eBook reader choices?

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eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:50 pm

Anyone else here read eBooks on their Linux systems?

I don't currently own a Kindle or Nook, but I've got enough clutter that eBooks are an increasingly attractive option. Fortunately, O'Reilly has most of their stuff available in PDF format which solves the issue as far as programming texts are concerned. But for everything else... what are my options (outside of acquiring a reader)?

I see the Open Source "calibre" package mentioned a lot; any one here used it? I suppose I can always fall back on the Kindle Cloud Reader, which should work on any system with a web browser and an Internet connection, right? I'd rather not spend money on a dedicated device (at least not yet).
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:Anyone else here read eBooks on their Linux systems?

I don't currently own a Kindle or Nook, but I've got enough clutter that eBooks are an increasingly attractive option. Fortunately, O'Reilly has most of their stuff available in PDF format which solves the issue as far as programming texts are concerned. But for everything else... what are my options (outside of acquiring a reader)?

I see the Open Source "calibre" package mentioned a lot; any one here used it? I suppose I can always fall back on the Kindle Cloud Reader, which should work on any system with a web browser and an Internet connection, right? I'd rather not spend money on a dedicated device (at least not yet).



I've got a Kindle Fire and an iPad, so I tend to use either Kindle Reader on those, or Acrobat for PDFs. Calibre is a rather neat piece of software, but it has loads of options that can be a little intimidating. I'd say give it a shot, or at worst, just use it convert anything to .mobi format and read it with the Kindle app.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:03 pm

Honestly I use the Amazon Cloud Reader unless I got the book in ePub/CHM/PDF - for those I use calibre to read. I do this on OSX and RHEL (my linux flavor of choice). I don't really read any books on Windows, since I just play games there. On my Nexus 7 I use Aldiko which pretty much reads everything.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:24 pm

Hz so good wrote:Calibre is a rather neat piece of software, but it has loads of options that can be a little intimidating.

Heh... "a little intimidating" generally doesn't bother me. What really pisses me off is when options are illogical and/or broken, which happens far too often, in both commercial and Open Source software!
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:50 am

I've used Calibre a bit and it's nice. It has a lot of nice options for display, which I believe is the key for ebook reading. I would think that the only issue that might prevent someone from liking Calibre would be if fonts in linux are a hang-up for said user. Otherwise it's nice software.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:07 am

alloyD wrote:I've used Calibre a bit and it's nice. It has a lot of nice options for display, which I believe is the key for ebook reading. I would think that the only issue that might prevent someone from liking Calibre would be if fonts in linux are a hang-up for said user. Otherwise it's nice software.

The font situation is better than it used to be. There's the MS core fonts package, and Red Hat's Liberation fonts, if you need metrics that match the common MS TrueType fonts. Hinting/kerning is also improved now that the BCI patent has expired. There are still occasional font rendering screwups (not sure why), but these seem to have become mercifully few and far between.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 12:48 pm

Not currently, but years back I read some Baen books in lynx on a CRT console. It worked better than you'd think.

Actually, you could do worse than Gnome Terminal + Elinks + an eBook converted into HTML by Calibre; if nothing else you'll get good flexibility with fonts and color schemes.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:04 pm

I use calibre for format conversions but find it not that great for reading. I read most of my ebooks on my smartphone using fbreader. On the PC (Windows), I use Adobe Digital Editions, which is fairly limited format-wise, but prefer the text and format rendering to calibre. Not sure about Linux software (though I know calibre exists, and I hear some ppl use digital Editions via wine).
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:16 pm

If you're looking to keep it all in-browser, I use EPUB reader for firefox. It has a bunch of functionality I don't use (Library, etc.) but it reads a ton of formats and works well. Only drawback I've found is that it doesn't remember your spot when you restart firefox, unlike all the other tabs you might have open.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:25 pm

I have a Kindle Paper White and also use the Kindle Cloud Reader regularly. The Cloud Reader has worked on every browser + OS combination I've tried it on. That includes multiple Linux Mint releases and RHEL 6.x, Chromium and Firefox in both. Primary use is for reading traditional books. Though I also keep several dozen technical books/documents uploaded for reference. Lots of stuff that came in PDF originally. Generally that works well enough. It's not perfect. The books I have in native Kindle format (a few RHEL books) maintain their layouts better in relation to their dead tree versions. But even in the worst cases I still found it usable.

I'll add I don't have a lot of experience with other eBook reader options. I was given a Kindle several years ago as a gift and found its always met my needs.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 1:53 pm

My Sony Experia Z Ultra is a huge phone, small tablet, whatever, but it's a killer book reader. I have Kindle and it is seamless across my Andriod and Linux devices and works in Windows as well ;)
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:14 pm

just brew it! wrote:Anyone else here read eBooks on their Linux systems?

I don't currently own a Kindle or Nook, but I've got enough clutter that eBooks are an increasingly attractive option. Fortunately, O'Reilly has most of their stuff available in PDF format which solves the issue as far as programming texts are concerned. But for everything else... what are my options (outside of acquiring a reader)?

I see the Open Source "calibre" package mentioned a lot; any one here used it? I suppose I can always fall back on the Kindle Cloud Reader, which should work on any system with a web browser and an Internet connection, right? I'd rather not spend money on a dedicated device (at least not yet).


I have been using the Calibre software for over a year on Windows with my a Kindle Touch. I mostly use it for converting epub -> mobi, but it does maintain a library of the ebooks and makes it a cinch to keep multiple formats of one title without cluttering up the library. I don't have any reason to not recommend it, it's free and easy to use.
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Re: eBook reader choices?

Postposted on Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:54 pm

I've been using Okular. (http://okular.kde.org/)
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