Tuesday, October 18, 2011

After iOS5 update on iPad, need substitute for Stanza ebook reader

I reported that I updated my iPad to iOS5 last week and, quite honestly, other than the new notifications drop-down and iCloud, there really wasn't an awful lot to excite me.
You can check out this Lifehacker post for more details on the main features of iOS5.

However, I was really disappointed to find that Stanza, by far my favorite ebook reader, does not work in iOS5. This was apparently known by those who had tried out the iOS5 beta, but the first I heard was AFTER my iPad upgrade.

As I use the iPad (and iPod Touch) almost principally for book reading, what was I going to do?
Well, so far, I've tried two possible substitutes: Bluefire Reader and Kindle (for iPad).
At this stage, I would say that neither quite matches up to Stanza's versatility, it's ability to organize a library, including editing of meta data and even book covers, both are highly usable.
My preference so far is Kindle and I've already built up quite a library of .mobi files on my iPad.
I use the incomparable Calibre to convert my book files (mostly .pdf and .epub) to .mobi for Kindle and this works very well. To put converted books into Kindle on the iPad, I use iTunes.
With the iPad connected to your Mac and the .mobi file you want to add to your Kindle library on the iPad, fire up iTunes.
Then hit the Apps tab and scroll down to the File Sharing section at the bottom of the screen.
Kindle should be included in the Apps column on the left hand side. With Kindle highlighted, just drag-and-drop your .mobi file(s) into the Kindle Documents panel on the right hand side.
They will be immediately loaded into Kindle on your iPad.

Obviously, there are a huge range of Kindle books available from Amazon and Amazon even offer a few free books. Since starting to use Kindle on the iPad I have bought one book from Amazon. Once you select your book, and provide payment data, the book gets downloaded direct to the iPad within seconds. Impressive.

However, many more totally free ebooks are available from Manybooks.net and you can download in the .mobi format.

One thing I don't like about Kindle, in comparison to Stanza, is that there is no editing option for book titles, authors or covers.
However, once again, the wonderful Calibre can do all of this.

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