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Google Play Books

I was excited to hear about Google Play books now accepting uploads of your own ePub and PDF books. Up to 1000 can be uploaded and read (and theoretically synced) between devices.  All the advantages of say, the Kobo environment without the downsides (namely, having to buy all your stuff from Kobo).

I envisioned a replacement for calibre, the wonderful abomination that seems to be the only “iTunes for books” anywhere. I love it. But boy, I hate it. (Python apps… but that’s another rant for another time). A soon as a viable replacement comes along its trash filler.

The web-based ePub reader is really good. The PDF viewer is unnecessary, except for the fact that you can bookmark and mark up the PDFs.

Now for the bad… And it’s a lot.

You can put 1000+ books in your library and there’s no way to:

  • Sort them ascending or descending (only “date”/title/author). What is the date signifying anyway?
  • Rename them (the titles get a bit confused when you upload)
  • Change a book cover (the unnamed books have an identical graphic, and when you click “manage” even the titles are obscured. Wha?
  • Rate a book
  • Mark a book as read
  • Search for a book in your list
  • Create categories or folders
  • Download them again

I want all of those features, but those last 4 are serious, serious oversights. I don’t feel remotely tempted to buy from the store if its just going add to a vague “book pit”.

I’m not that fond of iBooks but it got most of these right from the start in comparison.