Ybook is a free ebook reader that visually ’simulates??? the look and feel of an actual paperback (see screenshot) and supports TXT, HTML, RTF, PDB and PRC ebook formats.

It provides a number of useful features such as bookmarking, search, and custom formatting capabilities. It can also connect to and download titles from the Project Gutenberg database of free ebooks.

Quick survey: would you rather download ebooks in PDF or TXT formats?. I am guessing that there isn’t a single person out there who would choose the latter, even as TXT files are typically much smaller than PDFs in terms of Kilobytes.

The reason for this is that, even as text ebooks constitute most of the free ebooks offered (legally) on the net, they really are just text dumps of the books and do not offer much by way of formatting or visual appeal.

Enter Ybook, a program that makes it much easier to work with the TXT ebooks as well as any of the other supported ebook formats.

Here are some observations on this software:

  • The virtual paperback concept works well. It actually makes reading an ebook easier and more straightforward.
  • Bookmarks: yBook allows you to set multiple bookmarks as you go so you can easily come back to the point in the text where you left off. Also performs autobookmarking as you go along.
  • Formatting: you can customize exactly how your virtual paperback will look, including font size, margins, empty lines between paragraphs, etc. If you don’t like the off-white aged paper background you can change that as well. If you don’t want the 2 panel paperback look you can use single panel mode instead.
  • Clipboard: you can use yBook to read anything copied into the clipboard, or alternately copy any page into the clipboard.

Project Gutenberg:
ybookgutenberg2 for those who don’t know, Project Gutenberg is the web’s biggest collection of freely available, copyright free English ebooks, with a total database nearing 20,000 books and over 50 books added each week. Ybook can download the latest index of books available on the Project Gutenberg website and makes it available for searching and book downloads straight from the Ybook application (see screenshot). Very cool ineed. If you want more go to the Project Gutenberg site, Infact book search (an advanced search technology implemented on the Project Gutenberg database) or the Project Gutenberg page on Wikipedia.

This is a very competent ebook reader that can really make a difference in terms of making your library of TXT ebooks (or any of the other supported formats) much more accessible and user friendly. If you have books in the supported format, or if you want a quick and easy way to find, download, and read books from Project Gutenberg I highly recommend this program.

Version tested: 1.4.82

Compatibility: WinAll (including Vista).

Go to the download page to download the latest version (approx 3.3 megs). The program home page.