View Full Version : Can I read pdf books on an E book reader??

04-08-2010, 07:47 PM
There are a couple of threads running about iPads, Sony Ebook Readers and Kinndles.

I have on my hard drive a large number of old machining books downloaded from the internet. Most exceed 300-400 pages.

They are in pdf format.

Is it possible to download the old books in pdf format, onto any of the current E Book readers so I can read the books in bed??

I find it difficult to read more than a few pages at a time on the computer monitor. (probably just me!)

Black and White is all I need.

Not interested in hiring/buying novels etc !!


04-08-2010, 08:00 PM
I think the LCD book readers are way too small...

Very small resolution for real reading..

04-08-2010, 09:14 PM
My Sony can read PDF's. I have found that sometimes they come out looking rather funny. For instance the MACH3 manual is not very readable. It seems the Sony PRS-700 gets really confused with pictures and figures. And the million dollar question is how it looks on an IPAD. Anyone out there got one and has tried loading the MACH 3 Manual. I think there are other people that would be interested.


04-08-2010, 09:24 PM
I went through all this last year before I bought my shop computer. Short answer: no. iPad is the only option with any practicality.

The Kindle will not read standard .pdf's. It only reads a proprietary format sold through the "kindle store". The Sony Readers WILL read standard .pdf's. Unfortunately, its format was largely made for text only. It does not re-format to fit your screen size. Sometimes the screen size difference results in a page mis-format altogether. In the best case scenario, you must zoom in and continually "move" the page to read the portion of it you want to see. As the ink technology was not meant for this, it is very slow. As mentioned, it handles pictures very poorly if at all.

The only model "reader" I almost considered buying for my blueprint, manuals and textbook .pdf's was made in Germany? Its screen was the size of a normal piece of paper (8x10). It was very expensive (>800$) and seemed to have glitches from the reviews.

I tried an iPhone and it worked good, I thought! Unfortunately, it was just too damn small. Based on that, I believe the iPad to probably work great for this type of application. I haven't actually tried it, though.

04-08-2010, 11:59 PM
Most, probably all, of the old machine books have been scanned by someone. The best looking text on readers will be actual text that the reader can render in one of its supported fonts. Unfortunately, the old books are just large images. Regarding file size, I'm going to guess that the Ipad is probably fine but I would throw some books on a USB key and have someone load them onto whatever reader you want to try. For the Kindle, I believe that place would be in cyberspace ;) Den

04-09-2010, 01:35 AM
Thanks for the replies everyone.

If I come across someone with an Ipad, I will see if I can try loading from a thumb drive.


04-09-2010, 02:03 AM
The problem you will most likely run into with the iPad, is the amount of RAM available for it. The iPad (as well as the iPhone and iPod Touch) have 256 MB of RAM, incredibly low by today's standards. There are a number of apps for the iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch which can handle PDFs (Files, TextGuru, are a couple), but when you get to a PDF the size of 25 MB or larger (as many of the ones available for free from Google books are), you quickly discover that its pointless to try and read them (at least on the current iPhone and iPod Touch) as the device quickly gets overloaded and the app craps out on you. The iPad might be able to do it, since it has a much more powerful processor (1 Ghz, vs. 532 Mhz in the iPhone, Touch), but I don't know.

It would be nice if someone made a device like the iPhone/iPad which allowed you to read large PDFs, since there's a huge number of books available for free from Google books that one could carry around as reference material.