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Old 01-14-2015, 01:18 PM   #46
Solitaire1
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Originally Posted by Ripplinger View Post
I prefer no spacing because that's the way paper books are so that's what I'm used to. I have never seen any paper book have spacing between paragraphs, not once.

Spacing between paragraphs is required on forums because none of them are set up to auto-indent. I've seen a few public domain ebooks like that and I hate reading them, I have to edit them to no space between paragraphs and indented.

I really wonder how anyone got used to spacing between paragraphs unless they have only been brought up on ebooks and not paper books at all?
I think a factor in there being no indents and blank lines between paragraphs in on-line documents is due to HTML. Original HTML automatically puts a blank line after a paragraph and it has no indenting tag. There are ways to avoid the blank line after a paragraph (such as by using a line break tag rather than an opening and closing paragraph tag between each paragraph) and to insert an indent (such as using non-breaking spaces at the beginning of a paragraph). One of the reasons that CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) was developed was to give web designers control over the formatting of documents, control that HTML doesn't provide.

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Originally Posted by BWinmill View Post
There's a simple enough reason for that: it would increase the amount of paper required for printing, sometimes by a significant amount. This is not a concern for ereaders.
I agree. I did a test using a Project Gutenberg version of "A Christmas Carol" I formatted for my ereader and removed the line spacing between the paragraphs (0.1 inches) and used a 1/4" paragraph indent. That action reduced the page count from 235 pages to 219 pages (a reduction of almost 7 percent).

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Originally Posted by leftright View Post
Surely the integrity of the authors style and intent should be retained irrespective of the medium used to read.

Like music, does one preserve the integrity of the artists intent or does one remix the content when "duplicating" the music?.
Unfortunately, sometimes music is modified without an input by the artist. An example of this is the music of The Beatles. According to articles in the magazine "The Beatles" (published by I-5 Publishing), The Beatles albums released in the U. S. before "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" were significantly modified from the original U. K. albums released without the approval of The Beatles.

Not only were the albums released with different track configurations in the U. S. but the tracks themselves were modified without the approval of The Beatles. For many people, it was not until the music of The Beatles was released on CD that we in the U. S. got to hear their music the way The Beatles intended.

Sorry to get a little off-topic, returning to the main topic:

As far as paragraph spacing versus indenting, I prefer a space between the paragraphs but indenting is also fine with me. However, I dislike paragraph spacing and indenting together since each makes the other redundant.
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Old 01-14-2015, 03:26 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Solitaire1 View Post
Unfortunately, sometimes music is modified without an input by the artist. An example of this is the music of The Beatles. According to articles in the magazine "The Beatles" (published by I-5 Publishing), The Beatles albums released in the U. S. before "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" were significantly modified from the original U. K. albums released without the approval of The Beatles.

Not only were the albums released with different track configurations in the U. S. but the tracks themselves were modified without the approval of The Beatles. For many people, it was not until the music of The Beatles was released on CD that we in the U. S. got to hear their music the way The Beatles intended.
I do understand the point you are trying to make but the Beatles agrument is IMHO a bit flawed.
I think that the Beatles signed away the rights to the record company (at least for those records). This gives the record company every right to change the music to "adapt" it for the American market and the Beatles had no say in it because the signed away their rights.
This changed at some point in the sixties where artist no longer signed away their rights an started to control and exploit their rights. Later works of the Beatles are controlled by companies owned by The Beatles.

Today, in book publishing authors still sign away all rights to the publishing company. Even when a publishing contract is terminated or not extended rights are not automatically reverted to the author.
To get their rights back autors have to negotiate with their former publisher. Some authors are successful and get their rights back but most authors aren't. Those authors can not write a next installment in a book series with characters they created because the publisher owns those rights... and the publisher has no plans to monetize those rights because it is not economic feasible for them.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:17 PM   #48
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@JSWolf. I read mostly Dutch books. I must say that 98% ebooks mimics the paper editon (as I tried to describe in my previous post) but all publishers use a default CSS that is to rigid and contains to much redundancies.

