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Old 04-10-2009, 11:10 AM   #1
Mike L
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Mobi Reference ("Huge Collections") on Kindle

Has anyone purchased any of the Mobi Reference collections from the Kindle store? These are collections of out-of-copyright works by specific authors or genres. Many of them have "huge collection" or "classic collection" in their names.

For example, there is Works of Arthur Conan Doyle. Huge collection. (200+ Works) and Classic Mystery Collection - Crime, Suspense, Detective fiction. (100+ works). They typically cost $3.99 to $7.99.

My question concerns the formatting of these titles. In particular, do they have a proper table of contents and the normal sort of navigation? Or is each volume simply one long plain text file, with no ToC and no obvious breaks between the stories?

I recently bought a collection of PG Wodehouse stories -- not in this same series. It had no formatting at all -- headings and emphasised text was marked with underscores; the stories just ran together, with no page breaks or obvious titles; and there was no ToC. In fact, the only way of discovering which stories are present was to step through all the pages in turn.

I would like to buy some of the Mobi books mentioned above, but not if they follow the same pattern as the Wodehouse collection.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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Have you tried downloading the free samples? If you can find the same titles here at MobileRead or Feedbooks.com or Manybooks.net., I would suggest you skip the Amazon versions (the enhanced versions from Penguin may be pretty good).
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:34 PM   #3
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Daffy4u,

Thanks for your reply.

Unfortunately, I can't download the samples because I am outside Whispernet range.

The collections don't seem to be available anywhere else, although I could of course download the individual titles. I'd prefer to get the entire collection in one go, partly because it's simpler, but mainly to avoid cluttering up the Kindle's Home page with hundreds of entries. I like the idea of going straight to, say, the crime collection, and browsing its ToC.

Not to worry. If necessary, I'll just fork out for one of the books. A few dollars isn't much to risk.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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Sorry, I didn't even look at the country you're in. You can try to get the samples from MobiPocket.com. The MobiPocket.com samples don't have DRM so they will work on the Kindle, but DO NOT purchase books from them because they will not work.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:59 PM   #5
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I have purchased many of these titles. The quality varies widely between titles. The good points are the active TOC and wide inclusion of titles. And the convenience of getting all titles in one download.
The problems seem to result from OCR scanning (I think) - from strange intrusions of numbers or characters in the middle of the text to replacing every quotation mark or apostrophe with a question mark.
Apparently there is NO proofreading or quality control.
I had contacted the publisher directly last year about some of these problems, and they replied that Kindle formatting was difficult and they weren't spending a lot of time trying to fix any issues.
So - if you're looking for quantity purchasing (and aren't driven nuts by recurring strange characters or mis-reads of words - esp. foreign) go for them. Otherwise download the individual works from free sites.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:00 PM   #6
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And yes, the various Wodehouse collections are hideously non-formatted.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:22 PM   #7
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There are a lot of Wodehouses here on MR and are well formatted. Free.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #8
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Poohbear_nc,

That's very helpful. Thanks very much.

The weird formatting would defintely drive me round the bend. Maybe I'll take your advice and get the free individual downloads.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:40 PM   #9
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List some of the collections you are interested in - if I have them I'll check on their formatting before you buy them.
The Classic Mystery Collection is fairly readable - the ones I've opened so far - the selections are from many different sources, so that each book can be formatted very differently.
The Sherlock Holmes is reasonable too - there is an illustrated (Sidney Paget) and non-illustrated version. I only encountered some problems when the text contained French phrases or italics.
The Dickens collection (so far) is fine.
The Christmas collection was hideous (This one had the question marks substituted for all apostrophes).
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:52 PM   #10
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Poohbear_nc,

I appreciate that. Thanks.

The ones I am most interested in are the Classic Mystery Collection and the Conan Doyle collection, both of which you mentioned. I would also like to go for:

H. G. Wells
Robert Louis Stevenson
Best American Humorous Short Stories
Alexandre Dumas

If you happen to have any of those, I'd welcome your comments.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:08 PM   #11
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These are the collections that I have, I read a story now an again:

Complete Lovecraft (68 stories)
The table of Contents list all the short stories so you can jump to what you want. The format looks fine to me but I have only been through 5 stories so far.

Classic Children's Books - Andrew Lang (12 fairy Books) this one was published by B&R Samizdat Express and has content sections for each book because each has a bunch of short stories. They seem fine.

Works of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Great Table of Contents. Sherlock Holmes has his own section. These seem to be ok.

Works of Charles Dickens - seems fine

Works of Edgar Allan Poe (100+ works) - seems ok

Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs - you can look by series and stories. Tarzan has chapter breaks. Love it.

Works of Jules Verne - same setup as above.

Works of Lucy Maud Montgomery has table of Contents set by date written and again by chapters. Format looks fine.

Works of Mark Twain you can list works by genre and title, alph order or chronological order and they look fine also.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:13 PM   #12
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Poohbear_nc,

I appreciate that. Thanks.

The ones I am most interested in are the Classic Mystery Collection and the Conan Doyle collection, both of which you mentioned. I would also like to go for:

H. G. Wells
Robert Louis Stevenson
Best American Humorous Short Stories
Alexandre Dumas

If you happen to have any of those, I'd welcome your comments.


The Wells, Stevenson & Dumas are well formatted (in the selections I've read so far) - all have active TOC - both for the entire volume and within individual books. I don't have the Humorous volume.

The earliest works produced by Mobilereference for the Kindle are the most well done - and most readable. The later volumes become increasingly sloppy & unreadable. Do an Advanced Search under Books for Publisher Mobilereference in Publication Date order - and go to the last page and work forwards - the earlier the date, the finer the readability.

Drop me a line if you find more volumes that tempt you.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:29 PM   #13
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Pagansoul and Poohbear_nc,

You have both been extremely helpful - well beyond the normal call of duty.

Based on your replies, I'll go first for the Conan Doyle and the Dumas, and then see how I feel about the others. Poohbear_ncm, I'll keep in mind your tip about reverse date order.

Thanks to both of you, and to others who replied. It's exactly the info I was hoping for.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:31 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike L View Post
Thanks to both of you, and to others who replied. It's exactly the info I was hoping for.
Have you checked the download section here on Mobileread? We have many of the books you are talking about. The ebooks here are all very well formated.

BOb
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:36 PM   #15
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Bob,

Excuse my ignorance (I've only been a member here a few days), but where exactly is the download section. Is it the menu item Ebooks / Browse Latest Uploads? If so, is there any way to search it?
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