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Old 10-10-2010, 12:13 AM   #1
clear
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need a quick lesson how how to download and read e-books.

hi id like to build an e-book collection but i dont know what i need to do to do that. for example, i love poetry, and i see project guttenburg is filled with it. however, ill be honest, i don't trust the kindle format. if your a computer nerd like me, you probably have seen the best of sites disappear. i don't know if kindle will be around in 10 years.

i don't want to build my e-book collection on a 'fad' format. you dont even own your kindle books. so my queston to you is, how do i correctly download a project guttenburg book so ive actaully downloaded it. so if i ever need to reinstall my operating system, my book will be there with no drm. what software do i need?
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:37 AM   #2
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Welcome clear!

It's not obvious to me if your intention is to read your downloads solely on your computer, which is something I don't do.

For my jetBook Lite, I download public domain books in either mobi or ePub, copy them to my SD card, and insert the card into the jetBook Lite (which reads both formats).

No one can predict the future of eBooks with certainty, but it looks like mobi and ePub are the safest bets for now.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:51 AM   #3
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Well, Project Gutenberg only offers non-DRM, free ebooks. (Books that are in the public domain mostly.) So, if you download in Kindle format (mobi) you should be able to redownland all you Gutenerg books for free in a different format (assuming Gutenberg is still there.)

I am not an expert, but most people agree that epub is the better format. It is also a much more widely accepted format than mobi (in the U.S. I'm not sure about elsewhere.) so it would be a pretty safe format to go with (Nook, Kobo, PD Novel, jetBook, Libre, etc all support DRMed & non DRMed epub). TXT will also (most likely) be around for a good while, but it has pretty poor formatting. I used it for most of my books, 'till my Lbre got better epub support, and it was fine for novels and other similar books, but I doubt it would work for poetry.

Last edited by MR. Pockets; 10-10-2010 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:42 AM   #4
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One other benefit of the non-DRM ebooks, is that they can be converted to other
file formats, and usually retain their formatting. For many formats, the free Calibre
program (which has a forum here at MR) is a great choice for such conversions.

You might consider that some ebook formats are proprietary in nature and some are
more standards based. It is sorta like the onetime difference between "iTunes" and
"MP3" files. The .epub is like the .mp3.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 10-10-2010, 01:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
Welcome clear!

It's not obvious to me if your intention is to read your downloads solely on your computer, which is something I don't do.

For my jetBook Lite, I download public domain books in either mobi or ePub, copy them to my SD card, and insert the card into the jetBook Lite (which reads both formats).

No one can predict the future of eBooks with certainty, but it looks like mobi and ePub are the safest bets for now.
that is definitely my intention. im a dedicated pc user. and do everything on my pc. id like a non drm format. is that what epub is non drm?
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:10 AM   #6
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clear, there are two concepts.

1) The first is the format. As discussed, mobi and ePub are currently the most common and popular.

2) Sometimes someone (the publisher or the author) adds DRM to the format.

I have had my jetBook Lite since Christmas, and so far I have not purchased any books with DRM, but I have downloaded a few free mobi books from Amazon that have DRM. I intend to remove the DRM before loading those books onto my jetBook Lite. (I need to first study how to do that.)

Books available from Project Guttenburg do not have DRM.

By the way, it is my understanding that currently ePub is more popular in Europe, and mobi is more popular in the US. This is primarily a reflection of the fact that different eBook readers are popular in the two markets.
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:24 AM   #7
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There are file formats and ebook formats and there are various DRM scams that can be
applied to ebooks. Most of the DRM scams are associated to a particular ebook format
or two, but theoretically the DRM scam could be used to infect any format.

All the file and ebook formats that have DRM applied to their commercial offerings, also
can exist without a DRM infection. The format does not require DRM, except perhaps
for the Kindle Topaz formated files.

The .epub is an open standards supported format that does a pretty good job as an
ebook format, in terms of its ability to provide a good reading experience, while also
providing a compressed file for storage. It is essentially an HTML folder, zipped into
a single file.

