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Old 06-06-2009, 08:04 AM   #1
Starganderfish
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Best iPhone ebook reader for large library (3,000 books+)

Hi there,
I have a 16Gb iPhone 3G that I use as an ebook reader. I use it for several hours every day and have a huge collection of ebooks - several thousand saved as .txt files.My phone is jailbroken and I can use the iPhonebrowser app to directly access individual folders on my device and transfer files to and from these folders by USB.

The naming and formatting conventions on the books in my library are pretty random as they've been gradually collected over several years and there are now far too many to sit down and edit all their file names or tag them.
My reading habits are a bit random so I like to have the entire collection at my fingertips.
I need an ebook reader application that can hold all these files and not only allow me to read them but allow me to sort through them.
I really want a program that has an effective library management system - a way to sort through all the ebook files on the device rapidly and easily.
I dont want to go through a batch conversion process to convert them to another format.
I've looked at Stanza but from what I can see, the files are all stored in a single list with no way to speedily sort through the list - to get to the bottom of the list you have to scroll manually - pretty annoying with several thousand files - it can take several minutes to get from "A" to "Z".
I've been using BookZ for while and am very happy with it - the library page has an alphabetical listing along the side that lets you jump to a particular letter with a single touch. Unfortunately the files are saved each in their own folder- a thousand files means your library has a thousand subfolders, with a single file in each. This folder layout of BookZ precludes a simple transfer via USB as I would have to create several thousand subfolders and manually re-arrange the collection.
Uploading files through wifi is slow and can only do a small number of files at a time - uploading several thousand files is all but impossible as the iPhone simply crashes.

Basically I need an ebook reader with a simple file storage format like Stanza (all files in a single folder) but that incorporates a library sorting mechanism like BookZ.

Any advice would be welcome.
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Old 06-13-2009, 12:31 AM   #2
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I don't know anything about jailbroken iPhones, but you might see what you can find out about Eucalyptus. If I understand what you are able to do with Apps, you can essentially move your books into their storage files on the iPhone, so you can use the App to read your books. Eucalyptus reads Project Gutenberg books, which are probably in the same format as your text files. And from your description, it has the same library sorting mechanism as Book Z. But I don't know what the underlying file structure is.
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Old 06-13-2009, 10:11 AM   #3
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Bookshelf will store books in a replica of the folder structure of the PC they came from. Its is nice program at this point, costs $10, and has a weird transfer mechanism. However, the weird transfer mechanism is what makes the folder structure work. Doesn' t need jailbreak.

I think there is an LT version that is free (with ads) if you want to try it out.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:24 AM   #4
Starganderfish
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Bookshelf has no index function builtin. This means I either manually sort my thousands of snooks into individual folders (by author or series or similar) or I again end up with one huge unsorted list.
Eucalyptus looks good and has the needed indexing but as far as I can tell it wil only download books direct from project gutenberg. I already have the books so don't want to download them again, nor be tied to internet or wifi to get new books.
The developer of Bookz claims the next version will be able to download and uncompress zip archives. If this works I may stick with bookz.
It's interesting to see how many ebook readers are coming out for iPhone. Truly are great little gadgets. I'm typing this on my iPhone right now!
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