Question: Is it easy to read books (E-Books) on a computer?

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patrick6
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21 Aug 2008, 4:57 am

Is it easy to read complete novels and such on a computer?

I've found great E-books on the internet, but I just don't know if I'd be able to read them easily on my computer or not.

By the way, do any of you guys have any recommendations for software to use to view E-books? Right now I just have Foxit-Reader, Notepad ++, Openoffice and Microsoft Reader for viewing E-books.



Thanks.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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21 Aug 2008, 5:24 am

I don't prefer to read books on the computer, no. But I have read several books as ebooks. As far as applications go, I prefer Adobe Acrobat.



patrick6
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21 Aug 2008, 5:48 am

Enigmatic_Oddity wrote:
I don't prefer to read books on the computer, no. But I have read several books as ebooks. As far as applications go, I prefer Adobe Acrobat.


Thanks for the reply.

I probably also prefer viewing PDFs rather than anything else.

Anyways, I have another question: What is the most preferable size to view E-books? Actual size or full screen?



drobert
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21 Aug 2008, 6:01 am

It really depends on your screen. I find most screens really bother my eyes. I haven't been able to read e-books (I'd always print them out) until I got my MacBook Pro. Considering the large quantity of programming related material I read in an average week, it's helped me save both trees and a lot of cash.



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21 Aug 2008, 6:05 am

I don't like reading them on the computer too much, not comfortable enough.
I read quite some though, since on project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page) I found a lot of texts I didn't find worth buying as books, but still liked to read or have a look at.

For the best size I can't tell, I change several times during reading. And it may depend on the size of the monitor, resolution etc. Just use what you find comfortable.

Is there a reader that would allow to make annotations in the texts? I really miss that with pdf files.


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CelticRose
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21 Aug 2008, 8:04 am

As said above it depends on the reader and whether your eyes can stand being on the computer for long periods of time.

It also depends on how well the book was converted to e-book format. I've read a couple with no problem (I use Adobe Digital Editions), but the one I'm reading now is awful. The layout is screwy, and there are so many typos that I'm beginning to think it was typed by someone who doesn't speak English. The typos are so bad that sometimes it's difficult to decipher the sentence.


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21 Aug 2008, 8:13 pm

For me it depends on the book. If it's a coding/math book and I'm looking at examples or whatever then ebooks are a godsend. If it's something like fiction then I definitely want to read it curled up somewhere my monitor and keyboard won't fit comfortably.



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21 Aug 2008, 8:28 pm

I remember reading through the Harry Potter final book in ebook format the day before it was released. I thought I was like, the coolest most awesomemest guy in the world since I finished it before most people had it. I did buy the book on release, of course, rabid fanboy that I am.

When reading ebooks I zoom in so the text fills the entire screen, switch to fullscreen mode and sit in a nice big comfy couch, mouse in hand. I can then use the mouse wheel as a remote control of sorts. I could conceivably do this on my 42" HDTV as well with the computer hooked up, if I wanted to not make my eyes itch so much after several hours.



chever
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22 Aug 2008, 4:13 pm

pat666rick wrote:
Is it easy to read complete novels and such on a computer?


I haven't read a novel in some time but I know I would prefer not to read one on screen.

That would kind of suck.

pat666rick wrote:
I've found great E-books on the internet, but I just don't know if I'd be able to read them easily on my computer or not.


E-books are best read when you read a little text where there's a good bit of of stimulating local processing, then do something else for a moment, then come back and read again, etc.

And of course math or science oriented texts are the best examples of these kinds of things

This one is working very very well for me minus a few inconsistencies with the current Lisp standard

www <dot> cse <dot> buffalo <dot> edu <slash> ~shapiro <slash> Commonlisp

(Can't post bona fide URLs yet)

pat666rick wrote:
By the way, do any of you guys have any recommendations for software to use to view E-books? Right now I just have Foxit-Reader, Notepad ++, Openoffice and Microsoft Reader for viewing E-books.


Software is not the issue, format and typesetting are

PDF, Postscript, and DVI are the very best formats, but they're not much good when the typesetting is poor

Find documents written in LaTeX if you can, its output in any three of those formats almost always reads beautifully on screens and in print


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patrick6
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23 Aug 2008, 3:43 am

I found this awesome Firefox extension that loads all webpages (by default) with a black background and light text:

[img broken by lau]http://i38.tinypic.com/vyy2s7.jpg[/img]



This will definitely make HTML E-Books and web-pages a lot easier to read!! ! If anyone is interested in the extension and how to set it up like this, send me a PM.



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29 Aug 2008, 11:26 am

I have been a rabid bookworm for most of my life, so at first I thought there shouldn't be much problem if I changed the medium where I read my books. I managed to read about a dozen of e-books before my internet habits slowly changed my reading rhythm. Now I really NEED books to be printed. I can't stand the idea of staying idle for hours on row staring at a screen. My attention span has been ruined by hours of browsing thousands of RSS items one after another. Now I know I'll need to get some more practice before I try to read an e-book again.
So my advice is: do what feels more natural and comfortable. If you still haven't had your reading habits ruined by the internet, then get as much benefit as you can from e-books. Enjoy them while you still can.



patrick6
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29 Aug 2008, 5:37 pm

I think that I wouldn't mind reading E-Books on a laptop. On a desktop it just sounds like it would be very uncomfortable.



kokopelli
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13 Dec 2017, 1:12 am

The site http://www.openlibrary.org has a number of books that you can read with a web browser.

I especially like their site for reading books while I eat. Instead of having to hold the book flat enough to read and keep it from automagically turning the pages, I can pull up the book on my laptop and just tap a key when I want to turn a page.