Command line eBook Reader

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What if you need to read an eBook from a terminal?


[edit] Overview

The idea is that you might need to read an eBook from a command line. Today there is not much available that can do that and what is available is primarily for TXT format. Many of these solutions were originally for Unix but some are available for Windows or Macs as well.

[edit] Some choices

The first choice in reading a text file is usually the 'more' command or its common Unix (Linux)replacement the 'less' command. However, neither of these wrap text very well. One solution would be to use the 'fmt' command to prewrap the text for you. You would end up with something like:

fmt ebook.txt|less

Another choice could be a standard Unix text editor: emacs, vi, etc. to read the file. Even some binary files can be read. For example a word doc file actually contains the text in clear form near the beginning so the strings command can be used to extract it.

strings ebook.doc|fmt|less.

[edit] Lazyread

A better choice would be to download a copy of Lazyread. Lazyread auto-scrolls files or command output to the screen. Features include: Change scroll modes, scroll-speed, colors, pause, search, etc. Formats supported include: TXT, HTML, PDF, GZIP, tar, ZIP, ar, bzip2, MS-Word, nroff (man pages), binary, directories, .deb, .so, .rpm, piped output and more. The program is compiled C code and a shell script.

[edit] Browsers

Since many file formats are really based on HTML files you might also use a command line browser by opening up the file or unpacking it. ePub books could be read this way. Browsers include:

[edit] eBook Speaker

Another command line eBook reader called eBook speaker will actually use TTS to speak to you. It can read ePub and LIT files. There is a home page for author and a online manual page. The software is free.

[edit] For more information

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