Wednesday, January 6, 2016

getting "What Pet Should I Get?" by Dr Seuss for my Kindle

back in late October 2015, i checked out an ebook from the library of What Pet Should I Get by Dr Seuss (the new one they discovered).  only it wasn't "Available" for my Kindle Keyboard, so i could only look at it only on my web browser.

(another example of Amazon trying to disenfranchise older Kindle models; but not mine!)

26 screen-grabs later, i had myself the beginnings of an ebook.

the screen grabs were TIFFs -- not my favorite, but pretty high resolution at least:  2880 x 1800.

i trimmed off the excess borders, making them 2528 x 1720 -- lookin' good!  (high resolution, good color, etc.)

then i popped them into Adobe Acrobat Pro (using the largest combine-documents setting), rotated them 90 degrees counterclockwise (so that the wide two-page spread would automatically appear the long way on the Kindle, which means holding it sideways instead of up & down), and saved as a PDF.

7.1 Mb -- perfect!  (not too big, not too small.)

the final step is putting in the Kindle documents folder and restarting the Kindle -- it looks great!

(sure, it's in black & white on the Kindle; but way better than nothing.  and if i want it in color, i can always look at the PDF on my computer!)

another primo ebook!  forget Amazon -- what do they know?

Friday, December 11, 2015

THE COMPLETE PEANUTS & Amazon's Kindle-Incompatibility Scam

Here's the story:  back in November, i was looking to maybe buy a volume of The Complete Peanuts for my Kindle Keyboard on Amazon, but i couldn't even select it to buy -- the website was saying that my Kindle couldn't handle the format.  Rats.

So in December, i was able to order a Kindle Voyage.  Now i can get The Complete Peanuts, right?


One day on Amazon, i see an offer for all 24 volumes of The Complete Peanuts (for $500+ dollars -- more than twice the price of the new Kindle) and figured i would take a look.  But the file for each volume of the series turned out to be over 200 Mb -- that's over 5 Gb for the whole set, and the Kindle Voyage only has 3.25 Gb of storage.  So even if i didn't have any other books on the new Kindle (and i have like 1200+), all the volumes of The Complete Peanuts wouldn't even fit on it at once.

Ample reason to return the set and get a refund.

Except now the Return For Refund button has disappeared (maybe just for the holidays?).  No problem; i just called the help line (in India), and they took care of it.  Money refunded.

But of course i still have the files on my computer.  So i figured, why not try one on the Kindle Keyboard and see how it does.  The files were .AZW3 files, just like most of the Kindle files i already had, so why not?

At first the book wasn't showing up (i'd connected the Kindle to the USB port on my computer and copied the file to the documents folder).  Uh-oh.  But then i searched for it (with the search function, which found it) and opened it.  It worked fine!  It was compatible with the Kindle Keyboard.  Hah!

(Good thing i'm used to file-handling!)

On the Voyage, when you open up one of The Complete Peanuts volumes, it's displayed with a whole bunch of strips all shrunk down & squished onto one page; you have to double-tap the screen initially to get it to show the strips one at a time (and zoomed in so you can see them properly).

So not only is the comic format compatible with the Kindle Keyboard, it's easier to read it on the Kindle Keyboard than on the Voyage, because the Kindle Keyboard automatically detects the comic format (and you couldn't do the double-tap anyway, since it's not a touch screen).

So now i have all 24 volumes of The Complete Peanuts -- and i got them for free! -- and the only limitation is i can't fit them all onto a single Kindle at once.

So much for Amazon's Kindle-Incompatibility scam!

Now for lots of Charlie Brown and company!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Smile -- You Can Return Amazon Kindle Books!

In case you didn't know Amazon's return policy on Kindle books (YES -- THEY HAVE ONE!), here it is:
Returning Kindle Books
Books you purchase from the Kindle Store are eligible for return and refund if we receive your request within seven days of the date of purchase. Once a refund is issued, you'll no longer have access to the book. To request a refund and return content, visit Manage Your Content and Devices, select the Actions button next to the title you'd like to return, and select Return for refund, or contact customer service.

[ update 2015-12-24
The only thing you'll have to do is "Select a reason for your return" and choose one from a list of:
• Wrong Item
• Found a better price elsewhere
• Quality Issues
• Compatibility Issues
• Download Problems
• Defective Content
• Unwanted Purchase
• Digital Rights Restrictions
• Accidental Purchase
• Offensive Content
• Other
It's a pretty comprehensive list of reasons, and it gives you *plenty* of wiggle room! ]
So if you "accidentally" buy that Kindle book you've had your eye on (and happen to have your settings set to "Download and transfer via USB"), then you'll have your Kindle book (and will have paid for it); but you can get a full refund!

