I read books in Italian in Lingq much faster and understand more if for no other reason I don’t have to look up anything I’ve looked up before. Over the last couple of years I’ve read all of Elena Ferrante and am getting to know other authors as well. In order to do this, however, I need to get the DRM out of a Kindle or Nook book so I can get the book into Lingq.
I never make these books public on Lingq because I understand that would be depriving authors and publishers of legitimate income (although so does our entire printed books library system, but that’s another issue). You could say that being able to read these books with the aid of Lingq is actually a benefit to publishers, since the faster I read the more books I will buy. But still Kindle and Nook don’t get it and they keep upping their DRM protections.
I’ve tried EVERYTHING to get to a system I can rely on to read books in Italian on Lingq: Calibre, Epubor Ultimate, and any other conversion method I can find, sometimes with success, and sometimes not. I’ve even tried a terribly laborious workaround whereby I make screenshots of the pages, convert them two pages at a time to text, then put the chapters back together, then import them to Lingq. It sort of worked but exhausted my patience quickly.
Along the way I’ve encountered a few weirdnesses in the electronic publishing world. First, just because a book is available in Italian doesn’t mean I’m going to find it on Kindle because they are subjected to licensing issues we don’t have with printed books. So, for example, on Kindle I could find a Natalia Ginsburg novel in English, Spanish, German, even Dutch, but not in Italian. The Italian editions were available on Amazon in Italy but I was not allowed to buy them there. Why? Amazon has the rights to sell the books in Italy but not in the USA where only Barnes & Noble could sell them for their Nook machines. But in the Apple space where my devices all live, the Nook only works on the iPhone or iPad, not on the Mac computer, which is the only device on which you might possibly be a able to strip a Nook of its DRM with Epubor Ultimate. In short every effort I made to read my books in Lingq ended in a series of previously unimaginable frustrations and I more or less gave up, until a lovely Lingquista named Davide responded to one of my many frustrated posts and offered to help, which he could do in Italy, buying the book for me and converting it to a form Lingq can recognize. As long as I have Davide, my problem is solved, which tells us something about the power of humans in an electronic world, but that’s another story, too.
The solution it seems to me is to allow people to buy Lingq certified copies of the book. These would be texts that you could could read in Lingq privately without sharing with others. What do others think? Mark or Steve, if you’re reading this, could we possibly negotiate for Lingq editions of ebooks?
And finally, thanks again to my fellow Lingquista, Davide.