Amazon Kindle and the Kindle app is one of the best devices/apps to read books. In addition to reading books, Amazon also allows you to upload your personal books and documents to your Kindle library. This feature is missing in Google Books.
However, Amazon Kindle does not support a popular format known as ePub and this means that majority of your books may be unreadable on the Kindle. However, there are ways to actually convert ePub books to Amazon Kindle formats.
One of the easiest ways to read ePub books on your Kindle is to convert the books to a format which Kindle understands (.azw, .mobi, .PDF) and then upload the books to your Kindle library using the “Send to Kindle” app or through your personal Amazon Kindle email address (Read: How to add or send books to Kindle).
In order to convert ePub files to a Kindle recognized format, you can use an excellent software called Calibre. You can read our earlier guide on converting ePub files to Mobi and other formats to learn how you can do the conversion of your books.
Once you have converted your book to the popular format, you can directly use Calibre to send the books to your Kindle device or app or read instructions on how to upload books to Kindle library.
Once you have uploaded your books to the Kindle library, you can then easily send it to any of your registered Kindle devices and read the books on them.
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble Inc. have joined hands to announce a strategic partnership – A B&N subsidiary, provisionally referred to as Newco. After the patent dispute between the two companies last year, this surprising new venture aims to focus on e-reading and the education market while burying the patent litigation apparently.
B&N will own 82.4 percent of the new subsidiary and Microsoft will make a $300 million investment to hold a 17.6 percent stake in the company. Newco, will bring together the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble. B&N’s NOOK Study software is a leading platform for distribution and management of digital education materials to students and educators, and Newco would aim to extend this reach. The alliance would also bring about a NOOK application for Windows 8 bringing Barnes & Noble’s digital bookstore to hundreds of millions of Windows customers worldwide.
As the two companies move forward as allies, there are few things which aren’t answered in the press release and the commentary around it:
- While the two companies closed on the alliance, how was the patent dispute tabled and settled? Would Barnes & Noble and/or Newco pay royalties to Microsoft on every Nook sold?
- While Windows 8 tablets are expected to have a NOOK application now, and this might extend to the next version of Windows Phone, would there be a Nook tablet or e-reader running, maybe, Windows RT to participate in the market against Kindle and Kindle Fire?
- While Microsoft has less than a fifth stake in the venture, would the reach of Windows platform make Nook Microsoft’s card in competition with Amazon and Apple in the e-reading market?
ePub files are an open publishing format to publish books and allow them to be read on multiple devices and platforms. ePub formats are popular on mobile devices, tablets and dedicated eBook readers like the Nook and Amazon Kindle. In fact, you can also read ePub books on your PC or Mac.
However, if you don’t have a compatible device to read ePub files, you can always convert ePub books to PDF format or MOBI format or HTML format and read them on any device.
One of the most famous software and freeware you can use to convert ePub files on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux is called Calibre eBook management (Download). This software not just allows you to manage your eBooks on a computer but also supports multiple formats along with the ability to convert eBooks among different formats.
In order to convert and ePub file to PDF, MOBI or HTML format, you will first have to add the books to the Calibre library using the "Add books" button. Once you have done that, click on the book and then click on the "Convert books" button in the top menu.
Once you have clicked that button, you will be shown several formats to convert the book to. Choose the format you want to convert the book to from the "Output Format" dropdown. You can make several other changes to the output using the left hand side menu. Once you have selected all the options, click on the "OK" button and Calibre will start a job to convert the book into the desired format.
The conversion process for ePub format to PDF, MOBI or HTML make take some time. Once the conversion is finished you will find the book in the same folder as the original book.
In this age of digital books which can be read on tablets and mobiles, there are several new books formats which have come into the picture. One such book format is called ePub which is a short form for electronic publication, just like eMail is a short form for electronic mail.
ePub books allow different devices to display the books in their own format which makes it compatible on different devices. Most devices support ePub files, however, if you have downloaded a file on a PC or Mac, you won’t be able to simply open it as it is.
If you have downloaded a book in ePub format on your computer, you will have to download a special software to read it. There are several software which will allow you to open ePub files or read ePub eBooks.
One such software which allows you to open and read ePub eBooks is called Azardi, which is a free ePub reader. You can download the Azardi ePub reader from http://azardi.infogridpacific.com/html/.
Once you have downloaded and installed the Azardi ePub Reader, you can add your ePub books to the reader by right clicking on the library icon in the right hand side corner and then adding your ePub books to it.
Once you have added your ePub books to Azardi, you can then simply double click on it and open the ePub book and start reading it. You can also convert your ePub books to PDF, MOBI or HTML format and start reading it or upload it to your mobile device and read it with a compatible eBook reader app.
The Dutch web retailer bol.com has revealed Sony’s next Reader – the PRS-T1. Although Sony still trails Amazon by a large margin, it has been doing reasonably well in the eBook reader market. At the very least, Sony has managed to offer stiff competition to Barnes and Noble, which has managed to innovate its way into the segment with the Android powered Nook readers.
The T1, which was spotted last month in an FCC application, will have an E-Ink screen just like its predecessors. E-Ink screens mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper, and are easier on the eyes as well as the battery. According to the specifications revealed by Bol.com, T1 will have a 6 inch dual-touch screen with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels and support for pinch-to-zoom gesture for adjusting font size. A stylus shouldn’t be necessary; however, Sony has opted to include one nonetheless. The 2GB internal memory should be sufficient to store more than a thousand books. However, if you find yourself needing more memory you can add additional storage through microSD cards. Wi-Fi support along with Google Search and Wikipedia have also been added to the T1. Another interesting enhancement spotted by Mike Cane is that the T1 will display the cover of the book you are currently reading in standby mode.
