Raspberry Pi Pico Powered Open Source E-Book Reader

The Open Book Project
(Image credit: Joey Castillo)

The Open Book Project from Joey Castillo is an amazing piece of work, a DIY open source e-book designed so that anyone can solder up their own reader. The project has been with us for some time, and the past version has been based upon a SAMD51 processor commonly found in newer Arduino boards and Adafruit Feather boards. But in a recent tweet, Castillo has unveiled an early render of a version based around the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico.

(Image credit: Joey Castillo)

The first thing to hit you is just how detailed the PCB is for the Open Book Abridged Edition. The silkscreen printing of the PCB tells us about each component, the GPIO pins used on the Raspberry Pi Pico, and more about the project itself.

Featuring a 4.2-inch e-paper display, micro SD card storage, and a built-in battery charging solution, the Open Book Abridged Edition has space at the top of the board for the Raspberry Pi Pico. This space is designed for use with the Pico's castellated edges, enabling it to be soldered directly to the PCB with no need for header pins.

Is this just an e-book reader? Chiefly yes, but the Open Book can be used with external components that use the I2C and STEMMA connector, so it can also be used as a display for sensor-based projects.

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There are no details on price or availability for the Raspberry Pi Pico version, but previous versions of the board retail for $15 on Tindie, of course, we then need to source our own components, which Castillo lists in the Bill of Materials (BOM) on the project's GitHub page.          

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".

  • cyrusfox
    This is awesome! I had no idea something like this existed, perfect soldering project for my kid. Need to look into this further, sure hope there are options for eink displays with led side light as well.