The ePub format is more likely the future, and a good deal of the present, while
.mobi/.prc and the Palm .pdb are more the past (although there are still plenty of
ebooks formatted for those two old time formats).

Luck;
Ken
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Old 10-10-2010, 02:52 AM   #8
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Well, there was a thread two weeks ago about this issue. Mobi's popularity is based upon Amazon's dominance in the US market. And now we see Amazon UK getting off the ground with eBooks.

I would not want to dismiss Amazon's chances of remaining #1 in the US while growing to become a very worthy competitor in Europe. And currently I see no need for Amazon to conform to what its competitors are doing.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:11 PM   #9
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Clear;
As a fellow geek with a broadband connection, one of the biggest things that ebooks bring to the table for us (the missus and I, a fellow nerd) is the ability to archive or make backups of your books, purchased or otherwise. Anyone who has moved always dreads the moving of books b/c those boxes weigh the most and take up space. Another dimension to this is the idea/problem of loaning a "friend" a book you love only to (for whatever reason) lose that friend and by extension, that book. Now you can fit your entire book collection on a USB keychain and make backups as you want/need so for the first time in recorded history (no pun intended) you never have to worry about losing a book again due to the usual collection of reasons! Above being able to read anywhere, above being able to keep a larger collection in a smaller space (just moved from a tiny two bedroom apartment in San Francisco where space was at a premium), knowing you will never lose another book is the greatest thing to us.

So the way we have done it is to basically download all of Gutenberg, as many of the creative commons books and other books that we like, burn them to several DVDs and store them in a fire-safe. Then we make multiple backups to less permanent media such as keychain drives, removable media, etc and finally (in our networked home) built a digital library on a NAS that can feed any computing device attached to our network, currently sporting about 25 thousand books. The next part of this that I would suggest as an avid reader/active geek is to download Calibre and all of the attachments/extensions for it that you can find. Get good at using this tool as it will save your digital life or at least your sanity since Murphy's law dictates that when you find a book you love, it will be in a format other than the one you like/can use. Calibre fixes all of that. Next I would grab the pair of scripts to remove DRM from Adobe books, particularly if you run something other than Windows like we do. There is no pain/slap in the face worse that paying for a book and then not being able to put it onto your ereader due to DRM. I am not exactly saying strip all DRM (that is the subject of another thread) but doing it so you can use the product you paid for in the environment you prefer is key.

I will close for now with the added reminder that if you archive the books like we have, it doesn't matter if Amazon, Gutenberg et al burns down tomorrow; the books are safe and in your legal and physical collection.

Note: if you are determined to do all reading on a PC-like device other than a dedicated ereader (a la Kindle, Nook, etc) I would suggest getting a cheap netbook which is perfect for reading books since they are already just about the same form-factor as a good book.

Oh yes (finally for real this time) in addition to having software to handle the usual suspects of ebook formats (epub, prc, etc) get something that displays .cbr and .cbx books too for graphic novels, something the stock ereader/software tends to soil itself when attempting to display.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:28 PM   #10
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Welcome to MobiRead Clear.

My personal method. First of all I do buy books with DRM but I will not buy a book with DRM that I can't clear off. Thus, I don't buy from Apple's iBooks.

Then,
1. Every eBook I buy/download is immediately set free of whatever restrictions it might contain that would tie it to a certain device. (ie, yes I strip the DRM if it has DRM.)

2. It is then loaded into Calibre (freeware software program which is a database of books.

3. If necessary I generate a format that is readable on my Kindle. (ie if it is an ePub file or whatever, I make a Mobi File. Calibre software does this easily with the click of a button.

4. The files on my computer is backed up nightly to an external hard drive

5. I use an online back-up service to back-up all my files. Mozy.com

So all my books are kept with the retailer where I originally obtained them (ie Amazon, Sony, Kobo etc although these will have DRM if re-downloaded) then on my laptop my External Hard Drive, and then with my offsite service I have DRM free versions.
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