1. Genghis McCann
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    Genghis McCann Member

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    Navigating software incompatibility to build an ebook library

    Discussion in 'Electronic Publishing' started by Genghis McCann, Sep 15, 2015.

    I'm experimenting with downloading ebooks as an alternative to buying books at the bookstore, mainly because I recently started to upload my own writing in digital format (to Kobo), and wanted to see how readers view the downloading experience. In short - it sucks!

    I don't have a dedicated e-reader but I have a desktop computer and a laptop. I downloaded books to both via apps from Kobo, Kindle, is it ?Nookie (no longer available in Canada according to Windows8 - quite a good reading app so I'm sorry to see it go). I have a special add-on for Firefox that works fairly well. The problem is that they don't seem compatible with each other. I downloaded "The Martian" today from Kobo. It arrived as an .ascm file that could only be opened by Adobe Digital Editions and I had to spend half an hour downloading (and registering) with Adobe. I couldn't find a way to read it with any of my other programs. I now have about six different reading apps on two computers all containing different books and can't seem to get them all in one library. I don't think any of the e-reading programs has an option for opening epub files on my own computer. All they do is send you to their website to buy stuff.

    Anyone have advice on how to navigate the digital book-reader maze? Now that I have "The Martian" on my desktop I'm going to have to go through the same hassle again, downloading Adobe digital editions on my laptop so I can read it there too.

    Maybe it's easier just walking to the bookstore.

    Advice?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    If you mean to read these books from your desktop or laptop, then Calibre is what you want. Its e-reader isn't the slickest thing you've ever seen, no. But then again, reading an ebook on a computer isn't the most ideal situation either. What it does do is read pretty much all formats meant for ebooks. And assuming there isn't any DRM on the book you've purchased, it also translates one file type to another so if you started reading your ebooks on an iPad, which uses .epub, and you got tired of the eye-strain and got a Kindle instead, you can translate the files to .mobi for the Kindle. If you're picky about book covers, like me, it also allows you to update the metadata - to include the particular book cover - if you so wish.

    ETA: Given that your original quest was to to discover how purchasers of ebooks find the download experience to be, it seems a little strange that you would engage said search for knowledge without an ereader in hand. When I get books for my Kindle, I purchase them through the Amazon Kindle store and they show up within seconds on my Kindle without me doing a thing. The Kindle is connected to the internet and the download is automatic, whether I make the purchase directly from the Kindle device or from my Mac, doesn't matter. I don't have to do a thing. So... It couldn't be more magical, really. Things can get a little dicey if you switch from one platform to another wherein the filetypes are different. The aforementioned iPad > Kindle was my personal platform change. But I was quickly turned on to Calibre, and that solved everything for rest of the foreseeable future. Whatever the original filetype, it can translate it over.
     
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  3. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Download the kindle reading app for reading on computers by Amazon.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  4. Genghis McCann
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    Genghis McCann Member

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    "Given that your original quest was to to discover how purchasers of ebooks find the download experience to be, it seems a little strange that you would engage said search for knowledge without an ereader in hand." - Wrybies

    Hi Wrybies. I just prefer my laptop. I always take it with me anyway so that I can write, and getting a dedicated ereader means that I'd just have another piece of hardware to lug around. When I'm home I'm most often at the computer anyway so that's the most logical place to read. I don't read in bed because I fall asleep after the first paragraph! Thanks for mentioning calibre. I'll download it now.

    Greg, I have the kindle app for windows, but it simply sucks books from the Kindle/Amazon store. I can't see any options for searching for ebooks on my own computer (or another website) and adding them to the kindle library.
     

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