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Old 08-05-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Quality Books

Are there any eBook websites that specialize in established classical and contemporary writers and offer professional quality eBooks therefrom?

It seems to me that on any given website the bulk of the material is from virtual unknowns... not to mention that genre/theme preferences seem very heavily weighed in favour of what I would categorize as "pulp fiction" of mostly predictable varieties.

I'm not against new authors being given a chance and/or more exposure than in the paper book market/world... but now and then I am driven to despair by how little I can find from collections of thousands of books that actually interest me. In contrast, Project Gutenberg and the Hungarian Electronic Library and treasure troves... but with both of those, I have to do my own formatting and, while there is much of interest, both organization's selection is limited in its own way.

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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I think that maybe I'm ready to go back to the classics pretty soon also. Are we just burning out with an overabundance of light reading? I can't seem to find anything that interests me either. Except for the freebies from our MR authors, which are far and away some of the best things that I've read lately!

Right now, I'm reading (and LOVING) J(eff)Inlo's Alien Cradle. Having to fight myself to keep from clicking thru and spoiling it by reading the ending!
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:43 PM   #3
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There is a fair amount of decent "classical" stuff here. You just have to sift through the "pulp."
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
I think that maybe I'm ready to go back to the classics pretty soon also. Are we just burning out with an overabundance of light reading? I can't seem to find anything that interests me either. Except for the freebies from our MR authors, which are far and away some of the best things that I've read lately!

Right now, I'm reading (and LOVING) J(eff)Inlo's Alien Cradle. Having to fight myself to keep from clicking thru and spoiling it by reading the ending!
I think you might have put it better than I did: it is indeed an overabundance of light reading... with nary enough meat.

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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There is a fair amount of decent "classical" stuff here. You just have to sift through the "pulp."
What do you understand under classical?

While I am not a person who would have qualms paying for stuff that is available freely on Project Gutenberg, I view any eBook that is available on PG as having a great danger of being an untouched, uncorrected, barely formatted PG eText... and that I am not willing to pay for.

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:51 PM   #6
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Why not read both?

I'm currently reading a Victorian classic, and a modern 'pulp' thriller.
I read the classic when I have a decent amount of time, and have the pulp for dipping in to, or for last thing at night.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:55 PM   #7
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There is a fair amount of decent "classical" stuff here. You just have to sift through the "pulp."

Oh yes, of course, I was just talking about my personal feeling lately that I'm a bit jaded from so much reading lately and perhaps it is time to explore outside my genre. Of course, what I was thinking was Idylls of the King, which is sort of scifi anyway, so that isn't much of a stretch. Or The Faerie Queen or something Shakespearian, but not the usual "hot Picks" plays like Hamlet, Lear, or Romeo&Juliet, but maybe some of the less popular ones.

And she rambles on and on and on.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:58 PM   #8
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Why not read both?

I'm currently reading a Victorian classic, and a modern 'pulp' thriller.
I read the classic when I have a decent amount of time, and have the pulp for dipping in to, or for last thing at night.
Because even the commercially wildly successful pulp thrillers give me little pleasure. Mayhaps I am a literary snob?

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:12 PM   #9
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What do you understand under classical?

While I am not a person who would have qualms paying for stuff that is available freely on Project Gutenberg, I view any eBook that is available on PG as having a great danger of being an untouched, uncorrected, barely formatted PG eText... and that I am not willing to pay for.

- Ahi
I was actually referring to "here" as MobileRead.com.

You can find stuff ranging from Homer, to Austen, to Fitzgerald, to Maugham, to Dumas....

From plausibly, to perfectly formatted.

In addition, Project Gutenberg is improving their formatting, as well as their format availability.

All for free....

Plus, if you have a favorite, which is not available with nice formatting, it's considered "good works" to format it, and make it available for the rest of us
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Sonist View Post
You can find stuff ranging from Homer, to Austen, to Fitzgerald, to Maugham, to Dumas....

From plausibly, to perfectly formatted.

In addition, Project Gutenberg is improving their formatting, as well as their format availability.

All for free....

Plus, if you have a favorite, which is not available with nice formatting, it's considered "good works" to format it, and make it available for the rest of us
Who here is going to agree to my heretical PDF-izing of plausibly to perfectly formatted LRFs and ePubs?

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Old 08-05-2009, 06:35 PM   #11
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Who here is going to agree to my heretical PDF-izing of plausibly to perfectly formatted LRFs and ePubs?

- Ahi
Nobody in his/her right mind.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:51 PM   #12
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Nobody in his/her right mind.
Nothing is as blissful as typographic ignorance, I understand.

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Old 08-05-2009, 06:54 PM   #13
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Nobody in his/her right mind.
Well, that would be me

If there was a large format reader, with full PDF support, including hyperlinks, search and dictionary, I'd be all over it, and will buy only PDF books.

And so will most of the sane, non design-challenged, world.

Last edited by Sonist; 08-05-2009 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:31 PM   #14
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Are there any eBook websites that specialize in established classical and contemporary writers and offer professional quality eBooks therefrom?
I quite often trawl through the Modern Library pages at Randon House. A fair proportion are now in ebook format and usually very well formatted - though I did once have to manually connect up all the end-notes in an edition of Tacitus. It's a great list but it's only a catalogue, you have then to go and find them in a store.
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:42 PM   #15
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In contrast, Project Gutenberg and the Hungarian Electronic Library and treasure troves... but with both of those, I have to do my own formatting and, while there is much of interest, both organization's selection is limited in its own way.

- Ahi
Did you try out the Internet Archive? It doesn't exactly meet your needs but seeing what you're getting online before you bother downloading it might relieve some of the frustration. - That link is just intended as an example, not a suggestion.
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