Get More from Your Web Browser

Discover your web browser's hidden talents, avoid annoyances, and search
more effectively with Take Control of Your Browser by Robyn Weisman.

Take Control of Bookle
Feb 05, 2012

Take Control of Bookle

The definitive documentation for the Bookle EPUB reader.

The EPUB format has become a mainstay for electronic books, but while the iBooks app does a good job in iOS, Apple hasn’t ported it to Mac OS X. Here at TidBITS Publishing, we decided to take matters into our own hands, and, with the programming work done by our friend Peter Lewis of Stairways Software, we’ve created Bookle, a straightforward, elegant EPUB reader for Mac OS X that maintains a library of your EPUBs.

In the free Take Control of Bookle, you’ll learn how to add DRM-free EPUB files to Bookle’s internal library, remove unwanted EPUBs, and quickly switch among your books using the Library list in Bookle’s sidebar. Then you’ll learn how to scroll around within an EPUB using the mouse, trackpad, and keyboard. You can change the font, size, and background color for most EPUBs, and you can even have Bookle read out loud to you. A final chapter helps you find thousands of EPUB-formatted books to read—many of them free—and learn which tools you can use to create your own EPUBs.

More Info

Bookle costs only $9.99 from the Mac App Store, and this book—which is also included in Bookle’s EPUB library—is free, so you can get a sense of what Bookle can do before buying the software. Bookle is so easy to use that this ebook can document everything about the program in a mere 32 pages, nearly a third of which are front and back matter. Do note that Bookle cannot open DRM-shackled EPUBs; there’s more discussion in the book of this anti-competitive behavior.

About Bookle 1.0: Our goal with Bookle 1.0 was to make it available quickly so people could start reading EPUBs on their Macs. Because of that, we postponed some advanced features—such as full library management—until we have a better sense of how people are using the program. And, to be honest, we didn’t want to do too much right away in case Apple decides to add EPUB support to Preview or Safari. Check the Bookle UserVoice forum to see and vote for future features.


Does Bookle do…?

Bookle is intentionally simple right now, so if a feature isn’t documented in this book, it doesn’t yet exist. Note that “yet,” though. You can see and vote on current feature ideas in our Bookle UserVoice forum, plus suggest new ones.

Update Plans

Although we have no schedule at the moment, we’ll be updating this book to keep pace with significant changes in Bookle.

Posted by Adam Engst

  1. Adam and Peter Talk Bookle on MacVoices

    You’ve seen the announcements, maybe even downloaded the book and bought the software: now hear the swash-bookle-ing duo of Peter N. Lewis and Adam C. Engst share with Chuck Joiner of MacVoices the inside story of how the app came to be and describe the hair-raising adventures our heroes had along the way.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

  2. When Bookle Displays Gibberish

    Users of Bookle may see some EPUBs that display gibberish instead of text when those books are loaded into Bookle. This indicates that the book has been protected with some form of DRM (digital rights management) protection. For example, most non-free books in Apple’s iBookstore are protected with Apple’s FairPlay DRM system; similarly, EPUBs available from the OverDrive collections now offered by many public libraries are protected by Adobe’s DRM system. Unfortunately, Bookle cannot display protected books and there is no easy way for Bookle to detect whether or not DRM protection has been applied to an EPUB, although the program’s developers are working to add that feature. In the meantime, if you see gibberish instead of text in an EPUB in Bookle, chances are good that you are trying to read a protected book.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

  3. Bookle 1.0.3 Update Now Available

    Bookle 1.0.3 is now available as a free update in the Mac App Store to all purchasers of the software. The update fixes an issue where an EPUB’s table of contents was not displayed on some Macs running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, improves the finding of display names for some older EPUB books, and fixes an issue where some EPUBs could have “-Temporary” appended to their display names in the Bookle library list.

    Posted by Adam Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Adam C. Engst is the publisher of TidBITS and the TidBITS Content Network. He has written numerous technical books, including Take Control of Preview and the best-selling Internet Starter Kit series, and many magazine articles—thanks to Contributing Editor positions at MacUser, MacWEEK, and Macworld. He has been turned into an action figure.