Basically it's the same as borrowing the book from the library through Amazon, except you need enough money in your bank account (or credit card) to pay for it for a few days.

Full refund.  Nice!

[And actually, Amazon has so far always refunded the purchase price *before* they deduct it from my bank account!]

(Good thing my DeDRM 6.0.8 program is still working fine!)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Another year gone by!

yes, it's been almost a year since the last post; sorry, i've been busy.  lots of new books, though!

today, i have two sites for you.  one is direct download, and the other requires a torrent client (like Transmission or μTorrent — here's a wikipedia link if you don't know about Torrents: ).


the first is bookzz (which upgrades to bookos-z1 when you register); here's the link:

(probably register with your spam-email account, an account with no contacts -- the address that you give out to those you don't trust -- it's what i use my yahoo account for.)

i forget how many daily downloads you're allowed before you register, but after you register you're allowed to download 10 ebooks per day.  and the selection is pretty decent.  but the good selections are mixed with the bad, in a variety of formats.



the second is a site called Torrent Hound.  it's a pop-up-infested site, to be sure, (which means you have to be careful what you click on, and i only use this site through Google Chrome, with Javascript turned off) but still has lots of great stuff.

it's probably best to find things via a backdoor search:  here's a link to the site for page 1 of a search on "epub":

skip the part where it says "Direct Downloads" and only pay attention to the part labeled "Torrent Title".  click on the magnet icon and your client will get a magnet link (no torrent file) for the torrent download.

if you want to search for another term, simply substitute it for "epub" in the link.

or you can search for two terms (and so on) with a plus sign.  to search for "Elizabeth Berg", use:


and remember, only download ebooks that you have a legal right to possess.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Month Goes By

A month goes by, and the free ebooks just keep pouring in—a lot faster than i can read them!

My "new add to kindle" folder has 59 books in it at the moment (everything from Lonely Planet travel guides—for fiction research—to the third Cormac McCarthy novel in the All The Pretty Horses series and seven Iris Murdoch novels and three Simon Winchester non-fiction books and Advanced Programming In The UNIX Environment, 2nd edition).  What a motley collection of interests!  I'll get to them all, eventually.

Read more, that's the solution.

[  Plus, i almost forgot to mention:  i'm converting, for my own personal use, a regular book into an ebook—mainly because there's no ebook commercially available.  It's a pain, but worth it in the end.  Each page has to be scanned, and then i save each chapter as a PDF; from those PDFs, i'm copying the text into an MS Word file (using the built-in OCR now in Mac OS X); the Figures i add in from the individual page scans, as the quality is higher.  It's an interesting endeavor, and i consider the ebook conversion to be Fair Use since i own a copy of the book (and can't purchase an ebook version of it).  If MIT Press disagrees, i'm happy to see them in court.  ;-)  ]

Happy day, all.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Free Ebook *Talk*, Not Listings

OK, i did it—switched the URL to (from and changed the title & description, etc.

"Listings" sounds less legitimate than "Talk" to my ears.  :-D


yesterday i faced a probably-common problem—i had some ebook files (.MOBI in this case) of books i wanted to read, and i put them on my Kindle; but when i went to pull them up, it denied me access.  damned!  (and they had worked fine on my computer's Kindle reader!)

the solution?  i used Calibre and converted the troublesome .MOBI files into .AZW3 files, and then loaded those files onto the Kindle.  did they work on my Kindle then?  they sure did!  SUCCESS!!!

why did it work?  my Kindle is an older one, and the .AZW3 file format is a newer one; so i figured my old Kindle might be less able to recognize a (perhaps subtle) problem with a new format.

who knows if that's really why it worked; but it doesn't really matter, as long as it *did* work!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ebook Adventures, Instead of Listings

OK, so maybe this is becoming more of a blog than a "Listings" site; so be it.

Heh, had to laugh:  got an odd email from Amazon that i would have to send them verification of my Canadian citizenship to continue getting books from their Canadian site.  (I had only borrowed one book from that site, through Lendle, and i'd switched my address to Canada to do so.)  But i had already switched my address back to the U.S. — their internal data coördination obviosly leaves something to be desired — so i switched my country-setting (somewhere within the Kindle settings) back.

And have been having more fun converting another Amazon Topaz ( .TPZ ) book to a .AZW3 (and perhaps to a .MOBI if i feel like it).  The TOC (Table of Contents) conversion has a little trouble; but Calibre allows a final tweaking of the TOC before the .AZW3 file is written, and i was able to add Glossary, Bibliography, & Index to the TOC.

By the way, keep an eye out for Russian sites (like ) — there are some nice texts stored online!