Finally at this stage of my life I have some time to read, and while I like actual physical books and can borrow from a library when I wish, the choice of ebooks is far greater, and they offer quite a few other advantages.
So this blog is simply about how I read and organise ebooks at the moment – until better choices come along.
Ebooks can be quite cheap from Amazon. But unless you have actually downloaded the book you never know if you will lose it, despite having paid for it. If it’s in the cloud you don’t control it. So you need a local copy of whatever you pay for. Amazon is famous for secretly removing “1984” from readers’ Kindles a few years ago. Just yesterday, according to the BBC , Amazon’s cloud failed in Australia, possibly because of severe storms at the time.
Apple can now automatically remove swear words out of streaming songs and replace it with generated background music. They can also do it with audio books. So are ideas they don’t like next? You want to have a local copy.
I don’t have a Kindle as I really don’t want any more electronic devices, and read on my tablet, using the Kindle app sometimes. But actually I prefer the Google Books app. So I tend to convert the Kindle book to an ePub document and put it on Google. Then Amazon can’t take it away from me, too.
With Google books I can upload ePub and PDF books, and highlight and make notes – for me this only works on ePub – and then the notes are saved in a file on Google Drive. And for non-fiction I very often do want to make notes. Unfortunately sometimes uploads to Google Books fail, though. For novels I am happy to read using Google books even if they are PDF as I won’t be making notes.
And for storing books locally I use Calibre, which works really well as a database, so all my books are organised.