An electronic book (commonly abbreviated e-book) is a text and image-based publication which can be read on a computer or other digital devices such as an e-book reader.
The rise of multimedia digital downloads in recent years has been truly extraordinary. The impact has been so great in respect of digital music downloads. Digital music accounted for half of the all the revenue generated by the music industry in 2016 and amounted to a total of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars that year. Over the years, many music labels stopped releasing singles on a physical format. We do not foresee that major book publishing companies will abandon paperbacks. However, the expansion of digital downloads equally applies to books. The biggest booksellers have reported that they sell more digital books than paperbacks.
Digital books are well established. Project Gutenberg, an online library of books that can be downloaded free of charge, has been expanding its collection since 1971. Almost its entire library consists of books that are available in the public domain, although there are a few copyright texts which are also included.
The popularity of digital e-books has been accelerated by a number of dedicated portable e-book readers. The various Amazon Kindle are extremely popular devices which have enabled readers to conveniently access a huge library of books, magazines and newspapers on the move. What is particularly noteworthy is that Linux is the operating system that runs the devices.
However, Linux is also an attractive way of reading e-books on a desktop computer or notebook. Linux has a good range of open source software which helps users to organize their e-book collection, catch up on a novel, or even to create and publish their own e-book.
To provide an insight into the free software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 of our favorite e-book software. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for anyone who wants to read, organize and create electronic books. We give our highest recommendation to Foliate, Calibre, and Sigil. Here’s our ratings for all the software.
Let’s explore the 8 e-book tools at hand. For each application we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, screenshots, together with links to relevant resources.
|Foliate||Simple and modern GTK eBook viewer. It's beautifully designed|
|Calibre||e-book library management application with excellent feature set|
|Sigil||Multi-platform WYSIWYG ebook editor|
|FBReader||Makes it simple to access free literature|
|Booktype||Platform that produces beautiful, engaging books|
|EpubCheck||Validate your EPUB Books|
|Lector||Qt based e-book reader|
|Bookworm||Simple, focused e-book reader|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.