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View Poll Results: Vintage (e)book appearance -- Your preference?
Old-fashioned and "aged" 10 7.41%
Old-fashioned but clean 36 26.67%
Modern appearance 39 28.89%
Don't care - I'll read it as-is 28 20.74%
Don't care - I'll change it anyway 19 14.07%
I don't read "vintage" books 3 2.22%
Voters: 135. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-09-2013, 01:11 AM   #31
Solitaire1
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grannyGrumpy wrote the following as part of a post:

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Originally Posted by grannyGrumpy View Post
@wombat, why you be dissin' that cute little Comic Sans?
No, I know it is unsuitable for body text, it's too restless. It is why I won't use Charis SIL in spite of all the online love --- The letter heights seem to vary just a bit, and to my eyes give a "hills and valleys" appearance.

I saw a remark somewhere that somebody sometimes uses Courier New, and that one I totally don't understand -- the font is so light and thin, I don't even like to use it on a pc monitor, but use instead Bitstream Vera or Deja Vu when I need a monospace font. Monaco is my first love for monospace, but it's not re-distributable. I'm test-driving the recently released Courier Prime (SIL OFL License).
I agree that Comic Sans is usually unsuitable for body text. That's kind of appropriate since it was intended to simulate the hand lettering used in comic books for word balloons and thought boxes. In my experience when reading comic books, other typefaces are often used when longer blocks of text are written.

I think one use for Courier New is to give text the look of the type produced on an old-fashioned typewriter (which according to Wikipedia was the purpose of the original Courier). Like I mentioned in my last post with Comic Sans, I think that it is appropriate when used for sparingly and for a specific effect.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:24 PM   #32
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Solitaire1 said:
Quote:
I think one use for Courier New is to give text the look of the type produced on an old-fashioned typewriter (which according to Wikipedia was the purpose of the original Courier). Like I mentioned in my last post with Comic Sans, I think that it is appropriate when used for sparingly and for a specific effect.
Oh, I agree with that completely. I often use "fancy" fonts for special effects in short sections. But I interpreted that post that I referenced, that the guy was using Courier New for the entire body text. I think reading Courier New for more than 5 minutes would give me such an Excedrin headache.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:01 AM   #33
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It seems most of the argument here has been about font type/style with a couple "I hate backgrounds" thrown in. That seems to ignore the artistic desire of the creator. If the author wants a specific font, they need to embed that in the ePub; likewise with a background. The real issue for those people who don't like the font/background is the ability to turn it off or change it with their current reader/app.

I continue to be chagrined at how much we limit ourselves because device x or app y doesn't support a particular feature...we cater to their limits. Some of that is understandable - I wouldn't create a book that only reads properly on a holo-projected wristwatch - but I should be able to create based on current technology. There are readers/apps that DO support changing font/background. If the end user wants that ability, then it is incumbent upon them to purchase the device that supports it - not force creators to limit themselves to old devices/technology.

Device/app developers provide what the customers demand...

Last edited by Turtle91; 05-10-2013 at 12:03 AM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:27 AM   #34
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@Turtle, hear, hear!

I'm only a hobbyist uploading free books, and could "raise the bar" on my output if I so desired, but it is sad that the commercial producers have to stay within the limits of old technology if they don't want to lose sales. I think a sizeable portion of the reading public can't or won't spend more money to upgrade to newer devices.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:51 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
First, I hate it when ebooks have embedded fonts, and I can't use my preferred font for reading on my
Sony or Apple in my case.

I could not agree with you more! Yes!
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:30 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannyGrumpy View Post
Solitaire1 said:


Oh, I agree with that completely. I often use "fancy" fonts for special effects in short sections. But I interpreted that post that I referenced, that the guy was using Courier New for the entire body text. I think reading Courier New for more than 5 minutes would give me such an Excedrin headache.
As an example of use for a specific effect, in my stories I use Courier New for (1) text displayed on a screen and (2) printed text (such as on a sign). To me, using it it in that manner aids the reader in understanding the story. However, I keep the number of typefaces in my stories to a limited number, usually no more than four (main text, various headings, and one or two for special effects).
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Old 05-10-2013, 03:41 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grannyGrumpy View Post
@Turtle, hear, hear!

