Reading Kindle books on Linux
tony at baechler.net
Tue Sep 15 09:33:15 UTC 2015
On 9/14/2015 3:47 AM, John J. Boyer wrote:
> I have Debian Jessie set up for command-line only, Braille only. Is
> there a way to read Kindle books?
Since there seems to be some interest in this, here goes. As always,
The short answer is no. Kindle books are in the .mobi format. It's highly
likely that ebook-convert can convert them except for one little problem.
Most Kindle books have DRM protection, meaning that you have to be able to
decrypt them before you can do anything further. The idea, of course, is so
you won't share them or do exactly what you're trying to do. Not all books
have DRM, but most do. If you only buy Kindle books without DRM, you should
be fine, but there seems to be no easy way to find out which do and which don't.
There is a little bit of good news. Someone has written a Python program to
break this decryption. I will not share it for obvious legal reasons, but
one can find it if one looks hard enough. It was designed for Windows and
might require a GUI, but since the decryption part is a command line Python
program, it should work in Linux. Look for a program to break the Amazon
DRM encryption on .mobi files.
Sorry for not having a better answer. If you're in the US, Bookshare is
probably a better alternative. They don't use DRM, their files are a lot
easier to convert and they get a lot of publisher files. They do have
international members, but I don't know to what extent their books are
available outside of the US. Hopefully the recently enacted treaty will
help with some of this. If you do have a better solution, I am very
interested. I usually don't buy Kindle books because it's such a hassle to
make them readable.
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