Back

Honto.JP E-books

#1
There's an ancient thread about honto.jp here, http://forum.koohii.com/thread-11167.html for those interested in some talk about physical books.

I know there are a lot of people here that use honto from comments buried in other topics, but I'm not sure how many are using the e-book features.

In any case, I finally registered for a honto account, and bought an SF大賞 book ('My Humanity' if you're interested) seeing as how I'm a big SF fan and I really don't know the Japanese SF scene so starting with prizewinners seems good. The interface wasn't terribly intuitive but I managed to buy the book and get it loaded into the honto reader on my PC so at least I'm going to be able to read it.

However, I'd really like to read these books on an Android device. I've been reading a bunch of web novels and google books on my iphone, and I've really gotten quite comfortable with reading on my phone. I might even by a tablet for a better reading experience if I can get this to work.

Unfortunately, when I go to install the honto app on my phone, I'm told it's not available in my region. Theoretically I've downloaded my book, but poking around in the honto directory I don't see any obvious data files (nor in documents or app data). Well, if I go through enough tools and search methods I'll perhaps find it eventually, or I could use an disk differences check and buy another book to find where they're kept but... eh.

So my question is basically, does anyone know how to take locate a book from honto on the PC and transfer it to android to be read in a 3rd party reader, and/or how to evade region locking to install the honto app on an android device?

If worst comes to worst I guess I could consider buying a windows tablet but I'd really rather not.
Reply
#2
https://androidappsapk.co/apkdownloader/
I use this to get past app region restrictions on free apps in the Japanese Play Store. Change the country to Japan & paste in: jp.co.dnp.eps.ebook_app.android There's probably a way to do it with proxies too, but I haven't tried that yet.
Edited: 2017-01-24, 11:01 pm
Reply
#3
Ahhhhh. That worked. I messed it up a bit before understanding...

Go to the site mentioned.
Tap the American flag (or your country's flag).
Scroll down to Asia and tap the Japanese flag.
Set your keyboard to roman characters and type the suggested 'paste in'.

I'm a little curious as to how you found the suggested 'paste in' text... I'm never shown that text when I browse to the site and click to download the app; neither the web page nor the google play store show the URL (or... app name... or... whatever you call that kind of link.)

Anyway, for now at least I have a working version of the app on my 100% 'murican phone (that speaks Japanese).

Edit:
I'd still like to get at the downloaded book files so I can move them into other apps on whatever device I choose, but, eh とりあえず成功だから、感謝します

Edit2:
I'd swear the first time I visted honto.jp it just gave the option to download ebooks in a couple of different formats without trying to force a particular app on you... man I wish it still worked that way...

Edit3:
Oh yeah, and it's only treated as a downloaded file. You have to select it from the notifications and give permission to install an unknown app. If you wait too long/clear notifications/reboot then you'll probably have to search the files on your phone from something that lets you launch executables that aren't installed apps. Not sure if you can do that with the built in browser or not.
Edited: 2017-01-24, 11:34 pm
Reply
May 15 - 26: Pretty Big Deal: Get 31% OFF Premium & Premium PLUS! CLICK HERE
JapanesePod101
#4
About the pasted in text, I found the google play store link url & copied the app id.
The urls are usually something like ht tps://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=APP.ID.NAME.HERE (space added so the forum would show the full url)
Copy what's after "id=". You could also try pasting in the full url, but I've had less luck with that.

