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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've PM'd Betsy about this a couple of times, and that she hadn't found time to do it yet shows what a busy lady she is. :)

The thing is, the list of free sites shown pretty much all rely on one resource, Gutenberg, for its document. Now Gutenberg is a wonderful resource, and I'm thankful for it every day. But it's an incomplete resource, and many don't realize how incomplete.

I can best illustrate this with my own experience. Recently discovering that Gutenberg had put out a new HTML version of Thoreau's Walden sometime last summer, I decided it was time to update the version I'd done for Mobileread a year or two earlier. I'd learned a lot about the formatting of ebooks in the interim and felt it was worth the time. But when I looked at the new version, I discovered that despite the effort of turning it into HTML, they hadn't provided one italicized word.

Now Thoreau uses a lot of italics in Walden, and they usually provide the point and the bite of the sentence. So I sat with my printed copy of Walden and entered all the italics. I'd also found out how to format tables in text, and Walden has 10 or so of those in the text. I thought the result turned out very well. It would be instructive for anyone interested in educating themselves to look at versions of Walden available at FreeKindleBooks, ManyBooks and Kindle Classics and compare the results. Feedbooks hasn't made Walden available.

It's a little frustrating to see on this site, as I did a week or so ago, someone recommend R. Austin Freeman's Dr. Thorndyke novels and send interested folks to ManyBooks for them. If they'd gone to Mobileread, they would have discovered Harry T.'s edition of all those novels, available in 7 volumes. The last I looked, they were on the 11th version, which represents an attempt to make them as good as he can. When he or a reader discovers errors, he puts out another version. But even the first version would have been better than those available elsewhere because of the care he devotes to the books he produces.

I'm not saying that everything available at Mobileread is better than is available elsewhere. But if you become familiar with the site, you'll soon learn which formatters do an excellent job and so provide you with a better reading experience.

Jim
 

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Hi Jim - Betsy's in San Diego on vacation so I am sure she will get to it soon.  Thanks for the information, very valuable.
 

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After reading this post, I checked out the Mobileread versions of the S.S. Van Dine Philo Vance that I had gotten elsewhere, and was extremely pleased that the Mobileread versions had the room diagrams that were mentioned in the other version, but were missing in the version I had.  I downloaded all the books again from Mobileread, plus the Mobileread versions of the Dr. Thorndyke mysteries.  Thanks for the heads-up!  Unfortunately, the user interface on Mobileread is not quite as nice as some of the other sites, but if the books are better formatted, it is no big deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Did you know that you could download to your Kindle, a program at Mobileread that will install a catalog of their books that are available that will allow you to put them on your Kindle via Whispernet?  Can't be much more user-friendly that that!  :)

Works great, too.

Jim
 

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Really?  I know manybooks and feedbooks have such things. . . .do you have the link or more details on the Mobileread one?

Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, Ann.  Information I've got, technical ability isn't so hot. :)  I don't know how to provide the link.  If you go to Mobileread.com and click on Ebooks at the top, you'll get a menu, which includes an item for Mobileread Download Guide that will allow you to install it on your computer and then you do the usual USB connection thing.  Once installed, though, it does allow you to download the books via Whispernet.  Not that big a file either, as I recall.

Jim
 
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