It is a large book, so I've only spot checked it so far. Most of the text is in a single column format and is okay. A few places that I have seen use two columns in an attempt to present alternate readings of the text; that is, two versions translated from different Greek manuscripts. In every case where two columns appear (at least that I've seen so far) the formatting looks terrible just like the screenshot I attached in the first posting.
I'm not surprised that two columns come out in bad formatting as the Kindle uses a small subset of HTML tags and CSS, and it is a well published fact that they do not support HTML tables. So knowing that, the publisher should have avoided table columns altogether. I've got all 10 volumes of the Ante-Nicene Fathers
in Kindle format and their publisher chose to place alternative translations one above the other. It is a bit more difficult to compare the two translations that way, but the text is very readable with no formatting issues.
If Amazon would update their firmware to support HTML tables then it might be possible to use two columns of text. However, it would still be tricky (kluge) because the larger font sizes would look bad in side by side columns. Creating an image of the text in two columns would also be bad as the Kindle makes sharp images blurry, whereas they appear sharp on the Sony PRS-505, because Amazon insists on changing the image sizes during conversions. Bottom line is that publishers should stay away from multiple columns of text for the Kindle 1 and 2. Perhaps the Kindle DX will be better at multiple columns, but that remains to be seen.
BTW: I definately lodged a complaint with Amazon concerning this eBook. They responded by having me submit a list of specific locations and problems. I will post any information I get from them. The eBook only cost $9.99, so if I lose that no big deal. But I'm concerned that I might pay $40+ for an eBook that has unreadable text. So on principle I wanted to see if I could get a refund.
Originally Posted by dauwhe
Is it like this throughout the book? I downloaded the sample from Amazon, and didn't see anything this egregious. The screenshot looks like it's a table; text is running in two columns with no space between the columns. I almost wonder if it's a real bug in the Kindle (or in the creation of the Mobi file).
Very odd and disturbing, indeed...