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Apps and Devices for G-Books®?

You'll need just two or three things to start reading G-Books:

  1. A device: Of course you'll need something that can display pdf files: a tablet, desktop, laptop, dedicated ebook reader, or possibly a smartphone. Unless otherwise noted in a title's description, and as of this writing, G-Books do not use Adobe DRM (digital rights management), so you have a wide variety of possibilities for viewing our pdf files. Tablets like the iPad make excellent reading devices; they have ample-sized screens yet are relatively light and can be held or propped up for comfortable armchair or bed reading. The iPad is also one of the rare devices that has a screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio, about the same proportions as most books. This lets a book size itself optimally to the screen. Widescreen tablets, while great for movies, must size the books a bit smaller to fit the screens' narrower width, so text is likely to appear a bit smaller than on a 4:3 device. Smartphones might not be feasible, depending on the book dimensions, your phone's resolution, and your ability to read small type! Because G-Books show images of each original page, your phone might show the page sized down to the screen size and be unreadable, or it will display the page at its natural resolution and you'll have to constantly scroll the page around the screeen as you read, a tiring process! Dedicated ebook readers are not as popular now as tablets and even smartphones have gained popularity, but those that are able to display Adobe pdf files are another good reading option and might have design advantages for reading, like higher contrast or sunglare-resistant screens. You can test your device by downloading this free G-Book sample before you make a purchase.

  2. PDF software or a PDF app: If your computer or device doesn't have an installed app or program for pdf viewing, you can download a version of the free Adobe Reader software for most devices and platforms. You can also use Adobe's full-featured Acrobat program, as well as most web browsers, pdf software from other companies like FoxIt, and apps for tablets, like Goodreader (our favorite) or PDF Expert. If you want to annotate your G-Books® with highlighting, notes, and more, try current versions of Adobe Reader, which have annotation built-in, or of course Adobe Acrobat. Many of the other programs and apps also have annotation features. You can test your preferred program with the free G-Book sample. There are some older or more limited pdf programs and apps that might not open contemporary versions of the pdf format; we generally list the pdf version of the file on its details page, such as Adobe version 7 or newer. And some older programs might not open 'protected' pdfs. (Our G-Books do not require passwords nor contain annoying digital rights management (DRM), but they are protected from copying and disassembly, a pdf type of encryption that some simple pdf readers can't handle.) Try our free sample file first to see if your preferred app will open it.

  3. A network connection: To download your G-Book you'll need a network connection, and if you're reading this, you must have one already! However, because G-Books display each page of a book as a high-resolution image, they are large pdf files. You might be used to a modern pdf book being only a couple of megabytes in size, because it's a native pdf file composed of embedded typefaces. But nearly all our pdfs are scanned from the pages of vintage printed books and all of those high-resolution imaged pages add up to a pdf file that can average around 100 MB. So you'll want a broadband Internet connection if at all possible. Dialup connections might work if they're very stable and you're very patient, but they're not very practical and are not officially supported at our store. Once downloaded, you don't need a network connection to read the titles, unless you choose to store your books in your personal cloud space.