I used carefully formatted vs poorly formatted books. With carefully I don't meant to imply that that is the formatting I personally like.
I also make quite some changes to the CSS to get it right (for me).
You don't have to find the formatting to your liking to know it's well formatted. Most eBooks are not well formatted. They are just a sloppy mess.
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Old 01-14-2015, 08:25 PM   #49
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@DNSB. I'll understand your fustration.
If it not a Calibre conversion, then it must be something else. Is it possible that US publishers (and Canadian, UK too?) format their books for Kindle and convert that to epub? Without any form of post processing (read: clean up) auto conversions almost always gives very poor results.
Actually, it's create the eBook in ePub and convert that for the Kindle. That's now most Kindle eBooks are made.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:42 PM   #50
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You don't have to find the formatting to your liking to know it's well formatted. Most eBooks are not well formatted. They are just a sloppy mess.
I disagree. The formatting of most books I have purchased recently has been good. And the last three or four I read the kepub version without any qualms.

Now, if you are talking about the code inside the books, I'm not going to argue. Most fall into the "what idiot did that" category. But, they seem to produce the desired affect.
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Old 01-14-2015, 10:27 PM   #51
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I disagree. The formatting of most books I have purchased recently has been good. And the last three or four I read the kepub version without any qualms.

Now, if you are talking about the code inside the books, I'm not going to argue. Most fall into the "what idiot did that" category. But, they seem to produce the desired affect.
Could be that a lot of the eBooks I've been reading are not recently published.

But one book that was both bad and good is The Martian. The formatting wasn't bad, but the fonts used were awful. So bad in fact that when I had the front light on the H2O, I could barely read the serif font and the monospace font was unreadable.
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:06 PM   #52
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You guys are so funny!

As to the original commenter, I think it's a nonissue - Yes, do contact Kobo about specific books. Perhaps there is a screwup somewhere that they will fix, but don't get your hopes up about it. I spent 8 months waiting for them to fix something, they never did, so I got my money back and bought elsewhere. In the meantime, you can download the book into Calibre (which you should do anyway). It works quite nicely to add or remove paragraph spaces, depending on your preference. When it's perfect, then sideload onto your Kobo.

Yes, I prefer not having the spaces, but with my specific vision issues, the paragraph spacing can sometimes make reading easier (I have ghosting of letters).
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:45 PM   #53
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You guys are so funny!

As to the original commenter, I think it's a nonissue - Yes, do contact Kobo about specific books. Perhaps there is a screwup somewhere that they will fix, but don't get your hopes up about it. I spent 8 months waiting for them to fix something, they never did, so I got my money back and bought elsewhere. In the meantime, you can download the book into Calibre (which you should do anyway). It works quite nicely to add or remove paragraph spaces, depending on your preference. When it's perfect, then sideload onto your Kobo.

Yes, I prefer not having the spaces, but with my specific vision issues, the paragraph spacing can sometimes make reading easier (I have ghosting of letters).
No, in general Kobo won't fix anything. At first, I was surprised that you got a refund. Then, I saw you live in Minneapolis, USA. Kobo does treat North American customers differently (and maybe some other countries/territories aswell).
In The Netherlands Kobo never offers to refund a badly formatted kepub. There default response is: there is no problem. Perform a firmware upgrade.
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:39 PM   #54
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Does anybody know what makes the Kobo ereader or the kepub suddenly decide to put spaces between paragraphs? And how it can be remedied?
This issue is not new at all and an abuse of blank spaces in kobo books have been worrying a lot of people for a long time. I was one of them But in some old thread there was some software to make your page full of text and devoid of blank spaces. I just remember it was kind of complicated and after that you cannot update your reader or it would render the patch void. Not sure it worked with Kepubs though.
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Old 01-18-2015, 09:01 PM   #55
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This issue is not new at all and an abuse of blank spaces in kobo books have been worrying a lot of people for a long time. I was one of them But in some old thread there was some software to make your page full of text and devoid of blank spaces. I just remember it was kind of complicated and after that you cannot update your reader or it would render the patch void. Not sure it worked with Kepubs though.
Actually, it's quite easy to edit the CSS to fix the paragraph spaces. You don't need a hack. But the problem is you cannot download from Kobo to be able to edit the CSS. You have to either be able to remove DRM from ePub & kepub.
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Old 01-19-2015, 05:23 AM   #56
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I have tested a few conversions with spaces between paragraphs removed (or rather, not inserted). I report that I seem to prefer this better. Whether it's the novelty or an actual perceptible benefit in reading, I cannot say at this point. For now, I'm a convert to no spaces.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:18 PM   #57
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Actually, it's quite easy to edit the CSS to fix the paragraph spaces. You don't need a hack. But the problem is you cannot download from Kobo to be able to edit the CSS. You have to either be able to remove DRM from ePub & kepub.
Well... easy... I'd prefer not to have to do any editing to books I buy. I just want to read them.

