Jump to content
Chinese-forums.com
Learn Chinese in China

feihong

Best Source for Chinese Ebooks?

Recommended Posts

ZhangKaiRong

I guess that should work as well, we also thought about giving the account credentials to my gf's cousin to buy the e-books with a Chinese IP and we just synchronize the content with our Kindle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Site Sponsors:
Pleco for iPhone / Android iPhone & Android Chinese dictionary: camera & hand- writing input, flashcards, audio.
Study Chinese in Kunming 1-1 classes, qualified teachers and unique teaching methods in the Spring City.
Learn Chinese Characters Learn 2289 Chinese Characters in 90 Days with a Unique Flash Card System.
Hacking Chinese Tips and strategies for how to learn Chinese more efficiently
Popup Chinese Translator Understand Chinese inside any Windows application, website or PDF.
Chinese Grammar Wiki All Chinese grammar, organised by level, all in one place.

Luxi

@realmayo and @ZhangKaiRong, I don't think you can synchronize the content with another kindle unless it's registered to the same account in the same country.  Amazon has a good record of what kindles each account has and where they are and have been. It might work if the account with the Chinese IP buys the ebooks to download into their PC app (not their Kindle) and then sends you the file o be used only offline, but I'd be rather weary of doing something like that. Sooner or later you'll be found out (there may be some sort of "tracers" within the ebook file itself, certainly the DRM is there, you'd have to do some illegal things to the file to get rid of all that information.

 

A few years ago Amazon cancelled the account of a woman in Norway doing something along those lines with Amazon UK kindle books. There was no appeal. I don't know if they've mellowed now, but it sent a very strong warning signal at the time. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZhangKaiRong

@Luxi

 

I haven't tried this before, but I thought it would be like this:

 

1. Someone in China with a Chinese IP gets my Amazon CN credentials (account was registered in 2012 when I was in China)

2. This someone purchases the e-books via Amazon website, which is therefore added to my Amazon CN account collection (so his/her Kindle is not involved)

3. I just hit the synchronize button on my Kindle (which therefore updates the e-book collection, and sends the missing file from the server to the Kindle).

 

So no sharing is involved.

As the synchronization of the account happens via a non-Chinese IP, account can be blocked again, so it might not be a reliable way.

 

Still, I think this licensing issue is very annoying. I guess I use this ban lifting until it is not possible anymore (perma ban on the account), or ask my gf to take the Kindle with her on the next business trip to Shanghai and buy books we are interested in like crazy. I also found some of the novels on alternative sites, so might give it a shot later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luxi

That might work Zhang Kairong, but I think that alternative sites might be easier than taking on Amazon. It may be much better to use a local account with Chinese ebook sellers, they naturally have more freedom of action than Amazon.

 

Alternatively, it is surprising what can be found running a search by the Chinese book titles. Either to read on-line or even to download as pdfs/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

I suppose the bulletproof method would be to get a new kindle, link it to a Chinese account, have Chinese friend who logs into your account and buys books, downloads them to PC, and emails them to you; you then put them onto your kindle via USB while never going online with it.

 

I guess that's not breaking any law? But it's probably against Amazon's terms & conditions. And it's way too much hassle for me.

 

Plus as Luxi says, there's huge numbers of Chinese books available on websites or to download, presumably pirated ebooks or someone's gone to the trouble of scanning hard copies. (Though typos are frustrating, especially given my Chinese isn't good enough to spot as actually being errors.)

 

I'll stock up on kindle books when I'm next in China.

 

Or maybe have a look at dangdang.com: they have ebooks, and next time I've got a Chinese phone number I'll try registering an account and then find out what formats their ebooks come in.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roddy

There are now VPNs for getting *into* China for people who need a Chinese IP address for watching online video, etc. Might also be useful in this case?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ZhangKaiRong

@roddy

 

Yes, as far as I know that works as well, however finding a long-term, reliable VPN service at a reasonable price is not an easy task, as a lot of Chinese VPN services were shut down by the Government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mandel1luke
Pardon a couple of questions from a techno unsavvy guy:

 

1) I'm planning to get a Kindle Paperwhite from Amazon.com US. I see some problems with users here purchasing Chinese ebooks from Amazon.com.cn. Would I have such problems if I intend to read both Chinese and English ebooks on my Kindle?

