I like books, proper books. I really do. But they are heavy to carry when travelling, difficult to deal with when moving, take up lots of space etc. I’ve moved a lot, and thus lugged boxes and boxes of books from one country to another many times. Finally I gave most away to a library and now I mostly ready ebooks.
You can carry thousands and access any or all of them on a small device, read when you have a few minutes spare, such as when you ‘re waiting for something, and with the right apps create a summary of the important points of a book as a separate document. Later you can pick up reading the same book on another device just where you left off on the other device.
I hear the trend is back to real books and away from ebooks now. But the sales increase in the former and decrease in the latter is only minor.
Here I’m going to mention my favourite apps. I mostly read ePub or PDF books.
For cataloging the books: Calibre is great. It has so many functions that I don’t know, but it is easy to use for what I want. It’s free, too. You can buy an app for Android or iOS called Calibre Companion that allows you to access Calibre on your PC, browse and download books. Depending on how you set it up you can access your books from afar too, over the Internet.
For reading ePub books where you want to create a summary: Google Play Books: You upload the books you want to read, and highlight the passages of importance. A separate document of the highlights is created in Google Drive (which you need to have set up) and you can download that in Word format or others. You can upload and read PDF’s, but can’t highlight or summarise the books. GPB will also read you book aloud if you wish, and this works well, too. And can pick up reading the same book on another device just where you left off on the first device. On PC’s, Android and iOS.
For reading PDF format books and creating a summary: Xodo – Or even extracting entire pages into a new document you create. You can in a convoluted way set it up on multiple devices so your reading progress is updated on each device, but I haven’t succeeded. But otherwise a great free app / program for PC’s, Android and iOS.
For reading novels on Android in ePub format, where I don’t want to create any notes of the book: Pocketbook: A free app I use. Also good for many other ebook formats. I can’t find a homepage, but there are plenty of download sites – or for Android in the Google Play apps.
A free Windows program for reading not only PDF’s but ePUB and some other formats. SumatraPDF. I don’t usually read books on the PC, but I do read documents with it, or perhaps look through a book quickly.
Kindle: If I buy a Kindle book I often use this app to read it on a tablet or phone, or even a PC if it’s just a quick look. You can use it for reading PDF’s as well – not only for what you have bought from Amazon. I often convert the books to ePub, and then I can use Google Play Books. This you can do free online, or buy a program to do it from epubor. The Kindle app and program is free.
These are the main apps I use, in the order that I use them.