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Dear Jane: What eBook Reading Apps Should I Use on the...

http://www.kobobooks.com/smartphones

Kobo App on various smartphones

Dear Jane:

I was wondering if it would be possible for you to do a write up about what devices can download from each of these companies and what apps you would need to use.

I know that on the Borders site they ask you to download the free Borders eBook app but I’m not sure if that is for a laptop, iPad, Kindle, etc. Same with Amazon and B&N.

~M

Dear M:

If you are reading on a dedicated ebook reader like the Kindle, nook, Sony, or Kobo, these devices do not any apps to be downloaded in order to read an ebook. In fact, these devices won’t allow you to add new apps.*

For a laptop or desktop, you have the following choices. I am just listing the programs with my recommendations. Over the next few weeks, I will do a mini rundown of each set of programs as it is too much for one post.

Nook Owners:

Kindle Owners:

  • Download the appropriate Kindle software for Mac or PC
  • There are Kindle Apps for the Android, Blackberry, iPhone/iTouch, iPad, and Windows 7.

Kobo Owners:

  • Download the appropriate Kobo Software for Mac or PC and Adobe Digital Editions. ADE will be the software you use to download digital libraries and shop at other stores.
  • There are Kobo Apps for the Android, Blackberry, iPhone/iTouch, iPad, and Palm Pre.

Sony Reader Owners:

  • Download the appropriate Sony software for Mac or PC and Adobe Digital Editions. ADE will be the software you use to download digital libraries and shop at other stores.
  • There is a Sony App for Android. IThing App is supposed to be coming soon.


Organized by operating system (mobile systems not included). Note, this is not an exhaustive list but rather a hand selected list of apps that I thought most people would use or be interested in using.

PC:

  • Calibre – compatible with non encrypted ePub, mobi, LRF, LIT, FB2, and RTF
  • Copia – compatible ePub files encrypted through ADE, but not BN epubs.
  • Kindle for Windows – compatible with Kindle books and mobipocket books with NO DRM. Can use the app to read non encrypted books not purchased at Amazon so long as the format is PRC or MOBI.
  • Nook – compatible with ePub files encrypted with BN’s special software key (aka DRM).
  • Sony Reader – compatible with ePub files encrypted with ADE (not compatible with BN epubs). Can use the app to read non encrypted books not purchased at BN so long as the format is ePub.
  • Stanza – compatible with non encrypted ePub, LIT, HTML, Mobi, PDF (limited conversion abilities) files . Stanza Desktop is a crude ereader and is primarily used to view books before transferring onto an iThing device.
  • Adobe Digital Editions – compatible ePub and PDF files encrypted through ADE and with BN ebooks.
  • FB Reader – compatible with NON encrypted ePub, fb2, plucker, mobipocket. Other formats are minimally supported. Please see the FAQ on FBReader.org.
  • Mobipocket – compatible with mobipocket format (PRC) with or without DRM. Please note, that secure mobipocket CANNOT be read on the Kindle without the DRM stripped off.

Mac:

  • Calibre – compatible with non encrypted ePub, mobi, LRF, LIT, FB2, and RTF
  • Copia – compatible ePub files encrypted through ADE, but not BN epubs.
  • Kindle App – compatible with Kindle books and mobipocket books with NO DRM. Can use the app to read non encrypted books not purchased at Amazon so long as the format is PRC or MOBI.
  • Nook or NookStudy – compatible with ePub files encrypted with BN’s special software key (aka DRM). Can use the app to read non encrypted books not purchased at BN so long as the format is ePub. I had to download NookStudy in order for my BN ebooks to download as ePubs but the NookStudy App is very robust.
  • Sony Reader- compatible with ePub files encrypted with ADE (not compatible with BN epubs). Can use the app to read non encrypted books not purchased at BN so long as the format is ePub.
  • Stanza – compatible with non encrypted ePub, LIT, HTML, Mobi, PDF (limited conversion abilities) files . Stanza Desktop is a crude ereader and is primarily used to view books before transferring onto an iThing device.

Nonplatform dependent (can read using your web browser if you are on a PC or Mac):

  • Bookworm – compatible with any NON DRM’ed ePub books
  • IbisReader – compatible with any NON DRM’ed ePub books
  • Google eBooks – compatible only with books purchased through Google eBooks.
  • Kobo – Kobo has a web based reader that you can use to read your Kobo purchased ebooks.

*You can root the nook Color but it is not something I recommend unless you have an entire weekend free and are fairly technologically adept.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

20 Comments

  1. Tweets that mention Dear Jane: What eBook Reading Apps Should I Use on the Laptop? | Dear Author -- Topsy.com
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 04:31:17

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Letizia Sechi and Rachel Jameson, dearauthor. dearauthor said: NewPost: Dear Jane: What eBook Reading Apps Should I Use on the Laptop? http://bit.ly/gmDYF0 […]

  2. Ros
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 06:01:15

    And…. this is why we need an industry standard and soon.

