Do you like to read? I love to read, but I have trouble making time for it. Typically, I’ve always read books, and only recently, have I moved to reading on my laptop or netbook. While using a computer, I wondered why so many people preferred using an e-book reader application. I always found most books in PDF or plain text.
Now I know why. An e-Reader can be your best buddy if it’s a good one. It keeps track of all your books, keeps track of where you are in each book, and it may also help you find more books. That’s certainly the case for FBReader, a free and open source (FOSS) e-book reader.
As you may already know, besides plain text or PDF, e-books come in many formats. FBReader supports html, chm, plucker, palmdoc, oeb, rtf, tcr, OpenReader, non-DRM’ed Mobipocket, and fb2. It also supports reading from tar, zip, gzip, and bzip2 archives. It also has automatic language and encoding detection, automatic hyphenations, full-screen mode, and screen rotation.
Perhaps the best feature for FBReader is that it’s available for many platforms and operating systems. Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Android, Sharp Zaurus, Siemens Simpad with Opensimpad ROM, Nokia Internet Tablet (Maemo platform), Archos PMA430, Motorola E680i/A780/A1200 smartphones, PepperPad 3, Asus Eee PC, IRex iLiad, UMPC. There’s also a Java version that likely works on a Mac OS.
The FBReader menus and help are available in 13 languages; Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Lithuanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Ukrainian.
If may have spoken too soon, when I said best feature. I also love the fact that I don’t even have to leave FBReader to go and look for more books. It’s able to search several online libraries and download new books for you. You can even add libraries, as if there wasn’t enough to read already.
Here are four screen shots showing the major functions.
Finding New Books
Looking at Your Books
Book Cover Art
Reading a Book
In Windows, FBReader is offered as a 5MB installer. I found that the program folder can be copied to a flash card or USB drive and used as a semi-portable app as well.
On a final note, there is an active FBReader Group online, which can offer all kinds of help and advice, such as, where to find more cool books.
Techie Buzz Verdict:
I haven’t been using FBReader long, but I have a feeling it’s going to be one of my favorite apps. The ability to read when I want, on the go, on any PC, and find more books easily is priceless.
Techie Buzz Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)