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Old 12-26-2007, 01:05 AM   #1
nairbv
Connoisseur
nairbv began at the beginning.
 
Posts: 88
Karma: 15
Join Date: Nov 2007
Device: still looking for an ebook reader device
What format to store books in? What software to read them with?

What format should I use to keep my ebooks in?? I have some and they are a mess. some HTML, some TXT, some LIT, some PDF.

I'd like to convert, especially the LIT ones, and get rid of the mess of old formats. Since I'd like to delete the old files when I convert, whatever I convert to should be easy to convert to some other format if I decide that it's not what I need (or if whatever reading device I buy doesn't support that format). The format I convert to should also be a format that has decent windows reader software. I'd prefer a format that's easily readable on all platforms but I'm currently in windows so that's the priority for now.

Also .... What's the best windows ebook reading software? I don't really care about DRM formats for now, ... I'm just talking html, txt, downloaded web pages, gutenberg books, converted lit files, etc. I'm kind of bumed that some of my "books" are in pdf format. I'm assuming those will be a pain to convert into anything I will like. I'm viewing them in foxit reader for now. I'm not a big fan of adobe or PDF.

Some of my books are .lit. I installed convertLIT, but it makes a directory not a file. I thought it was supposed to convert to some kind of standard ebook format? I understand that the directory contains whatever files some zip-like standard format would have, but ... what exactly do I do to make it that the standard file format? are there tools to convert from that "standard" format to other formats? I don't want a mess of directories full of html files, ... I want simple individual readable ebook files.

I also don't really understand the philosophy behind this new "standard" format. Why is it just HTML with hacked on xml and such in a zip file? It seems to me that HTML is (web optimized) structural data.... hence CSS being a separate presentation-info file. If they're going to use XML for all the meta data and structural information, why is the book itself stored in HTML? So if I wanted to write my own converter I'd need an entire html parser and maybe there could even be javascript thrown in?? wtf? It seems to me like the data of the book itself should just be XML that can be easily parsed and converted with xslt and such. Extracted to a text or html file in a few lines of code if need be. It seems like this "standard" format could be a lot simpler and better optimized for books, ... and better optimized for simple conversion to other formats. Maybe I'm miss understanding something? Can anyone explain the mentality behind this? Is there another format that I might like better?

Maybe one of the other popular-but-proprietary formats like mobi or something is good enough and has tools available and is simple and ... might be good enough for me? If so, ... what do people recommend and what tools do I use? Maybe .lit itself is a decent file format? Are there any other tools besides MS reader that read it? I don't like the idea of a format that's only readable by one program.

Thanks
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