All in all, the T1 is a nice update to the current generation Sony Readers. With T1, Sony will have another well rounded reader in the market. However, it will definitely not set the e-reader segment on fire. While T1 seems good enough to maintain status quo, it doesn’t do anything that can help Sony in establishing its superiority over the Kindle or the Nook.
Microsoft’s Worldwide Developers Conference has seen its fair share of drama. Microsoft showed phones it wasn’t authorised to and laid out a strategy that Nilay Patel at This is my next believes signals the end of Windows as a brand. Andy Lees talked about the future of Windows being available on all devices made possible with Windows now supported on SoC.
Kevin Turner talked about competition and the Microsoft ecosystem. His slide about Microsoft’s ecosystem laid out Microsoft’s pans of making their services available across all screens. Everything on the slide seemed in place except the mention of an E-book Reader. Microsoft teased us with a dual screen tablet but unfortunately the project was killed. While tablets (like the iPad) make more great E-book readers, the Kindle and Nook have found themselves a market. IDC found that the E-book Reader buyer market grew by a staggering 105% (year-on-year).
Two reasons why people would buy an E-book Reader are:
- Battery life (saved on the Tablet while travelling)
- Screens easier on the eyes (E-Ink technology)
Microsoft has Windows Embedded which can be customized by OEMs to be used on their E-book Readers but Microsoft doesn’t have a book store or marketplace like Amazon or iBook. If Microsoft does want to enter the space, they will have to come up with services around the devices, an ecosystem as they call it.
Till we see something from Microsoft that hints at an ecosystem around books, I’ll file this under unhealthy optimism. Nevertheless, Kevin Turner having Reader in that slide is intriguing.
Update: Microsoft does have microsoft.com/reader (a software for reading E-books on Windows based devices) but its presence is as good as its absence right now. When I said Microsoft doesn’t have an ecosystem around ebooks, I meant more like an active, well known system.
Kobo, Toronto based eBook reader manufacturer, has announced that they will be launching a new touch screen E-Ink device.
The device comes with about 6-inch screen and with 16 levels of grayscale color. You can swipe the screen to move to the next page. Besides that the reader can also open ePub and PDF file formats.
The device will be made available for just $129(US) and $139 (Canada) at Best Buy, Walmart, and Borders starting next month. The first generation Kobo WiFi has been reduced to $99.99 (U.S.) and $109 (Canada). While Kobo lacks support for 3G users can access more than 2.3 million books from the Kobo Store via a Wi Fi or USB connection, as well as newspapers and magazines. They can also borrow and read books from local libraries. Kobo also promises that there is a 3G version coming soon.
The Kobo Touch based E-reader will come with support for multiple languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.
Nook owners rejoice! The popular eBook reader from Barnes & Noble will be getting a major software update in the upcoming month. The update will increase the page turn speed on both the models of the Nook 3G and Wi-Fi. The update will also add some of the most requested features from the Nook readers.
This includes improved search performance on the device, customized Barnes & Noble library organization along with password protection and the ability to sync the last page read across multiple Nooks and all devices with the free Nook app. The Nook 1.5 software update for the NOOK will land sometime in November and will be available for download via Wi-Fi or from www.nook.com.
The Nook application for Android will also be getting an update which is expected later this week. The update will include the ability to go to a specific page, search within a book, view your highlights and notes, delete books from your Nook library and an updated home screen for making reading easier. (Source)
Ever since Amazon froze all Kindle orders, the interwebs have been rife with speculation that it was planning to launch a new Kindle. All those rumors have turned out to be true, as Amazon has indeed unveiled the Kindle 3.
The new Amazon Kindle is now available in 2 versions; the Wi-Fi only Kindle is priced at $139 while the Wi-Fi + 3G Kindle will sell for $189, the old price.
It features a lot of new improvements: it has a new 6 inch high contrast E Ink screen. It also has a 21% smaller body and 17% lighter at just 8.5 oz. The battery life has also been improved and lasts for about a month without Wi-Fi usage. It also has an enhanced PDF reader and comes with a new improved Webkit based browser which allows you to browse the web over Wi-Fi.
With these changes, the Kindle has become a very attractive buy for anyone who reads a lot of books. It undercuts all the other eBook readers in terms of price, be it the Barnes and Noble Nook or the Kobo eReader. The Wi-Fi only version can work anywhere in the world, so I hope that they start shipping the Kindle to India and other developing countries soon.
Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi – $139
Amazon Kindle Wi-Fi + 3G – $189
Recently, I told you how to grab plenty of eBooks from Amazon and read them in the free Kindle apps. I had also told you previously how to access thousands of free eBooks using FBReader. I’m not lying when I tell you that I have plenty of stuff to read. Despite that, I was pleased to see that the well known Borders book store was opening an online Borders eBook store. Can they compete with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Books-a-Million and maybe (in the future) Google?
Borders has a little eBook reader named the Kobo, for about $150. It will let you shop, order and read the eBooks over any Wifi connection. It’s very cute and weighs less than 8 ounces. It’s size makes it easy to bring along anywhere you go. The 6-inch display should make reading fairly comfortable.
This last Christmas, my daughter gave me a Borders gift card. At the time, I had no idea if I would ever use it. As soon as I found out that Borders went online, I went out and bought my Christmas present and started reading it in the free Kobo eReader app.
The eReader app isn’t complicated, it’s easy to use and it’s also available on several platforms: PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and Android.
It’s not so cute, but it does allow you to shop, order and read all the eBooks in the Borders eBook store. Here you can see what it looks like on my Windows netbook (screen rotated by iRotate).
Will the Borders eBook store be a big hit? I can’t say for sure, but I’m enjoying it until my gift card runs out of money. I love to read :)