The current Amazon Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition use touchscreen controls for their interfaces. The Kindle Oasis does have two physical buttons for flipping pages, but those are mushy garbage buttons that don’t satisfy those of us who have grown accustomed to mechanical key switches. There are other e-readers on the market—you may be surprised to learn that the Barnes and Noble Nook still exists—but they don’t offer good buttons either. Brandon’s DIY e-reader is, as far as I can tell, the only available option that features true mechanical key switches.
Those switches come in the form of an Adafruit NeoKey 1×4 mechanical key switch pad with NeoPixel backlighting. That connects to a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 via I2C. Thanks to the mechanical key switches, there is no need for a touchscreen. So Brandon used a 3.7” Waveshare ePaper screen, which is small but still readable. For now, power comes from a large USB battery bank, but Brandon plans to add a dedicated battery soon. The “enclosure” is an old Apple AirPods cardboard box.
Brandon wrote all of the software for his e-reader in Python. On boot, it will automatically display the last book read by the user and it does remember the page. To read something else, the user can back out to the main menu and select any other book in storage. It is able to work with standard EPUB e-books, which is the most common e-book format outside of the Amazon Kindle ecosystem. Readers can find EPUB books at online libraries or e-book retailers outside of Amazon.
Read More: DIY e-reader project has physical buttons