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Old 03-28-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
taosaur
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A simpler reader?

I'm really struggling to find a suitable reader for my MSI Wind netbook. My ideal app would default to a fullscreen display with no GUI, letting me load files and adjust preferences via the context menu and hotkeys. Paragraph indents, spacing, and per-page word count would approximate an actual page in a book (this might be an issue w/ the files in some cases; so far I've only tried free ebooks, as I'm experimenting). And of course, it would be able to do all this for most common file formats.

I definitely don't need an iTunes-like "library." I'm probably going to be opening the same file, or maybe up to three different files, for a week or more. Why would I want it to index every book on my hard drive every time it opens? As long as it remembers the last file I used, I'm golden.

Is there anything out there remotely like this? I checked the wiki, and it suggests there's not
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Old 03-28-2009, 06:55 PM   #2
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I suggest you try Stanza, as it has a neat full-screen mode with adjustable columns, which I find to be easier to read than text going across the entire width of the screen.
Available for Mac and PC - not sure what your netbook is running on.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Two possibilities are FBReader and uBook. Both are very customizable and have a full screen mode. It is a bit out of date, but Visual Tour of FBReader on a Pepper Pad 3 shows how to customize FBReader. The best of the single format ebook readers is Windows MobiPocket Reader, which is again very customizable.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mores View Post
I suggest you try Stanza, as it has a neat full-screen mode with adjustable columns, which I find to be easier to read than text going across the entire width of the screen.
Available for Mac and PC - not sure what your netbook is running on.
Thanks, it's next on my list to try =) I'm actually looking for something that will make maximal use of my screen real estate in portrait orientation, for more of a book-like experience, though I do find landscape more comfy in bed.

I'm running XP on my Wind.
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Old 03-28-2009, 09:30 PM   #5
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And the winner is: FBReader (so far).

I tried Stanza on 4 different formats (rich text, html, .lit and .pdf) of the same book and all of them ended up with spaces separating each paragraph: definitely a dealbreaker. As far as I could tell, rotation was not available and there were few options for customization.

Mobipocket was okay, but again no apparent rotation and it would require conversion of my current files.

I tried Calibre earlier today, too, and it had the same issues as Stanza, plus it was much slower loading, unintuitive and, well, ugly.

FBReader isn't perfect--it doesn't cover the proprietary formats (.lit, .pdf, .mobi), and while it kept the paragraph indents and didn't add extra spaces, it also ditched the spaces at chapter breaks. Still, I had my book loaded, fullscreen, rotated and readably formatted with custom key bindings inside of two minutes--that's what I call intuitive! It also loads up quickly with an inviting interface.

Thanks for the recommendation, wallcraft =)
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Old 03-28-2009, 10:52 PM   #6
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FBReader isn't perfect--it doesn't cover the proprietary formats (.lit, .pdf, .mobi), and while it kept the paragraph indents and didn't add extra spaces, it also ditched the spaces at chapter breaks.
I agree that it does not consistently add a page break on chapter start, it does do this with some formats but not others.

It does read DRM-free MOBI (strip DRM with mobidedrm), and it reads OEB ebooks which can easily be made from LIT (DRMed or DRM-free, use "ConvertLIT GUI" to extract the OEB from the LIT container file, then point FBReader to the .opf file).

For DRM-free PDF I like Foxit Reader, which has a rotation option. Or you can try converting them to MOBI (say) using Calibre or Windows MobiPocket Reader. This sometimes works well, but not with all PDFs.
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