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Old 05-18-2009, 06:55 PM   #16
rixte
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I don't know, I really like the consistency of font size and type. It soon fades into the background and then only thing that matters is the actual words - and I can depend on it to be easily legible.

I've bought physical books before where something about the font size/type/spacing would turn me off and it would be much more of a chore to read and I never managed to hit that zone where you stop noticing it.

And the customization of topaz format books is just - awful. I downloaded a couple samples of those and in only one case did I find it at all readable, the font choices were just awful.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Kris777 View Post
Interesting article:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/05/e-book-design/

and interesting numbers:

...
With the popularity of the Kindle and other e-book readers, electronic book sales in the United States have doubled every quarter. Though still a very small percentage of the overall book industry, sales of e-books touched $15.5 million in the first quarter of the year, up from $3.2 million the same quarter a year ago. By contrast, the printed book market sales in North America alone was nearly $14 billion in 2008.

A big part of the problem with the Kindle (the largest selling e-books reader) is its use of the Amazon-specific .mobi file format, rather than the open standard ePub. ePub is based on the XML and CSS standards used in millions of web pages and allows for far more control over layouts than is currently possible with the .mobi file format.

.
I must agree and the numbers will continue to increase. More users of electronic books. Well, each e Reader has its flows and good side. Just adopt to one which is more comfortable for you.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:03 AM   #18
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I think, whetever fonts are being used, ebooks cannot be created by mass converting via calibre by serious publishers.
Each ebook's master must be hand made like I do in BD. You have to use certain font for some things and different font for other things and capital letters in the center and capital letters on the left hand side, and italics, and verses, and epigraphs, etc. Just like in a standard pbook. I believe that is what makes ebooks different.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:24 AM   #19
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one wonders if the author is the same sort who considers any movie with explosions, fights or heads exploding every 5-8 mins, dull, boring and guity of being "too smart"...

As long as I can read the characters layed out with proper kerning & line spacking, I am happy. It's one of the reasons I use FBReader...all the controls are there for the most part. Why one of the bigger, or smaller device makers did not license FBReader is something I do not understand. Of course I do get that it does not support DRM, but that would be licenced by the MFG then added into FBReader.

I would love to see Calibre move into that realm as well...if you could combine the two apps with a line of devices, I think it would be the perfect reading and library management system around.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdurrant View Post
It's possible to create interesting looking Mobipocket ebooks. It just takes some effort, testing and proof reading. Using Mobipocket Creator you can start off with XHTML+CSS, and let Mobipocket Creator turn it into Mobipocket HTML. Most of the time it does a decent job.

Of course, you don't get the scalable SVG graphics, or embedded fonts.

Paul
Personally, I don't care about embedded fonts. I like to use fonts I know I can easily read. An embedded font is fine for a first letter of a chapter, a chapter header, but I don't want them on my main body of text.

I have bought many books and I must say, not two of them look the same (or it must be the short stories...) or not so that I noticed...
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:45 AM   #21
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wow, this is interesting to me. if the font isn't too small or faint to read, or really really weird, i never notice it at all while i'm reading - ebook or pbook.
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:54 AM   #22
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sounds like promotion for paper books to me.

as far as I'm concerned, I'd settle for the words of the book being fed directly into my brain and cut out the middle man altogether
.
that it's all the same font (which I've chosen as my preferred one anyway) is not relevant to me.
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Old 05-19-2009, 07:45 AM   #23
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All explained in my preferred definition of typography --- the art or craft of setting type so as to honour its content.

This is why I prefer to read .pdfs on my Sony PRS-505 or Fujitsu Stylistic.

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Old 05-19-2009, 11:57 AM   #24
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Um, what does he want next? Flash animations in an ebook? Come on! Do you really notice that much variation even in paper books, other than the cover? I don't.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:25 PM   #25
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For fiction I want the printed text to diasappear. Otherwise it disrupts my immersion in the text. Odd complaint.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:09 PM   #26
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I actually like the Kindle font. When I bother to look at it--usually I'm just reading the words and thinking about what's happening in the book. I have one Topaz book, so I have experienced a different font on the Kindle, but I actually don't like it much; it is a little harder to get into that book because it "feels different."
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:36 PM   #27
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Quote:
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Um, what does he want next? Flash animations in an ebook? Come on! Do you really notice that much variation even in paper books, other than the cover? I don't.
Do you care how your bed-mate looks? Or your house? Or furniture? Or how you look?

Same with fonts and layout.

You may not notice it, but it often makes the experience better. For most, anyway.
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Old 05-19-2009, 08:56 PM   #28
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On the other hand, when all the books look the same and the writers can't depend on flashy covers to grab potential readers, maybe they'll just have to "up" the quality of their writing, and we'll see a whole new era of terrific literature.

There's always another way to look at these things.
I don't entirely agree.

Layout and design of the book is important and plays an underlying quiet role in our engagement with reading. Sure, most of the books I read are entirely text but that doesn't mean the consideration of white space, font typeface, font size, layout, kerning and so forth doesn't matter. They do but not necessary at the domain of comprehension. Rather, they play a role in the domain of comfortability and visual aesthetics.

This is why I much prefer the PDF format of a digital book, if the PDF format is faithful to the way the printed book looks like. I'm not taking about printing PDF pages from HTML versions of books. That's not being faithful to the original book design. I find basically the other formats unable to be faithful to design considerations. I agree with the article that e-books in general are unattractive.

As someone who has done design and layout of newsletters and books (but certainly not to the degree or expertise of a professional artisanal printer) I can tell you that it's not easy figuring out what type of font, layout, spacing, kerning and so forth that one should use. And if you leave that option too widely open to the inexperienced user, you get very ugly layouts. That's why the flexibility of the other formats in allowing a user to choose whatever font they like does not appeal to me one single bit. It is akin to placing the expertise of laying out text and page design (which is certainly an art) to a seven-year old who thinks s/he excels in finger painting and thus should now be able to make Van Gogh paintings. For that reason, I find it absolutely no appeal to be able to substitute one font of a digital book for another from the user-level perspective.

In other posts, I mentioned that 100% of my digital book collection is in PDF format. These are the reasons why. All my PDF books are faithful to the original design of the printed book itself.

Last edited by thibaulthalpern; 05-19-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:04 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
Do you care how your bed-mate looks? Or your house? Or furniture? Or how you look?

Same with fonts and layout.

You may not notice it, but it often makes the experience better. For most, anyway.
I absolutely agree.

I don't know how many of you have some familiarity with Zone Books. They are an independent publisher that publishes high quality academic books usually in the social sciences and humanities. Look carefully at the way they lay out their books. It's really a sight to behold! Can't reproduce their kind of design using the other formats aside from PDF.

Last edited by thibaulthalpern; 05-20-2009 at 07:56 AM. Reason: fixed typo
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:18 PM   #30
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Quote:
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For fiction I want the printed text to diasappear. Otherwise it disrupts my immersion in the text. Odd complaint.
If you look at most literature books, the font and design used isn't flashy but they are also not necessarily the one and the same for every book.

I read mostly academic books and none of them are flashy. But, they each have their own design layout that is a bit different than the next. There is room for subtle design that isn't about reproducing the monotonous cookie cutter format.
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