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Old 11-22-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
Elfwreck
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New Reader - initial thoughts

Husband bought me a Sony Reader a few days ago; I installed the eBook Library software, was immediately baffled, and opened up an explorer window to find out where the books go. On finding a folder named "Books" with a bunch of .lrf files, I threw a pile of ebooks into the mix--some PDFs, some RTFs; not bothering with TXT 'cos I can convert them to RTF so quickly. Downloaded a couple of free LRFs to add to the mix. Re-open library; nice to see they're in there.

Read some books. Established that I'm perfectly content reading RTFs that are 12pt Times in the original, either flush-left with a line break between paragraphs, or (preferred) with first line indented, and no space between paragraphs. Discovered, as warned, that PDFs are a pain, and I'll have to work on conversions for many of them. Discovered RTFs have some arcane and nonsensical way of assigning "author." And sometimes title.

I'll get used to the flicker on page-turning; already, I only notice it for the first couple of minutes.

Head to Fictionwise; go through my bookshelf and grab some stuff I haven't read yet to download as LRFs. Yaay, stuff to read.

Download Calibre, with intent to play with that later today. I love doc conversion; I'll have to sort out how to format docs for good LRF. (Damn. I'd just gotten quick at formatting them for eReader.)

Decide to start picking up my 100 free classics.
1) Dialup internet and commercial website are an unhappy combination.
2) The idea, "You can only buy our products online with our proprietary BROWSER" is insane.
3) Said proprietary browser is not pretty on a 1024 pixel screen. Left-side bar isn't adjustable, either.
4) I don't expect to actually pay for any books from Sony's bookstore.

At some point, I gather I'm supposed to be able to use the Library to install books on the reader. I hate "user-friendly" software that assumes the user is such an idiot they don't need to have anything explained; just "click here for results!!!" that don't always make any sense.
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:23 PM   #2
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Don't bother with the "100 free classics". All are available here at MR, and our versions are MUCH nicer than Sony's!
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Old 11-22-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Don't bother with the "100 free classics". All are available here at MR, and our versions are MUCH nicer than Sony's!
Didn't know they were all available here, but figured that many of them were. (And they're gutenbergable. And available in other places.) But they're free, so I figure I'll see if I can make them download. (Save 'em into a folder marked "sonystore," maybe.)

Hmm. They have Kipling's "Barrack Room Ballads" as a Classic (714.96 KB), for $1.99... and as the Penguin edition (909.54 KB) for $5.65.

Okay, on further poking around... no. It is NOT worth trying to pick up freebie books at almost 1min/page change, with a complete reload required for the "back" button.
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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Elfwreck--Do make sure to check out the books available here for download as Harry said. Harry and others have spent a lot of time on the books formatting them to look really good on the Sony Reader.

I've tried the free books from Sony, and without exception, I've found the same book on this site--much better formatted than the Sony's.

Have fun with your reader!
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Old 11-22-2008, 01:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Didn't know they were all available here, but figured that many of them were. (And they're gutenbergable. And available in other places.) But they're free, so I figure I'll see if I can make them download. (Save 'em into a folder marked "sonystore," maybe.)

Hmm. They have Kipling's "Barrack Room Ballads" as a Classic (714.96 KB), for $1.99... and as the Penguin edition (909.54 KB) for $5.65.

Okay, on further poking around... no. It is NOT worth trying to pick up freebie books at almost 1min/page change, with a complete reload required for the "back" button.
Well, I put together this one:

Kipling, Rudyard: Poetry Ballads, Barracks Ballads.

Give it whirl and see if you like my version. I won't even charge you $1.99 for it.

Don
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
At some point, I gather I'm supposed to be able to use the Library to install books on the reader.
You may have noticed a delay when first opening an LRF file as the Reader does some calculations - the main reason to use the Sony software to transfer LRF books is that as it does so, it also does the calculations for the Reader.
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Old 11-22-2008, 06:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Drib View Post
Well, I put together this one:

Kipling, Rudyard: Poetry Ballads, Barracks Ballads.

Give it whirl and see if you like my version. I won't even charge you $1.99 for it.

Don
Thanks! I got it, and I'm searching through the archive of .LRF files here to find other things I'm interested in.

Is there an easy way to convert things from .lrf to .rtf or other easily-editable format? (Does Calibre do that? I haven't installed it yet.)
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Old 11-22-2008, 10:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwynevans View Post
You may have noticed a delay when first opening an LRF file as the Reader does some calculations - the main reason to use the Sony software to transfer LRF books is that as it does so, it also does the calculations for the Reader.
Ok, so I have noticed the delay opening .lrf files that I load using Calibre. It took so long that I gave up both times I tried. Is this issue going to be there for every .lrf file that I try to open?
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Old 11-22-2008, 11:07 PM   #9
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^^ I noticed the delay only when I open the book the first time, after that it loads automatically. I don't know why yours took so long as it's usually about 30 seconds for me (I am just estimating here).

Next time try selecting the book and then going to make yourself a cup of tea or something for a few minutes...it's possible you have a lot of books or are openin a very big book which may be causing the extended delay.

HTH
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:33 AM   #10
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I always use eBook Library to upload books to my reader. As a result, I never experience any delays.

Elfwreck
Why would you like to convert the best format for sony reader - LRF to a lesser format such as RTF?
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
Thanks! I got it, and I'm searching through the archive of .LRF files here to find other things I'm interested in.

Is there an easy way to convert things from .lrf to .rtf or other easily-editable format? (Does Calibre do that? I haven't installed it yet.)
If you use ebook library, (as astra mentions), there is no "formatting" delay. The books just simply open and you can change the font and the result is almost immediate.

I know you state that you like RTF - and that's fine, of course - but RTF will not retain any links such as Chapter links and jpegs. Also, the files can be very large.

You mention in your first post about some issues with RTF. You write: "Discovered RTFs have some arcane and nonsensical way of assigning "author." And sometimes title." Here's how you fix that:

Open Word. Go to "Properties." That's the place you can correct the author and title in the way you like.


Have fun!

Don
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:56 AM   #12
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I don't "like" RTF--I just already have a lot of stuff as Word docs & html files, and converting to RTF is insta-quick; converting to other things takes a bit of time & thought.

I've got somewhere between several dozen a few hundred fanfic stories collected, some of which I want to re-read, some of which I just saved out as html (usually as LiveJournal posts) for later reading... RTF is the quickest format for me to throw them into for putting on the reader.

I want Contents links & bookmarks... but after dealing with some Gutenberg files, I consider them perks rather than necessities. (I've installed Calibre & will start figuring out how to work with it. Can't directly go from my downloaded files to it; the downloads include header & sidebar stuff that needs to be removed.)

As to why I'd want to convert from LRF... because the Reader isn't the only way I read ebooks. Don't have any particular plans at the moment; just want to know whether books I acquire as LRF are convertible, or if LRF is an end-result only (like eReader .pdb files) and if I want to tinker with the shape of the content, I'll have to acquire it in another form as well.
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