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Old 03-09-2012, 01:03 AM   #1
angus77
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E-paper reader that displays vertical Japanese in non-proprietary format

I really want to get an e-reader with an electronic paper display, but I really want to be able to read Japanese on it. Sony's readers display Japanese properly (vertically), but it seems like it only does that with their own proprietary filetype (am I wrong?)
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:23 AM   #2
HarryT
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Unfortunately the most popular ebook formats, ePub and Mobipocket, do not support vertical writing systems.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angus77 View Post
Sony's readers display Japanese properly (vertically), but it seems like it only does that with their own proprietary filetype (am I wrong?)
There are convertors to those proprietary Sony formats - lrs and lrf.
The very first e-ink reader in the world was Sony Librié. Librié was usually depicted displaying text in vertical format, I think.

The vast majority of e-ink devices out there will display Japanese in vertical format, as long as it is in pdf.
You usually hear that pdf is not suitable format for e-ink readers and that is because the vast majority of pdf files are formatted for A4 or Letter sized medium. If you convert your text to pdf with pagesize 90x110mm (for 6" screen size, considering status line), it will display just perfect on most readers.

Create one such pdf and upload it here and we can test it for you, so you see it really works. I can test it on PocketBook device.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:54 AM   #4
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There is a PDF file of a Chinese classic, 紅樓夢 (dream of the red mansion) uploaded here in the PDF books section. That one is displayed in the traditional Chinese way, in columns, starting at the top right corner. It works on my Kindle DXG.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:53 PM   #5
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There are programs that will take Japanese text files (usually those formatted like the Aozora Bunko files) and convert them into vertically formatted PDFs optimized for Kindle. Try searching in Japanese.
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Old 03-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #6
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What about the Japanese T1?
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Old 03-09-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
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JSWolf: the T1's vertical text display uses the proprietary LRF format. Epub and mobi do not currently support vertical text, although epub 3.0 will, I hear. However that standard has not yet been released. So currently if you want to read text vertically you either need to use LRF or convert to PDF.

angus77: what exactly do you want to read, though? You will need to buy your books from somewhere, so I recommend looking at ebook stores to see what they recommend.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
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JSWolf: the T1's vertical text display uses the proprietary LRF format.
Are you sure about that? I was under the impression that the Japanese version of the T1 used XMDF; the format developed (as I'm sure you know) by Sharp specifically for displaying Japanese eBooks.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Are you sure about that? I was under the impression that the Japanese version of the T1 used XMDF; the format developed (as I'm sure you know) by Sharp specifically for displaying Japanese eBooks.
The Japanese site lists XDMF support, and does not mention BBeB, so I think you might be right.
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Old 03-11-2012, 04:16 AM   #10
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Exasperating

I was mostly thinking of Aozora Bunko files. I've seen the converters online, but they require Windows (I'm one of those irritating Linux users [Debian]). Calibre was able to convert one of Aozora's files (and xhtml of Kokoro by Natsume Soseki) to PDF, including the ruby/furigana and everything, but not vertical. If Calibre is actually capable of doing vertical, please let me know!

I'm not so much worried about new books. I've looked around, and it seems like very few new (or otherwise under-copyright) Japanese books I'd be interested in reading are available in ebook format. Even someone like Murakami Haruki isn't available digitally (although it looks like just about everything he's written is available in English ebook editions).

Researching further, it looks like following its final ratification (?) in May, all the major Japanese vendors will be getting behind EPUB3. Exasperating, because I wanted to buy myself a reader for my birthday in April.
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