Chapter 7How Do I Manage My E-book Library?

Chances are good that, as you read these words, you’re holding a physical book in your hands. Physical books are an awesome invention: they’re portable and fully showoffable. Books aren’t going away anytime soon, but the age of e-books is upon us. The Amazon Kindle lit a fire under the e-book category, but it’s clunky and tied to Amazon. The iPhone and iPod touch are actually the most popular eReaders, but they’re a bit too small. The iPad and iPad mini fill in these gaps by supporting an open e-book format and having screens that are tailor-made for reading.

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Understanding E-book Formats

If there was one reason why e-books took a long time to take off (in the same way that, say, digital music now rules the planet), it would be because the e-book world started out as hopelessly, headachingly confusing. At its worst, at least two dozen (yes, two dozen!) e-book formats were available, and new formats jumped on the e-book bandwagon with distressing frequency.

That was bad enough, but it got worse when you considered that some of these formats required a specific eReading device or program. For example, the Kindle e-book format required either the Kindle eReader or the Kindle app. Similarly, the Microsoft LIT format required the Microsoft Reader program. Finally, things turned positively chaotic when you realized that some formats came ...

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