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Old 08-11-2011, 10:45 AM   #34
jackie_w
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Posts: 2,571
Karma: 3783765
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: UK
Device: Sony PRS-350/650/T1, PB360, Kobo Glo/AuraHD/Aura6"
Well done for producing an articulate and nicely put together thread. What a pity that someone tried to spoil it.

I'd like to offer the following thoughts for those new to ebook reading.
  • Don't be in too much of hurry to convert all your books. When I started 2 years ago with my Sony 505 I spent a lot of time creating LRFs...

    Then I realised that this was going to be a dead end so I spent a lot of time re-creating them as epubs...

    Time passed and I realised I had got better at conversions and I was irritated that my early epubs weren't as good as my later epubs...

    Then I learned about epub font customisation so I changed my epub conversion settings again... then I installed PRS+ for the Sony and realised that I could achieve font customisation without having to do anything special with Calibre settings...

    Then Kovid introduced the 'smarten punctuation' conversion setting and I was irritated that my early conversions didn't have curly quotes ... oh and the covers on recent conversions now looked better than they used to... and on and on it goes.

    This probably says a lot more about my obsessiveness than anything else but the point I'm trying to make is that I wasted a lot of time converting that would have been better spent learning (or even just reading). I now only do a conversion just before I'm going to actually read the book. Then I know it's going to look the best I can make it.

    And even if you feel you absolutely must convert every book in your library, whatever you do don't delete the original source. Just because commercial PDFs are a PITA now doesn't mean that in a few years technology won't have moved on and they'll look great on your future reader. Also, conversions of conversions of conversions... may not be as good as conversions from an original source (a bit like photcopying).

  • Secondly, there appear to be two ends of the spectrum for ereader users,
    - those who, on the whole, just want to read and only really care that the words are in the right order with no pages missing,
    - those who insist on very precise requirements from their ebooks, nested TOCs, curly quotes, mdashes, correct indents, line-spacing, fonts, margins, covers, small-caps, dropcaps etc.

    My husband is very much in camp 1. I honestly thought that I was too. However I very soon realised I was deluded. Much against my better judgement, I'm in camp 2 and at the time I didn't have the basic technical skills to handle it.

    There isn't a problem with being in either camp. But, if you're in camp 2, you have to accept that the current state and diversity of ebooks and readers is such that you need to be conversant with HTML and CSS -- whether you like it or not. There's no point coming on forums like this complaining that Calibre should be easier, more intuitive, have more/less features... Manually tweaking ebooks to your very exacting requirements requires some knowledge. Either roll your sleeves up and acquire it or learn to be less picky. Ranting on this forum that you don't have the time/inclination to educate yourself and that Calibre should do it all for you is a waste of energy, and rather insulting to the developers.

Anyway, that's more than enough from me
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