Becoming An E-Bibliophile

By Jayesh Limaye Published Date
01 - Aug - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2007
Becoming An E-Bibliophile

With Mobipocket's Reader and Creator, you can turn your PC and smartphone into your own library!

Now that the mobile phone is a fixture in your pockets, you might as well use it to entertain or educate yourself on those long, boring commutes. With Mobipocket Creator for your PC and Reader for your smartphone, you can turn any document-PDF, HTML, Word, even plain text documents-into e-books that you can read on the go. You'll find the Mobipocket Creator and Reader for your PC on this month's CD.

Mobipocket Creator Publisher Edition

Add files to Your E-book

Your First E-book
To start creating your e-book, select Blank Publication on the left in Mobipocket Creator's main screen. The Publication Files window then lets you add files to your new e-book. These could be HTML documents (the best option), XML, or JPG or BMP images, but you'll have to use the other wizards to create e-books out of PDF or Word documents. Add a cover image to the book, and your first rudimentary e-book is done!

Importing Gutenberg Books
Project Gutenberg ( offers a large number of free e-books, but they're in the text format. What's more, this text is rife with premature line breaks to make PC reading easier, but they look unsightly on a mobile device. You'll have to go through a bit of torture to convert these into Mobipocket books. Our way out:

In Creator's main window, select Import from Text Document. In the import dialog, check the box against Suppress Single Carriage-returns. Extracting chapter titles to build a table of contents is a bit trickier...

In the same import dialog, you can specify Header Extraction rules, which will add the <h1> HTML tag to text that conforms to these rules. This comes in handy when you're building a Table Of Contents (more about that later). For example, X detects a string of uppercase characters, and n detects a carriage return.

The Table Of Contents
Like PDF bookmarks, a Table Of Contents (TOC) lets you jump to chapters in your book directly. Importing a PDF with links will automatically create a TOC for you, but if you're building a book from HTML or text files, this can get tricky, and you'll need some HTML knowledge for it to work.

Add the Table of Contents

If you're importing a text file as above, titles will be enclosed in the <h1> tag, so to build your TOC, enter "

  " under Tag Name as your first TOC level and hit Update to generate a TOC for your e-book. If you're building a book from HTML files, use a HTML tag like "" to denote your titles. In the Table Of Contents dialog, 

Specify the book settings here

enter "text" under Tag Name, "class" under Attribute, and "heading" under Value to generate your TOC.

You don't really need to bother with Book Settings, but you should spend a little time in the Metadata section to enter your book's details-the title, author, genre, and so on.

If your e-book contains multiple files, you can use Guide items to point to them. These will appear in the Go To menu in Mobipocket Reader-both on your PC and smartphone. Use these items to let your reader jump directly to, say, the cover of your book.

When you're all done, hit Build to start creating your publication.

If you're worried about the security of your work, you can choose to encrypt your publication. The Content Encryption option ensures that the source material of your publication can't be deciphered, but anyone with Mobipocket Reader can read the content. You can also choose to encrypt your book with a password or DRM-the latter only if you're planning to upload the book for sale.

Once your book is built, you can open it in Mobipocket Reader to read on your PC (it's not the best desktop reader, we must warn you). If you have a Symbian-, Palm- or Windows Mobile-based smart phone, connect it to your PC and it will appear under Reading Devices in Mobipocket Reader, which will then download the installer for your smartphone. Your e-books will now be synchronised between your PC and phone every time you connect it and fire up Mobipocket Reader.

Enrich Your Reading Experience
On your mobile, you can use your e-book like a regular book-make annotations and notes, highlight items of interest, add bookmarks to come back to later and so on. The mobile Reader supports touch-screens, so you can configure it so a tap on the right of the screen goes to the next page, and a tap on the left goes to the previous. Purchase and install a dictionary from, and you'll also have the added ability to highlight and look up any word from the dictionary!


Jayesh LimayeJayesh Limaye