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Old 06-04-2011, 01:37 AM   #1
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Thumbs up The Harvard Classics

I recently downloaded the Harvard Classics reading guide from this forum, noticed some OCR errors (through no fault of Crich, the uploader) and started doing some tinkering. Editing that ebook file was such a rewarding experience. I went through the first lines of the poems index (I love classic poetry!) and became excited to read some old favourites. I went through the reading suggestions which put the works into historical, political, religious and thematic overviews. It really gave me some ideas for a way into this massive series short of reading them in order one by one. It made me really excited to try tackling this series as a reading project!

I have been doing some tinkering and through a forum search found the tip to download the LRF files instead of the mobi ones since they have a table of contents (the mobi ones do not). The mobi ones also seemed to have very large line breaks between the paragraphs and the LRF I converted to mobi in Calibre seems much better formatted. Now, I don't have to worry about getting the books elsewhere or spending tons of time tinkering with them. I can just read them and enjoy.

And then----just to check the formatting, I downloaded the first poetry collection (Volume 40 in the series) onto my Kindle to peek, and in the introduction it says that the bulk of the book will be, pretty much word for word absent Milton and Burns who appear elsewhere, the text of Palgrave's Golden Treasury! This was my number one most wished-for Kindle ebook. I downloaded the Gutenberg and Manybooks versions and just could not get them looking right, and there was not a version here. Well, apparently, there WAS a version here, it was just hidden inside the Harvard Classics!

I am so excited to read this collection. There looks to be a ton of interesting stuff in there and now that I have some ideas for ways to explore it from a variety of angles I hadn't thought of, I am even more excited. I also was speaking of it to my dad, who is looking for a new big reading project now that he's done with Trollope, and I think he is going to read them too.

Has anyone else read these books? Anybody finished the whole series? Any parts you especially liked or didn't like? It's so fascinating to me, the scope of this collection. It was conceived as a way that an uneducated person could buy a single shelf of books and get a whole education through them. I think it will expose me to some genres I don't normally explore (science, philosophy, classics) and it will be fun to see how far I get with them.

I also feel a little put off by modern books right now. The last few I have bought have been either mediocre/disappointing, or been riddled with editing and OCR errors. It feels like a good time to be reading the classics again
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:03 PM   #2
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Quote:
I have been doing some tinkering and through a forum search found the tip to download the LRF files instead of the mobi ones since they have a table of contents (the mobi ones do not). The mobi ones also seemed to have very large line breaks between the paragraphs and the LRF I converted to mobi in Calibre seems much better formatted. Now, I don't have to worry about getting the books elsewhere or spending tons of time tinkering with them. I can just read them and enjoy.
Thanks for passing on the tip ficbot. I had no idea there were versions that had working TOC's built in. I downloaded and converted them like you said in Calibre and I have to admit they do look pretty good.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:23 PM   #3
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You're welcome, Crich! They really do look quite nice when converted with Calibre. Here are some links of use for those who may want to study this wonderful set:

- The Books at Mobile Read
- List of Books in the Shelf of Fiction
- Follow the 15-Minute-a-Day Reading Plan On-line
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:18 AM   #4
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The Shelf of Fiction books are available as a single file over at Amazon for just $2.99. I posted about it in the Deals forum.
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Old 06-05-2011, 03:45 AM   #5
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The Shelf of Fiction books are available as a single file over at Amazon for just $2.99. I posted about it in the Deals forum.
Perhaps so, but has it been thoroughly proof-read, as Wood's versions are? I find it a little annoying when people simply take error-ridden sources, and re-post them. It benefits nobody to do this.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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I bought the Kindle set recently and on first glance, it looks good but I have not thoroughly read it yet.

The last two books I read from this forum, fwiw, both had copy errors and did seem to be re-posts that hadn't been edited
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #7
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I bought the Kindle set recently and on first glance, it looks good but I have not thoroughly read it yet.

