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Best way to use the iPad to read PDF, epub and mobi books

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions - Site Assistance' started by pmonto, May 1, 2012.

  1. pmonto
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    pmonto iPF Noob

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    I'm very new to the iPad and wish to use it for reading books. The more I tried simple solutions like using iTunes or iPad Magic to copy books from my Windows computer to the iPad, the more confused I got.

    Additionally, I've tried to find a universal reader, read descriptions and reviews, but am still uncertain about the best product and how to accomplish this seemingly straight-forward task of using the iPad as a flexible reader.

    The ideal solution would be one product that would allow me to read PDFs, epub and mobi files. Additionally, I would like the app to be open, meaning that it would read any PDF, epub or mobi book regardless of whether it was purchased or free.

    I have no problem paying for the best apps to do this, which would include the ability to have all books, regardless of format, in one place, recognized by the iPad reader as well as whatever product I wind up using to synchronize between my Windows computer and the iPad, whether it's iTunes, iPad Magic, Calibre or something else.

    So there you have it. Thanks in advance for the assistance.
  2. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi and welcome to the Forum!

    Sit tight and someone will be along who can answer your question, in the meantime:

    The IPad Forum is a community of members from all walks of life and from all over the world coming together to share our experiences and to help each other learn about this wonderful piece of technology the Ipad. There is a wealth of information already here in the many threads we have so doing some searches will answer most of the questions you have. If then you cannot find the answer you are seeking then by all means post your question. There are many friendly and informed members here only too willing to help you.

    We also have our own App - It is a very simple app to navigate.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/discussion-forum-for-ipad/id412896524?mt=8
    Reading the IPad manual is a great place to start so please download a copy of these.
    http://www.support.apple.com/manuals/ipad/
    2 very informative threads from which you will learn many tips and shortcuts for the IPad.
    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-general-discussions/21590-tips-tricks-those-us-who-dont-know.html
    http://www.ipadforums.net/ipad-os/49581-ios5-tips-tricks.html
    We have rules like any Community so please read these also
    http://www.ipadforums.net/forum-rul...um-rules-everybody-please-read.html#post14697

    Once again we welcome you here and are so pleased you have joined us!
  3. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    There is one app that I know of that can read virtually any e-book format (mobi, ePub, PDF). That's the app eBookMobi ($1.99). It's not a bad little reader.

    However, it's like all the other readers out there in that it will not (can not) read e-books that have DRM. It only reads non-DRM books. If you want to read books that contain DRM, which is most of the books you would get from the major booksellers (Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.), then you will have to download and use the app that most offer free.

    Sorry, but DRM will prevent you from having a one book reading app.

    Marilyn
  4. pmonto
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    pmonto iPF Noob

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    eBookMobi does what you indicated, which is to read ePub, Mobi and PDF books that are free (no DRM). I connected the iPad to my Windows 7 computer and did a drag and drop of the book files into the eBook Mobi window and synched. I can read them all just fine on the iPad, just as you indicated. Thank you so much for helping me with this!
  5. sunny29993
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    sunny29993 iPF Noob

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    hi everyone. i hav not yet bought an ipad, but once i get these facts clear, i'll make my trip to the showroom to get a 16 gb wi fi only model. i just got admission in a medical school, and my only reason for buying this is to read textbooks in a handy format. i happen to posses a wide variety of medical textbooks, in pdf, mobi and epub formats. they are all in non drm format. now i read in the forum that eBookMobi is the app for me. now, i wud just like to get this clear. i download the app, i drag and drop the ebooks and i also download i annotate to improvise.am i right???? pls help a prospective ipad buyer......
  6. cailean
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    cailean iPF Novice

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    I use the Kindle app for all my ebooks but usually I convert any non DRM epub books that are not in the correct format, with a free program on my PC called Calibre which can convert almost any non DRM book into any different format you want.

    It is also a great program for keeping all the books organised if your like me and have far too many to keep on your iPad
  7. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    Yes, eBookMobi is a good little reader app. It would probably be a good choice.

    However, since all your e-books are DRM-free, may I suggest you try some of the other apps such as iBooks, Kindle, Stanza, etc. they are free apps and can read a variety of books. That way, you can see, with no cost, which e-book reader might be the best for you.

    The original poster here was looking for an all-in-one app, thus my recommendation for eBookMobi. But, if you don't mind viewing your ebooks in separate apps (because they only read one or two formats versus all), then why not try the free ones? It'll save you a few pennies if you can...

