Category Archives: eReaders

Reading Free EPUB books on the Nook

A few weeks back Barnes & Noble released their hugely successful Nook eReader in the UK. To help them promote their reader to the Brits they’ve partnered with a large number of existing retailers, which will mean you’ll be able to buy the Nook from over 2,500 locations throughout the UK including; Argos, Asda, Blackwell’s, Dixon’s, Foyles and Sainsbury’s.

One of the big advantages with the Nook, as with Amazon’s Kindle, is that you can buy books directly from the device itself. However, and unfortunately for us, B&N charge for many of their classics (as much as 3.99!), but not to fear. Here on epubBooks.com we have all the most popular classics and all of which are free to download and read. Continue reading

EPUB3 Books & eReaders

Even though the specification for EPUB v3.0 was finalised last October, we’ve yet to see any production ready EPUB3 books out in the wild. The likely reason for this is that EPUB3 compatible eReaders have only come on the scene recently and without an eReader, there’s no way to test how the ebooks look – a bit of a catch-22.

Version 3.0 ebooks may seem non-existent at the moment but this will no doubt change before the end of the year, so now is a really good time to look at how we’re going to transform our Masters to EPUB3 – you do have your books in a master format right?

This last week I decided to convert one of the titles from epubBooks.com to EPUB3 and set to work on Gulliver’s Travels (download link below). I’ve only found two ways to view my newly generated EPUB3 ebook; Azardi and iBooks. Continue reading

jetBook K12 Colour E-Ink Reader

A couple of weeks back Ectaco announced their new 9.7 inch E-Ink eReader (WiFi and Touch Screen), nothing special in that, but the big news about this is that it will be the first colour E-Ink device to be available for purchase!

The jetBook Color EDU.12 has been in development since earlier this year in Russia and will be made available in the States during Q4 2011. The new eReader is actually being pushed as a K-12 device, or as Ectaco put it, “Educational eTextbook tablet with Test System, Home Assignments, Remote Tutoring and eBook studies”.

Anyone outside of the education system us unlikely to get their hands on one, or want to for that matter, as the it seems to be tied heavily to the “Teacher’s Console” and purchasing looks to be only possible via the Ectaco website; so you’ll probably need appropriate credentials. Continue reading

Amazon Kindle/EPUB Rumour…true?

Rumours are abound right now that Amazon is on the verge of providing support for EPUB ebooks on their Kindle eReader. What’s getting peoples tongues wagging is a post from an eReader blog* stating that Amazon is telling publishers to start providing them with titles in the EPUB format.

As vague as the details are from that post, there is some substance in the concept that Amazon are preparing to add EPUB support.

Back in April Amazon announced the introduction of their new Library Lending Program in co-operation with OverDrive, who [currently at least] deliver their ebook titles as EPUB files. The OverDrive blog also states, “[y]our existing collection of downloadable eBooks will be available to Kindle customers”. We also know that the Kindle Previewer software (for ebook developers) will import EPUB files, which internally converts them to MOBI.

Liz Castro, well-known ebook developer and author of EPUB: Straight to the Point, has her own thoughts on how the Kindle will support EPUB, believing that Amazon will just convert titles to their proprietary MOBI format for use on the older Kindles.

In my opinion, Amazon can do better than just convert the EPUB’s. Continue reading

New iTunes 9.1 with EPUB Library Support

Apple have just released an updated iTunes 9.1 to make ready for iPad syncing and EPUB support for when the users receive their iPad and can access the iBooks store.

We here in Europe can’t even pre-order an iPad yet so I won’t be able to do a full test for some time yet but I thought I’d see what happens when a DRM-Free EPUB file is added to iTunes….which turns out to be not a lot.

As you can see from the screenshot below, the EPUB book does get recognised as a Book with the title and author details being taken from the file’s meta data. One thing that concerns me is with the book Info dialogue and how the book’s meta details are presented as though it is a song; Artist, Composer, Track Number, etc. Let’s hope this gets fixed soon to show an appropriate information page. Continue reading

Apple iPad and EPUB Books

It’s been a few weeks now since the Apple iPad announcement; a 9.7-inch multi-purpose tablet with native Book, Magazine and Newspaper options. Although Apple hasn’t released this as a dedicated eBook reader or as a direct competitor to popular eReaders such as the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader, in essence, it is an eReader nonetheless.

So, the iPad is an eReader, and one that reads not only books and newspapers but web pages, emails and numerous other electronic documents. It can also do the stuff that an iPhone and iPod Touch can do – running thousands of third party applications from the iTunes App store. For this article though I’d like to focus on the book aspects, especially in relation to the EPUB eBook format. Continue reading

New ORIZON eBook reader with WiFi from Bookeen

Today, Nicolas Gary from the French website www.actualitte.com contacted me about their exclusive first look at the next generation Bookeen eReader, the ORIZON. As the article is in French, Nicolas has kindly written a short overview in English.

