I wanna e-book reader

Because of quarantine I could use more time not staring at LCD’s and e-book reader would be just perfect for me.

But I have quite unusual requirements, and e-readers aren’t hottest devices on the market, so I’m afraid it might be tricky to get what I want. At the very least internet search couldn’t completely answer my questions.

There are two criteria: usability and freedom.

When it comes for usability I want to be able to use non-default software on them (or at least be able to script around it). So something either Linux or Android based would do.

For freedom, more open the device, more happy I’ll be.

Any recommendations?
I’ve been looking at PocketBook and Kobo readers, but it’s difficult what exactly are the capable of.

1 Like

Can’t get much more usable and ‘freedom’ than building your own…

The Open Book Project

1 Like

Loving it, but I’d need to spend a lot of time in front on LCD, learning and building it and that completely defies the purpose.

I have 10 years old Iriver Story Wi-Fi. Quite primitive for today standards. Anyway, I keep wifi off, transfer all ebooks via usb and I am pretty sure it does not spy on me :slight_smile: I got for Christmas in 2010 and plan to use it until it dies. Pretty sure you could find one of these on ebay.
My son has got Kobo Forma with 8" screen; lovely machine. The main advantage of Kobo is that when you buy it you don’t have to pay extra for the machine, otherwise it will be showing you adverts (Amazon Kindle does it).
Finally in one of the recent Destination Linux podcast there was mentioned free and opensource software you can install on Kobo but I forgot what was it called :slight_smile:


Kindle is probably the worst in-terms of privacy but over the ten years I’ve been using one, unfortunately become an essential for my daily needs. I trusted Amazon much more ten years ago than I do now, but certainly will keep eye open for open alternatives. I agree, e-ink is so-much easier on the eye :+1:

I understand the trust issue with Amazon - but I honestly believe it’s easy to work around. I just bought the newest kindle for my wife (got a good deal trading in my 2011 4th Edition and a 20% discount - so overall only paying $32 for the latest gen Kindle).

After setting it up and verifying it had the latest system version, I turned the WIFI off. I can manually connect it to my linux box to put books on it (even easier with Calibre) So I was able to put any of the books I have saved on it at any time - all without going through Amazon themselves.

And while I am always a proponent of voting with your wallet - as there isn’t an actual open source book reader device out there (and I’m not a hands on type of builder to make one) I’m practical enough to admit that the Kindle, in and of itself, is a great device with years of design behind it.

1 Like

I recently got the PocketBook Basic Lux 2. Since this is the first e-book device I own, I have nothing to compare it with, however I am very happy with this device.

It does everything I wanted and it does it cheaply. I can mount it as a mass storage device, and copy over all the e-books I purchased over the years via humble bundle.

Also browsing its file-system, I realize that I am looking at a small Linux machine. I have also been able to find the SDK that allow one to write new applications for it, although I didn’t try to actually build anything with it.

I also ended up with PocketBook (Touch HD 3). It’s pretty advanced comparing to old Kindle my sister is using.

I appreciate physical button and yeah it runs on Linux. There are homebrew applications I can install. The scene isn’t big but still.

1 Like

I have been looking at getting an ebook reader, definite no to amazon products! For me it’s between a kobo clara hd and a pocketbook, either basic lux 2, touch lux 4/5 and touch hd3. Kobo is popular here so safe choice, pocketbook looks like it is popular in europe and would be an import from there, but potentially seems most open in terms of format and expansion with sd card.

Anyone else with experience of pocketbooks?
Also how much difference does ppi make. Does it change how much you can fit on the screen, or just the quality of the text?

What kind of homebrew applications can you get? What value do they add? Can you use touch hd as mp3 player? @Kikuchiyo

I was interested in Wallabag app, but it turned its for older models only.

Maybe I should check out hombrew web browser to see how it compares to build it one.

I believe you can use touch HD as music player out of the box, it comes with adapter for audio jack. Interface might be created with listening to audio-books in mind. I haven’t used it much.