 

2) Is there a Chinese dictionary bundled with Kindle Paperwhite? If there is, what dictionary is that? Is there a way of adding 现代汉语词典 to the Kindle?

 

Thank you in advance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

1. Your kindle must be linked to an amazon account on order to download onto it books that you buy. To buy books on amazon.com you need an account set up on amazon.com. To buy books on amazon.cn you need an account set up on amazon.cn.

 

The Chinese site has lots of Chinese books, the American one has fewer (though way more than the UK site) and they are more expensive.

 

If you are satisfied with the selection available on the American site -- that is, you buy your Chinese kindle books on the American site -- then you'll have no problem reading both Chinese and English ebooks.

 

The problems come if you want to buy off the Chinese site. The problem isn't switching accounts: you can make the kindle switch back and forth between an American account and a China one, downloading from each respectively. The problem comes if you are not physically in China when you are buying books: you seem to get a limit of five books. Which if you ask nicely they might extend to another five. Not sure what happens if you ask again.

 

To get round that I will buy a lot of kindle books when I am next in China, they are often only 2 RMB so I don't mind buying 5x as many as I'll actually read if that ensures a good supply of 'successful' books that I will end up reading.

 

 

2. I have the 现代汉语词典 on my Paperwhite (can't remember how it got there). I wouldn't like to rely on it for a text with lots of new vocabulary, just because the touch screen, although perfect for reading in every other way, is a bit clunky and slow when you select words to look up. That's true of text in any language on the Paperwhite. I much prefer to read off Pleco's Reader, running on a cheap kindle-sized tablet, for that reason. But I probably need to look up a lot more words than most people.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mandel1luke

Many thanks to realmayo for such a detailed piece of advice. I really appreciate it.  :)

 

Main reason for getting a Kindle is to improve my vocabulary. I visited Amazon.com.cn last night and realised there are plenty of ebooks which are sold at really low prices. But as I'm not physically in China, it may be a problem getting past 10 e-books you mentioned. If the touch screen and the dictionary are clunky than it really defeats the purpose as I suppose I'll need a quick, responsive e-dictionary to look up words. Flipping a physical dictionary is really a chore.

 

Pleco seems like a good solution although it may mean I have to get a tablet instead. 

 

Update:Turns out Kindle does bundle 《现代汉语词典》、《现代英汉词典》 on the Paperwhite sold in China, according to their website. A big plus, but there's the clunky screen to consider. Urrggh!  :wall

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

I'd certainly seek a second opinion on the clunkiness of the dictionary look-up, it could be that I'm oversensitive to that.

 

A tablet, with the kindle app downloaded, will let you read kindle books very happily on that kindle app. And I assume the dictionary lookup will be fine, because, well, tablet touch screens are fine.

 

A tablet without kindle but with pleco will let you use the pleco reader which is great for vocab because any words you look up you can choose to add to a list, then go back and learn them later. But the only way to read kindle books via pleco is to also own a kindle, then use software on your PC to crack the DRM software on the kindle book you have bought, to turn it into a text file, which you then put on your tablet. However cracking DRM software is naughty and breaks any agreement you would have clicked on with Amazon.

 

But if you can find Chinese books from sources other than amazon, which are not DRM protected, and which you can therefore read on a tablet, via Pleco, then that would be my recommendation, because I'm really enjoying reading via Pleco Reader on my little tablet. Lots of novels are available to download for free, search for the title plus .mobi e.g. <三体全集.mobi>. However the quality of these varies: some will have typos or incorrectly scanned characters and these can be very frustrating. But I think plenty don't.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luxi

Realmayo, you can install the Amazon Kindle app in your PC, even without having a Kindle e-reader. All you need is an Amazon account. The PC app works very well in dictionary searches: you use the mouse (unless you have a fancy touch-screen laptop), it's quick and accurate, and the dictionary entries are a lot easier to read than in the actual Kindle readers (where the dictionary is too small, at least for my eyes).