If you ever find a way to strip Honto's ebook DRM, I'd be curious to know it too. I did a quick search for it in Japanese, but had no luck. Searching "honto.jp DRM 解除" without quotes didn't bring up anything but people talking about other ebook sites, or people grumbling about honto's DRM, but I didn't have time to look through many pages.
Edited: 2017-01-25, 12:36 am
Reply
#5
Hnnn. I feel uneasy now and wonder if I shouldn't just buy my books in paper...
It's really not a comfortable feeling being dependent on apps that could be suddenly made inaccessible to you. I was looking at honto to avoid that exact feeling given Amazon's policy of wiping your collection if they figure out that you aren't actually living in Japan...
Reply
#6
If it's the .book format, the DRM is really simple to remove. I wrote a tool to remove the DRM from honto.jp's .book files some 6 years ago. That's assuming they haven't changed anything yet. It was a DRM that was common among various online shops at the time, no idea about recent times though.
Reply
#7
Hmm. I located what looks that the data file. It has a '.bok1' extension, but I don't really know what's in it.
Sounds like a variation on '.book' though.
Reply
#8
I don't suppose you could get a sample that you could send me, could you? Like a free book that uses the same .bok1 extension. I could see if it's the same or not.
Reply
#9
There's a lot of free Honto.jp ebooks here: https://honto.jp/cp/ebook/recent/free.html
Don't know about the format though, but there's enough that I would hope at least one has it.
Edited: 2017-01-25, 5:31 am
Reply
#10
(2017-01-25, 12:37 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: Hnnn. I feel uneasy now and wonder if I shouldn't just buy my books in paper...
It's really not a comfortable feeling being dependent on apps that could be suddenly made inaccessible to you. I was looking at honto to avoid that exact feeling given Amazon's policy of wiping your collection if they figure out that you aren't actually living in Japan...

Wow, they really do that? I think I already have most of my Japanese kindle books drm-stripped and backed up, but I guess I'd better double check.

Good luck with the honto quest. I have had the same question about ebj (E-Book Japan: http://www.ebookjapan.jp/ebj/), and have never managed to figure out how to locate or break encryption on those books. Doesn't help that I only have a Mac/PC and non-jailbroken i-devices.
Reply
#11
I downloaded some of the free ebooks. This DRM is similar to the Kinoppy DRM i cracked before. So my tools don't work anymore, unfortunately. The tools for Kinoppy don't work either unfortunately. I might take a look at it later after work.
Reply
#12
(2017-01-25, 11:01 am)zx573 Wrote: I downloaded some of the free ebooks. This DRM is similar to the Kinoppy DRM i cracked before. So my tools don't work anymore, unfortunately. The tools for Kinoppy don't work either unfortunately. I might take a look at it later after work.
Ahhh, that's unfortunate. Thanks for all your efforts!
Reply
#13
I made a tool that seems to successfully extract the .epubx files, which seem to be the most common format that I could find. There's one other type I've found so far, DIVF4, but it seems a lot less common and maybe only for manga? I've only seen 1 so far.

http://pastebin.com/qLLBdaj7

Go to the folder: %LocalAppData%\DNP\honto\Contents\
Then you'll find a folder with numbers and characters there, which is your user folder.
Inside that is the folders for all of your books.

Use it like this:
Code:
python extract_epubx.py input.epubx (optional: output foldername)

Example:
Code:
python extract_epubx.py 20001_121206014_001_001_131_521.epubx
-> Extracts data to folder named "20001_121206014_001_001_131_521"
Code:
python extract_epubx.py 20001_121206014_001_001_131_521.epubx somebook
-> Extracts data to folder named "somebook"

Requires Python 2.7.

You'll have to figure out what to do with the data after that.
0001\Images usually contains the images in JPG format.
0001\Text contains an XML file with all of the text and styling and everything.
Edited: 2017-01-25, 5:24 pm
Reply
#14
Ahhh, thanks! That works just fine on a free download in that format.

However, it naturally doesn't work on the .bok1 file (which is presumably .book format, all the more likely since the directory names end in _EPUBX and _BOOK respectively.

Maybe I should try if the old tool works? I mean this book is from 2014, they probably just don't have any compelling reason to re-encode perfectly serviceable books, so it seems likely.

I'm not sure it's that important though if most of the books are in EPUBX. I'm sure I can read this one book in honto's reader. I'm not even that enthralled by the standalone reader that I do have, I guess I should search for a better one.

(2017-01-25, 9:16 am)tanaquil Wrote:
(2017-01-25, 12:37 am)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: Hnnn. I feel uneasy now and wonder if I shouldn't just buy my books in paper...
It's really not a comfortable feeling being dependent on apps that could be suddenly made inaccessible to you. I was looking at honto to avoid that exact feeling given Amazon's policy of wiping your collection if they figure out that you aren't actually living in Japan...

