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Free e-reader?

Submitted by AgitatedStatesOfAmazement in freeAsInFreedom

I've been thinking about getting an e-ink ebook reader (a la Kindle, Nook, Kobo), but they all seem to be part of their own companies' respective walled gardens and allow very little freedom to modify their software. Is anyone aware of an e-reader which is capable of running a free operating system, or at least running unsigned software through some sort of rooting process? My fallback choice is Kobo because it seems to have the best support for sideloading books of different formats on an SD card (including CBZ, HTML, TXT, etc), but I'd rather something I have full software control of and which doesn't require me to sign up for anything.

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jadedctrl wrote

You should get one of the Kobos that can run Debian-- like the Kobo Mini.
Check the installation here. It's not perfect, but it's probably the closest you can get to fully libre on a e-ink e-reader. I've looked a lot for one.

There is, hypothetically, another better and more perfect option: the Wikireader was a fully libre device dedicated to reading Wikipedia-- but you can easily execute your own compiled C programs on it. I got one a while back, intending to write a simple e-reading program... but then I broke the screen like an idiot. I'd love to give it another go, but I can't seem to find one anywhere! :ss

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DoormouseJessup wrote

I use an Amazon Kindle but I never turn on the wifi.

I load everything with Calibre. My main source of books are Haymarket, AZ, and the Gutenberg Project.

Calibre is nice because it permits all kinds of file transcription an I've been using it for at least 6 years - probably longer - with 2 Kindles and a Sony ereader.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

You could use a compatible tablet, fastboot LineageOS, dismantle the antennae and microphones on the tablet, and use a FOSS e-reader (there are a few from F-Droid, and others on the Play Store too). Keep ebooks synced/apps updated by usb, directly from desktop computer to the device.

That's how I'd do it, if I wanted to be sure I had my own private reader. I just read on my computer though

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ravengrace wrote

I have Aldiko on my phone. You can skip the sign up. However, it's not open source.

I heard of Calibre, it seems like a good option. Open source and available on desktop, android, and tablets.

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AgitatedStatesOfAmazement wrote

Oh, I was referring specifically to dedicated hardware readers with e-ink displays. I do use Calibre on desktop though, it's pretty nice.

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ravengrace wrote

oh, they said its compatible with tablets, I think thats a new thing. So it might be compatible with some e-ink display tablets.

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AgitatedStatesOfAmazement wrote

I think when people say it's compatible with phones and tablets they mean it can sync books to them the same way it can sync to e-readers. To my knowledge Calibre itself is only available on desktop, although there are "Calibre Companion" apps for Android and iOS which allow syncing it with Calibre on a desktop.