[Guide} FAQ MyLibrary - E-Reading and other "stuff"

Discussion in 'Android Tablet Usage, Tips & Tricks' started by leeshor, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    E-reading on a tablet is a very popular thing to do. It also generates a lot of "help me" posts :)

    This thread has been created to try and pull a lot of information from various posters all into one place in an efort to make it a "one stop shop" for the subject. References to removable storage vary from tablet to tablet as the names change depending on the brand of tablet, assuming you have an external SD card.

    1. Adobe DRM within My Library & Aldiko
    This has been a source of difficulties to more than one person!

    The Aldiko app support site has a lot of information on this subject. You can find it here - Aldiko Customer Support


    2. Where can I get e-books from?
    This question has got a range of answers, a nice long list of them can be found here.
    http://www.androidtablets.net/forum...9818-5-ebook-reader-apps-android-devices.html

    3. My Library crashes / fills up with strange "books"/ won't read my Kindle books any more / doesn't sort my books very well
    This range of problems all have one thing in common - the app! :) Unfortunately, while the My Library app looks good, it doesn't really live up to its early promise. Here is my solution to all those issues...

    I had an issue with My Library. In sorting it out I realized that all My Library actually does is scanning the tablet for books, pdfs etc that it recognizes & then displays them for you to select. It also has a problem with repeating copies of books in its listings & picking up various extraneous files that it "thinks" are books, but aren't. This makes it very unwieldy and cumbersome in use. There is no known way to stop My Library doing this. Think of the items in that app as shortcuts rather than the actual files.

    To clear all this dross from My Library...
    - go to settings, applications, all
    - scroll down to My Library & force close it, clear the cache, clear all data & then do a cold boot.

    This will empty My Library of all its data & leave it pristine and clean. It will NOT delete any of your e-books from your tablet. If you re-open My Library after this, it will re-index all the "books" on your tablet, so if you decide not to use it, repeat the process and then do not open the app again. This will leave it clean & clear. As an app installed by the tablet manufacturers, My Library cannot be removed from your tablet.


    4. What are the options for e-reading on my tablet?
    It is the global nature of My Library that has put me off using it. I can't get it to easily & reliably sub categorize its Library as I can in Aldiko, for example. So I now don't use it at all. The things that I especially liked about the app - reading in 2 page landscape format, or having a book read to me, can all be done using another app, Cool Reader.

    I suggest the following.

    a)Use three ereaders. The first should be Kindle. Why? Because it is so useful.
    # Amazon keeps a record of all the books you download,
    # there are thousands of free books available from Amazon
    # it is the safest place to buy books from,
    # you can browse their entire catalog from either the app, the tablet browser or any PC browser and send them to any kindle app on any tablet you ever own or any actual kindle without ever having to "buy" them again.
    # from version 3.6.0 of the app, tablet users can customize their reading experience with new margin and line spacing controls and see two pages side-by-side in landscape mode.

    It really is an excellent tool. I would check that the supplied app on your tablet is up to date by looking for the Kindle app on the market before you start, as it often isn't up to date and for some reason, it does not always appear as an app to be updated, until you perform this manual search & update for yourself.

    In my experience most, if not all of the free books available elsewhere are available from amazon for kindle. Out of interest, with the latest app update, all the books you get for kindle are stored in a kindle specific format in the /mnt/sdcard/Android/data/com.amazon.kindle/files folder (not as previously in the "kindle" folder, which is why My Library can no longer see the files and open them. Your location may be different based on your tablet terminology)

    [HR][/HR]

    b) Use Aldiko for any other .epub & pdf you obtain. Why? Firstly because, it too can handle Adobe DRM and secondly because "sideloading" i.e. getting the epubs/pdfs by downloading them from somewhere else and then accessing them in the app is very straightforward.

    How...? See below - the guide below assumes the tablet is out of the dock (if you have one) and there is a micro sd card in the tablet and that you have placed your epubs on it in a folder called ebooks. But the process is similar no matter where you have your ebooks.

    #Get your epub files that you already have in a folder/s of your choice. Say on your micro sd card in a folder called "ebooks". You can even place subfolders within that folder such as "fromlibrary" or other categories you might want to setup to help with your organizing of things. This has taken MUCH longer to write than it takes to do, but I have tried to give you a tap by tap guide. Again, the descriptions may vary by tablet.

    #Open the app

    #In the home view - (the one with 4 icons "shelf view" top left & "files" bottom right & the bookshelf) tap the icon called "files" This should open up to a display of your tablet's built in flashdrive if you have one & will list folders with names like "alarm, android, bluetooth"

    #Tap the "< arrow" in the top left, next to /mnt/sdcard) This will take you first to a folder called "mnt". Tap the < arrow again and you come to a list of folders that start with acct, cache, config, data and so on. Tap on the folder called removable & then the folder called microsd or whatever yours is called.

    #When you tap on the folder called ebooks you will see the list of epubs in that folder - tick each one you want to see in Aldiko. You will then be given an option at the top right of the screen saying "import to aldiko". Click it & your epubs will be imported.

    #Repeat the process above to select any of the sub folders you created like "from library" and then tick those books & import them

    You are also able to set up your own categories within the app and therefore catalog to your hearts' content. How?

    #In List View, tap the collections tab/icon.
    #Then tap "Add Collection" to create a collection - whatever name you like
    #Then tap the little down arrow on the right of the new category you have just created & add the books you want in that collection

    You can repeat this process as often as you like & books ( ie epubs or pdfs ) can appear in multiple collections.