Wow, they really do that? I think I already have most of my Japanese kindle books drm-stripped and backed up, but I guess I'd better double check.
Yes. I mean, you can get your books back... if you can rigorously prove that you're residing in Japan.
I haven't heard any horror stories like that lately though (like not for several years), just the occasional complaint that someone has been locked out of buying any more books. I don't know if people are more careful about backups and/or using VPN every single time they even might contact amazon-jp, or if Amazon has changed their enforcement policies or what. Still, since hearing about that happening to people I've never even wanted a kindle.
Edited: 2017-01-25, 11:41 pm
Reply
#15
(2017-01-24, 10:03 pm)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: In any case, I finally registered for a honto account, and bought an SF大賞 book ('My Humanity' if you're interested) seeing as how I'm a big SF fan and I really don't know the Japanese SF scene so starting with prizewinners seems good.
Tangent to your actual question, but I went through some of the SF prizewinners a while back too. The standout best one I read was 新世界より (SF Taisho 2008) which I think is perhaps my favourite of any book I've read in Japanese. 敵は海賊・海賊版 (Seiun 1984) was OK humorous space opera. 永遠の森 博物館惑星 (Seiun 2001) I didn't really get on with. ハーモニー (SF Taisho 2009; Seiun 2009) was good. 図書館戦争 (Seiun 2008) is a fun series of 4 sort-of-light-novel-ish books. 太陽の簒奪者 (Seiun 2003) is good if you like hard-SF novel-of-ideas books (nanotechnology, first alien encounter).
Reply
#16
Quote:Yes. I mean, you can get your books back... if you can rigorously prove that you're residing in Japan. 
I haven't heard any horror stories like that lately though (like not for several years), just the occasional complaint that someone has been locked out of buying any more books. I don't know if people are more careful about backups and/or using VPN every single time they even might contact amazon-jp, or if Amazon has changed their enforcement policies or what. Still, since hearing about that happening to people I've never even wanted a kindle.

I did notice recently that I needed to go in with a VPN when previously, I had succeeded in buying more than one Kindle book from Amazon Japan with no VPN. At this point, I have the VPN service anyway, so it's no big deal to switch it on when I go kindle shopping. I can see why you'd be wary though!
Reply
#17
(2017-01-26, 12:40 pm)pm215 Wrote: Tangent to your actual question, but I went through some of the SF prizewinners a while back too. The standout best one I read was 新世界より (SF Taisho 2008) which I think is perhaps my favourite of any book I've read in Japanese.

Have you seen the anime 新世界より? Would you say the book better than the anime? Also how was the difficulty level? I'm a little intimidated to start reading fantasy or sci-fi genres in Japanese.
Reply
#18
(2017-01-26, 7:59 pm)yukamina Wrote:
(2017-01-26, 12:40 pm)pm215 Wrote: Tangent to your actual question, but I went through some of the SF prizewinners a while back too. The standout best one I read was 新世界より (SF Taisho 2008) which I think is perhaps my favourite of any book I've read in Japanese.

Have you seen the anime 新世界より? Would you say the book better than the anime? Also how was the difficulty level? I'm a little intimidated to start reading fantasy or sci-fi genres in Japanese.

I've seen the Anime! But I haven't read the book. It is on my wishlist, but I kind of wanted to read some stories that I haven't already seen the Anime of. In English, I've always preferred to read the book first. Usually if I see the movie first I'll just never get around to reading the book. I'm just motivated by that desire to find out what happens on the next page, and it's just not the same when you already know. The reverse isn't true, I enjoy seeing what I've read condensed down and rendered in full living color just for the spectacle of it.

Still, there's obviously a -lot- more 新世界より in the books than the Anime, just judging by the number of pages. I'm still probably not going to read it for awhile yet.

Any-way; as far as reading fantasy goes, I think it's really easy to get into. There are of course works that are pretty challenging and use a ton of terms for describing unusual equipment and swordfight details and such, but mostly all you need outside of ordinary language is a couple dozen commonly repeating words (魔法、国王、甲冑、騎士、冒険者、などなど)  Of course, I started with fantasy manga and video games and then the first couple 狼と香辛料 and some web novels.

I'm currently reading the くま クマ 熊 ベアー series, which at least feels like the easiest books I've ever read (presumably I'm improving, but even so...). It's pretty light reading. The main character is transported to a fantasy world and given powers similar to those from the fantasy game she had been playing in the real world... the combat is pretty one-sided so, most of the interest is just in how she interacts with the people of the world. It's cute and funny and sometimes touching, but it's certainly not deep drama.

