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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody found any Kindle versions of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets that don't look really messed up?  I've looked at a few free ones, but the formatting is always very odd.  It is important with Shakespeare's plays to be able to see the formatting, as there are often parallels and things that help you see what's going on. 
 

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If you download .txt or HTML from Project Gutenberg, you can tweak the formatting to suit yourself.  I did that with the Sonnets, and it looks great.  Use Mobipocket Creator.  There is an option to leave the extra line breaks, or remove them.  For Shakespeare, you might want to leave them in.

You aren't going to find free versions that have commentaries, etc., most likely.  That will be in the versions that cost money.
 

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I don't have my Kindle right next to me -- (ack!  don't hit me!) -- but I did get the complete works from somewhere.  I think it was amazon.  My recollection is that the formatting was fine. . . .I'll look it up when I go back downstairs and will let you know.

Ann
 

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I got the one published by MobileReference. I paid $1.85 for it at Amazon but I see the price is now $4.79.  What's up with that?

Anyway, I noticed that you have to be careful with the font size selection.  It required a smaller font to keep the word wrap where it probably should be. 

Certainly a few typos etc in it but for the price............

Interestingly Shakespeare does show up one downside of the Kindle.  I like the annotated versions like the ones from The Folger Shakespeare Library where the text is on the right hand page and the left hand page has annotations and definitions of some of the more arcane words.

Maybe K3 will have dual screen options................ ;D

 

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Discussion Starter #6
SusanCassidy said:
If you download .txt or HTML from Project Gutenberg, you can tweak the formatting to suit yourself. I did that with the Sonnets, and it looks great. Use Mobipocket Creator. There is an option to leave the extra line breaks, or remove them. For Shakespeare, you might want to leave them in.

You aren't going to find free versions that have commentaries, etc., most likely. That will be in the versions that cost money.
I'm not tech savvy (or very computer/format savvy). How would I tweak the formatting, and how would I know how much to tweak it, etc?

The reason I ask is that in Shakespeare's plays, for example, the format often switches back and forth between prose and poetry. This makes a huge difference in the way one reads Shakespeare.

A good example of this is in the most famous dialogue between Romeo and Juliet. In that dialogue, it switches from either poetry or prose to an actual English sonnet in the middle of the speech. In written form, it makes the scene that much more "romantic," as Sonnets were often used for expressing love. The fact that their lines combine together to form the sonnet makes it even more so.
 

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mwvickers said:
It is important with Shakespeare's plays to be able to see the formatting, as there are often parallels and things that help you see what's going on.
Right.
I actually never thought about that for the Kindle.
 

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mwvickers said:
I'm not tech savvy (or very computer/format savvy). How would I tweak the formatting, and how would I know how much to tweak it, etc?
You have to be a bit computer-savvy to manually tweak the formatting. HTML is not hard to learn. There are free tutorials online. Also, you can usually use Word or OpenOffice to open the HTML file (use "Open with", don't just double-click on it), move the text around as you would with any other Word doc, then save it back to HTML.
 

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I just checked the "Complete Works" I have on Kindle which came from Mobile Reference.  The formatting is fine.  They have not used any bold or italic type, but in the couple of plays that I checked, the character's names are indented in all caps, and then their speech is not indented.  Next character name is indented, all caps, so it's pretty obvious when the speaker has changed.  There are hotlinks to each act/scene of each play.  When you click 'sonnets' you get hotlinks to each of the sonnets.  When the scene's change it is fairly obvious but there isn't an extra line space or anything.

All in all, the formatting is o.k.  Not great, but certainly readable, especially for one who is well versed in the plays.  And for the price, it was great.  I don't remember specifically how much it cost but I know it was only a few dollars at most; certainly way less than the Riverside Shakespear I used in college which was around $50. . .and I think that was about a dollar per pound.  :)

Ann
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ann Von Hagel said:
I just checked the "Complete Works" I have on Kindle which came from Mobile Reference. The formatting is fine. They have not used any bold or italic type, but in the couple of plays that I checked, the character's names are indented in all caps, and then their speech is not indented. Next character name is indented, all caps, so it's pretty obvious when the speaker has changed. There are hotlinks to each act/scene of each play. When you click 'sonnets' you get hotlinks to each of the sonnets. When the scene's change it is fairly obvious but there isn't an extra line space or anything.

All in all, the formatting is o.k. Not great, but certainly readable, especially for one who is well versed in the plays. And for the price, it was great. I don't remember specifically how much it cost but I know it was only a few dollars at most; certainly way less than the Riverside Shakespear I used in college which was around $50. . .and I think that was about a dollar per pound. :)

Ann
I'll have to look into that one. Do you have a link to it?

I don't remember which edition I used in college. I still have it, but I don't think it was Riverside. It weighed about the same, though. LOL
 

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I have several works by MobileReference (although not the Shakespeare) and they have been well formated. I was looking at the MobileReference version of Shakespeare and noticed that they wrote their own review because the reviews of two versions of a complete collection (one by them, one by someone else) had been merged. In their review they say that you need to read it using font size 1 or 2 otherwise things get screwy.

"12 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
Comments from the publisher, August 21, 2008
By  MobileReference (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews

Comments from the publisher:

This page mixes reviews for two books: one published by MobileReference and another one published by Packard Technologies. It is unclear which review corresponds to which book. We assure you that MobileReference book formatting nicely follows verse structure as long as you adjust the font-size to level 1 or 2. At a greater font-size some lines may be split. The MobileReference book was carefully checked for accuracy and completeness by a team of experts. The latest version was released on August 10th, 2008. Please download the Free demo that includes two comedies and a poem. "
 

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I admit to not having checked readability at various font sizes.  I always use 1 anyway and it didn't occur to me.  It is formated as the plays, in iambic pentameter lines, generally, so it is probably so that a larger font will cause split lines.  I think you'd get this with any version.

Ann
 
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