I'm only a hobbyist uploading free books, and could "raise the bar" on my output if I so desired, but it is sad that the commercial producers have to stay within the limits of old technology if they don't want to lose sales. I think a sizeable portion of the reading public can't or won't spend more money to upgrade to newer devices.
I thought one of the purposes of EPUB was to provide a universal format that can be used on a variety of ereaders without the need for reformatting, including future ereaders.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:09 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solitaire1 View Post
I thought one of the purposes of EPUB was to provide a universal format that can be used on a variety of ereaders without the need for reformatting, including future ereaders.
That also assumes that all the readers/apps conform to the spec...

Having the functionality to read as the publisher designed it vs. change the default font/background does not in any way effect the creation of the epub itself...it is simply an option in the reader/app.

For those individuals who's device/app does not support changing the font, then they will have to read it in the style as created by the publisher...just like in a pbook. If they absolutely have to be able to change the font...then they need to buy a device/app that allows it...or have the technical skills to go into the epub and change it themselves. They should NOT require the author to "dumb down" their creation so it fits their personal desires on their personal device.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:08 AM   #39
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Whenever a text style becomes noticable, it gets in the way of the information. 99% of the time it's best to just choose a pleasant, readable font and stick with it. The ebook reader generally does this very well on your behalf :-)
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:56 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
There are readers/apps that DO support changing font/background.
Which readers or apps support a custom background?

eP
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:46 AM   #41
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Off the top of my head, Prestigio and Nook can put images in the background...I think just about every app can change the background color - some more than others - but at least they have night mode. Marvin can do a huge range (infinite??) of background colors, and last I heard is working on allowing textures.

Check out ereaderbackgrounds.com for more info.
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Old 05-14-2013, 04:19 PM   #42
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Cool Reader allows you to change colors and textures of the background. I've been experimenting with it on my Nook HD lately.
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #43
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I don't care, as long as it reflows to my reader. (No scans, PDFs, etc.). A lot of the "vintage" stuff I've found is two-column scans, copied to PDF. Yuck.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:15 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turtle91 View Post
It seems most of the argument here has been about font type/style with a couple "I hate backgrounds" thrown in. That seems to ignore the artistic desire of the creator. If the author wants a specific font, they need to embed that in the ePub; likewise with a background. The real issue for those people who don't like the font/background is the ability to turn it off or change it with their current reader/app.

I continue to be chagrined at how much we limit ourselves because device x or app y doesn't support a particular feature...we cater to their limits. Some of that is understandable - I wouldn't create a book that only reads properly on a holo-projected wristwatch - but I should be able to create based on current technology. There are readers/apps that DO support changing font/background. If the end user wants that ability, then it is incumbent upon them to purchase the device that supports it - not force creators to limit themselves to old devices/technology.

Device/app developers provide what the customers demand...
I agree about choosing a device and/or software that supports the features that you want rather than trying to force a ebook format to do things that it doesn't support or doesn't support well. One of the common complaints about PDF is that it doesn't work on a small screen, but my experience is that it is fine on small screens as long as the ebook is formatted for that size.

One of the features I like about PDF is that it is the only format I've found that will appear on my screen exactly as I intend. With other formats I had issues with getting it to consistantly display a general typeface (serif, san serif, or monospace). I know from experience the frustration of trying to get a document to appear the same on two difference systems when dealing with word processing documents. PDF solves this problem.

One of the reasons I use a NookColor (NC) as my main ebook reader is that it had good PDF support out of the box, not as good as my Sony ereaders but good support. I soon found that it's PDF support could be better so I purchased better PDF ereader software and I now find that my NC is a great ereader for PDFs. Better, I recently upgraded my NC's built-in PDF reader software and the new version is great, adding many needed features.

Returning to the thread's topic, I think one of the greatest features of ebooks is that you can alter the way the ebook appears based on your own preferences, provided your ereader software supports the changes you want. Unlike with printed books, there's no way to be sure what an ebook will look like on a specific ereader. The author/releaser can include coding in the ebook to suggest the way it should look like but there's no way to force it on the readers.
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Old 05-15-2013, 03:33 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curtw View Post
I don't care, as long as it reflows to my reader. (No scans, PDFs, etc.). A lot of the "vintage" stuff I've found is two-column scans, copied to PDF. Yuck.
There are a couple of publishers out there who release electronic versions of older, often public domain, titles that are just collated scans of library books. One publisher makes a virtue out of this and proudly announces "100% OCR error-free!".

The finished documents look vintage but they are huge files that are at times unreadable due to the yellowing of the original source material.
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