How do you read e-books on MacOS?

macOS and Mac Apps


I have been facing an issue for a long time, and I've had to try different solutions to it, and now I'm reaching a point of frustration at having to go through all of these steps.

I read a LOT of books, and when I'm facing an issue at work or in life, I go back to those books often to refresh my memory. I have tons of books on management that I use for work, and general "life skills" such as Crucial Conversations, Personality Types and so on – stuff that I sometimes literally need to refresh myself and act on in minutes.

So, let me begin by saying that Kindle just doesn't work for me. There's no way to copy text, no way to quickly search for information. It's just good for fiction maybe, where you just have the TTS reading the text.

I've had mixed success with Apple Books, but that too is not really easy to look up information in.

What I've had to do is to remove DRM from books and turn them into ePubs, but that has become impossible in many ways recently. Also, there's always some weird thing I have to do, like block Kindle from updating, switch to some earlier version of Apple Books, and all of that jazz. I don't want to have to deal with that just because I want a portable, easily searchable format.

So, how do you all deal with that? Is there some company that just cares about actually delivering value without dealing with piracy-phobic publishers who'd rather destroy accessibility?



Submitted by Patrick Smyth on Wednesday, June 23, 2021

You should go fully to the dark side. Pirate the books, and you'll have them without DRM from the get-go. Yes, some books you'll still have to crack, since they're new or relatively unpopular. And, yes, it's a pain to keep up with all of that. But I don't see any way around it. There's no publisher that has remotely the selection Amazon has, that's why we call them a monopoly.

If, after reading a book, you want to support the author, buy a print book and give it as a gift to a sighted friend. That's what I do.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I finally discovered how to control the Kindle TTS voice. It's the system default voice, in System preferences, Accessibility, Spoken Content. Personally, I prefer using the iOS app and reading the text with VoiceOver, but we all know that doesn't work on the Mac for reasons unknown.

I totally agree that copying text in Kindle seems to be utterly impossible. I've sent them feedback about their lack of accessibility, but I've seen zero improvement. I've even stopped telling developers that I'm a former developer myself, and I'd be happy to beta test any accessibility changes free of charge. I've made the offer several times and have had zero takers.