The nightmare scenario of anyone who owns a portable electronic device: you go to grab your e-reader from your backpack, only it’s not in your backpack. It’s not on your nightstand, either. It’s not in your car or on the coffee table or in a drawer. It’s not anywhere. It’s lost.
What do you do? Your entire library and all your personal information is on there. Your e-reader’s greatest benefit compared to regular books — its ability to store all the books you own — has now become its downfall. After all, it’s unlikely you’ll ever return home to find your entire bookshelf and everything on it has disappeared. (Unless you’ve had an unfortunate run-in with a pair of extremely studious burglars.)
What should you do?
If you have a Kindle, the first thing you need to do is get an Amazon rep to call you. Go here, fill in the information as best you can, and wait for someone to call you. Then, explain your situation to them. At the very least, they’ll be able to remotely deregister your Amazon account from the device so if it’s stolen (or if it was “found”), nobody can use your account to make a purchase. Don’t forget to unsubscribe from any newspapers or magazines, and change the password to your Amazon account, because you never know.
Since your purchased books are stored on Amazon’s servers, you shouldn’t have a problem getting them all back if you have to buy a new Kindle.
If you have any other e-reader, keeping your information safe is basically the same deal as with a lost Kindle. Call the support line and have your device deregistered right away so nobody can use your account to make a purchase. Change your password and cancel your subscriptions. If you buy a new device, you can load all your books onto it, no problem.
Keep in mind that with some e-readers you might have to provide information (such as the device’s serial number) to have it remotely wiped. This is where a little preparation will help you avoid a bad situation in the future.
As for actually finding your lost device, however… well, you’re basically on your own there.