It is though conveniently available on the American google play store, and did I mention, really easy reading?
(first volume https://play.google.com/store/books/deta...SLCgAAQBAJ )

Science Fiction on the other hand... The second paragraph of 'My Humanity' has 試験中の被験者は、疑似神経制御言語ITP(Image Transfer Protocol)で記述したプラント技術者の経験を、脳内に移植したITP制御部(コントロール)に書き込んでいる。 Whewwwww. (Intimidating first page!) On the other hand I expect another 'science fiction' novel might have 宇宙船 as the only 'science' term that appears in the whole darn thing. Well, and I guess 重力 would be inevitable too.

I'm only just getting started in reading Japanese SF, but my experience in English is that there are works that go all-out in science-nerd theorizing about potential future technology.... and others that are also 'science fiction' in name, but basically just adventure stories in space with almost no 'science' terms at all (think Star Wars).

It probably would've been smarter of me to start with something more like the latter, but, eh. I expect I'm getting most of the technical terms I'll need in the first few pages, and as long as I don't forget them it'll be fine going forward.
Reply
#19
(2017-01-26, 7:59 pm)yukamina Wrote: Have you seen the anime 新世界より? Would you say the book better than the anime? Also how was the difficulty level? I'm a little intimidated to start reading fantasy or sci-fi genres in Japanese.
Yes, I saw the anime some time after I'd read the book. The anime is good, but I preferred the book -- it has more time and space to unfold the story in, so it can take more time for the worldbuilding and the slow buildup of "what's going on here?".

I wrote a (spoiler free) book review ages back which has more of my opinions and a sample first paragraph for judging difficulty. It' s not a really easy read, but it's not especially difficult either. I was a bit apprehensive at the time (my edition is in three volumes totalling 1500 pages), but the story was so compelling that I read the whole lot in less than a month.

On fantasy/SF in general: I find that the start of a book is often the hardest, but once you've got used to the author's style and the vocab the story is using it gets easier. And if you read more books in the same genre then the same words tend to crop up again.
Edited: 2017-01-27, 4:03 am
Reply
#20
@pm215 & SomeCallMeChris Thanks, I think I might check out the book series. I only watched half of the anime, so I think I'll watch the rest of it and decide from there.
Reply
#21
In other news about getting Japanese ebooks, apparently it's possible to strip the DRM from Rakuten ebooks & be left with complete epub files: http://wormholetoakihabara.blogspot.com/...kuten.html
Has anyone tried this or knows if it still works?
Reply
#22
(2017-01-26, 9:27 pm)SomeCallMeChris Wrote: Still, there's obviously a -lot- more 新世界より in the books than the Anime, just judging by the number of pages. I'm still probably not going to read it for awhile yet.
Let me know what you think. I made a go at it during the fall Tadoku, and it handed my ass to me. I could get through it, but the amount of vocab it was flinging at me was daunting. I'm gonna try and give it another spin later this year after I elevate my reading and vocab level a little more.
Reply
#23
Oh, I forgot one from my potted-review list: 第六大陸 (Seiun 2004). Only read book 1 of 2 so far; it's OK but very much reads like the author has applied a dramatization to his detailed research into the practicalities of constructing a moonbase with more-or-less current space technology, rather than using the research as a backdrop for telling you a story...
Reply
#24
I've just recently purchased a light novel from Honto.JP in Ebook and I've been a bit confused because usually light novels have some illustrations here and there, does the ebook version not allow the illustrations to be shown?
Reply
#25
(2017-05-14, 7:31 pm)BlackRabbit0048 Wrote: I've just recently purchased a light novel from Honto.JP in Ebook and I've been a bit confused because usually light novels have some illustrations here and there, does the ebook version not allow the illustrations to be shown?

I've got illustrations in the LNs that I've purchased. Not every LN has illustrations though, and some are arranged so that the illustrations are all grouped together (typically for color plates, since those are printed on a different kind of paper in the physical edition). Maybe your book doesn't have illustrations, or maybe they're all in a group in the center or at the end.
Reply