Why is Bookle and EPUB better than PDF and Preview?

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  • Updated 5 years ago
I am missing what is preferable about having Take Control Books as EPUB files over more universal PDF?
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Mike Boreham

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Posted 5 years ago

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Michael Cohen, Viscount of Syntax

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When it comes to EPUB and PDF, you face not an "either/or" choice but a "both/and" situation. PDF presents the content as a paged, printed object, with all the virtues and limitations of that representation. EPUB presents content as a stream that can be flowed through different sized and shaped containers, with all the virtues and limitations of THAT representation. Neither format is intrinsically better than the other. Which format you choose depends on what you want to do with the content, and how you wish to view it. We are just glad to be able to offer Bookle so you can view either format on the Mac.
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Glenn Fleishman, Employee

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Well said, Michael! I would also note that there are mobile apps and proprietary ereaders that can read unprotected EPUBs (like ours) or the MOBI format we also make available but cannot parse PDFs.

This problem is especially apparent with the Amazon Kindle (all models but DX and Fire), which read a proprietary format the firm uses to deliver the books it sells in its store, and MOBI, an earlier general-purpose mobile-document format. PDF can only be read by DX and Fire, as I understand it. So if you want a Take Control book on a Kinde, you have to download a MOBI version from us and transfer it over USB.

The same is true of a Nook, which handles EPUB on all versions as well as its own format, but only reads PDF on the Tablet model.
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Adam C. Engst, Publisher

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Michael and Glenn have hit the high points - I'd just add that it seems like EPUB is where ebooks are going in the future, and we were unhappy with the state of EPUB reading software on the Mac. If we don't start now, we won't have good options should EPUB start to supplant PDF.

That said, we have no plan to drop PDF as our primary format for Take Control - it's just more mature right now.
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Mike Boreham

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Wow! three comprehensive replies so quickly. Impressive.

I understand that it is not either/or, and you are carrying on with PDFs. But for an individual it is either/or...as I am not going to maintain a PDF and EPUB library of TC books, though I could switch from now on, and have a slightly untidy split library situation.

I guess the only real way of seeing if there is any actual benefit for EPUB is try it out for myself, so I will probably buy Bookle and TC of EPUB.
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Tonya Engst, Editor in Chief

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Indeed, it's a personal decision. Some people like the layout decisions that are already made in the PDF. Other people like to set their own fonts and font sizes. Still other people want a particular format because it works better with something else they are doing - maybe they occasionally buy Take Control ebooks but they also have to manage PDFs from their tech-related job and they want to store all the ebooks and PDFs in the same environment. Or, maybe they are visually impaired so they use a screenreader to read text to them, and overall EPUBs work better for that purpose (because they have less layout), so they want software that is aimed at EPUBs.