What do I need to be able to read a G-Book®?

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

  1. A device: A tablet, computer, or dedicated ebook reader that can display image-based Adobe PDF files. Unless otherwise noted in a title's description, G-Books do not use Adobe DRM (digital rights management), so you have a wide variety of possibilities for viewing our pdf files. Tablets and convertibles make excellent reading devices; they have ample-sized screens yet are relatively light and can be held (or folded, pivoted, detached, etc.) in a slate form for comfortable armchair or bed reading. Dedicated ebook readers capable of displaying Adobe pdf files are another option, though some (such as the iRex Iliad) have been discontinued as tablets grow in popularity. An excellent choice is the full-sized iPad tablet. It's light, has a good-sized color screen, and flips through pages gracefully. It's also one of the rare devices that has a screen in a 4:3 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. Smartphones might not be feasible, depending on the book and your vision! Because each page is a single image, the entire page probably won't fit on a small screen at an easily readable size. If you don't mind zooming in and panning around the pages, it might work for you, or you might want to stick to books with smaller-sized pages, instead of reading larger-format magazines. You can test your device by downloading this free G-Book sample before you make a purchase.

  2. PDF software or a PDF app: For a desktop computer or laptopyou'll probably want to download the free Adobe Reader software, or you can use Adobe Acrobat, your Internet browser with a pdf plug-in, or a third-party pdf viewer. (If you want to annotate your G-Books® with highlighting, notes, etc., try Adobe Reader version 7 or later, or Adobe Acrobat.) You can also test your preferred program with the free G-Book sample. If you're using an iPad or another tablet that supports apps, most pdf apps will be able to read the files, including GoodReader (a favorite), CloudReaders, FastPDF, and Stanza. If you use a dedicated ebook reader with its own built-in software, try the sample file first to see if it supports G-Books, or ask the manufacturer if it supports viewing non-DRM, image-based pdfs.

  3. A network connection: Preferably, to immediately download your G-Books and avoid paying for a mailed CD, you'll want a broadband Internet connection. Because G-Books display each page of a book as a high-resolution image, they are large files. Dialup connections might work if they're very stable and you're patient, but they're not a very practical way to download these large files and are not officially supported at our store. You can order your G-Books from our store and have them burned to a CD and mailed to you if you don't have a fast-enough connection. 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.