Monday, June 24, 2013

[Tutorial] How to read an e-book in Android smartphone.

Actually, if you didn't how to in the first place, then it means that your phone is smarter than you. Hence, the smartphone. Anyway, when we talk about e-book, everyone would quickly think about PDF or Microsoft Word documents. No? You guys use Amazon Kindle? MOBI and PRC documents then.

Now the thing is, for anyone who have used Kindle before, would realize sooner or later that the e-book that  they have is in the format of MOBI or PRC which is usually DRM (Digital Right Management) protected. So when you transfer the e-book it to your computer, you will not be able read it. Apparently if you wanted to read the DRM protected e-book, you need to somehow connected to Amazon or Adobe and verify that, it is your book. In other word you need an apps connected to Amazon.

Its really a pain in the ass actually. Even though Kindle is great and nice and all that, but you couldn't get it to be transferred to another platform when you got a new gadget, like a smartphone. With games, it is understandable that old games wouldn't be supported by the newer console, because even the game would be outdated by that time. But with books.. If you couldn't read the book, then that book better be damaged by rainwater or burned in a house fire. Otherwise, a book should be able to be read whenever and wherever you wanted to. It just a book, dammit!

Click on Read more to see the tutorial.

So, for Android smartphone. There is a way to transfer all your e-book from Kindle and still be able to be read. There are lot of apps out there that actually can read e-book format but not all supported MOBI and PRC. Even if they do, it can only read unprotected or non-Amazon MOBI/PRC.

Then, what to do? Easy smeasy. You could just convert the e-book. End of story. Easiest software to use? Calibre-Ebook management, you can download it for free and convert any document (except for Microsoft document, you can't exactly read Excel using e-book reader anyway) into any e-book format that you want. But for this tutorial, we go for specifically EPUB format.

Converting you e-book into the EPUB format will be automatically removes the DRM protection on the MOBI and PRC documents. Now, hold on here.. I didn't mean that you should go around and removes DRM protected documents just because I told you could do so. I'm telling you this, because it will help you to transfer the e-book that you owned, to any platform that you comfortable with.

Now with that being said, lets go to your smartphone. Actually, it doesn't matter if you are using either Android or iOS platform. Most apps today practically interchangeable. You choose whichever e-book reader apps that you are comfortable with for example like the Cool Reader, or FBReader, depends on how large is your smartphone screen. But for the tutorial here I would be using Aldiko Book Reader Premium version because it could handle just the right screen size for my Galaxy Samsung SII. Yeah, you better get the premium version because you seriously don't want to get disturbed by advertisement during you book reading. Its really annoying.

Aldiko Book Reader only support EPUB, PDF, and ACSM. Yes, it doesn't support MOBI and PRC format. So what? We don't need it anymore, we can convert it to EPUB. You could still use another e-book reader that supports MOBI and PRC, but with the DRM protected documents it would require internet/ data plan connection every time you open the e-book. So yeah, its really gonna be pain in the ass especially when you get the error message saying 'could not load file' or 'unable to verify DRM' or bla bla.. argh, for God's sake, we are only trying to read a freaking book, dammit!

But, most importantly, I like Aldiko Book Reader because the interface is user friendly and the setting is easy to understand. You view you book collection either in Shelf View or in List View. If you transferred an e-book from another platform, let say your Kindle-converted-from PC-into EPUB to your SD card, then you can click the Files, search for the e-book in the SD card, and then click 'import to Aldiko' to have it listed in your book collection. The Store button, as you can guess it, is for you to seach and buy new books. I'll get to that later.

So here is the how the Shelf View and the List View looks like. Pretty neat huh? I have over a hundred books now on my virtual shelf. Yeah, and that is why I opted for the e-book instead of hard cover book. I just don't have the space in my house anymore.

And this, is how the e-book would look like when you are reading it. Nice huh? Its the size of a grown man's palm. Just the perfect size, for me of course. There are few settings that you can adjust here for example the text font size, page margin, screen brightness, page orientation, all of the stuff that will help you get comfortable with your book. There is also a setting for day and night, where for the day setting, the page will turn white with the black text, but for the night setting the page will turn black with white text. You can see there I usually read my book at night.. in the dark. Hahaha

Now finally, you probably wondering if you could buy a book through this apps. The answer is, yes you can. You can search for the book that you wanted, and buy it through your virtual wallet. If you don't have a virtual wallet or you prefer other method of payment that is unsupported by this apps, then you could get on your computer and bought the e-book from another online bookstore.

Don't limit yourself. I've practically just told you how to transfer you e-book from any platform to any other possible platform there is.


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