If you want to read ebooks that are protected by Adobe DRM on your iOS device (that includes iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch) the app I recommend is Bluefire Reader.
Most of the ebooks being sold by mainstream publishers that are in PDF or ePub format are protected by DRM. Book publishers, just like music publishers, are concerned about software piracy, so they require ebook stores to use Adobe’s DRM on the ebook downloads. Programs like Adobe Reader and other standard programs or apps that read PDF files aren’t set up to deal with that DRM, so you need an app that can handle it.
Here is what you will need to do:
1. Follow my previous instructions for how to set up Adobe Digital Editions correctly. You’ll need to install it and then “authorize” with your Adobe ID.
2. Get the Bluefire Reader app for your iOS device. Download it from iTunes and install it on the device.
3. The first time you open Bluefire Reader, you’ll be asked if you want to authorize it with your Adobe ID. You should go ahead and do it. Just follow the instructions given.
Make sure to use the same ID that you used when you authorized Adobe Digital Editions on your computer. That is how Adobe will allow you to use your ebooks on both your computer and the iOS device.
4. If you haven’t already, get an ebook that you want to read.
5. Transferring Files
Note: This will only work with iOS 4 or later. If you have an iPad you should already have that, but if you have an older iPhone or iPod, update the OS so that you can transfer files from your computer to the device.
a) Connect your device to your computer.
b) Open iTunes and click on your device. It should look something like this:
Obviously if you have an iPad it will say “iPad” or whatever you named your iPad, etc.
c) On the top-center area of the screen, click Apps. In iTunes on my computer, it looks like this:
d) Scroll down to the “File Sharing” section, which should be at the bottom of the screen. Select the Bluefire Reader app from the list, and click “Add”. On my computer it looks like this:
e) Now you can find the ebook that you want to transfer. If you bought a DRM-protected Adobe PDF or ePub file, it should be in a folder called “My Digital Editions”. Any non-DRM ebooks will be wherever you put them on your computer.
It might sync to your device automatically or you might have to perform a sync on your own. After that you should be able to open Bluefire Reader on your device and see the ebook.
I recommend that you find ePub files rather than PDF whenever possible. It seems that most e-readers and ebook apps display them a lot better because ePub files are reflowable, which means that the text of the book can rearrange itself to accommodate your screen size much easier than in PDF files.
Almost everyone has a mobile phone now, and many people have heard of the idea of reading books on them. But there are many misconceptions about this that people form in their mind before they even give it a try.
The screen is too small.
Here’s an interesting thing that I recently realized: If you have a modern phone, then the size of the screen is about the same width as a newspaper or magazine column. That size of text is okay for you to read, right? So what’s the difference if it’s on your phone screen? The only real difference is that you can’t see the rest of the page at the same time. But are you reading everything on the entire page at once? Probably not, unless you have some kind of mind disorder that also makes you a genius.
You know how you can change the font size in a program like Microsoft Word? Well, surprise! You can change the font size in just about any program that displays text, including ebooks. Every ebook app that I’ve ever seen has a way for you to do this.
It costs extra money.
The ebook reading apps that you need are free. The only thing that costs money are the books, and those cost money whether you buy them digitally or on paper. There are ebook apps that cost money, but you don’t have to use those.
It’s too difficult!
It’s really not difficult if you’re comfortable with using the features of a smartphone. If you’ve ever gotten an app for your phone, you can get an ebook app in exactly the same way. A lot of the ebook apps will let you buy an ebook and download it directly to the app without even having to use your computer. If you do need to purchase the ebook on your computer, then you just sync it to your phone the same way you would any other file.
It’s not very convenient.
Downloading an entire book to your little mobile phone is a lot more convenient than driving to a store to get a book, or ordering it online and waiting for shipping.
There aren’t many books available.
Nowadays most book publishers are making their books available as ebooks. There are literally hundreds of thousands of ebooks available from a lot of different sources. You can pretty much take your pick of what you want and where you want to get it.
It hurts my eyes!
Okay, I can’t really disprove that. If it hurts then don’t do it!
Top 5 eBook Apps
If you have an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch, check out the Squidoo lens I made for the Top 5 eBook Reading Apps for iPad and iPhone.
If you have an Android phone, get your ebook apps from my Squidoo lens called Top 5 Android eBook Apps.
I’ve been working on my series of articles/blog posts for “The Top 5 Reasons Why Your eBook Isn’t Opening”. Three of them have been posted here so far. Don’t worry, that series will be continued with the next installment soon. But to take a break from it, I’ve made a new Squidoo lens that is also in the theme of “top 5” things: Top 5 eBook Reading Apps for iPad and iPhone.
I know that many people love using their iPads as ebook readers. It makes a lot of sense because if you have an iPad there is no need to buy a separate ebook reader, and it does so much else at the same time. I’m not ready to spend the $500 that an iPad costs, but if I had an iPad, I would definitely make use of it as an ebook reader. I like the fact that it has a backlit screen instead of an e-ink screen like dedicated ebook reading devices (but that’s a matter of personal preference).
The lens I created today outlines the most popular ebook reading apps that you can use on your iPad and iPhone. You actually have a lot of flexibility when it comes to where you get your ebooks, so if you’re not familiar with the options, go check it out.