FictionBook: a ??complete guide for reading e-books

Format FictionBook, surely familiar to many fans of electronic books. The analysis of a search engine shows that users download books in fb2 more often than, for example, ePub, lit, iSilo and other formats. How to use the basic format fb2 largest digital libraries in Russian – laquo; Librusekraquo;, laquo; Litresraquo;, laquo; Aldebaranraquo, and others. Also, it supports most eBook-devices, along with popular formats such as txt, rtf, or pdf. Abroad, the market for electronic books is quite different – there are flourishing iBooks and Amazon, ePub and promoting a variety of other formats in particular, laquo; chitalkaraquo; Amazon Kindle understands exotic in our latitudes and AZW PRC, but with FB2 does not want to be friends. However in Russian most of the books presented it to him (besides the bulk even for free), and in this review we will look at how you should use this treasure trove of culture. Namely – where to find the books FB2 and how to work with your computer.

But first talk a little bit about the format FictionBook. Its first version was developed in 2004 by a group of local enthusiasts led by Dmitry Matsneva Gribov and Michael, who did not like the lack of universal standards for the storage of books. Virtually all branded formats – doc from Microsoft, pdf from Adobe, lit, iSilo, Aportis, rb and other publishing solutions – are private and hard convertible, besides the usual formats of documents (doc, pdf) are not designed for the special library structuring. The same applies to txt, which is a concise, but it is a limited solution. More opportunities to book design has Hypertext Markup Language HTML, and in particular, its superstructure XHTM, but they are limited in the transmission of metadata. Therefore, the obvious choice was the development of structured data storage format is XML. Each element of the books in FB2 described their tags, and set them to meet the minimum requirements to fit fiction – bold / italic text, poems, illustrations, footnotes, annotations, epigraph. A recent document also contains information about the book – the genre, author, year, cover and other publishing options. An important detail is that the genres are selected from a list that developers should consider in advance to avoid confusion in the classification of literature.

Standard features FB-book. Climbed up on the screen only part

FB2-books are stored in a single file and have a very simple structure, and how they will appear on the screen depends entirely on the program, browser and its settings. They are also easily converted to other formats, and can be processed automatically when entering the electronic library. The only drawback of this technology is that it is supported mainly by the fans and, therefore, available for software lacks friendliness iBooks, Adobe Digital Editions and other expensive western solutions. In the market there is only one company that is interested in promoting commercial FB2-format – online store laquo; Litresraquo, with whose advice was released a beautiful and powerful editor for creating books- FB2 Editor. Most of the content in this book as well as they are prepared by publishers, and large army of enthusiasts. To review the largest network of libraries in the format FictionBook we proceed.

Online FB2-library

First electronic library based on FB2, is FictionBook.lib – the brainchild of the developers of the format. Project and is now fully live, but has not the most complete database of books. Some of them are available for free, is often proposed as a trial form and leads to pages laquo; Litresraquo; pokupkinbsp for registration, (it should be said that the creator Dmitry FictionBook.lib Mushroom is also the technical director of the service). Similar policy of separation between content and an available partner holds another popular resource – laquo; Aldebaranraquo, having lots of books (more than fifty thousand against thirty in FictionBook.lib). By volume laquo; Litresraquo, to tens of thousands of books over laquo; Aldebaranraquo.; It is true that the service is more like a bookstore than a library, although some of the books presented here and in the public domain (in this case are not clear reasons for which, for example, laquo; War and mirraquo, Leo Tolstoy is sold for money, and laquo; Anna Kareninaraquo, available for free). But the biggest and most popular FB2-site library is laquo; Librusekraquo;, available at

Home Site laquo; Librusekraquo;

Project itself as a free network library, where anyone can add and download books. Through the efforts of people here are more than 225,000 books from 115,000 authors. Service is known for its numerous disputes with owners and by 2009 was positioned as laquo; community piratovraquo, but later was changed declared policy – with posetieteley began to charge for use of the site (more precisely, for the opportunity to download books of limited access), which is shared between publishers . There are several types of subscription – for a day, week, month, year, and for all that stand respectively 49, 149, 299, 2499 and 9999 rubles. If you are contributing to the library, access is free.

