I Want an eReader

I’ve gotten completely addicted to eBooks this year. I now have a library of hundreds of ePubs and PDFs covering almost every category in the Dewey Decimal System. However I’m finding the available eReading software weak and inadequate for a lot of uses. The best I’ve found so far is Aldiko Premium ($4.99 at the Android App Store) combined with the open source Calibre on my desktop and laptop; but I want better. In particular here’s what I find missing in current options:

  1. Easy bulk loading of hundreds of books from my desktop when I switch to a new phone, tablet, or other device
  2. Persistent metadata management. E.g. if I change the author of a book on my desktop (because the embedded metadata is often wrong) the new author should be written into the file itself; and that value should be maintained as the file is copied from system to system. It’s easier to edit this on my desktop. I don’t want to have to correct bad data on each new phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop.
  3. Reflowable PDFs. This is especially important for math, physics, and other technical books. There are many books I just can’t read on my Galaxy Nexus because they’re PDFs and the pages shrink to illegibility.
  4. Better file management. E.g. I want to be able to categorize all my math books, my physics books, my science fiction, and so forth into separate but potentially intersecting collections. Furthermore I want to persist these collections (labels?) across devices.
  5. Search inside the book
  6. No locking of the books to the device, software, or bookstore. E.g. not a Kindle and not a Nook.

Nice to haves, but not absolutely required, include:

  • The ability to pull down ePubs and PDFs from Google Drive or similar cloud based storage
  • The ability to annotate the book with notes (persistently across devices of course)
  • Integration with my local public library

I would easily pay $100, maybe more, for a really usable solution that provided all this. However I do want it to be an Android (or just maybe IOS) app, not a dedicated device. I’m already lugging too much electronic equipment around with me as I travel. Any suggestions?

One Response to “I Want an eReader”

  1. John Cowan Says:

    I very much doubt that you will ever get reflowable PDFs; they are by design a final format. I know at least two people who have Kindles and read mostly PDFs on them by turning them sideways, but a phone is never going to be able to do that.

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