By Andrew Tetlaw

epub and mobi Readers: How do I read these EPUB or MOBI format ebooks?

By Andrew Tetlaw

mobi-epub-featureTo celebrate the addition of EPUB and MOBI format versions of most of our books, SitePoint has launched a massive 5 for 1 sale. We then figured you might be seeking some advice on how to take advantage of these new formats. So I probed the brain cavity of our resident ebook expert, Kevin Yank, and extracted some squishy but tasty nuggets of useful knowledge.

Ebook software has features that can enhance the way you consume books. Features like library management, bookmarking, note-taking, and searching are extremely helpful, especially for educational titles like the ones SitePoint produce. Here are a few ebook reader software options you may like to check out.

Adobe Digital Editions is desktop ebook software available for Windows and Mac, and supports EPUB and PDF formats.

Calibre is very capable ebook software available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It supports a wide variety of formats including PDF, EPUB, and MOBI; it can even convert one format to another.

If you’re a Kindle user you’ll need to use the MOBI format. You can drop your MOBI format ebook onto your device via USB cable, which is really quite simple as I demonstrate in this quick screencast:

There is another option, when you setup your Amazon Kindle account, you would have been assigned a special email address. You can email the ebook file to this email address and it’ll be transferred wirelessly to your Kindle over Whispernet. There will be a small Amazon fee for this service.

The Kindle software is also available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and BlackBerry, with support for MOBI format ebooks.

If you’re an iPhone user, we highly recommend Stanza. The iPhone version only supports the EPUB format. To put your EPUB files onto your phone, you’ll need to install Calibre (mentioned above) and share your library from your PC. From Stanza on your iPhone you can download it from you Calibre library. There are some instructions on the Calibre website.

If you don’t like the look of Calibre, you can grab Stanza Desktop for Windows or Mac. It doesn’t do a great job of reading EPUB books, but any EPUB book you open in it will be shared over your wifi network to Stanza iPhone. Just follow the instructions on the Stanza website.

Incidentally, it’s been predicted that iTunes 9.1 will be released with support for adding EPUB format ebooks to your iTunes library for transfer to iBooks on your iPad. Will you be able to iRead the iFiles on your iDesktop? We’ll all have to wait and see!

Hope that was helpful, and happy ebooking everyone.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you’ll love Learnable; the place to learn fresh skills and techniques from the masters. Members get instant access to all of SitePoint’s ebooks and interactive online courses, like Creating Killer Content.

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  • Samuel

    What about previously purchased PDF books, while they be available in the new e-book formats as well?

  • sneak4919

    I would love to know that too.

    I have a decent collection of sitepoint ebooks.

    When they moved from password protected pdf to non-password they let existing customers re-download in the new format (passwords were a pain in the butt).

    I really appreciated it at the time and it made me confident in buying further products knowing that sitepoint would look after me.

    What do you say sitepoint? Will I be able to read book I have already purchased on an iPad without resorting to a lame PDF viewer.

  • Goodyear

    I’d love to be able to download my previously purchased books in the new formats, too.

  • dawgbone

    epub’s can be read on android phones using Aldiko.

  • Tom Kruk

    I’m guessing this will play well on my iPad?

  • Sadelle

    I’ve looked high and low for an option to transfer the mobi file to my Kindle app on the iPod Touch… and am at a loss.. of course Amazon’s manage your files option doesn’t seem to tell me either… as the mobi files are on my machine now. Suggestions?

  • SSteve

    I got my five books. Thanks for the deal!
    It would be great if we could download the EPUB in Mobile Safari and have it automatically copied into Stanza. That’s how it works at Pragmatic Programmers. It’s a lot more convenient.

  • jotaru

    I recently grabbed a Nook and now I’m 1 week in and I think I’m going to trade it in for an iPad… Mainly because the bulk of the books I’ve purchased from sitepoint are technical (those code snippets are vital, and sometimes images.) How does sitepoint’s move to epub format look like on these ereaders with heavily graphic books like Sexy Web Design, and large blocks of code like PHP Anthology where resizing fonts on ereaders mess up the format of the code making it hard on the eyes to read, and the images aren’t handled entirely well..


  • robzim

    You now also can read your EPUB formatted books on your Nokia N900.

    EPUBReader is a Firefox addon which let you read ePub-files just in the browser. You don’t need to install additional software!

    EPUBReader is running now on Maemo (N810, N900)! Check here for more details.

  • I was really happy to see Sitepoint offer “proper” ebooks! :) PDFs are fine for reading on the computer, but for my Kindle this just doesn’t cut it.

    I had some trouble with the custom bundle offer at first, because not all books were recognized as part of the bundle, but with some fiddling it finally worked and I purchased the bundle.

    By the way, I was happy to find that I could download my new books in all 3 formats!

    “It would be great if we could download the EPUB in Mobile Safari and have it automatically copied into Stanza. That’s how it works at Pragmatic Programmers. It’s a lot more convenient.”

    Yes, I’ve used that feature from Pragmatic programmers too for one of their books, and found it extremely easy and convenient.

  • Gicela

    Can I read the EPUB on the Nexus One?

  • Lydia

    How do I get the MOBI files I just downloaded onto my iPhone Kindle app?

  • nlamont

    I got JQuery Ninja onto my iPhone using Stanza’s method of going via Googlemail. However the chapter headings in the Contents don’t work. No matter what heading I choose I’m always taken to the last page I was reading. The Stanza site suggests this is caused by problems in the formation of the file – is it anything that can be fixed at SitePoint?

  • nlamont

    Hmm – I take it back – it seems that MOST of the links work, just the first couple I tried don’t. Apologies all round. Moderator – just delete my previous post.

  • lexpresso

    Hi! This doesn’t help with downloading the epub files, for which all I get is this:

    This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.

    The specified key does not exist.


  • Chris

    These work GREAT on the iPad in iBooks. Very simple — and the main reason I took advantage of the sale as I don’t particularly like PDF on my Mac screen but on the iPad it’s just as good as having a book.

    Just load the ePub files into iTunes and sync your iPad. Thanks!

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