The extensive publishing information present in each fb2-copy book laquo; Librusekraquo, automatically sorted by a variety of parameters. First of all, as expected, by author, and then – on genres and sub-genres (for admission to each section you can subscribe via RSS). Separately presented book series, periodicals, books from different countries, with a large cloud of available tags. You can also view the new items and the top 100 most downloaded books in the last week. In addition to the normal search the archive, you can configure the filter list, which specifies the genre, language, format, and other data. Books can be read online or download one or several at once.

tag cloud library laquo; Librusekraquo;

Holders unlimited access to the Internet can be surprised by the fact that the service allows you to pump out the entire library of free laquo; Librusekraquo, with its own torrent tracker (distribution is also duplicated on other trackers). It contains both official and unofficial releases, which are regularly updated. From the description, it follows that the database has more than 301,000 files, and over 74 thousand deleted from the site. Presented separately dealt with books only in FB2 (about 65 GB), and separately with other formats (about 315 GB). Included with the archives of the program are to read books and work with the library.

Official handing the full version of the library laquo; Librusekraquo, a torrent tracker

Speaking of FB2-libraries can not mention laquo; Flibusturaquo – independent resource book, which emerged as a response to the introduction of subscription fee laquo; Librusekraquo.; laquo; Flibustaraquo, which is supported by a part of the breakaway members yavlyaetsya almost complete copy of his: the service keeps the same look and functionality, and most importantly – has a similar database. The site has several input options (including access via the I2P), supports OPDS-catalog and torrent tracker.

Home Free Library laquo; Flibustaraquo;

FB2-library on your PC

If you downloaded to your computer library archive laquo; Librusekraquo;, laquo; Flibustaraquo, or just accumulated a lot of books in FB2, then controlled by them will be much more comfortable with the program, catalogers. There are a number of tools designed for management of home libraries (All My Books, Booknizer and others), but the capacity FictionBook was practically not supported. The official distribution libraries laquo; Librusekraquo, on torrent trackers recommend using MyHomeLib – it’s free, has a nice and convenient interface, supports the functional advantages of FB2 and, importantly, can download books on their own as with the service and with laquo; Flibustyraquo .; In this utility also has an identical cross-platform combination – program MyRuLib, which has versions for Windows, Mac and Linux.

main window MyHomeLib

The first time you open MyHomeLib wizard collection. Here you can choose to create a new collection, to open or download the old existing one. To create a new need to specify the name, the directory to save the file in the format of the collection hlc and the path to the books. Load current from the site or, selecting in this case – to download the entire library to your computer or only store information about books by downloading them from the server on demand. Complete the creation, you can note which files are stored in the plan – only FB2 or books in any format.

Wizard new collection MyHomeLib

If you create a new collection, it should be to add books to import files of the specified size (fb2, packed in zip-archive, also defined). With a large number of books scan can take quite a long time. In the future, if any change files on your local disk, you can run data synchronization. To organize the books added to the collection you will not have to lift a finger – here’s the beauty of the format is shown FictionBook. They are automatically sorted by author, series and genres, lists are displayed in the sidebar. Literary genres in the program are registered in advance and appropriate measures FB2-classifier (more than twenty major categories and a hundred children) books in which the genre is not specified, the section laquo; neotsortirovannoeraquo.; From authors and series a bit more complicated: since there can be a lot of (no joke – the library laquo; Librusekaraquo, contains over one hundred thousand writers), they are grouped by in Russian and Latin alphabet, but you can see them all together, selecting a symbol laquo; * raquo;. Above the list, there is a form of a quick search. True, look at the books it can not – for this there is a separate section, where different input parameters: title, keywords, text annotations, and other characteristics of the file. You can use the query language and to create complex logical structures – for example, by using the LIKE “Tol%” will find all the names of the authors, starting with laquo; Tolraquo, Leo Tolstoy, John Tolkien and others.

