logo of blechtrottel.net blechtrottel.net


During our work with HTML and its relatives XHTML and XML blechtrottel brodaktschns also came across e-books. Slowly, EPUB (.epub) seems to gain ground as the international standard in this field. But the number of e-book readers (hard- and software) is big and formats for books are still plentiful.

At the moment Mobipocket (.prc, .mobi) What makes EPUB so interesting is that it is an open format, i.e. it is not owned by a company and is based on WWW languages XHTML and CSS. But producers of reading programs and devices at the moment are where internet browser companies were ten years ago: Mamy of them have their own agendas and make life hard for those who publish e-books. At the moment one cannot even expect the very same software to display a book the same way on different platforms.

The first popular e-book format was Mobipocket (.prc, .mobi). Its stems from PalmOS originally and is still widespread, many books are available.

Also, both formats are rather easy to convert into each other.

Many devices and programs also support PDF.


There is a vast number of reading programs out there, so it is difficult to give advice. We will therefore only mention a few.

A rather versatile choice is FBReader, which runs under Windows, Linux/Android, MacOS, Blackberry etc. and can read not only both formats mentioned but many more.

Many Android devices come with Aldiko, which handles EPUB and PDF.

For Mozilla Firefox there is an add-on called EPUBReader.

A different beast is calibre, which is marketed as an e-book management tool. In Linux, Windows and MacOS you can use it to read many different file formats and convert from one to the other. Also, you can manage your e-book library and connect to many reading devices.

We started with Mobipocket Reader, available for Windows and older mobile operating systems, such as PalmOS, Windows Mobile and Symbian. It does import EPUB files.

The more up-tp-date choice is FBReader, which supports Windows, Linux/Android and MacOS and reads, among others, both formats. Another reader and the first choice for converting e-book formats is calibre. Amazon's Kindle (app) supports Mobipocket files.


The classic among software to create e-books is Sigil for Linux, Windows and MacOS. Calibre mentioned above also can be used, though its editor is not as versatile as Sigil.

The program we started with is Mobipocket Creator. It cannot create EPUB books.


Impressed by the number of free e-books available on the net blechtrottel brodaktschns decided to contribute. At the moment there are three e-books available. Others will follow, as time permits.

For historic reasons they are available in EPUB, Mobipocket and PDF, but not all of them. We are working on that.

Available for download (in German only):