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Old 01-04-2020, 05:28 PM   #1
TortoiseAvenger
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What's it like using the Kindle without Amazon?

I recently started a thread about getting a Kindle, but using Calibre exclusively, or as exclusively as possible. I'm thinking about getting the Oasis 3. I have a Mac. Can anyone tell me what it's like to avoid the amazon store all together? Does your entire collection sync between Calibre and the device, or do you just move over what you need? How seamless/hassle free is it to do?

Basically, wondering what my experience will be like using it.
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Old 01-04-2020, 05:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by TortoiseAvenger View Post
I recently started a thread about getting a Kindle, but using Calibre exclusively, or as exclusively as possible. I'm thinking about getting the Oasis 3. I have a Mac. Can anyone tell me what it's like to avoid the amazon store all together? Does your entire collection sync between Calibre and the device, or do you just move over what you need? How seamless/hassle free is it to do?
You will need to know how to remove the DRM from eBook you buy. But if you are going to not use Amazon, then if you want to use Your local library's Overdrive, forget it as Kindle eBooks from Overdrive use Amazon servers.

However, if you get a Kobo Libra H2O, you can use Overdrive as it has nothing to do with Amazon and you get either ePub or KePub to rad on the Kobo.

You will need to get the DeDRM plugin for Calibre from https://apprenticealf.wordpress.com/ You can also ask for help on how to do it over there (you cannot ask for how to use the plugin here).

Last edited by JSWolf; 01-10-2020 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:08 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=JSWolf;3937114]
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You will need to know how to remove the DRM from eBook you buy.
Most of my collection is classics, or otherwise DRM free books.
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Old 01-04-2020, 06:39 PM   #4
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Calibre won't sync automatically with your Kindle. You have to load the books from Calibre to the Kindle manually, but you can do it in batches, not one by one.

A warning: Kindles take a long time to index after new books are loaded, so it's best not to dump your whole library on your Kindle all at once. Also keep your Kindle connected to a wall charger after loading the books, otherwise the indexing will be extremely slow. You can check the indexing by searching for a nonsense string of characters, if there are books still unindexed, the search results will display them.

Generally the process of sideloading via Calibre is pretty smooth and at least I have encountered very few bugs.

Last edited by Sirtel; 01-04-2020 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 01-04-2020, 07:33 PM   #5
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I don't use Amazon for books. I use my library's Overdrive account and check out the epub version of books, strip the DRM, then transfer via Calibre, all on a Mac.

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Old 01-04-2020, 08:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just_jeepin View Post
I don't use Amazon for books. I use my library's Overdrive account and check out the epub version of books, strip the DRM, then transfer via Calibre, all on a Mac.

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I've read in a thread that stripping the DRM from Overdrive library books is against the terms and conditions of using Overdrive.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:13 PM   #7
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There's no collections support if the Kindle is unregistered. For obvious reasons, no sync either. Otherwise, it's fine.

I use a couple separate, unregistered Kindles dedicated to fanfics and they work just fine. I wouldn't keep a large number of books on a non-jailbroken Kindle though. Browsing hundreds of books without collections is a major pain.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:55 PM   #8
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Old 01-04-2020, 11:11 PM   #9
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I use my kindle oasis 2 with exclusively sideloaded books. I load what I want through Calibre (my books are in the old MOBI format, but you will probably want to use the more advanced AZW3 format). I don't use collections and none of my books sync with any other device or kindle app. I use a metadata plugboard in Calibre to put the series name in the title on any book that is sent to my kindle (it ends up Series 01 - Title) to make it easier for me to read a series in order. The indexing can be a bit of a drain on the battery, but shouldn't be too bad if you don't load hundreds of books at once.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:01 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by sapphiresilver View Post
I use my kindle oasis 2 with exclusively sideloaded books. I load what I want through Calibre (my books are in the old MOBI format, but you will probably want to use the more advanced AZW3 format). I don't use collections and none of my books sync with any other device or kindle app. I use a metadata plugboard in Calibre to put the series name in the title on any book that is sent to my kindle (it ends up Series 01 - Title) to make it easier for me to read a series in order. The indexing can be a bit of a drain on the battery, but shouldn't be too bad if you don't load hundreds of books at once.
You really don't want to load hundreds of eBooks on a Kindle in one go. If just one will not index, you then have to figure out which one. That's why you should only load in small batches that you can keep track of in case of an indexing issue.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:28 AM   #11
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You really don't want to load hundreds of eBooks on a Kindle in one go. If just one will not index, you then have to figure out which one. That's why you should only load in small batches that you can keep track of in case of an indexing issue.
I've not had an indexing issue in years. And I've put a thousand books on my Oasis 3 in one session. No problems. I don't even remember when the last indexing issue happened.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:34 AM   #12
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I don't use Kindle collections. Now that I keep one of my Kindles connected, I find that it doesn't sync very well between devices, either. It does have a nice "kindle unlimited" badge on those books, though.

The other thing you can do, as long as the Kindle is registered, is "download and transfer via USB" to your Kindle. Then drag the file into the "documents" folder. You can keep the wifi off forever, and load books that way, and not worry about removing DRM.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:21 AM   #13
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You really don't want to load hundreds of eBooks on a Kindle in one go. If just one will not index, you then have to figure out which one. That's why you should only load in small batches that you can keep track of in case of an indexing issue.
If there's an indexing issue all you have to do is bring up a search, search for some gibberish like xgsyf and it won't find that but then will show any files waiting to be indexed just incase that's what you wanted. Bingo, you now know what file to delete and re-sideload.

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Old 01-05-2020, 11:48 AM   #14
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The main reason to have a Kindle is buying books from Amazon. Otherwise a Kobo is better. That's why I have both. Because I buy some books from Amazon, some from Smashwords and most are PD or ones that I'm proofreading and annotating (the Kobo Utilities is better than Annotations from Kindle on Calibre).
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:20 PM   #15
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The ability to email non-Amazon books to a Kindle is a great feature. If Kobo offered that, I might have stayed with using a Kobo device.
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