And I don't know how to edit the CSS.

Anyway, for getting rid of the unwanted paragraph spacing I guess I can sideload again. Only that makes me lose the fancy advanced stats kepubs have.

Plus it takes an extra 5 to 10 minutes and I have to be at the PC to be able to do it.
But I guess Kobo's not there to make life easy for me.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:41 PM   #58
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Actually, it's uncivilized to have them. It distracts the eyes as you read. You are reading this nice text and then boom, the eyes get distracted because of the blank space. Blank space is supposed to say to the reader, it's a new section. It's not supposed to say oh, it's a new paragraph. That's just wrong is so many ways.

I have seen a lot of publisher use a .3em paragraph space and while it's readable, it's not optimal.
You are easily distracted it seems. I like .5em but am fine with up to 1 em.
I read 2-5 line paragraphs at a single scan, same with paper, was taught to read that way as a child with SRA reading course. I have tried other ways and can read books just fine without the spacing, good indenting is almost as good. But it takes longer and I retain less I think.

Curious to know how many ways it is wrong and what they are.

Helen
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:21 PM   #59
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Certainly it's not wrong. It's a matter of personal preference. Me, I'm all for paragraph spacing on the computer screen, and it's not so bad in nonfiction books, but I absolutely detest paragraph spacing in novels I read for pleasure on my kindle (I've recently been thinking of getting a Kobo reader as well, I've heard they're more customizable than Kindles, but haven't yet). Off they go from every novel I buy, if it has them. The same goes for embedded fonts (I prefer sans-serif), paragraph indents bigger than 1 em and huge line spacing. Generally it takes a couple of minutes to fix a book, unless formatting is a total mess (I read quite a lot of indies and self-pubs, and they're often not particularly well formatted).

I do not mind those things so much in a paper book, but for some reason they bother me terribly when I read on my kindle. Possibly it's because the screen is smaller than the page of an average printed book.

But it's my personal preference and everyone who wants paragraph spacing is welcome to it. Fortunately, it's as easy to add spaces between paragraphs as it is to remove them.
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Old 01-23-2015, 07:40 PM   #60
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Certainly it's not wrong. It's a matter of personal preference. Me, I'm all for paragraph spacing on the computer screen, and it's not so bad in nonfiction books, but I absolutely detest paragraph spacing in novels I read for pleasure on my kindle (I've recently been thinking of getting a Kobo reader as well, I've heard they're more customizable than Kindles, but haven't yet). Off they go from every novel I buy, if it has them. The same goes for embedded fonts (I prefer sans-serif), paragraph indents bigger than 1 em and huge line spacing. Generally it takes a couple of minutes to fix a book, unless formatting is a total mess (I read quite a lot of indies and self-pubs, and they're often not particularly well formatted).
I find that quite a few of the bigger publishers now use styling that I personally don't find attractive but at least they use a consistent stylesheet for all their publications. One indie series my wife recently purchased used widely differing styles on and within the four books so I ended up by editing all four to a consistent style. Took about 30 minutes to do all 4 ( grep is my best buddy! ) and she's a happy camper now.

Personally, I'm still wondering about the person who created ebooks that mixed indented, unindented and hanging indented paragraphs within the body text. Took me back a few years to when you could tell a person who used a Macintosh by the ransom note appearance of their documents. Just because you can do it does not make it a good idea to do it.
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