I mount my Kindle on the front of my carbon-fiber racing bike, and every gram matters!

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Yup, Kobo convert here too.
I initially got in to eReaders with the Sony PRS-505 way back when. It was pretty good too (if a little slow), but I opened the cover one day to find the screen had mysteriously broken.

So at that point, I bought my first (and only) Kindle. It was the old Kindle Keyboard 3G, with the free wireless. Really liked it, and used it for years. It never cracked on me, but eventually just… died. It went to sleep and never woke up. At that point it was years out of warranty.

I realised at this point that I was quite heavily tied in to the Amazon walled garden, so took the plunge and switched to the original Kobo Aura HD, using Calibre to manage my books (and strip the DRM!)
Unfortunately, while the device looked great, the screen was probably the most delicate screen I’ve had in an eReader. I was pulling it out of its case one day to reset it, and hadn’t touched the screen itself, only to discover that somehow the screen had broken during the act of removing it from the case.

So at that point, I switched to a Nook. Hey, it was a quick and cheap replacement!
That actually lasted me for ages, and was really robust (if lo-res). I thought I didn’t even need a case for it. Then one day I bent down to open a shutter, forgetting I had it in my pocket, and it cracked.

So I then went back to Kobo and am now the happy owner of two Kobo H2O readers (I thought I’d lost one at one point, so bought a replacement; I found the original when I moved home).

I have my problems with them, for sure. I’m pissed off that no-one’s really interested in developing a really rugged eInk screen. And my current Kobo requires a full shutdown and reboot every 3-4 readings, as the touch screen stops responding.
I much prefer hard buttons for page turning and simple device management, in part because I’m so nervous about touching a screen I know to be deleicate.

But other than that, the Kobo’s easy to read, displays the cover of the book I’m reading while asleep, and is very open compared to other manufacturers’ devices. And forcing me to use Calibre has made me more careful with my digital library and its management. It also means my entire library is easily ported to another device should the one I’m currently using break.

I’m fine with returning library books (including eBooks) when I’m done reading them, I just see “turning on airplane mode until I’m done reading the book” as a digital analogue for renewing a book I’ve checked out.


Apparently not. I actually went and tried it before I read the rest of the comments here, which verified my results. My habits seem to have masked this; I use Calibre over USB to put side-loaded documents on one of the Kindles and don’t ever try to read them on the others. Turns out I get most of my fiction from Amazon via BookBub and my sideloads are mostly non-fiction. I apparently read non-fiction on just that one Kindle and my desktop, fiction on all the devices. I guess it’s a matter of reading purely for pleasure in a big comfy chair vs somewhat more serious reading.

I really need to switch to email uploads from Calibre; the sideload Kindle is approaching being full. My Internet connection is gigabit, so it shouldn’t be much slower. The Travis McGee collection is all sideloaded, but I only allow myself to read it once a decade, so I have awhile to fix it.

Why doesn’t Kindle just handle .epub files? There’s no technical reason, of course. It’s just more crap proprietary corporate thinking.


Yeah, and the books this actually happened with? 1984 and animal farm. Oh, the ironing.

The blog you’re thinking of is apprentice alf.

ETA: No, wait. That’s not the blog you’re thinking of but it is useful for stripping out nasty DRM.

Speaking of ironing, Amazon currently has the Kindle edition of 1984 free for Prime members.

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They promise not to remote delete it again? Cross their hearts, hope to die, stick a needle in their eye kinda promise? For reals this time?

Gasp! Don’t let Cory see this, he’ll go on a DRM rampage!!

Seriously, Kindle Paperwhites are awesome and it’s always good to know about deals on refurbs.

It’s super easy to convert ePub format to Kindle format (though I wish it handled anything) and throw any books on there from Gutenberg or whatever you like.

The thing people miss about the whole “deleting 1984” thing is that the copy they deleted was a pirated copy that was illegal to sell in the US. You can certainly argue that copyrights are too long, that Australia (for example) has more logical copyright laws, etc, but anyone who sells something that they don’t have the rights to sell has to buy it back or face legal consequences. They didn’t delete books willy-nilly.


It’s because writing software costs money. Especially when you have actual customers who need support and can’t say “do a GitHub fork and fix it yourself.”

As an user, sure, side-loading ePub directly would be nice.

As a developer I’d politely inform my project manager that this would require multiple months and that she has to tell her superior that we either need more persons or that the x-ray feature will have to be delayed or that this could severely impact battery time or whatever possible implications are.

The kindle exists to sell books from Amazon in an as convienient way as possible, so that an octogenarian can use it. With as little help from a hotline as possible, preferably none, because those also cost money and when a user has to call it, it’s very likely because there was a mistake that shouldn’t have happened.

There are literally dozens of alternatives with another business model, where you just get the hardware.

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Promises made before the court are usually held to a higher standards than playgrounds promises about birthday invitations.

So Amazon should have thrown themselves in jail for selling it, or for allowing someone to sell it on their website. Amazon’s terms of service at the time granted customers the right to keep a “permanent copy of the applicable digital content.” As a customer, when I buy from a major merchant like Safeway or Amazon I have a reasonable expectation that they are not selling hot goods. If Safeway sells me a chicken and it turns out that their butcher bought them off the back of a truck, they don’t have the right to sneak into my house late at night and pump my stomach to get the chicken back.

Whether or not the book was legit, Amazon was completely in the wrong for deleting it. Fortunately, they seem to have accepted that this was wrong almost immediately afterwards, and have strengthened their policies against this.


No, the blog I’m thinking of is actually this one - as someone pointed out
Cory used to complain about the issue quite a bit.

“He who sells what isn’t his’n has to buy it back or go to pris’n” as Daniel Drew supposedly said in regard to shorting stock, and a similar thing applies to dubious food – the product recall.

What @d_r said really, they had absolutely no right to go into your personal digital library and delete a book you bought in all good faith. I think cory is correct when he says it’s the same thing as breaking into your home to take a book out of your bookcase because the retailer shouldn’t have sold it.

I think if amazon believe they can get away with it they’ll do it again, as i’m sure they thought they could get away with it at the time but it created a lot of negative publicity for them.

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