I bought a book for school using Kindle on my PC. When I tried to download it to my iPhone using the Kindle App, it gave an error saying something like “not available for iPhone”. The main reason I bought the kindle version (as opposed to the dead tree version) was so I could read it on my iPhone when the opportunity presents itself (e.g. while waiting in line at the post office, etc.). So I set about the task of learning how to get the book onto my iPhone. This post will document the process. Fortunately, a bunch of smart people already figured it out. I just had to connect some dots to get it working for me.
- Buy book using Kindle for PC
- Decrypted to .azw with skindle
- Convert to .epub with calibre
- Convert to .pdf with epub2pdf
- Open with GoodReader, an iPhone PDF-reader App
There are many different ways one could go about this. After creating an .epub file, you could skip steps 4 & 5 and just view the .epub on the iPhone with the free iBooks App. I prefer the interface of GoodReader (no bars or buttons blocking the text – true full screen reading, and you can pinch to zoom in on illustrations with small fonts) so I went the extra step to get a PDF that worked for me. Calibre is capable of creating PDFs too, but they didn’t work as well as epub2pdf.
The steps above are pretty self explanatory. Just click on the links, download the software, follow the instructions that come with the software. The only step that was a little tricky was getting epub2pdf to make PDFs the right size, so I will share some details for the epub2pdf step below.
Key epub2pdf settings:
margins.size: .5mm, .5mm, .5mm, .5mm
Those dimensions were chosen with an iPhone 4 screen in mind. If you want to view your PDF on a different screen, you’ll need to do some calculations. I used photoshop’s resize image window to do my calculations. Here are my notes:
iphone 4 screen: 640x940 at 326ppi = 49.87mm x 73.24mm
ipad screen: 768x1024 at 132ppi = 147.78mm x 197.04mm
I did the epub2pdf step on my Mac, but I had trouble getting it to recognize the Garamond font. I finally had success after copying the GARA.TTF file from my windows box to the epub2pdf/lib/fonts folder on my mac.
Using the software like skindle may be illegal where you are. I don’t condone illegal activity. Think before you act. Also, consider supporting the EFF in the struggle against DRM.