 

There is a function in the app (PC, tablets) and e-readers that automatically saves your searches into a vocabulary file, you can go back to it for reviews. I haven't used this but it might have an option to copy and paste on a text file to transfer to Pleco. When I'm reading on the PC app, I often save character lists onto notes that I export to Pleco and Skritter to try to learn the new characters.

 

You don't need to crack the DRM! The PC app allows you to select and extract chunks of text into the clipboard, or paste onto another file type, like text or Word, whatever. It is 'fair use', which is perfectly legal. You can save your text selection into Dropbox and Pleco will pick it up and have it ready for you to read, make cards etc. Same can be done with the Kindle apps for Android and IOS.

 

The dictionary in the reader and Kindle apps works also for your own personal documents that you send to the Kindle via a 'convert' email. This is incredibly useful for OCR pdfs (like many of those one finds in Chinese sites), as well as Word files. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luxi

One way round the klunkiness is to increase the font size when you do a dictionary search, it slows one down but is a lot more accurate and less frustrating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

Luxi the PC app could be interesting but can you select the entire text of a novel?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luxi

Awwww! I don't know whether to laugh or cry - probably laugh because it's quite funny, in a way.

 

Scratch everything I wrote above. While I was writing my post, the really old version of the Kindle App for PC updated itself. I thought nothing of it until I reopened to check whether I could copy a whole book. It turns out that now with the updated version I can't copy even one word. Not even from DRM-free completely legitimate, out of copyright ebooks. Not even from my own lecture notes! Darn!

 

It's upsetting because I used the Copy function a lot to transfer text to Pleco and study characters. How is one supposed to do research? 

 

Never, ever allow a program to update itself. Sorry to have raised false hopes 

 

:shock:

 

There a nice little program called Calibre that allows you to copy parts of text - not the whole book and only in non-DRM files. It's worth having Calibre bcause it's a very sophisticated program and can do lots of things, formatting e-books for example :  

https://calibre-ebook.com/download_windows

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron

How is one supposed to do research?

You crack the DRM. There is nothing naughty about cracking the DRM on products you have paid for to use on devices you already own.

The naughty part is sharing it with others (though that is arguable as well)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
realmayo

( Does that include software :P :P :P? )

 

But yes to be honest because I wasn't sure about how things stand with DRM I'm not confident enough to say it's a good idea for everyone. But it certainly works for me, very easily, via Calibre, so I can take kindle books off my kindle and put them on a tablet running Pleco Reader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
imron
Does that include software

I believe it does, and that's also reflected in the software I develop, which although it incorporates a licensing mechanism, also gives paying users the right to use the software on any machine they own.

 

I don't do anything intrusive to try and enforce or check whether users are doing that.  Instead I prefer to believe that people are mostly honest, and if they like the products you develop then they will pay a reasonable price for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Luxi

I still can't figure out how is selecting a chunk of text and pasting it on another file any different from copying it by hand - apart from being much faster and easier. In any case, the "Copy" or "save to clipboard" function is disappearing/has disappeared from e-readers and e-reading applications. The obvious conclusion is: hold on to your old versions and don't update...Too late for me...Sigh!...

 

Going back to the question of how to buy Chinese books at reasonable prices. I've had problems completing purchases of Duokan ebooks via Alipay, don't know if it's a temporary glitch.

 

Luckily, Duokan has an app for IOS and Android and the reader is really nice, at least in the Ipad - though "copy" is no longer there. I have to investigate further to see if there's any possibility of using it with Pleco, at first glance it doesn't seem possible. The UI is all in Chinese and no English option, I'll have to go through it and translate. It will take me time, I'm not familiar with e-tailers vocabulary.

 

On the positive side, the reader's dictionary in the IOS app is quite good (looks like the same as Amazon't Kindle) and not clunky. The other plus is: the ebooks are VERY cheap (discounted Chinese prices) and one now pays for them through in-App purchases via Apple. I don't think there will be a similar option through Google Play, but maybe other Android devices are less restricted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and select your username and password later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Click here to reply. Select text to quote.

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...