Organizing the Library

Building out and organizing my e-book library inevitably led me to think about those books on my Kindle (2).Yup, the (old) Kindle had been languishing for a few years and when I went to try to connect to Amazon, the wireless turned off immediately. I decided it might need a software update, but since it couldn’t connect to Amazon, I’d have to update it myself.

Once I found my model, it was an easy thing to do, attaching it to my Mac and dragging the downloaded firmware update into the Kindle. Now it connects! Once connected, I realized I had some more books I’d like to centralize on my e-book server.

It is easy enough to copy the book files (.azw)to the server, but there’s that pesky thing called DRM, which won’t let you view the book except on a device with the Kindle reader or Kindle app. I have several e-book reader apps, but didn’t want to deal with a DRM issue. Amazon makes it possible to read the pdfs and such on the Kindle, but it’s not nearly as elegant, and certainly not centralized, like Calibre. There are “ways” around this, and surprisingly easy to do so. In fact, using Calibre is suggested as part of that (though not by Calibre).

Now, neither Calibre, nor I condone misuse of artist rights, and Calibre by itself won’t convert the Amazon files to DRM free formats. But it’s not hard, though the solution I found only works for Amazon books. There may be ways around those other DRM formats too, but I only needed this one. Now I have all my books backed up and can use them on a device of my choosing without being locked into the clumsiness of Amazon’s reader app.


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