Bookeen is introducing a new eBook Reader called ORIZON, supporting ePub files (with or without DRM) of course. It comes with a 6 inch touchscreen display, WiFi and Bluetooth (Have fun! This is the first Reader in France with a wireless connection!) What else? An accelerometer, so you can read in landscape or portrait mode.

Weight : 226g for 12.25 x 18.5 x 0.75 cm and we know a few specifications like the resolution, 167 dpi and 16 levels of grey.

Bookeen says there will also be a new version of the Boo Reader software.

And about the Opus…just few new colours…

If your French is up to scratch you can read the full exclusive over at actualitte.com.

When I was at the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, Michaël Dahan from Bookeen did mention there would be a new 6 inch reader this year. I was very impressed with the Bookeen Opus when I reviewed it in November and said to myself at the time that if they had a 6 inch version this would be my choice of eReader.

For the last few months I’ve been using the Sony Reader Touch Edition and although I think there are many amazing features, that dark shiny touch screen really does bug me. The shininess I could live with, but I really do hope the Orizon’s screen brightness doesn’t suffer from the addition of the touch screen like the Sony does.

At the moment there are a multitude of eReaders coming onto the market (all supporting EPUB it seems :- ) but I get the feeling the Bookeen might be one step ahead of most of them.

Read EPUB ebooks in your Web Browser

If you’ve ever been visiting a site that’s offering free .epub files and wished you could just click the link and immediately start reading – with none of that “open with… ” or “download to you computer first” nonsense – then I’ve found exactly what you want. An eReading app that allows quick and easy EPUB reading, right there in your web browser.

EPUBReader is one of the more recent software only EPUB readers and has grown into a very stable and good looking ebook reader since it’s release. The eReader itself is actually an add-on for the very popular Firefox web browser – for those still using Internet Exploer (IE) this is yet another good reason to change over to Firefox.

Once installed all you have to do is visit any website with DRM free EPUB files (why not try some Charles Dickens or Edgar Allen Poe from my own catalogue) and click on the download button. The book will open right there in the browser/reader for immediate enjoyment.

Reading from a computer monitor is not a comfortable practice for everyone, but for those who don’t mind this it’s certainly a great solution.

Please note: you won’t be able to read any DRM encumbered EPUBs with this eReader – I don’t expect that to ever change while it remains a web browser plugin – so let’s hope more publishers release DRM free ebooks in the future.

The software is in constant development and there’s always new features being added so it’s worth keeping it up-to-date. For more information visit the official website (epubread.com) or to install now jump right over to the EPUBReader Add-on page at Mozilla.

New Asus Eee Reader with Dual Screen

Fancy an eBook reader with two screens? Then you might want to take a look when Asus release their Eee Reader, which could be out before the end of the year.

I’m not totally convinced that having two screens will improve peoples reading experience, though perhaps the one book type that could benefit woud be the textbook. The ability to have the book on one screen and a web browser on the other, looking up a spelling, or word meaning over the internet would be quite handy too.

There is also speculation on what book format the device would use. Well, if this reader is based on the normal Asus netbooks I would say that every book format would be readable. Adobe DE? Mobipocket Reader? And why not, as Steve Jordan commented in his recent Teleread article, maybe we need eBook readers to support every format. If the Eee Reader is a Windows based system then that could be a reality, we’d even see Adobe Digital Editions on there, meaning ePub formated books will be readable to.

Steve Jobs talks again about dedicated readers, insisting that, “general-purpose devices will win the day”. Well, as usueful as it is to be able to read books on an iPhone/iPod Touch, the small screens just don’t hack it for me, so perhaps the Asus will be the first company that makes a viable general purpose device. The image above is not likely the real thing so it will be interesting to see what they come up with

New Sony Readers for Pre-order at Waterstones UK

If you didn’t already know, I come from the UK, so you can imagine my delight when I saw that the two new Sony Readers (Pocket Edition & Touch Edition) are on pre-order over at Waterstones UK and W.H.Smith.co.uk. I fully expected that us Brits would have to wait another year before being able to buy them, but it seems that Sony have done the right thing!

For those of you who have not already heard, Sony are releasing three new eBook Readers. They are all e-paper devices that can read ePub books. The Pocket Edition has a 5″ screen. The Touch Edition is 6″ like the PRS-505, but with a touch screen. The Daily Edition, which was announced just today, has a 7″ tall touch screen and wireless connectivity via AT&T. At the moment the Daily Edition looks like it will only be released in the U.S.

The costs of the readers over at Waterstones is £179.99 for the Pocket Edition and £249.99 for the Touch Edition. Keeping in form with the PRS-505 prices, these are yet again much more expensive than our U.S. counterparts can get them for; $199 (~£120) and $299 (~£180) respectively.

Waterstones does not have the Daily Edition reader for pre-order and I wouldn’t hold much hope either that it will be released in the UK this year; Sony would still need to find a mobile provider who would allow them to piggy-back on their cell service. The general assumption is that Amazon have been trying to arrange this on their Kindle for quite sometime, without success.