Read eBooks in ePUB Format with Lucidor

For Linux users looking for a desktop eBook reader will find themselves checking out FBReader and Calibre.  FBReader has both Qt and GTK frontends, but somehow manages to look out of place whether using GNOME or KDE.  This is probably because of the custom icons, which don’t blend in anywhere!

Calibre, on the other hand, is also a Qt application, but does a better job (because of its icons, to be honest), of fitting in, but it has a complicated, powerful interface and is a lot more than “just” an eBook reader.  If you’re looking for a simple eBook reader that’s available for Linux, as well as Mac OS X or Windows, Lucidor is a great choice.

Lucidor is an ePUB reader.  It won’t convert your LRF files to MOBI, or your HTML to ePUB, but for simple reading of books in ePUB format, it’s fantastic.  It has basic library functions, and even has a few different ePUB sources, so you can download books right from its interface.  But first we need to install it.

Installing Lucidor

The first step is to head over to the Lucidor website.  Here you can read up on Lucidor to get a better idea of if it’s right for you.  When you’re ready, click the Download link at the top of the page.

Download Link

Once the download page loads, click to download the installer of your choice.  For this article we’ll be using the Linux version, but you can also grab the Windows or Mac installer (or the source code).

Download Installer

Note: For Linux users, the .deb file is for Debian/Ubuntu, while the .rpm is for Fedora/OpenSUSE/Mandriva users.

Once downloaded, run the installer to install Lucidor.  You can use a GUI program or install it from the Terminal.

Install Lucidor

When the installation is done, you can delete the installer file, and should find Lucidor in your Applications menu, under Office.

Lucidor In Office Menu

Go ahead and open it; it’s time to use it to read some books!

Reading ePUB Files With Lucidor

When Lucidor Opens, you’ll see its main window.

Lucidor Main Window

The main window is simple, yet still manages to include easy access to your Bookcase, allows you to browse catalogs, read from the Newsroom or the User Manual, and even browse the Web.

Lucidor Main Window Options

Note: It would also, if we’d used it previously, include a link to our most recently read ePUB.

To start using Lucidor, click the Open the Bookcase link.  You’ll see a familiar 3-pane interface, with your Bookcase in the left column, the list of available books above on the right, and below, information about the highlighted book.

Bookcase Interface

To add a book to your Bookcase, click the Add Book link.

Add Book to Bookcase

A standard file picker will appear.  Choose the ePUB you want to add to Lucidor.  You can find good quality, free and legal ePUB files from Project Gutenberg and ManyBooks, as well as other places on the Web.  Here we’ve added a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, from Project Gutenberg.

EBook in Bookshelf

By default, Lucidor only uses the author or book title to organize your collection, but you could also use the publisher.

To get more information on a particular book, highlight it, then click the Properties link.  A new window will appear, showing you all the pertinent metadata embedded in your ePUB file.

Properties Window

When you’re ready to read a book, highlight it, then click the Open Book or Open Book in New Tab link.

Reading a Book in Lucidor

You can navigate through your ePUB by hitting the space bar (to move down one page), or by using the up and down arrows (to scroll up and down through the book).  When you come to the end of a chapter, click the Previous or Next buttons in the lower right corner.

Previous and Next Buttons

Do More Than Read Books With Lucidor

In addition to reading ePUB files, Lucidor does allow you to download them from a few places on the Web.  To access these features, choose the Bookcase tab, but then click where it says Personal Bookcase to reveal a menu with other options.

Bookcase Options

In addition to Project Gutenberg, Google Books, and Smashwords, you can use Feedbooks, which has access to hundreds of free, public domain ePUB files, all ready to be downloaded, right from inside Lucidor.

Feedbooks

Finally, you can create your own ePUB files from Web feeds, using the Newsroom feed from the main Lucidor page.  This is an experimental feature, but by entering in the URL for a feed (such as for a blog), you can create a news feed inside Lucidor itself.  The service scans your feed URL, grabbing text, pictures and links to videos.  You’ll need Internet access once you’ve saved the book to view videos, but the full text will always be available.

Reading a News Feed

You will also find that Lucidor – even when reading from a saved version of your feed, recognizes that it originated from a feed and asks if you want to update it, which would pull in new posts.

Also, a single feed actually has the capabilities of being a bundle.  Simply add multiple feeds, and they will be aggregated together.  In this way, you can read up on a single topic, all from the same feed.  As mentioned, this is experimental, but seemed to work pretty well.

There’s more to Lucidor than would appear at first glance.  It is a great reader, but is more than just that.  No, it can’t interface with your eBook reader like Calibre can, so if you need that feature, use Calibre.  For basic reading, Lucidor is great.  Lucidor is available for Linux, as well as Mac OS X and Windows.

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