May 15, 2011

Library-related Kindle Screensavers

Note: Be sure to read Frank Skornia’s com­ment below about the con­se­quences of jail­break­ing your Kin­dle.

I finally took some time to per­son­al­ize the screen­savers on my Kin­dle 3, think­ing it would be a quick hour or less. And indeed, the process of jail­break­ing a Kin­dle and hack­ing it to load your own screen­savers is drop dead sim­ple. That part really didn’t take any time at all.

The hard part is more decid­ing what pic­tures you want to see as a screen­saver every day, a task that ended up tak­ing me all after­noon. I first got caught up thumb­ing through the free down­loads on the Kin­dle Wall­pa­pers Tum­blr, which is fas­ci­nat­ing on its own.

Then I decided to add a few of my own pic­tures, so I found a half dozen of my favorites, con­verted them to black and white, and shrunk them down to 600 x 800.

When I posted on Face­book about what I was doing, some­one lamented that she’d recently left her Kin­dle on a plane, which made me flash back to some­thing I read sev­eral years ago. I can’t find a ref­er­ence to it right now (lit­tle help?), but I remem­ber read­ing about a guy who took pic­tures of him­self and text on signs about how to return the cam­era if some­one found it. He then kept those pic­ture at the begin­ning of his camera’s mem­ory card in case some­one ever found the cam­era and looked through the photos.

I’ve always thought that was bril­liant, so I fig­ured I’d try it with my Kin­dle. I took a pic­ture, added some text, and then loaded it as a screensaver.

"Thank you" in advance for returning my Kindle (should I ever lose it)

Granted, it’s unlikely that this par­tic­u­lar image will be dis­play­ing if I lose my Kin­dle, but my hope is that who­ever finds it will be inter­ested enough in the screen­saver that is show­ing to scroll through them. I know it’s a long shot, but it was also some­thing fun to do.

Which then got me think­ing about libraries. Are there any libraries cus­tomiz­ing the screen­savers on their Kin­dles? As a librar­ian, I came across some free, library-related screen­savers, so I put a few of them on my own device. If you, too, want some library-themed screen­savers, here are the ones I’ve found so far:

Do you know of other images we could use to build a list for libraries and librarians?

Be Socia­ble, Share!

10:00 pm Comments (10)


  1. A word of warn­ing about jail-breaking the Kin­dle to do this. It will void the war­ranty with Ama­zon and will hin­der the abil­ity to install any soft­ware updates or fixes that Ama­zon releases. From anec­dotes I heard about the lat­est Kin­dle update, it installed on jail-broken Kin­dles, but then made it impos­si­ble to undo the jail-breaking or to add addi­tional screen­savers to the Kin­dle. So jail-break your Kin­dle with caution!

    Comment by Frank Skornia — May 16, 2011 @ 3:11 pm

  2. Wow — thanks, Frank. I hadn’t seen that infor­ma­tion in my research, so that’s good to know. I knew it would prob­a­bly void the war­ranty, but I wasn’t sure if Ama­zon would sup­port library Kin­dles to begin with. But this is a good warn­ing — I can’t in good con­science rec­om­mend this to libraries, so indi­vid­u­als should only con­sider this at their own risk.


    Comment by jenny — May 16, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  3. I thought I should also men­tion that the arti­cle that explains how to jail­break your Kin­dle also includes a detailed descrip­tion of how to unin­stall the hack. So when the next update comes out, I’ll prob­a­bly unin­stall the hack, do the update, and then re-install it when the new ver­sion is ready.

    Comment by jenny — May 16, 2011 @ 10:06 pm

  4. Hi Jenny–
    The flash­back you remem­ber of the guy with the pic­tures is from Andrew McDon­ald. Here’s the link to the blog entry :-)

    Comment by Rebecca — May 26, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  5. Just read Frank’s com­ment, and I’d like to link to an Ama­zon post — Cus­tomer Ser­vice does not sup­port or pro­vide instruc­tions for adding cus­tom images to your Kin­dle to be used as screen savers. How­ever, should you choose to do this on your own it will not void your war­ranty.” This is from an Ama­zon offi­cial (as seen by the badge under­neath their username.

    Chang­ing the screen­savers, fonts etc on your Kin­dle does not neg­a­tively affect Ama­zon. They are ok with it. Heck, they even release the source code for the Kin­dle (well, they have to — some­thing to do with being based on Linux?).

    How­ever, if you use this screen­saver hack to remove ads from a Kin­dle with Spe­cial Offers, then Ama­zon has good rea­son to get mad at you. They don’t want you abus­ing the free 3G either.

    But with a non-Special Offers Kin­dle, this hack is ok with Ama­zon, as are quite a few hacks. Just unin­stall the hacks and jail­break if you’re return­ing it for repairs or any other reason.

    Comment by Roisin — July 25, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

  6. Hi All!

    In your post you men­tion that the process to jail­break the Kin­dle is dead sim­ple… well, I wanted to make it even sim­pler, espe­cially for the not-so-savvy com­puter users. I pack­aged all the hacks into an appli­ca­tion with an intu­itive graph­i­cal inter­face that does all the work for you:

    On my site there are also 2,000 images, orga­nized by cat­e­gory. There are a few gal­leries of Kin­dle Screen­saver pic­tures, but I could not find any of them that had all I wanted:
    1) Divided by cat­e­gory and eas­ily search­able
    2) Users can con­tribute their own pic­tures
    3) An intu­itive tool to help the instal­la­tion should be pro­vided
    4) A sim­ple graph­ics edi­tor to con­vert pho­tos should also be pro­vided
    Then I decided to cre­ate my own. I would be hon­ored if you wanted to share your pic­ture there.

    Thanks to everyone!

    Comment by ZapoTeX — October 10, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  7. I wish Ama­zon pro­vided a more user-friendly way to tin­ker with Kin­dle screen savers.

    It would be amaz­ing if peo­ple could sub­mit their own work under some­thing like a Cre­ative Com­mons license, and have espe­cially good exam­ples selected by Ama­zon deliv­ered wire­lessly to Kin­dles in the field.

    Comment by Milan — May 7, 2012 @ 11:14 am

  8. JFYI, there are newer files and instruc­tions for jail­break­ing your Kin­dle at

    Comment by jenny — July 21, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

  9. You can take any pic­ture of books you like and cre­ate a Kin­dle screen­saver on website.

    Comment by YojiBiomehanika — August 8, 2012 @ 8:33 am

  10. […] Not at all. So I found a hack to change all the screen­savers on my Kin­dle 3. Now, to under­stand the instruc­tions… that’s a whole new mess. (Now you can be skurred too – see […]

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