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Journal of No. 118


January 24th, 2011

Kindling @ 10:55 am


So I bought myself a Kindle. I'm a little amazed/creeped out by Amazon's message that I can buy books for it, which will be delivered wirelessly to the dingus inside its box as it makes its way through the postal system.

Anyway, I ask the greater hive-mind, particularly those with Kindle experience... What free or near-free books should I pack onto it? I see there's plenty of nearly free Lovecraft. But I assume many of these texts are just ripped from dagonbytes.com complete with typos (rather than ripped from hplovecraft.com). Which of the many alternatives will cause me the least pain? There's lots of free or nearly so Poe, Dunsany, Machen, Wells, and just about anything Project Gutenberg or similar projects have touched. Any advice on how to tell a well-formatted version that plays nicely with Kindle from a badly formatted one?

Any other advice from the Kindle experts? I see that the greatest work of English literature is available, but reviews of the Kindle edition are excoriating. How can this crime against humanity be amended?

And it is also annoying that you can't(?) separate reviews of the Kindle edition from reviews of the physical book and the audio version that all seem to be mashed together.

How can you tell if the Kindle version will be well Kindle-ized?

Sing to me of the Kindle, O Internet, the dingus polytropos...
 
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From:incarnate
Date:January 24th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)

Feedbooks

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I'm not 100% certain it'll work with the Kindle, but I've been using Feedbooks on my phone and on my Sony Reader for almost a year now and it's great. Their public domain books are top quality, and their bookstore is great too:

http://www.feedbooks.com/
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From:ian_tiberius
Date:January 24th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC)

Re: Feedbooks

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I second the recommendation of Feedbooks; I've been using the free "Laputa" app on my phone, which is 1) an excellent reader and 2) interfaces directly with Feedbooks and Gutenberg and other sources, so there's no separate go-download-the-file jiggery-pokery necessary; it's all done within the app. So far my experience with Feedbooks is that their books are well-formatted and typo-free. (I've been reading the original "Conan" stories by Robert E. Howard, per instructions from you and richardabecker.)
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From:incarnate
Date:January 24th, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)

Re: Feedbooks

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Just as a note, I thought it would be fun to try out the "Roberta Howard" gender-bent Conan stories on Feedbooks... Don't be tempted. It is a pretty poor search/replace job on the original Howard books, so you end up with awkward constructs like "The mother wept greviously over his son..."
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:January 24th, 2011 09:23 pm (UTC)

Re: Feedbooks

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Thanks for the tip. Looks like Feedbooks will play nice with the Kindle.
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From:arcane_nitehawk
Date:January 24th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Two of the first free books I picked up were Dracula and Frankenstein. They weren't the best kindleizations (no chapter book marks) but they were readable. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland/Through the looking glass we're worse because several of the poems and stories within the story were stripped out. Leaves of Grass was completely unreadable.

I have a free e-book blog in my RSS reader. However 95% of what's offered for free is crap, with reviews starting with the words, "Christian publishing house..." Gems can be found if you're willing to wade through the muck.
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From:freudinshade
Date:January 24th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
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We have a Nook rather than a kindle, so the formats are slightly different and the capabilities aren't exactly the same, but close enough. I've found that the most important thing is not having hard linebreaks and things like that in there, which can really mess up the flow of text. Chapter anchors are nice, but since I tend to read straight through and the Nook remembers where I left off on each book, it is not much of a problem for me if they don't. Commercial ebooks have all the illustrations and graphic layout items, which seem to work well even if you shift the typeface and text size.
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From:nephthys510
Date:January 25th, 2011 01:47 am (UTC)
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I grabbed 20+ free and near-free collection. I did searches on "complete works," "collection," and "omnibus", etc.

They are in varying degrees of formatting. Chapter links/footnotes, etc may or may not work. I only had one with no hard returns, and that one I promptly deleted. For .99, I have the complete works of Wodehouse, Dostoevsky was approx 4.00, and on and on... I can't complain too much about the lack o links.

I'll look into feedbooks later tonight (thanks to the above poster for the heads up).
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From:rizwank
Date:February 4th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
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http://www.instapaper.com/ has a feed for Kindle that's almost free. It's, seriously, one of my favorite things in the world.
Combine that with http://givemesomethingtoread.com/ and you've got a lot of goodies.

Journal of No. 118