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 we have all the most popular classics and all of which are free to download and read. Continue reading “Reading Free EPUB books on the Nook”

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 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 “EPUB3 Books & eReaders”

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 “jetBook K12 Colour E-Ink Reader”

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 “Apple iPad and EPUB Books”

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 ( 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 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.

New EPUB eBook Reader to be sold in Argos…Cool!

Although news on the release of the COOL-ER eBook reader isn’t new, what is interesting is that the makers have struck a deal to sell this in the Argos stores.

For those of you who are not from the UK, Argos are a household name — if a Brit hasn’t bought from Argos, you know their neighbour has!

The article also states that the COOL-ER book store has 3/4 million titles (although not all in the ePub format).

I don’t have a one of these readers myself – I can’t justify spending £189 when I already have a Sony 505 – but as it uses the Adobe Digital Editions, any ePub books you download from or buy from one of the many book stores around, should render the same as they do on the Sony Reader.

For me, the importance of this Argos/COOL-ER deal shows that eBooks (including the ePub variety) and the digital readers for viewing them are finally entering the mainstream.

There are currently 17 Adobe EPUB eBook Readers

I was just over at Bill McCoy’s blog (Adobe) reading his latest post about the current number of dedicated eBook readers which support the Adobe DRM’d EPUB format. Of course there are a number of other reading devices, such as the iPhone that can read non-DRM EPUB eBooks, but it is still surprising how many there actually are.

The Adobe Digital Edition Devices page has a little more details on each but here’s a very quick run down;

  • EZ Reader
  • EZ Reader Pocket Pro
  • Mentor
  • BeBook One
  • BeBook Mini
  • Cybook Gen3
  • Cybook Opus
  • Cool-er
  • Elonex eBook
  • Hanlin V5
  • Hanlin V3
  • iRex Digital Reader 1000S
  • NUUT2
  • Sony Reader PRS-300
  • Sony Reader PRS-505
  • Sony Reader PRS-600
  • Sony Reader PRS-700

Have you heard of all these?

Bill himself seems suprised, saying, “this is faster take-up than even this optimist had hoped for, given our launch less than six months ago of the enabling Adobe Reader Mobile 9 SDK that’s been integrated into all of these products.”

Whether you believe DRM is right or wrong, the positive side of this is that we are seeing more vendors supporting the one eBook format.

We are however still waiting to see if the Amazon Kindle’s will start supporting EPUB; will they use their own DRM – will they use any DRM at all. Let us also not forget Apple, what formats will they support on their upcoming tablet.

Bookeen releases the Cybook Opus

I just noticed on the Bookeen website that their new mini eBook reader, the Cybook Opus, is now available. I have to say this does look a very cute reader.

There’s nothing spectacular regarding the specifications but with a 5″ screen (4″ x 3″- 101mm x 76mm), this is a very pocketable eReader. The best part about this for me is their support for the ePub format, which includes the Adobe DRM (EPUB and PDF).

It looks like they’ve teamed up with BooksOnBoard, who will be providing the official Opus eBooks.

At £215 it’s not exactly the cheapest reader out there, but many will be happy to pay the extra penny’s just for its portability.