Of e-books and epub

Recently, I had opted to review a book.  These days the books are made available (especially for review) in electronic format rather than paper copy.  The format used to be invariable pdf, which opened in Adobe Acrobat.

But this last one was available in epub, mobi (and another format I fail to recall), but not pdf.  It appeared that each was popular for specific e-book readers (read tablets like iPad).  Now I am still a desktop/laptop guy.  So the question was, which format of the book do I download and more importantly, what software do I use to open the book.

As usual, Google comes to rescue.  I searched for epub reader.  What do you know - the first and the best match was EPubReader - a free Firefox Add-in.  This allowed opening of epub files without any additional software!  What more can one ask for.

What I liked about epub was the concept of reflowable document.  What this means is, depending on the font that you specify the contents automagically adjust to the screen width.  No more resizing the screen or scrolling to get to non-viewable sections.  

So what is the con?  You no longer have the page number concept.   How can you number a page when the page size is not fixed and varies based on the font chosen?   So you cannot use the page number as a means to know how far you have read and how much more to go.  What is the alternate?  Rely on page chapters.  Especially if they are numbered and generally uniform in length, it is a fairly good indicator of your progress.  Otherwise, you can always know from the flow of the book where it is heading - depending on how well it is written!