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I love my netbook, and talk about it to no end here at MakeUseOf. I also love reading. While I prefer the feel and aesthetic of actual books to any ebook reader or laptop, I have to admit the digital world offers certain advantages: namely, unlimited access to every public domain work in existence.

But I don’t have a dedicated eBook reader, so my netbook needs to fill this role. I guess I’ve come to the same conclusion as Mark: who needs an Amazon Kindle when you have a netbook? Who Needs the Amazon Kindle When You Have a Netbook? Who Needs the Amazon Kindle When You Have a Netbook? Read More His solution relied on Windows-only software, however, which won’t work on my Linux-based netbook.


To that extent, I’ve been looking for a simple piece of cross-platorm software to read eBooks with. After a bit of searching, I’ve settled on Lucidor. This simple, Firefox-based reader application comes with everything I want: a clean interface, the ability to browse chapters and pretty good library functionality. I’m happy with it, so if you’re looking for software to read with check it out.

Simple Interface

Perhaps what I mostly find so awesome about Lucidor is the simplicity of its interface. When I open it up, here’s what I see:

The program recalls what I was reading last, and offers it to me. Alternatively, I can open my bookshelf or download other books from the web, but I’ll get to that later. If I click one of the books I’m currently reading, I’ll be brought immediately to the page I left off with. That’s how a reader should behave.

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The other options are also pretty cool. Open up my book gallery and I can see the collection of covers that make up my library.

Okay, so my library’s not too impressive; just the issue of The Economist I downloaded using Calibre, an application I wrote about earlier this week. Download Entire Newspapers or Blogs To Your eBook Reader With Calibre Download Entire Newspapers or Blogs To Your eBook Reader With Calibre Read More Still, as the weeks go by and I pick up more reading it’ll flesh out. It’s also possible to browse Project Gutenburg and other book repositories from Lucidor. Check it out:

If you’re looking for books to read, check out Aibek’s piece on the best places to get free eBooks. The Best 6 Sites to Get Free Ebooks The Best 6 Sites to Get Free Ebooks Read More , though I mostly recommend Project Gutenburg, either on the web or through Lucidor.

Interested in Lucidor? Download it here.

Firefox-extension

If you’re not looking to replace your eBook reading software of choice, consider this: Lucidor is also available as a Firefox plugin. Yep, you can have a full-featured eBook reading application built into Firefox, meaning any eBook flies you click online load up instantly. It also means the book you’re reading right now could be one of your open Firefox tabs, alongside your email and your work.

This could be a fantastic way to take a glance at a given book before you decide to download it, or to hide the fact that you’re reading books at work from your boss. Check out Luifox here.

Supported Formats: Limited

This is perhaps the weakest point of Lucidor: it only supports EPUB eBooks. This doesn’t have to be too big of a shortcoming; previously mentioned Calibre fully supports converting one format to another, and Gutenburg offers most books in EPUB. Still, considering that most eBook formats are open in nature, it would be nice to have support for a few more formats.

Other shortcomings include the inability to flip the screen (I’d like to hold my netbook like a book) and the inability to make the text white with a black background. These could be quickly fixed, however, and I’m sure the Lucidor team will get to it eventually.

Conclusion

Lucidor is exactly what I’m looking for: a straight-forward, no-nonsense eBook reading application that works on Linux, Mac and Windows. If you’re looking for the same thing, I highly recommend you check it out.

Or, if you’re so much smarter than me that you’ve already found a much better eBook reading application, I highly recommend you share it in the comments below. I’d love to know about it! I’d also love to hear your thoughts about Lucidor: do you like it or could you do with more features?

So far no major international conflict has started because of comments here at MakeUseOf, so feel free to comment away secure in the knowledge that you’re not putting your country at risk.

Probably.

Image Credit: Dawn Endico

  1. Dave
    September 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    How do you open Lucidor? I installed it on my Windows PC, and can find the file in Program Files, but there's no executable file.

    • jhpot
      September 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm

      You know, I've not tried this program on Windows yet but I'm getting the idea that it doesn't work very well there. Can you find Lucidor in your start menu?

  2. Lou
    July 24, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    It's down now!

  3. jhpot
    July 23, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    It was up this morning; you might just need to be patient for a while.
    Sorry.

  4. Ber
    July 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Anyone know where i might be able to download this from? Looks like the Lucidor site is down.

    • jhpot
      July 23, 2010 at 5:52 pm

      It was up this morning; you might just need to be patient for a while.
      Sorry.

  5. Thomas
    July 18, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    I like the EPUBreader Firefox add-on and Adobe Digital Editions isn't bad for rendering mathematical content

  6. Meadekh
    July 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    Use whatever tool you need to convert any ebook to plain text.
    That way you can read the book on any platform any time you want to.

  7. Meadekh
    July 18, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Use whatever tool you need to convert any ebook to plain text.
    That way you can read the book on any platform any time you want to.

    • jhpot
      July 19, 2010 at 4:02 pm

      Not a bad idea, but EPUB allows for pictures and a functioning table of contents. Not everyone uses those but I think they're both nice to have.

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