Zippy – Boost your ebooks with bionification

THE electronic books have really changed my relationship with reading… I can carry an entire library in my pocket, buy books directly from the Kindle, take notes, read in the dark…etc. But did you know that it is also possible to further optimize your digital reading experience thanks to the bionification ? Yes, a weird term but I think that’s how it’s said.

I already told you about it a few years ago, but this new technique, inspired by research in cognitive science, consists of bolding the first letters of words to facilitate their visual recognition and accelerate reading speed. Studies have shown that our brain does not read letter by letter but rather word by word, based on its overall shape. Thus, by accentuating the beginning of words, bionification guides the eye for more fluid and efficient reading.

Obviously, manually bionifying every book in your library would be a daunting task. This is where comes in Zippya command line tool developed in Python which automates the process for ebooks in ePub format. With just a few lines of code, you can turn any book into a bionic version, ready to transfer to your e-reader Kindle Or other.

To take advantage of it, the first step is to clone the Zippy repository on GitHub:

git clone
cd zippy

To avoid any intergalactic conflict between Python dependencies, we will then create a virtual environment and install the required libraries there via pip:

python -m venv venv
Source venv/bin/activate # Sous Windows, utilisez plutôt `venvScriptsactivate`
pip install -r requirements.txt

There you have it, your secret laboratory is ready to launch large-scale bionification! The magic formula is:

python [--algorithm ]

Replace by the way to the original ePub book and by the name of the bionified file to generate. For example :

python "Hypérion.epub" "Hypérion_Bionique.epub"

And presto, a few nanoseconds later, you have a growth hormone-doped version of your favorite science fiction book! The default bionification algorithm, noted "- 0 1 1 2 0.4", determines how many letters to bold based on word length and other criteria. But like a mad scientist, you can concoct your own formula by passing the parameter --algorithm.

Now that you have mastered the power of bionification, you will be able to devour “Hyperion” and all the other volumes of the Endymion cycle at superluminal speed! No more interstellar journeys that take ages, bionic books will teleport you into extraordinary universes in a flash.

Because Zippy integrates into your workflow, you can tailor ebooks to your preferences before transferring them to your e-reader. Your eyes will thank you!

Obviously, as a good cyberrebel, you can bionify all the ebooks you can get your hands on, even those protected by abusive DRM. A little touch of Caliber and DeDRM to free them, and presto, enhanced reading is yours!

By tinkering with Zippy’s code a little, you could even imagine lots of other optimizations to apply to your books or even make a plugin for Caliber. If so, tell me, I’m interested.

Up to you !




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