May 15, 2011

Library-related Kindle Screensavers

Filed under: blog — Tags: , , , , — tsladmin @ 10:00 pm

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?


  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 […]

    Pingback by Friday Five 6.21.13: What's Making Me Happy This Week - What I Run Into — June 21, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

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