  3. Mod
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 07:33:52

    Does anyone have a preference between IbisReader and Bookworm? I won’t lie, mainly for covert office use.

  4. Barbara
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 07:38:49

    Amen.

    It’s not entirely related, but it frustrates the hell out of me that I have to weed out what books I can read on what before I figure out if I can take advantage of a sale at a particular store or which books I can even buy.

    Fictionwise, I’m looking at you.

    I swore I’d never buy anything but a Kindle, but I’m seriously considering adding another ereader. The prices have come down, it’s just a matter now of deciding which one is the most versatile.

  5. Lynne Connolly
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 08:01:29

    I’m thinking of buying a Nook when I visit the States in a couple of months.
    I know I can’t get to the B and N bookstore in the UK, but I’d like the Nook because I’d love a colour reader that I can use in the dark (the backlighting doesn’t bother me too much).
    What concerns me is the voltage. The US runs on 110 and the UK runs on 240 – that’s what you get out of the socket in the wall. Laptops, my Kindle and my BlackBerry can cope with this, because they are dual voltage, but is the Nook the same, does anyone know? Can I bring it home to the UK and plug it in the socket in the wall, or am I stuck with the horrible transformer that runs hot and scares me to death?

    Cos it really looks like a sweet device, and I’d love to have one! (the alternative is the Galaxy Tab, but it costs as much as the iPad over herek, and no, I don’t want an iPad).

    My other irritation is that there is a Kindle reader for the BlackBerry. So I could read my Kindle books on that. But for some reason, it’s not available in the UK.
    The beta mobi version works fairly well, but it won’t read the Amazon locked books. So grrr, and yes, while I’m visiting, I am so trying to download the reader!

    And thanks for doing this, Jane. That is just about the clearest explaination I’ve ever seen.

  6. RachelT
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 08:44:09

    Lynne – I would be really interested in what you find out and decide to buy. I too am going to the States for the first time later this year, and have already started writing myself a shopping list. A tablet and Not Your Daughter’s Jeans are on there at the moment, but I’m sure it will expand!

  7. Jane
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 08:48:38

    I think ibis reader is the superior program. Plus the developers are committed to improving ibis reader on a regular basis.

  8. Mod
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 09:29:10

    @Jane:
    Thanks Jane. Do you think there is any reason to be concerned about uploading epubs to the Ibis reader that have had the drm stripped?

  9. readerdiane
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 09:55:23

    Are you going to cover what is available for the I-phone, now that it will be available for Verizon customers. I have a Kindle but I don’t want to bother stripping DRM if I can just use my I-phone for non Amazon books.

  10. Sunita
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 11:08:06

    @Lynne Connolly: The power adapter for the Nook is 100-240V, so all you should need is the plug adapter.

  11. brooksse
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 12:24:33

    The nook app for PC also reads the regular adobe adept DRM, as well as DRM’d eReader (fictionwise).

    @readerdiane: for iphone, bluefire reader supports DRM’d epub (both standard epub DRM & the DRM used by B&N ). Txtr also supports standard epub DRM, but it’s not as user friendly. For ebooks from B&N there is the nook app. For eReader DRM there is stanza or the eReader app from fictionwise. I don’t know of an app that supports mobipocket DRM (non Kindle prc files), but both the kindle app and stanza support non-DRM prc files.

  12. Jen
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 13:39:39

    The Adobe Digital Editions runs on a Mac as well. I run it and I actually prefer it to the Nook software that I downloaded for reading. ADE seems to show everything a little cleaner (or maybe that’s just my screen).

  13. Nicole
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 13:41:10

    Oh, the rooting of the Nook Color has gotten much easier. I was able to do it in less than a couple hours the night I got it.

  14. Sunita
    Jan 30, 2011 @ 14:04:31

    @Nicole: I looked at the instructions and they seemed fairly straightforward. Do you find it to be stable, and does everything work?

  15. Evelyn
    Jan 31, 2011 @ 03:39:07

    I’ve been using my laptop for reading because here in Germany most e-book readers are not available and I’m not sure whether I can read the books I already have on it (with special software and all). A friend of mine showed me the Archos Internet Tablet 7”, so I think I’m gonna buy one of those, because I can install different programs and I am not depending on the software the different e-book readers need. Also it’s good for transportation and the price is ok. Does any of you already have experience with this solution? Thank you for your help.

  16. Lynne Connolly
    Feb 04, 2011 @ 09:24:30

    @Sunita: Thank you, great help!
    The thing I look for in the US that not many people think of? Shoes. US shoes are awesome.

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