I’ve been thinking a lot about e-books lately – both as a reader and as a writer. But on Saturday, a friend asked me to get her netbook set up as a book reader, and that is when I got hooked!
Her particular machine is an almost worthless 3 K Computers netbook with a seemingly non-upgradable version of Linux. From all I could see or learn, you cannot add any software to this little netbook. Pretty worthless, in my book. Except as an e-book reader. Fortunately, one of the programs it came with is a book reader. The only problem was discovering what format it reads. I went to gutenberg.org and played around with different formats and finally discovered that it was able to see and read the Plucker format. The screen on the little machine is fantastic, and the books look great in the reader. My friend is going to be very happy!
I decided I wanted to be happy, too, so I began to think about setting up my laptop with a book reader. I downloaded Calibre from the Ubuntu repositories and got it set up. As it is an e-book management program, it was easy to get all my e-books and other pdfs and such located in one place on my computer, making it much more likely that I will actually read them. Then I fired up the viewer that is part of Calibre and began reading. I have to admit that I love it! I am about 1/4 of the way through a Cory Doctorow book that I started yesterday afternoon.
If, like me, you aren’t into spending a lot of money on an e-book reader and if, also like me, you don’t like the proprietary nature of the big name readers, Calibre is just the thing. It is available for Mac and Windows as well as Linux. Check it out!