Presenting Books

I am an avid reader, reading everything from stupid comments on to classics of western literature and recent papers on GPGPU. When I heard about the Amazon Paperwhite and its increased contrast and lighting, I was all ears and researched about e-books and e-readers. I finally came to the conclusion, that an e-reader would be a perfect device for reading text-heavy books during my daily commute. So, despite the current lack of devices in Germany, I pre-ordered a Kobo Glo.

Projecting my reading habits into the future, it became reasonable to think about how to manage my purchases. I am aware of Calibre and FBReader but honestly, I cannot stand their user interfaces. They are very good tools for managing e-books (especially Calibre) but they stick out like a sore thumb on the GNOME desktop due to Qt and a some weird design decisions. Consequently, I began working on a simple e-book application targeting GNOME exclusively:


As you can see, it uses standard widgets to visualize the book database, that is backed by sqlite, and WebKit to show the content of a book. Because I think this application could be useful for more people than just myself, I went full force this time and setup some development infrastructure:


If you fetched the sources from GitHub you need to run ./ first. For this, you will need the autotools, autopoint and intltool:

$ sudo apt-get install intltool autopoint libtool
$ ./

After doing this or extracting from a release tarball, you need to install the dependencies:

$ sudo apt-get install libarchive-dev libsqlite3-dev libwebkitgtk-3.0-dev libgtk-3-dev libxml2-dev

and do the standard dance:

$ ./configure
$ make
$ sudo make install

The Future

Although I am quite satisfied with the current status, there are still some features missing for the magical one-dot-zero release:

If you find this little application useful, leave me some feedback. Moreover don’t hesitate to report bugs and issues or contribute code or translations.


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