Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Retail Therapy (Score!)

This isn't the same as my previous experience in the candy store.

I had obtained free ebooks of Aesop's Fables and the complete works of William Shakespeare and Mark Twain (counted as one book apiece), discovering it extremely difficult to locate what I want within them because there aren't active links to make it easy for me to go from the Table of Contents (TOC) to what I want to read. If it wasn't the first piece, because I don't know the location, I'm supposed to repeatedly press the Page Forward button which quickly exceeds the limit of my patience.

Therefore, I spent several hours over several days comparing various ebook samples to find those I was willing to buy. My main criteria are the ease of using the interactive TOC and the formatting especially for Shakespeare since weird line breaks in his plays and poetry could make for awkward reading. Also, too much white space is annoying.

A few customer reviews complained about nasty line breaks with the publisher responding with a recommendation to set the font size down to 1 or 2 from the larger default size 4.

They're both nuts since the Kindle may be rotated to make the screen horizontal instead of vertical, effectively eliminating the line break issue without having to shrink the font size.

In the end, I bought the complete works of Honore de Balzac (150+ works), Charles Dickens (200+ works), William Shakespeare (38 plays, 154 sonnets, 5 poems), Mark Twain (14 novels + short stories, essays, and non-fiction), an illustrated Aesop's Fables, and all 16 volumes of Sir Richard F. Burton's translation of "The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night" (aka the 1001 Arabian Nights).

Imagine, 42 novels plus plays, short stories, essays, and more for only $12.05. The hardback book of Shakespeare's complete works alone costs over $25 and it's so darned heavy, I can't imagine taking it traveling.


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