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amid a haystack of Chaos.

How To Keep Your Kindle Books after July 21, 2012

Created: Saturday, July 14th, 2012
07:47:17 UTC

T. Reader, I have some really bad news for you... 

In 7 days, on July 21, Amazon is threatening to DISABLE every Kindle older than 1.10, which just won't work for me either. They have also pushed out new firmware to all Kindle hardware devices (even the old K4s) that not only adds "K8" support (they're new locked down file type) but also makes them bricked, too, if they're not upgraded. ALso, repots from the modders say that these latest hardware updates have removed all ability of users to mod their devices, which means there's no escape. 

You should prepare *right* now if you want to hope on reading your books in the next 7 days if you don't want to depend on Amazon support to get their acts together before then:

  1. Go and BOOKMARK this page and share it. It empowers users and fights corporate fascism (the potential deprivation of property we own (e.g. theft)).
  2. IMMEDIATELY disable Over The Air updates to your Kindle devices (ALL of them!!) and applications. This also means NO WIFI on Kindle Touches or Fire, ever. Just browsing a web page will get you updated (happened to me two weeks ago, true story), and it's impossible to go back.
  3. Download the Calibre ebook library program: http://calibre-ebook.com/download
  4. Follow the instructions on this page to be able to import Kindle books successfully into Calibre: http://xrl.us/bngtop
  5. Using Calibre, convert from MOBI to ePUB. 
  6. Use a different ebook reader than Kindle. These days, I've migrated to Adobe Digital Editions  and Kobo Desktop, which are both nice.
  7. Consider purchasing a different ebook reader. I have two that I love: Cybook Odyssey and, to a lesser degree, Nook Simple Touch
  8. Transfer ebooks to your kindles via USB.

What I'm seeing on eBay is that Kindle Touches with firmware of 5.1.0 (or the dreaded 5.1.1 which came out this week in preparation for the bricking/disabling of unupdated kindles on 21 July) are going for 10-20% cheaper than pre-5.1s. This may be because enough enthusiast modders see the signs on the wall and are trying to get safe firmwares before their devices get bricked. 

I hope I'm wrong about all this, but still, freeing your ebooks by having them DRM free on your own hardware so that they can always be accessible on your computer, your kindle, your phone, AND/or your Nook, that's worth all this in and of itself.