...Today he would probably
want to see ebooks in
everyone's hard drive

How to store and retrieve your ebooks

by William B. Fox
4 April 2007


This section is intended for folks who are completely computer illiterate when it comes to downloading, managing, and viewing their ebooks. It also addresses new software and technologies that enhance your ability to enhance and enjoy your ebooks.

Using Adobe PDF files

America First Books would like for its clients to retain full control over downloading, storing, and retrieving their ebooks on their own without any special ebook software. The ebook files are in the Adobe PDF format. All you need is to download free adobe PDF file viewer software in order to view your ebooks when you double click on your PDF files. Otherwise, you need absolutely nothing else except a basic knowledge about how to download, store, and organize your ebooks on your own on your own hard drive.

Using Mobipocket

Our PDF files can be imported and used with Amazon's Mobipocket software. The Mobipocket Reader 6.0 software is free and provides some versatile features compared to the Adobe PDF format. The software enables you to view our ebooks on a wide variety of handheld devices and computer screens. It reconfigures ebook pages to exactly fit your computer screen, and allows you to turn from one exact page view to the next without having to scroll. Also, once you import our ebook files into its library page, they remain there as icons to be pulled up anytime at your convenience along with any Mobipocket ebooks that you may have purchased from another retailer in a Mobipocket file format. More on using Mobipocket software at the end of this article.

Basic operations using our downloadable Adobe PDF files

Downloading, reading, and storing our ebooks is incredibly flexible, easy, and convenient. In fact, no one makes it easier or better suited to fit your particular needs. However, to make it incredibly easy, you need to know a few simple steps about how to store, manage, and retrieve your ebooks on your hard drive.

If you want to make getting through these instructions really easy, simply find an assistant at a local computer store or a friend who is somewhat computer literate, and they can show you how easy it all is in just a few minutes and with just a few mouse clicks. Or you can continue to wade through these instructions.

First you want to download and store our ebooks on to your hard drive. Your hard drive means the hard disk drive where everything is stored on your computer, such as your letters, emails, software --the works. I will discuss how to manage your hard drive in a moment, but for the moment let's focus on the process of saving an ebook that you have purchased.


When you complete a purchase of one of our ebooks, you will see a download button. This is on the last page of the shopping cart process. This the page designated as "Finished!" on a progress scale that accompanies the shopping cart process (Each shopping cart page is designated in sequence as "Delivery Information," "Payment Information," "Confirmation," and finally "Finished!").

Although you will receive a confirmation email from us for your purchase, unlike other ebook vendors, you do not require anything from this email to proceed with the download such as special instructions, keys, or download links. The last page of the shopping cart process (designated as "Finished!") should have a download button that you can use without ever looking at an email. (If for some reason you do not see this download button, please contact us immediately).

When you click on the download button, you will be offered one of two options. You can open the ebook with your browser, or "Save to Disk."

If you open the ebook with your browser, be sure to click "file," then "save a copy." A dialog box will appear that says that this file does not allow you to save any changes to the file itself. Click "OK." A "Save a Copy..." dialog box will appear. Navigate to your c: drive and then the folder you have created to store your ebook, and then save.

If you select the "save to disk" option, the ebook will probably download to your desktop. It will appear as an icon on your actual desk top. You will probably want to eventually move this file to a folder on you hard drive. You can do this by either copying and pasting to the folder on your hard drive (and then delete the desk top copy), or you can drag and drop the file to your folder.

I said that the ebook will "probably" download to your desk top, because if you have an automatically downloadable e-magazine subscription (for example to Zinio Delivery Manager) your system may instead download to the folder on your hard drive where you receive your e-magazines. If you cannot find the download in an e-magazine folder, then run a seach on your computer by clicking on "start," then "search" and then entering in the search box the name of the ebook. Your system will then identify the folder it lies in.

To drag and drop, bring up the destination folder and minimize it on your screen. Then place the cursor over your ebook icon on your desk top, left click, hold it down, and slide the cursor over to the destination folder. The icon should drag with it and settle in its destination.


Before we go further, lets talk about how to navigate around on your hard drive and create folders to store and manage ebooks as well as other PDF files.

You can find your hard drive on your computer in Windows by clicking on Start (often on the lower left hand corner of your monitor in the default set up), then click on "My Computer," then look for (c:) local disc. Or, you may have a "My Computer" icon on your desk top. Click on "My Computer," then double click on your c: drive.

If you have a brand new Windows XP or some other Windows operating system, you might get a warning message the first time you double click on your c: drive. Please ignore it. I promise you, your computer will not blow up by double clicking on the c: drive icon. In fact, if you own your own PC, your hard drive (or c: drive) is specifically designed for you to get inside it and create and manipulate files at will.

On this last point, I would like to go a step further. Not knowing how to open up your c: drive and move files around is like owning a file cabinet and not knowing how to open up a file draw and pull out a file, but rather always feeling forced to depend on a secretary to fetch a file folder for you. The further analogy here is that it may be a waste of money to pay a secretary to fetch your folders for you if your file cabinet is right at your desk. Similarly, it is a complete waste to pay a premium to certain ebook vendors to use their software to access your ebook library, when all you need to do is make a few clicks with your mouse to access your files in your c: drive and manipulate your storage file folders at will to suit your needs.

As a caveat, please be aware that I am not asking you to tamper with any files that you do not understand. If you right click on certain file folders, and then click "delete," you could cause important programs to stop running. But I not asking you to delete anything that already exists on your hard drive that you do not understand.

