How to Read EPUB and PDF Ebooks on Your Virgin Mobile LG Rumor Touch with Bookworm Reader

Basic Problem

(9/5/2010) UPDATE: Since I first wrote this article, we have figured out how to install 3rd party apps. There are a few options such as the JAR books on Umnet.com or the book app listed on my "install...." hub. HOWEVER, this hub is still quite relevant, as the bookworm feature is a great way to get many books that are not in Java or simple text format. The freedom bookworm brings to use EPUB is truly valuable.


The Virgin Mobile LG Rumor Touch does not have access to an ebook reader (unless you count the "ghetto" Document Reader). Those of us who see our friends (and in my case, my sister) reading book after book on their fancy Iphones and Blackberries might rage at the dire straights of our situation.

I've spent the last day trying various ways to get around this problem with the basic assumption that I could not install an app on the LG Rumor Touch phone.

Things started looking up when I discovered Bookworm.

Bookworm is a free mobile/"normal" website dedicated to allowing users to upload EPUB format books and read them online. Their mobile site, m.bookworm.oreilly.com, works fair --> good on the Rumor Touch.

If we compare it with the native Document Reader, it is a significantly better option.



Click thumbnail to view full-size

Now Another Problem

At this point, two things are true:

  1. Have WebApp that can read ebooks in EPUB format
  2. Have lots of ebooks on my computer in PDF format

I had to find a way to put transform the PDF files into EPUB format. For the more advanced readers, we know how cranky PDFs can be when urged to "convert" to anything. This truly was NO simple problem.



Solutions

I enlisted the help of two software programs:

  1. MobiPocket Reader (to convert PDFs to a mobile format) -WINDOWS ONLY
  2. Calibre (to convert the mobile format from MobiPocket to EPUB)-CROSS PLATFORM

The links above will take you to their download page.

Calibre does have the ability to convert PDFs to EPUB on its own, but using both programs results in significantly faster conversion and better quality.

This is the process I went through to get my PDFs in EPUB format to look "ok" enough to upload to Bookworm:

1. Convert PDF in MobiPocket Reader to its pet format, PRC.

2. Convert PRC result to EPUB format using Calibre.

3. Upload result to Bookworm.



MobiPocket Import/Calibre Convert

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Make it Look the Best

Browser Note: Strangely the native browser (NetFront) works better than Opera Mini. Netfront keeps the formating of the text whereas in Opera, we end up with a bunch of little square boxes dispersed throughout the text with no formatting.

Book Choice Notes: Think "fewer images are better" when considering books to convert/read online. The regular online version does images well, but the mobile version does images not so well. 

Conversion Notes: Try to find the book already in EPUB form. There are many websites that offer this- Project Gutenburg  and EPUB Books are a few examples of sites that already have books in this format. The best part is that they are free!

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Comments 10 comments

gumdrop 2 years ago

Dana, is there a way to just download books/read them without the web? I'm fine using documents and such though...SOMEBODY...ANYBODY!!! I need a website to read books like these.. http://www.buzzfeed.com/epicreads/25-books-to-try-...


Jerry 2 years ago

http://www.fileextension.org/EPUB - full list of software to open EPUB files on mobilephones


Jonathan 4 years ago

Try http://www.digilibraries.com - free ebooks source. Over 28000 free eBooks.


wgs1912 profile image

wgs1912 5 years ago from Florida

Here are two TXT file readers that work pretty good and foliant even has a download section.

http://wapshare.us/316271


danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@Everyone, check out WattPad over on my install apps page. It works well!!!! Full Touchscreen ability!


danatheteacher profile image

danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

@ching, you are very correct! When I wrote this hub, those options were not available for the Touch yet. However, the fact that you can use EPUB and store it on the web makes this hub info still valuable to the Rumor Touch user (and useful for other phones as well)


ching 6 years ago

i went un umnet.com and was able to download .jar files to my pc and then convert them to .jad files and then upload them to my apps folder on my lg rumor touch. That works and so i was able to read books. The .pdf and .txt ebooks on umnet.com also worked but those open up using the "ghetto" document reader and it sucks. bad news is umnet.com selection of books isn't to great


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

You cannot read all the time, you are too busy playing with your phone.


Daren 6 years ago

Awesome!


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danatheteacher 6 years ago from Pacific Northwest Author

Feel free to comment folks: I'm especially interested in

1)Any tricks you've learned to make the books look better in bookworm

2)Any other online EPUB/etc reading sites

3)Any other sites where you can acquire high quality EPUB books

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