It took me a while to do the jump. I had a library on my Kindle with a few hundreds books. I invested a few hundreds bucks over more than a decade to buy ebooks and create my digital library.
I felt very uncomfortable whenever I thought of those precious resources being lost in somebody else's cloud, while the money I paid only granted me the permission to _view_ the content provided by Amazon's servers, _only_ on the devices compatible with Kindle resources, _only_ using the software built by Amazon, and _only_ using Amazon's closed formats. Anything outside of that clearly defined perimeter is illegal. A suspension of my #Amazon account would be sufficient to lock me out of my library. And I probably have no easy way of passing those books to my kid, like parents used to do with their kids before surveillance capitalism came over. I just couldn't accept all of this. But, on the other hand, Kindle provided a very comfortable ecosystem, and that motivated my reluctance.
Now I've finally made the jump though, and I couldn't be happier.
- I used #Calibre to convert all of my Kindle books to .epub. However, the DeDRM plugin (https://github.com/apprenticeharper/DeDRM_tools/releases) didn't work out of the box - Amazon has probably come up with some other twists on their KNX compression+encryption to make our lives harder. What worked though was to download the purchased books one by one through the "Download to device over USB" option at amazon.com/mycd - a lengthy process, but at least I got the ebooks in the AZW* format that Calibre and DeDRM could digest.
- I moved all the .epub files on a path shared through #NextCloud - hopefully when the ebook reader apps for NextCloud get fixed my NC interface could also become a place to read my books.
- I installed #Ubooquity (https://github.com/linuxserver/docker-ubooquity) on my local server, and enabled the #OPDS feed. Make the server accessible over my VPN, set up an nginx reverse proxy with HTTPS, and that's all you need. Big kudos to the development team for building a Java app that manages somehow to be lightweight!
- After trying many apps (most of the ebook reader apps on F-Droid have a UI that feels so 2000s), I settled for #FBReader, which comes with a decent UI and good support for OPDS feeds out of the box. The only downside is that bookmark synchronization only works over Google Drive, and it requires the version hosted on the Play Store to work. It'd be nice to support NextCloud, or (even better) any virtual storage exposed by Android.
Except for the synchronization still working over Google Drive, I'm happy for finally making the jump - now I feel like my kid will have something to read even if dad's Amazon account gets suspended, or if Amazon at some point in the future goes out of business.
I'll probably still have to buy some books from the Kindle store (especially when it comes to recent books), but I'll always make sure to convert them to .epub and add them to my open library as soon as I get them on my devices.
Why buy books corrupted by DRM in the first place? If you press "G" in Calibre, you can search across many ebook sellers for the book you want, and it will indicate which ones come with DRM or not. Also, if you've already purchased it once, I feel you can in good conscience simply source a non-DRM version of it from the global public library known as Library Genesis :)
@BB a lot of content is only available in DRM-protected format. Think of new books by Stephen King or Ken Follett for example (but also most of their old ones). Open libraries have a lot of content, but not all of it.
@blacklight thank you for writing this up! I need to do a similar move. Can I ask which OS you are using through this? I remember Calibre + deDRM being effortless on mac OS but it's more complicated on Linux?
@air_pump I'm running Arch Linux both on client and server. deDRM on Calibre may give problems, but I use the latest version of wine to run the Windows-only dll files and it all goes smooth (it requires wine to emulate at least Windows 8.1 though)
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