As astute readers will probably have noticed, I recently picked up a Lenovo 100S Chromebook and have been enjoying the crap out of it. With one notable exception, that is. I mean my Amazon Kindle library and all the titles I have stashed there – online or as MOBI file and other sideloads. And there’s the problem.
E-reading on the device is actually a pleasure – in Readium. That app handles EPUB files perfectly, and I see no reason why other EPUB e-reading apps shouldn’t do the same. The Kindle Cloud Reader, though, is a different story.
Yes, it does sync my Kindle library to my Chromebook just fine. Yes, it does provide a more than reasonable reading experience once e-books are open, even rendering line breaks in poetry, etc., perfectly. Yes, it does allow you to download the titles you’re currently reading for offline perusal if you so choose.
What it doesn’t do, though, is allow you any kind of access to any Kindle or ostensibly Kindle-compatible titles you’ve sideloaded or swapped to your Chromebook, or have stashed on your removable storage. When you have as extensive and as diverse a library as mine, that’s a real problem. For one thing, I’m getting review copies of new works as Kindle-compatible downloads all the time, and I can read them just fine on my Android mobile devices – but not on the Chromebook which is now my main working platform.
Alas, I doubt Amazon is going to do anything to solve this problem. With Android apps soon to go fully Chromebook-compatible, there’s little incentive for them to do so. Meanwhile, though, Kindle Cloud Reader remains crocked for Chrome OS, and I blame Amazon, not Google, for that.
Now if anyone can point me at an offline MOBI e-reading app for Chrome …
UPDATE: As Vicki below observes, it is possible to email copies of your MOBI files to your Kindle account to add them to your Library. To me, though, that doesn’t get past the basic issue with the Kindle Cloud Reader. I’ve got dozens of such files scattered around my various archives, and I’d find emailing them far more laborious than simply opening the file.
IDPF now has a demo of its Cloud Reader (based upon Readium.js I suspect) up for public view here:
This doesn’t address your immediate needs for an agnostic ePub reader but it does show promise. The source code for Readium.js is freely available so this could evolve to the point where individuals contract for server space as they do now for web and WordPress space and use it to host their own libraries and share or not share its contents. Once uploaded, your books would be available to you wherever and whenever you can get your hands on a web browser.
The late Ibis Reader did just this for ePub 2.x before O’Reilly bought it and closed it down.
I am not aware of any chrome apps that let you read Mobis, although the gradual rollout of letting chromebooks use Android apps will most likely mean you can eventually download FBReader and read on that.
For right now, I would think the best bet is to use online-convert.com to convert from mobi to epub (since Calibre does not run on Chromebook).
Also loving my Hisense bargain basement chromebook … really neat machine, great price, very pleasing performance, solid keyboard.
It’s really easy to get your books to the Kindle app on your Chromebook or anything else. You email them.
Everything registered to your Amazon account has an email address. Email DRM-free mobi books and text files to your Chromebook address (or anything else you’ve got registered) as attachments. Text files automatically convert to mobi and show up as documents. Amazon adds them all to your cloud.
As soon as it shows up in the cloud in the kindle app you download just like books you bought from Amazon. Anything that you email to ereaders or Fires automatically downloads to them as well as going into the cloud.
I have quite a few ebooks on my phone that I got from Baen Books before they started selling on Amazon.
I should have added that you can batch books and text files when emailing to the Kindle cloud.
The limit for each email is up to 25 attachments, with a maximum combined total per email of 50MB.
Understand it doesn’t really solve what you’re looking for but I wanted to clarify that if it’s potentially a solution for someone else.
Could someone explain how to enable offline reading for a Chromebook? And please don’t send me to Amazon’s instructions; there is no “Library” button to click, and refreshing the page doesn’t bring up the prompt they mention.
All Kindle devices and Readers, treat all books the same and they do not offer flexible and robust reading of reference books and are very cumbersome in searching and highlighting information. Kindle cloud reader does not allow the select copy function. Wish there were something better