    Marilyn
  8. sunny29993
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    sunny29993 iPF Noob

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    Thank u all so much. now i'm going to buy the device of my dreams. will tell u all when i do. thanx again....

    p.s. @cailean, i'v heard of calibre. does it reduce the size of pdf files? some of my books are quite bulky!

    and just another q. can ipad read compiled html help files as well?
  9. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    I also use Calibre (it is awesome!). But no, you really can't use it to reduce the size of a PDF file. Sorry. Calibre is really just a book management tool.

    You can try to use it convert your PDF books to epub or some such format. However, there are no guarantees because PDFs are the WORST book formats to try to convert. In fact, sometimes, impossible to convert, depending on the type of PDF. But, it couldn't hurt to try.

    Don't know about HTML, but I'll bet the iPad can, even if you have to open them with a web browser. You'll just have to get some of the free reading apps and see if they'll open compiled HTML.

    Marilyn
  10. 55julie55
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    55julie55 iPad Ninja

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    I have ebooks in calibre on my computer.
    How do I read them on my iPad?
  11. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    Depending on what type of books they are, you can read them with any number of the free,apps available (iBooks, Stanza, Kindle, etc).

    What I do is I have my Calibre library stored on Dropbox. Then, I can go to it, find the book I want and use the "Open In..." function to open a compatible app. If you don't have your books in Dropbox, you can drag them into iTunes le e-mail them to yourself. I also use a program called Calibre2OPDS that enables me to make a browsable catalog.

    Hope some of this gives you some ideas.

    Marilyn
  12. sunny29993
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    sunny29993 iPF Noob

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    i got it. i got it. i got the ipad. feels gr8!!!! thanx again folks for helping me out. cheerio!
  13. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    Great! Have a great time with and enjoy it. It's a marvelous device.

    Marilyn
  14. vj531
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    vj531 iPF Novice

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    Hi All - Ipad arrived yesterday!:) - So a very newbie

    Trying to set up the Ipad for my wife to read her books on. Now this in my first contact with any ebook reader. I'm having problems getting the pagination working correctly. I am looking for the page number to be constant at the bottom of each page. Also be able to see and jump to chapters. At the moment this is not happening.

    I have converted a .mobi (terrible to view -all over the place) via calibre to .pdf (OK at best) and .epub (better but pagination is still not right( and am viewing them ATM on Ebookmobi.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    All the best
    Stephen
  15. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry, but that's one of the "quirks" of e-books. Because they are not physical things, they are subject to change. The books are designed so the text can fit on tiny 5" inch screens all the way up to bigger screens such as the iPad. In other words, the text flows - so there will be more pages in an e-book when it's on a 5" screen than when it's on an iPad.

    The only company that I am aware of that works to overcome that "quirk" is Amazon. However, you'd have to get books from them (and read them on the Kindle app). Making the books yourself will not work. The only way you can solidify the page numbers is to create PDF e-books. This will "fix" the pages, but then you won't get the re-flow you'd need to, say, increase the font. But, you'd have page numbers.

    For chapters/table of contents on books you've converted yourself, you have to ensure they get converted over or build them. I don't know how to do that, so that's where I leave that line of thought.

    Again, very rarely will ebooks match physical books as far as page numbering goes; it's a design feature so they fit on any device.

    Marilyn
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  16. vj531
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    vj531 iPF Novice

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    thanks for that Marilyn.

    I've downloaded the kindle app but dont see how you can buy the kindle books?

    :confused:I think I'm being dumb.

    Stephen

    Any recommendatory on the best Ipad solution would be appreciated.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2012
  17. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    You're not being "dumb" - the rules were changed last year. Apple decide to press the issue and make any book seller pay the 30% in-app fee whenever someone bought a book through the iPad app. Amazon joined all the other book sellers/app makers and removed the ability to purchase books through the app. So, now you have to buy them by going to their web site (via browser).

    You can still download purchased books (from your account) through the app. You just can't buy them.

    The best solution is to buy your apps via the browser no matter which book store you get them from. Then, you can go into the applicable app and download the book for reading.

    Marilyn
  18. vj531
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    vj531 iPF Novice

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    Thanks again Marilyn
  19. wendye
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    wendye iPF Noob

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    I read most books on my iPad's Kindle program. But I'd like to read some ePub books from my local library. I can't seem to download Adobe Digital ReADER (which it says I need). Any suggestions?
  20. Mickey330
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    Mickey330 Administrator Staff Member

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    Double check with your library, but the best app to get to view public library books is the app Overdrive (free in the App Store). With a library card and an account, you can get virtually any library's books. You just need to make sure your library uses the Overdrive system (most do).

    The app BlueFire Reader can also help you get and read library books.

    They are both the same in that you have to authorize them with your Adobe Digital Editions password. But, once that is done, then you are good.

    Hope this helps.

    Marilyn

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