Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Since having the iPod touch, aside from the music, videos, games and the internet (which I can only use when I'm in wifi hotspots since we don't have a wireless router at home), one function that now proves indispensable to me is being able to read novels (in ebook format) straight from my iPod.

I've been hearing tons of raves about the Touch being a great ebook reader, and even from my own experience reading the free Pride and Prejudice I've downloaded from the App store, I was determined to find a way to put my pdf files in my iPod since it is impossible to do so with iTunes.

First, I thought Files Lite was my answer but then it needs my computer and the Touch to be on the same online network which is not possible in my case. The Eureka moment came with the widely popular ebook reader app to the name of Stanza. After downloading the application, I read numerous pages on how to get my ebooks into my iPod without requiring the same network connection, although after successfully doing so, I couldn't believe it was that easy.

Here's how I did it:
(For those people relying only on free wifi connections from wifi hotspots across the Metro. Requires a Gmail email account.)

1. Download the Stanza app from iTunes. Open the application on your iPod.

2. Select Get Books -> Shared -> Add Webpage. Under the name type: Gmail, under the url: gmail.com. Tap Save.

3. On your desktop computer, gather all your pdf files. You need to convert all of them first to .epub format before being able to put them to and be read properly by Stanza. I used epub2go.com for this task. Just upload the pdf file into it and it will finish converting after a minute or so. Afterwards, you can either send it to your email address directly or download the file into your computer then attach it to an email and send the mail to yourself. I actually prefer downloading the file first because your converted file may be erased from epub2go's database after two days and would be a potential problem if you haven't downloaded it yet to your iPod. Also, from experience, I noticed that downloading from their database tend to be slower than downloading from a direct attachment I sent to myself.

4. Now, get out of the house and find yourself a nice free wifi spot and a comfy chair. Although you won't really need a chair because downloading a file takes only about 5 seconds to finish. About 20 if you're downloading from epub2go's server because you still have to be redirected to the file. I went to Sta.Lucia East Grand Mall for this one and found their connection to be surprisingly great.

5. Open Stanza -> Get Books -> Shared -> Gmail. Stanza will then open its embedded browser. Log in to Gmail.

Important There is a bug in how gmail.com interacts with the iPhone's embedded browser, which means that clicking on an attachment in a message from the mobile window won't do anything. You first need to scroll to the very bottom of the page where it says "View Gmail in:" and tap the "Desktop" link to display the non-mobile version of the site.

6. Open the mail you sent to yourself with the attachment of the .epub files or the emails your requested epub2go.com to send to your address.  Tap on the attachment or link and the Stanza browser will ask you if you want to download the file. Tap Download and you're all set.

7. You can now see all your books in Library. You can edit the name, author etc. afterwards. Though I am now researching on how to add cover arts for my downloaded novels.

I now have a significant number of novels in my Library including Dan Brown's The Last Symbol (which I am reading right now), the Twilight Series (which I dislike but compelled to read to have a legitimate opinon), The Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Claire (a fanfiction idol) and 5 books from Nicholas Sparks. I cannot wait to read them all. And to think I got them all for free. The amount I paid for my iPod Touch will most likely be reimbursed by the amount of novels I get to read for free.

Bookworm Heaven.


Thomas said...

Thanks a lot for the gmail hint, I was struggling with that problem for a while.
Another option for converting docx or pdf files to ePubs is ebupconverter.org.

Clarrise said...

Thanks for the tip though I gave in and installed Calibre on my desktop as to properly manage my growing lists of pdf files. Glad I was able to help. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm torn in between choosing whether I should get myself an eBook and a real book. If you were to choose one of them, why did you choose it?

Clarriscent said...


I would choose an ebook version hands down. I know lots of people who still prefer the ink and paper version but I've grown to love the electronic copies because I can read them even with the lights off, adjust font size and spacing, highlight and unhighlight, and literally have copies of more than 100 different titles at the palm of my hands wherever I go. But that's just me. Thanks for the comment!

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