Converting e-books for iOS devices

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Reader Duane Campbell would like to read some older e-books on his iPad. He writes:

I have some old electronic books in different formats. Some work on my iPad and others don’t. Is there a way to convert them so I can read all my books?

Just so you’re fully up to speed, you should know that the iBooks app supports electronic documents in the PDF and EPUB formats. To get these documents on to your iPad, just drag them to your iTunes library and they’ll be filed under Books in iTunes’ Source list. Once they are you can select them for syncing in the Books tab that appears when you connect your iPad to your Mac.

For those e-books that aren’t available in these formats, there’s Calibre. This free open-source utility can convert from a wide variety of formats (CBZ, CBR, CBC, CHM, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC, PDB, PML, RB, RTF, SNB, TCR, TXT) to a not-quite-as-wide variety of formats (EPUB, FB2, OEB, LIT, LRF, MOBI, PDB, PML, RB, PDF, SNB, TCR, TXT). For our purposes you care only about EPUB.

In addition to its ability to convert formats, it can also rescale font sizes, detect and create chapters and tables of content, and grab metadata (title, author, description, and cover image) from the Web. Within Calibre you can also choose to sync converted e-books to your connected iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch.

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