Category Archives: Reading Apps

eReader Apps for your Laptop & Mobile Device

ibis Reader

Ibis Reader is probably the best online eReader around at the moment, allowing you to read all your DRM-free EPUB’s in any modern web browser on many different mobile devices, including Google Android and the Apple iPad/iPhone.

Developed by Threepress Consulting, their EPUB reader is the next generation of the Bookworm project (now hosted at O’Reilly), boasting a vastly improved user interface and new features.

Ibis Reader is the perfect companion for any eBook fan especially as Project Gutenberg now provides all their titles in the EPUB format. As an online eReader you’re able to use it straight from your web browser, whether that’s on your laptop or mobile device, and best of all, it’s completely free!

Accessing Ibis

Signing up is super easy; just click on the login button and enter your email and a password. If you don’t already have an account, the system will create one automatically for you.

Once you’re logged in you’ll be taken to your library page, which Ibis calls My Books. It’s from here that you add new books.

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Stanza eBook reader for the iPhone and iPod Touch

UPDATE: Stanza is no longer maintained so I’d recommend you try out Bluefire Reader. Checkout my iPhone review or iPad review over on epubBooks for some more information on reading EPUB books on the iPhone with Blurefire and other apps.

If you are looking for a free eBook reader for your Apple iPhone or iPod Touch then you might want to try the new Stanza reader from Lexcycle.

I don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch myself so have no first-hand experience, but Feedbooks co-found Hadrien Gardeur, has made a post over on mobileread.com that Stanza [link removed] has the ability to download ePub books directly from FeedBooks.com using their API. FeedBooks have many of the top classics found at gutenberg.org, from Jane Austin to Alexandre Dumas to Jules Verne.

For those of you who don’t know, the IDPF ePub format is an open standard eBook format that is fast being adopted by many big name publishers including Penguin UK and O’Reilly as well as projects such as Feedbooks.com.

Over the coming months we are likely to see a number of iPhone apps that will allow you to read those free, public domain eBooks from Project Gutenberg, and Stanza will certainly continue to be one of the top ones. So, if you want to read Project Gutenberg books on your iPhone, then just stop by the app store and download Stanza now.

For more information about Stanza on the iPhone visit www.lexcycle.com/iphone

For more information on accessing FeedBooks.com from within Stanza visit www.feedbooks.com/help/iphone

Portable Reading: Turn your iPhone/iPod Touch into an eBook reader

Portable Reading offers a service to read books from a library of over 20,000 Gutenberg titles in dozens of languages. Readers can upload their own book and share it with friends. They can also communicate with each other and with authors by writing reviews and annotating individual pages with notes. The reading interface is customizable by font size, type, background color, etc.Portable Reading is currently available on the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, and on Facebook. Many more mobile devices are coming soon.

Try Portable Reading on the iPhone and iPod Touch: http://www.textonphone.com

Try Portable Reading on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=20655241480&ref=s

How to Convert an eBook to MP3

One of the easiest ways to start creating MP3 files of eBooks is to visit download TextAloud from NextUp. The product costs $29.95 but they do have a trial offer for you to try out.

Then you will need a “voice”. Because I am British I use “Graham” from Acapela. Voices from this manufacturer cost $35. There are lots more voices that you can hear samples of at that website. Male, female, US, Australian, Indian, just take your personal choice. RealSpeak voices cost $45. AT&T Natural Voices generally cost $35. A pair of NeoSpeech voices cost $35. The larger the file-size of a “voice” the better it should be, because it will have the pronunciation of more words than a smaller sized voice, and it should also have rules for deciding between the pronunciation of the roughly 120 words in the English language that have two or more different pronunciations. If there is a choice between 8 kHz (kilohertz) and 16 kHz voices take the 16 kHz, because this number indicates the sampling rate per second. Your computer comes complete with some voices that will work with TextAloud, but they are not as good as, say, the Acapela voices. When you are listening to a good, modern, voice, it is hard to believe it is not a real person that is speaking. Any voice you buy should be described as SAPI5, as that is the most modern standard.

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yBook Reader: A Review

Good non-clunky free e-book readers available NOW

Regarding the clunkiness or otherwise of e-book readers, I was absolutely delighted when I tried yBook, as mentioned in the George Davis article in the PG Newletter of 13 June 2007. You can tailor it to your own preferences in typeface, font size, type colour, background colour and texture, and other items such as margins, etc. I normally prefer to listen to e-books, but I do find that yBook has put me back into a reading mode. It also remembers where you got to last time, so when you open it up you have the right page before you, in a two-page display.

It reads PG books, and downloads the PG catalogue, so that you can search for authors or titles. It reads zipped text or html files as easily as unzipped ones. There has been a new version issued since George Davis’s article, and we are currently on version 1.5.5. I don’t think it is “clunky” at all, and it is free, so most of the Kellscraft Sudio’s average persons can afford it. The ones who “can’t” afford it will be the ones who daren’t, in case it contradicts their proclaimed opinions.

Nick Hodson, Athelstane e-books, London, England, UK.

Scrollbox online library and e-reader

Scrollbox.org is an online library and e-reader. It’s designed to be a simple way of reading eBooks on computers and phones with internet access.

It uses no images or video so pages load quickly, and allows users to upload books for their own use. Scrollbox remembers what you were reading last time you visited and starts you right where you left off.

The site also has a feature specifically for the iPhone that allows people to save books so that a network connection is not needed. This is great for subways, airplanes, etc. and reduces login time and expense.

Give Scrollbox.org a try if you’re reading on the go!

Apps for Reading PG eBooks Offline

Project Gutenberg is a web-based electronic re-publisher of (primarily) public domain works. Being web-based, most of the eBooks in the collection are readable in a web browser, either on-line or off-line, regardless of computer operating systems. While on-line reading is possible, most users download the eBooks for reading off-line.

It is safe to say that the largest number of readers of PG eBooks do so with computers based on the Windows operating system. For reading eBooks, either a web browser (most often Internet Explorer) or Windows Notepad are the two most recommended programs.

But those are not necessarily the best applications for the purpose. Notepad is primarily a text editor, not a file viewer; and using a web browser for reading eBooks is — at least some of the time — something like using an 18-wheeler to do your grocery shopping. Fortunately, there are a few other options out there which cost nothing but the time to download — they are freeware — and offer a more user-friendly interface with eBooks.

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ReadPal: Clutter Free Reading

ReadPal Reading Software

ReadPal allows you to read PG texts a lot faster, more comfortably and with less glare.You no longer have to print a book to read it with ease and speed. It is completely free for personal use. Visit readpal.com to download.

 

For your reading pleasure ReadPal is also pre-bundled with a dozen popular PG texts here .

 

The AutoSkim feature removes up to 50% of words so you can skim faster. It removes words unnecessary for meaning. “The cat sat on the mat” become “cat sat mat”. With a little practice you can read easily this way.