Use virtual bookplates to help recover a lost Kindle

It’s not a bad idea to put your contact info on your Kindle, in the event that you misplace it and a Good Samaritan happens along.

There’s a built-in spot for this information under Settings, but a stranger might not know to look there, and if your Kindle is password-protected then the stranger can’t access Settings in the first place.

Another option, at least if you’ve hacked your Kindle to display custom screensaver images, is to create virtual bookplates. If you want to pay homage to both traditional books and your Kindle, you can change the classic bookplate text ex libris (“from the books of”) to the more modern omnis libris (“all of ’em!”).

If you don’t have your own decent graphics app to do this, use the free online version at Picnik Pixlr. Here are two sample screens I made with Picnik.

They’re not fancy, but that’s not the point! The point is everything you see–background image, text, and foreground symbol–are all preloaded elements found at Picnik, so you can make a virtual bookplate screen with nothing but Picnik and some free time. (Here’s my quick tutorial on how to create good screensaver images using Picnik.)

Of course, if you want something fancier, you can start from scratch using your own imagery, or you can download and customize some of the terrific vintage Creative Commons-licensed bookplate images at Flickr.

I’ll try to create a few blank bookplate template screens in the coming days, but it probably won’t happen until after Thanksgiving. I HAVE FOOD TO EAT.

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