A quick guide to reading books on Samsung Galaxy Tab

Kobo application on Samsung Galaxy tab

Screenshot: Java und Technologie

If you want to start reading books on Samsung Galaxy Tab, this post should speed things up and make it easier to pick up the best possible way.

Samsung Galaxy Tab devices come pre-loaded with Readers Hub, a set of three default applications that will let you read books, newspapers, and magazines.

The hub may well be the only thing you need to enjoy reading on your Galaxy Tab. Look no further to find out how convenient reading on a tablet is.

What’s more, the possibilities for reading ebooks are practically endless as you can download lots of other book reading & management applications from Google Play or Samsung App Store.

Applications

Since late 2010 the Readers Hub ebook reading application for Galaxy Tab is Kobo. Just like you have to open an account for Netflix, you’ll need to sign up to Kobo – and it’s worth it. Kobo is a Canada-based ebook platform, one of the largest in the world, where you can browse and shop over 3 million ebooks, including free ones.

Once you register an account at Kobo, you will be able to sync your ebook library across all devices that are at hand, no matter if it’s a computer, Android-based tablet or smartphone or a Kobo e-reader, if you’ll decide to buy it in the future.

A unique feature Kobo offers is Reading Life, which tracks your reading habits over time and lets you earn fun and surprising awards just for reading.

Kobo app may remain a primary source of ebooks for your Samsung Galaxy Tab and the main ebook management tool. However, the beauty of tablets is that you can pack them with any app you like to get all the titles you wish in any possible configuration.

For example, if you are an Amazon customer, and have a Prime membership, you don’t only have a free access to movies, but also can  borrow for free one book per month from Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. That’s doable on Samsung Galaxy Tab. The only thing to do is to download Kindle application from Google Play.

Being a loyal customer of Barnes & Noble? No problem, try ebooks from B&N’s Nook Store by downloading a Nook app. There is also Google’s own e-reading app, Google Play Books.

With Kobo and/or Kindle app you can buy books from outside US. The content of Nook and Google ebookstores is limited to few countries, so please have it in mind before making a final decision on what should be your default e-reading application.

There are many other great book reading applications in Google Play. You can browse them in Book & Reference category. Most popular independent apps (not connected with any particular ebookstore) are Moon+ ReaderAldiko, and FBReader.

Aldiko Samsung Galaxy Tab

Aldiko is one of the most popular apps in Google Play

No matter which book app you use, you can add your own titles to it. There are several ways to do it, usually via browser, mail or Dropbox account.

Formats

Most of book reading applications support modern ebook format called epub (Kobo, Google Play Books, Aldiko, FBReader).

Kindle comes with a separate format, and even if you’ve got an epub file that is not protected, you won’t be able to open it in Kindle app. For Kindle you’ll need mobi format.

The only Android application that supports both epub and mobi is Moon+ Reader.

Moon Reader Samsung Galaxy Tab

Moon+ Reader offers a lot of customization options

File protection, called DRM (Digital Rights Management) is another thing to keep in mind. Most ebookstores use DRM, and that means the book purchased in one ecosystem can’t be easily read in the other one.

Luckily, Kobo and Nook ebookstores use the same DRM system, that requires to register an Adobe ID. Once you do it and once you authorize your Samsung Galaxy Tab with the ID you got, you should be able to cross-read books from both ebookstores. You can also collect all your epub books, including the ones from Adobe DRM-supported stores in a variety of other apps, naming only Aldiko, Mantano, or txtr.

Obviously, you can add pdf files to the e-reading app of your choice. While it’s fine on a big screen of 10.1 Galaxy Tab, you may find it hard to read pdf files on the 7-inch tablet. That’s why it’s good to make a decision to start collecting books in one of the modern formats, like epub or mobi, that let adjust font size and reflow text for maximum reading convenience.

Sources

The content for Kobo, Kindle or Nook app you’ll get from respective ebookstores. Apart from geographical and format restrictions, you may expect differences in prices.

Amazon puts an extra fee on Kindle books bought from outside US. Also, some publishers set different prices for different regions/countries. Before making a decision on the primary ebookstore to buy books from, you can make a research using ebook price comparison tools. I recommend Luzme or Inkmesh for that.

Apart from ebookstores, there are a couple of great sites, where you can get ebooks for free. I’ve listed them in a separate post, so below there is just a short summary.

A first place to visit is Project Gutenberg. It’s a collection of almost 43 thousand free ebooks that entered public domain. You can download each title in epub or mobi format, so it’s doesn’t really matter which app you use to open the books from PG. Other sources of free ebooks are Internet Archive, Open Library, and Smashwords. The last service is the leading platform where contemporary authors offer a lot of their books for free.

Management

A tablet is a more flexible device for e-reading than dedicated e-reader. On your Samsung Galaxy Tab you can buy/download books to different applications (and ebook platforms associated with them).

An app that requires registration usually offers synchronization of your ebook library. It’s one of the most wonderful benefits ebooks have. You can end reading a book on your smartphone in a subway, and open it on a tablet in the evening – exactly at the same page. What’s more, you can get synced not only the furthest read location, but also bookmarks, notes, and highlights.

Some applications limit full sync only to books purchased in their own ebookstores. That’s the case of Nook or Kobo. On the other hand, Kindle can also sync the side-loaded books.

• • •

Each of the topics could be explained in more detail, but I wanted to keep this post short and simple, not to overwhelm you with too much information.

Simply, don’t wait any longer – open Readers Hub and start enjoying ebooks.

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