Discussion → e-books

  • Memegeng07.thumb
    J.S. Graustein
    Oct 02, 12:22pm

    As I stated in the Folded Word blog earlier, I LOVE reading e-books (http://folded.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/kindling-passion/). But I'd love to know what you think about them.

    Have you read any? Which file formats? What do you think e-books do to/for literature?

    Rant. Rave. It's all good.

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    Ben White
    Oct 04, 01:55pm

    The only e-thingies I've ever read have been .pdf downloads. That, and I suppose some of the more ingeniously styled or presented online fiction (like MCM, the guy behind http://1889.ca has his own custom javacript-based reader).

    One interesting question MCM raised in a discussion I was following was "why do we still have pages in digital books?" Obviously, sometimes it's to mirror a physical product. But other times, it's an arbitrary way to divide content. Why not have each digital "page" be a chapter, he says. Then again, while that might work for reading-websites, I suppose your typical device still has a non-scrolling screen size to try to cater for.

    Until recently, I didn't have a capable device for such things. I just got a Palm Pre, but so far the only software is Short Covers and the app itself is broken beyond usability. I have hopes for more. I think there'll be some creative ways to handle presentation with these mediums.

  • Memegeng07.thumb
    J.S. Graustein
    Oct 04, 07:47pm

    The page question is really interesting. pdf e-books are in pages, I think, because pdf was developed for printing--which means distinct pieces of paper.

    Kindle e-books aren't separated into pages. They use numeric in-file location numbers instead. When you're reading one, the device screen acts like a page, but the page breaks are dynamic because the reader can change font size (one of the biggest benefits for me).

    I also wish more publishers would take the time to code in a functional table of contents in their e-book file. It is tremendously frustrating in uncoded e-books to have to flip (on my iTouch) or click (on my Kindle) through a kajillion pages to get to a specific short story or poem I want to read. It forces me to either read front to back in order or use the search feature (which pulls up results for all titles on the device). And don't even get me started about non-functioning indexes!

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