Chapter 12 How Do I Manage My E-book Library?


Physical books are an awesome invention: they’re portable, easy to use, and fully showoffable, whether being read on the subway or sitting on a bookshelf at home. Physical books aren’t going away anytime soon, but the age of electronic books — e-books — is upon us. The Amazon Kindle lit a fire under the e-book category, but it’s clunky to use and tied to Amazon. Apple filled in these gaps by offering iBooks, an app that’s easy to use and supports an open e-book format. The iPhone screen is a bit on the small side, but the Retina display renders text sharply and clearly, so reading books on the iPhone isn’t a chore. This chapter introduces you to e-books on the iPhone.

Getting Your Head around E-book Formats

If there is 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’s because the e-book world started out as hopelessly, head-achingly 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 e-reading device or program. For example, the Kindle e-book format required either the Kindle e-reader or the Kindle app; similarly, the Microsoft LIT format required ...

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