Wednesday, April 8, 2015

For Those Who READ

Those who do a lot of reading need the proper tools for the job. These have changed a lot over time.

It is now easy to read books directly from your local library just with the Overdrive app alone,  on any device, much simplified.

But readers especially need easy access anywhere to their large  personal library.  They need access In an organized fashion.

The Kindle Paperwhite is a good place to start.

It is easily portable, hold its charge for a long time, keeps thousands of books, and provides an easy way to organize them by creating and maintaining collections by subject matter. And even offers a cheap New York Times subscription not available elsewhere.

The Kindle Paperwhite, however, does not read aloud to you nor does it access major Internet sources of books. Yet it can be the best repository for them.

For easy access and reading aloud, and for least cost, an Android phone or tablet would be the best choice.

But, if you are really a dedicated reader, you will need a computer additionally.

A computer is needed to manage your Kindle library and also to organize your library with a program like Calibre.

With this hardware you are now in a position to build and maintain your own library.

That process has been in continuing development and is much easier now than just a short time ago.

To use your Kindle Paperwhite as an archive, it is now easy to email documents to it, once set up for it in the Kindle library manager on a PC.

This setup requires going to the manager and authorizing your Kindle and any other device you'll be using for reading to receive emailed the documents. additionally you must authorize the source email addresses from which you will be transmitting documents.

The major tools for obtaining books are nowadays Open Library and Calibre and available on PC, Mac, or Linux.

Open Library is the librarian's and heavy reader's tool to obtain documents. It is easy to use. More challenging is Calibre, which will automatically subscribe,  organize your documents, and deliver them.

Typically you search Open Library for your book in order to find its availability in all forms, both digital and hard copy.

A digital copy in the mobi format can be emailed as an attachment to your Paperwhite archive or other holding tank for your books. You can also archive a copy in your Kindle library if configured to do so in your library management for Kindle.

Emailing to a phone requires downloading the email attachment and reading with something like ES File Explorer.

Note also that a search of much more limited resources in Amazon may also produce a free or inexpensive digital or hard copy.

Calibre is the tool of choice to obtain subscriptions of worldwide periodicals and newspapers and deliver them automatically to your devices.

In addition to Open Library and Calibre, there are other valuable tools to obtain documents.

The most important is Pocket, which I resisted using for a long time and now use everyday. What Pocket does is to hold for later reading when you come across something you don't want to bother with now but want to read later.

Another valuable tool is Push to Kindle which sends webpage material to Kindle.

Further, documents can be sent to Dropbox in the Cloud for easy access from any device.

Some digital copies can be read aloud in various other digital formats than mobi and not on the Paperwhite. It is also possible in Amazon to buy the read aloud copy in addition to the screen or paper copy.

Further, on your Android phone or tablet there are apps to read aloud.  One of these is @Voice. 

Non Kindle readers such as Mantano and FBreader and many others also can read aloud. These use the ePub digital format. The ePub format is the other main digital format.

Umano offers human read articles of general interest, and Web to go offers computer read articles.

Two very useful apps for reading ebooks are Bookshelf and Pocketbook. I recommend them both.

It is very handy to have all of these tools on your cell phone so that access two documents is available anywhere.

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