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calibre

If you like to read on your Mac, then Apple’s WWDC 2013 announcement of iBooks coming to the Mac with OS X Mavericks was a breath of fresh air. Macs have had a great PDF reader — Preview — built in for as long as we’ve had OS X, but for ePub eBooks, we’re left to forge for our own best reading app. There’s tons of contenders, but very, very few exceptionally good apps in the category.

Even if you have Mavericks Developer Preview today, though, you still can’t get iBooks just yet. If you want to read eBooks on your Mac today, you need another option. And if your Mac can’t run Mavericks, or you don’t want to upgrade when it comes out, you’ll still need something else then.

That’s why we’ve got though every major eBook app for the Mac, tried them out, and put together the very best for you. There’s two standout apps, that we really recommend, and then others that fill in other gaps.

Here’s to the readers!

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In recent years e-books have experienced a notable surge in popularity. Much of this can be attributed to devices such as Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad, which have seen a huge rise in popularity over recent years and seem to always be in those “top 10 gadget lists”. Amazon now sells more Kindle-format books than standard paper copies and the research and advisory firm mediaIDEAS forecasted that e-book readers are set to become a $25 billion market by the year 2020.

So with all these e-books floating around, you’ll need a way to manage them, right? Well, that’s where Calibre comes in. Think of it as iTunes for your e-books. Although e-book readers such as the Kindle provide their own software, it is a bit basic and you can only read books purchased from the Kindle store.

Calibre allows you to categorize all your books, convert them into different formats and upload them to your device. Although it won’t win any awards for its looks, the old adage is true, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” (or should that be e-book? Sorry, bad joke). Calibre is, to use the age-old comparison, iTunes for your e-books. Read on to find out why.

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Have you ever heard anybody say that paper outlets, like newspapers, magazines and books, will soon be extinct? While we have seen some newspapers and magazines move to digital services, it’s still hard to imagine a world without paper books. However, this has partly become a reality with devices like the Kindle and the iPad.

The advantages of eBooks are hard to overlook. They take much less physical space, they are cheaper, and they offer more features and interaction, like the “popular highlights” feature on Kindle devices.

Have you made the move yet? I have owned a Kindle for a few months now and I have come to love the little device. Whatever device you use, you’ll need some sort of app on your Mac to buy and interact with these eBooks. Here are some of our recommendations.

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