    [HR][/HR]

    c) Have Cool Reader available if you want to read a "non kindle book" in landscape format or have a book read to you.

    [HR][/HR]

    If you do use My Library, you will probably get tired of its reparsing of every file you open, its unwieldy categorizing system that doesn't always work, and the way it insists on listing anything & everything that it thinks is a book.

    BTW, both Aldiko & Cool Reader are available free from the Play Store. Other e-reading apps that others enjoy using are too many to list, but helpfully, someone once posted this link to a great long list. The Big List of Android eBook Reader Apps - MobileRead Forums


    5. I don't want to do it that way - I would rather access my books from a file manager type of environment.
    Happily, forum member thenrik was kind enough to post some really detailed instructions on how to do this. Thank you Tom :).

    "I leave all of my ebooks on my Microsd card. I create a shortcut to the card using ES Explorer, browse to the book I want to read, choose open as text and then either use FB Reader, Cool Reader, Adobe Reader or EZpdf and Jota Text Editor. I'm limiting my ebooks to epub, pdf or text.


    Kobo, Aldiko, Moon Reader et al can't handle books well stored on the Microsd card. No thank you. I'm not going to spend five seconds trying to get a Ebook reader to find my books. I don't want to have to import books or comply with the readers' odd file systems and storage.

    FB Reader handles Epub books in an attractive manner. It also shows up in the open text as menu. Highly recommended.

    Cool Reader is also a great reader:
    *Open any book, hit the menu (four lines) icon at the bottom of the screen and then go to options.
    *There is a three menu page with an eye, a picture (frame with a mountain) and a wrench.
    *Choosing the eye menu change Background texture to Fabric. Change the Hyphenation dictionary from Russian to US English or the language of your choice.
    *Choose the Picture Frame and change View Mode to pages, Landscape pages to Two Pages and Selection animation to Paperbook.
    *Tap OK and you should find a reading experience similar to My Library.

    As a bonus Cool Reader also reads most of my palm books but not all. I also occasionally run into Epub books that Cool Reader can't open but FB Reader will.

    As others have pointed out the paid apps, EZpdf or Repligo, have more bookmarking and editing options but the free Adobe app works fine for reading ebooks.

    Finally I use Jota Text Editor for text files. It works fine and can open huge files.

    If I want to read an ebook, I don't open an app but instead go to my MicroSd shortcut, go to for example the fiction folder, press "Tale of Two Cities.epub", get a open as dialog, chose text and then Cool Reader or FB Reader. I organize my ebooks the way I wish and chose an app to view the ebook.

    Tom"


    How to do what Tom suggests....?

    "My solution:
    *Download and open ES File Explorer and click on the SD Card Icon below local/mnt/sdcard
    *This will take you to the root directory. Open Removable.
    *You should see Microsd, (or whatever yours is called, if you have one). Long press on Microsd. Chose shortcut when the menu pops up.
    *You should see a MicroSD folder on your home screen.
    *Open the MicroSD folder, browse to your desired file, Press on the file, choose open as text from the menu and then text for docs/ebooks, images or videos and so on.
    *Choose your preferred app.
    *You can choose to always use a particular program to open a particular file type or select from various apps each time.
    *Use the same method to press on any file on your Microsd card and use open as to choose the app of your choice.

    I would strongly suggest organizing your books on your MicroSD card and then use the shortcut method to open your book with the appropriate reader, Cool Reader or FB Reader . . .

    As you have pointed out, otherwise Kobo wants you to put them in X and Alkido wants to put them in Y. This reader will find 70% of your books--it's just asking for a headache. Many of these apps are designed for cell phones and cannot navigate to \Removable\MicroSD. If an app doesn't show up in Open as . . . I don't use it.

    I bought a 32gb MicroSD and use this method for all of my files. I use Music Folder Player free which does the same thing automatically.

    Hope that helps,

    Tom"



    6. A word about Google Play Books.
    Google's own Play Books app has received some pretty mixed reviews. But for one or two reasons, I quite like it. :)

    It's page turning animation in landscape mode is very smooth & the way it displays books is very clear too. Personally, I don't plan to move over to the service 100%, but when the Play Store has great books offers, they really are good. They had some great photographic books on sale recently for only .01. Yes, that's right - 1c, or 1p or 1 whatever. :)

    So, in short, I have it installed. Why not give it a try. :)

    This thread compliments of Janner43 from Transformer Forums heavily edited.
     
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  2. janner43

    janner43 Member

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    A truly tremendous post, yes sir - truly tremendous...:cool:
     
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  3. J515OP

    J515OP Super Moderator Staff Member

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    7. Nook for Android by Barnes & Noble.

    I will also add a word about the Nook app by Barnes & Noble (links to the apps can be found in #2). The big three e-book stores are Amazon, Google Play Books and Barnes & Noble. B&N has the added advantage of having many physicals locations the other two do not have and was the first to offer e-magazines. Largely all three offer the same services and advantages listed under #4 a) for Amazon Kindle (large libraries, safe, only buy books once and have on all devices, etc.). Additionally Barnes & Noble offers a free book every Friday (http://www.androidtablets.net/forum/nook/18783-b-n-free-friday-books.html) in addition to their large library of always free books.

    Pick your favorite of the the big three (Amazon, Google and B&N) and you really can't go wrong. I would recommend using/trying all three with at least one free e-book since there are subtle differences in the customization of each app (page turns, fonts, brightness controls, text size, etc.) and you may find you prefer one over the other for these features.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  4. leeshor

    leeshor Senior Member

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    lol, it was almost ALL you good buddy.
     
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