The last two books I read from this forum, fwiw, both had copy errors and did seem to be re-posts that hadn't been edited
Yes, I really wish that more people would take the time to proof-read books. Quality is more important than quantity, IMHO. If anyone wants to make a positive contribution to MR, that's a very good way to do so.
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:45 AM   #8
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I agree, Harry. I actually did do some editing of one of the books (so far) and found it to be a quite rewarding experience. I am contemplating an edit of the second one but I am not sure the book is good enough to make re-reading it that rewarding
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:58 PM   #9
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Has anyone thought of posting the versions converted from LRF to Mobipocket to the board as an alternative to the present Mobipocket versions which don't have working TOC's?
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:36 AM   #10
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The five-foot shelf is possibly, and most illogically, one of the last physical book sets I will get rid of. I like the ancient (100+ year old) line of red along my bookcase...
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:51 PM   #11
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hmm...i'm tempted to get the complete works for kindle, just to force myself to read the well-known classics o.o

EDIT: or rather, challenge myself and try to read all the Harvard Classics. Hmm...this would be a good project for next year as I still have a ton on my TBR for this year

Last edited by wyndslash; 06-10-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:49 AM   #12
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Has anyone thought of posting the versions converted from LRF to Mobipocket to the board as an alternative to the present Mobipocket versions which don't have working TOC's?
I have!!! I downloaded them all and was going to convert them to epub format first, then use that version to convert to mobipocket.

I did convert the existing mobipocket versions to my reader's .imp (REB 1200) a few years ago and still have my source html from that conversion, but they don't have any internal TOC like the .imp (EBW1150) ebook versions that RWood did.

I had cajoled him in the past about it, but he never did get around to updating the mobipocket versions to add that TOC. Last year, before his poor health and heavy workload, he even offered me his source files, but since I expected him to EVENTUALLY get around to it, I politely declined.

Now with RWood's passing, I see that as a GREAT opportunity lost....

So perhaps, I may find the time to continue where he left off, but not in the immediate future due to a multitude of other projects I've started but also have yet to see to fruition i.e. family tree research, kids photo album cataloguing, ...
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:34 PM   #13
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I have!!! I downloaded them all and was going to convert them to epub format first, then use that version to convert to mobipocket.

I did convert the existing mobipocket versions to my reader's .imp (REB 1200) a few years ago and still have my source html from that conversion, but they don't have any internal TOC like the .imp (EBW1150) ebook versions that RWood did.

I had cajoled him in the past about it, but he never did get around to updating the mobipocket versions to add that TOC. Last year, before his poor health and heavy workload, he even offered me his source files, but since I expected him to EVENTUALLY get around to it, I politely declined.

Now with RWood's passing, I see that as a GREAT opportunity lost....

So perhaps, I may find the time to continue where he left off, but not in the immediate future due to a multitude of other projects I've started but also have yet to see to fruition i.e. family tree research, kids photo album cataloguing, ...
I have converted the LRF files to Mobipocket and have changed the Metadata to make it easier to find a particular book (H.C., Book #, Title). I could upload them but don't know where to do so. Or if it should be as 3 zip files or each individual file.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:08 PM   #14
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I have converted the LRF files to Mobipocket and have changed the Metadata to make it easier to find a particular book (H.C., Book #, Title). I could upload them but don't know where to do so. Or if it should be as 3 zip files or each individual file.
That's great!

You can either:

(1) add each updated mobipocket file to the TOC-less ones RWood posted or

(2) zip them up as an alternate download to the ones RWood posted, in a separate thread, then reference your thread in the wiki http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Harv..._at_MobileRead

I would say that the latter is more efficient (and convenient), but the former will get better/wider exposure... your choice
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Old 06-14-2011, 02:16 AM   #15
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I made a new posting with the books as zip files here:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...76#post1606076
I'm not sure how you add stuff to the Wiki file though.
Edit: Never mind I figured out how to add the info to the Wiki. Simpler than I thought it would be.

Last edited by crich70; 06-14-2011 at 02:23 AM.
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