If you are looking for a web-based ePub book reader then look no further than Bookworm. Developed by Liza Daly (see also tei2epub Converter), the Bookworm ePub reader will allow you to read ePub books directly from your web browser, there is also a “mobile web-optimized” version for those of you with an iPhone.
The reader is currently in an open-beta status, so as always, expect some bugs and of course many improvements over the coming weeks and months.
To use the reader you will need to create an account on the Bookworm site, all your books will need to be uploaded there. At the moment there is no way to organise your books so if you upload more than a couple dozen, navigation may be a little cumbersome. Liza is working to improve this.
Unlike most other ePub readers, Bookworm allows for full use of stylesheets and images, which is especially critical for technical books which include HTML tables and code samples.
The layout for the books within your web browser is pleasant enough, although without an iPhone and am unable to try out the mobile version. I did try out the mobile version from within FireFox, the layout is minimal enough for it to render well on the small screen.
Liza mentions that the mobile optimisations are currently for the iPhone only, but she is working on other devices, next up will be for the Opera Mobile.
In Liza’s original blog post she gave a list of up-coming improvements, these were as follows;
- Optimized layouts for mobile reader
- Search within book content
- Methods for sorting and managing you book library
- 100% compliance with the IDPF guidelines for ePub reading systems (in regards to XHTML 1.1 content)