Compunetics Computer Consultants Inc.
Computer Services & Solutions
Best eBook Reader - June 2011
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I just downloaded an eBook and was surprised that it was in .epub format.
 
For those of you unfamiliar, this, along with other filetypes like .mobi, is one of the standards used in eReader tablet-like devices (Kindle, Android, iPad, etc.)
 
In the past, I used free online file format conversion sites (see below) and in general was very pleased with the results. Today’s epub converted nicely, but, it lost the table of contents. Another bad side effect, the 19M .epub file ballooned to a 115M .pdf
 
I did some research and first tried Adobe Digital Editions and it works very well, but ...
- you must have an Adobe account and sign in to access it
- you must use their web installer (stub), ie, no standalone installer (single EXE)
- you have to activate it

This is all free but it is a pain. As I read my books on multiple devices (desktops, laptops, tablet, and maybe a smart phone one day), I didn’t want to go through this procedure many times.
 
More research found ePubReader plugin for FireFox. This is tiny, fast and works very well.  My only complaint is you cannot use the mouse wheel to scroll pages (I have to try this on a laptop with a gesture pad and test scrolling that way)
 
I the spent a few hours playing with various eReaders and will save you the trouble.  There is just ONE that you will ever need, find it here...

calibre-ebook.com/

Check out the video and you will see why. This does to eBooks as iTunes does to music. It manages your eBook library, converts file formats, finds the best prices, connects to news sites and can be scheduled to download magazines, etc.
 
Best of all, it is free and open source!

This amazing program is now part of my toolkit and will be added to all the devices I use.
 
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Update:

After more testing with the ePubReader plugin, I learned that it does indeed scroll, but, it will only scroll with a chapter.  Even that didn’t work until I clicked on the “Change reading style” icon at the bottom right corner on the window, only THEN could I scroll within a chapter.
There is also a portable version of caliber (ie doesn’t need to be install and can be run from a flash drive). It is approximately 10M larger than the regular MSI version which is 39M is size.

 

Free online resources
 
If you read this far, here is another tip...
www.free-ebooks.net/
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