Display books in genres MyHomeLib

Found books are displayed in a table consisting of several speakers – author, title, serial number, size, genre and more. You can sort them on any grounds – for example, to place in the correct order a series of books about Harry Potter. Each FB2-book has a description that consists of cover, abstract, author, and genre of the series, the last three parameters are hyperlinks to other sections of the library. These properties are editable and can be changed by means of built-in programs. By the books in the list boxes appear for you to perform various operations on them – to export the books or information about them (in the form of a table txt, rtf, html, or its own format inpx), and add them to a group within the program (eg, laquo; prochteniyuraquo to ;) . When exporting can be done simultaneously convert books from FB2 to another format – lrf, txt, epub, pdf, mobi. Thus, the program is simply indispensable when downloading files from the computer to readers and mobile devices, including not supporting FictionBook.

table with a list of books exported from MyHomeLib

Finally, it should be said that the books of the library opened in an external program to read, you can change the settings. By default, the distribution MyHomeLib enclosing party utility AlReader; then we look at it, as well as other popular counterparts.

Programs for reading FB2

First program to read books in a format FictionBook was Haali Reader, developed by one of the authors of the standard Michael Matzneff. However, over time it has ceased to grow and gave way to other utilities – such as AlReader, CoolReader, FBReader. Although the category laquo; chitalokraquo; screen there are other popular programs – for example, Ice Book Reader Professional, they do not support all features FB2 (in particular, do not display images).

AlReader. The program is available for Windows and mobile devices on Windows Mobile. Developers have tried to make it as resembling an ordinary book. AlReader opens in full-screen mode, the text is divided into two pages, similar to the old paper sheets. Below shows the percentage of reading, the page number and scroll bar. Control panel pops up when you move the cursor to the top of the screen. In normal mode, the text is not copied – it needs to use the selection tool. Pages can be turned in any direction, it will be convenient in the vertical position of the monitor. Auto scrolling is also available in the form of a top-down band overwrote the previous contents of the pages. There is a table of contents, you can put a bookmark in the necessary places in the book. Another additional feature – saving books in various formats (txt, pdb, html). The program has a lot of options which you can change every single detail of the interface and display text – from a set of buttons on the control panel to select the style of each element: subtitles, lyrics, the first letter of a paragraph, etc.

program interface AlReader

CoolReader. This program is available on Windows and Linux, as well as on mobile devices running Android. She has laquo; knizhnogoraquo; interface and default makes eye strain: page background – white, fine text and merge, though divided into two pages. Sheet over the left displays the name of the author, on the right – the name of the product and the number of pages. Additional control panel above all the standard control bar, allowing the usual way to use the program (in particular, to open the book in the usual way through the wire Windows, rather than using the built-in file browser, as in other programs to read from the screen.) Other benefits – support laquo; goryachihraquo; keys, the ability to select text without activating the special regime, convenient buttons to increase and decrease the font on the control panel. Options for viewing of contents, search, rotate pages, add bookmarks are also present. Program parameters, as in AlReader, allow much: adjust the window, the page style and text, change the style sheet for FB2-elements. In the latter case, the possibility CoolReader generally extremely wide – edited more than a dozen options for each of the thirteen items.

program interface CoolReader

FBReader. This is the most cross-platform laquo; chitalkaraquo out of all: there are versions for Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as many mobile devices (Android, Symbian and others, but in iOS is the list not included). It looks quite nice and has several distinctive features. The text displayed here canvas, and on the right is the standard scroll bar. Books can be read only after they are added to the internal program library, where they are separated by author and category. The program is integrated with the popular network libraries: Feedbooks OPDS Catalog, Directory LitRes, ManyBooks Catalog, Shucang Catalog, Smashwords, where you can directly upload files to read. In terms of management capabilities FBReader reading quite limited: you can view the table of contents, search, find information about the book, turn the page. Else changes in the settings, which are also quite extensive and include the parameters of the program, and the display format. However, the degree of scrupulous editing styles here – a utility designed for people who do not like to deal in options meticulously.

program interface FBReader


In this article we reviewed the full list of questions related to the use of e-books in our laquo; natsionalnomraquo; format FictionBook: where to download, how to organize the library on the computer, with the help of some software to read. Information related to the self-editing and FB2-books, you can find in the official wiki-community of the format at Encourage you to take up the reading!

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