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Regardless of your take on the iPad as a do-everything replacement device for laptops and netbooks, other e-book readers are gaining a substantial foothold. Devices such as the Kindle and the Nook provide access to volumes of literature and documents without having to lug a fully-functional computer around. However, EBRs do not completely replace the need for notebooks and netbooks. Depending on your specific needs, both laptop/netbook-based EBR software and a stand-alone e-book device can be indispensable for portable access to work-related and recreational reading.
Calibre is a great program. I use it to convert ebooks into a format that I can read on my netbook and, for that, it's been a real lifesaver.
I'm impressed that it does all the things you note in this column. I knew it was versatile - I just didn't know how much!