I am only asking you to create new file folders to store your ebooks. The wonderful thing about your hard drive is that you can create as many file folders as you want in order to store as many ebooks as you want and it does not hurt anything. In fact, that is exactly the kind of thing that the hard drive is designed for. There are no negative interactions in any way between the ebook folders you create on your hard drive and any other programs.

It bears repeating: Do not go into a folder such "Program Files" and start deleting files for kicks. If you are computer illiterate, do not tamper with any existing folders and files. However, you can create new files and folders as much as you want. Creating new files and folders is a good thing. It means putting your computer to work for you. You can also delete files and folders that you have created yourself as well, since these should be things that you understand.

Simply right click on the mouse, and where it says "new," click on that. Select the "folder" icon that looks like a file folder. Then, after creating your folder, you may wish to name it something. Name it whatever you want, such as "my ebooks" or "America First EBooks" or whatever. Simply right click on the new folder icon, and then select "rename."

As you accumulate ebooks over time, you may wish to create additional new folders on your c: drive so that you can better organize ebooks together by categories. You can also add new folders within existing folders to organize within categories. Feel free to more your ebooks around between folders by copying and pasting them.

Accessing and reading your ebooks

To find and pull up your ebooks for reading, simply navigate into your hard drive, find the right folders and files, and then double click on the ebook you want to read. Go to Start, My Computer, c: drive, and then find your ebook file folders and files.

You can save the navigation steps by creating a short cut icon on your desk top. You can do this by right clicking on your ebook folder, and then select "short cut." This will create a short cut folder with a small arrow on the lower left hand side. Then simply click and hold down and drag that folder over to your desk top. In the future if you want to read an ebook, double click on the short cut folder on your desk top monitor screen, and you are there --Presto! And better yet, you did not have to go through any involved sign-up process with another ebook company to create some kind of "electronic passport" feature to develop this capability.

Last comment

As a last comment, if my instructions are not clear enough, please send us an email at or visit a local computer store and ask an assistant to show you how to create your own ebook folders on your c: drive. In only about three minutes and with only a few mouse clicks, he or she should be able to show you how easy all of this is.

As mentioned earlier in this article, creating and accessing your own ebook folders is so easy that ebook software that tries to make you rely on it to access and retrieve your ebooks seems like a rip-off by comparison. Their intent is typically to psychologically lock you in to their ebook product line. Worse yet, these product lines tend to be horribly politically correct, to include featuring all the trendy latest in mindless statist politics and perversions de jeure in mainstreamed pornography.

Using Mobipocket Software

First, go to the Mobipocket Desktop Reader 6.0 instruction and download page.

When you first pull up the Mobipocket Reader, click on "ebooks" in the left hand tool bar. Then in the top tool bar click on "import," and then in the drop down menu click on either "PDF files" or "all supported files." Search your hard drive for where you have stored our ebook PDF files. Click on the desired file, then click "open." The Mobipocket Reader will automatically build a Mobipocket version of the ebook. While the build process is taking place, below the reader screen you will see some work-in-progress status language such as "cleaning html" and "building mobipocket ebook." Then the ebook appears in your Mobipocket viewer, and an icon for ebook appears in the Mobipocket library screen. In my XP system, a Mobipocket file with the sufix "ebook" is automatically saved in the folder: c:\Documents and Settings \HP_Administrator\My Documents\ebooks\.

Please note that all of this is in addition to the PDF file that remains where you originally stored it in your hard drive. You can continue to view the PDF file you downloaded from America First Books with the Adobe Reader separately from the new Mobipocket file that gets automatically created by the Mobipocket Reader.

While the automatic conversion process from PDF to the Mobipocket format by the Mobipocket Reader usually creates very readable text conversions, please be advised that it is "machine-formatted" and not elegantly formatted by an artistic human eye specifically for the Mobipocket format. The biggest problem involves data in tables that can get scrunched together during conversion. Fonts sizes also change, however, this is more of an artistic issue than one that involves the readability of the text.

The difference in hard drive navigation between the Adobe and Mobipocket readers is that when you pull up Adobe Reader, you have to navigate to the place on your hard drive where you stored your desired PDF file in order to pull it up. When you pull up the Mobipocket Reader, you may already have the ebook title that you want as one of the icons in the ebook library. Merely double click on this icon and the ebook comes into view without having to navigate your hard drive. Expressed differently, you only had to navigate your hard drive once to find the PDF file when you initially decided to import it into Mobipocket. However, once Mobipocket builds its own file of this ebook and creates an icon in its library, there is no need to go beyond this icon to find the ebook.

The Abobe Reader also has some of its own advantages compared to Mobipocket. The Adobe Reader allows you to print out pages, whereas Mobipocket lacks a print feature. This is because Adobe is a fixed layout format designed for printing, whereas Mobipocket has a reflowable format designed to adapt to screens where the screen size is not known or imposed. Many Adobe files have a left hand tool bar that provides chapter icons to aid navigation. Lastly, the Adobe files retain the original layout of the ebook designer, to include data arrays in tables.

Using the Mobipocket Reader

To advance ahead to a page, use the horizontal scroll panel below the viewer screen. You can either jump to the page you wish by estimating its location on the scroll bar, and left clicking at that spot with your mouse, or by dragging the blue bar to the page you wish while watching the page numbers advance.

For other instructions and screen shots, please visit the Mobipocket Reader instruction page.

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