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Books: a literary discussion

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 2.6K users

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So I've been eying and lusting after a nook and its fancy new 1.3 firmware even though I know I can't afford one. And all that looking at something meant to read books made me think about...BOOKS.

Let's talk about books. Anybody read anything recent that was really good? Have an obscure old favorite?

Where do you read books? When do you read them? What books do you read? How do you read books?

Etc and so forth.

If it involves books, say it. I'd like some good recommendations on recently published books and currently running ongoing series, too.

My favorite book of all time is Dumas's "Count of Monte Cristo"(or at least the unabridged English translation), though I of course love the geek standbys as well(Hitchhiker's Guide, Neuromancer, Slaughterhouse-Five, Snow Crash, et all). I also have Star Wars books as somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Also, this isn't the thread about pictures of boobs. There shouldn't be pictures of boobs in this thread.

...unless it's a picture of a book that just HAPPENS to contain boobs. Because then it's absolutely on-topic and worthy of discussion.

...

SO.

BOOKS.

268 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • I love reading and I'm trying to get through Bertrand Russel's Why I Am Not A Christian, but it's pretty difficult concentrating on a book with a 4 year old running around.

  • @Jennifer said: I've been reading books on my iPad lately and have been downloading free epubs for public domain books that I have always wanted to read (or read when I was a kid or a teenager and mostly have forgotten). Project Gutenberg is great for getting epubs for popular public domain books, like Sherlock Holmes, or A Connecticut Yankee in King Author's Court, or A Christmas Carol. It's not so great for less popular books though.

    I've been scouring the internet looking for an epub for A Blazing World by Margaret Cavendish, and the only one I could find was one for sale on iTunes for $0.99. The story is available all over the internet in HTML format, so paying $1 seemed kind of silly.

    That was until I decided to make an ePub of it myself. Egads, what a pain in the neck that turned out to be (probably because I went the route of doing all the HTML by hand in Wordpad rather than using an HTML editor). After two days of sorting out all the errors in my HTML code, it's done now though. So I can finally read the story with iBooks, but now I kind of wish I wasn't so cheap and paid the dollar to save myself the aggravation.

    The reason why there are ebook versions of public domain books being sold for money (however cheap) on Amazon and such is because often the free public domain versions have poor formatting; a table of contents which is either missing or simple link-less text (which makes such TOCs completely useless); or missing NCX code, such that chapter-skipping shortcut keys don't work.

    I can say from personal experience that having to repair ebooks with bad TOCs and NCXs is a pain in the neck, and even worse if chapter headings are wonky.

  • I worked on a version of Les Misérables. 2.5k pages to reformat, special characters to fix, indentations to add... it was a big pain. But not as much as the time I just retyped a whole novel because I bought the paper version and wanted to be able to read the ebook (not 2.5K pages that times, fortunately. I'd still be halfway :p)

  • And this, kids, Is why you don't pirate. Someone actually has to do all that work.

  • Let's talk about books. Anybody read anything recent that was really good? Have an obscure old favorite?

    I am Legend by Richard Matheson. Well, it's not so obscure anymore due to the Will Smith movie, but it's still worth checking out considering none of the adaptations really stick to the point save for The Last Man on Earth, and even that somehow manages to beat around the bush.

    It is my absolute favorite story, without question.

    Where do you read books? When do you read them? What books do you read? How do you read books?

    I don't read as often as I'd like to, so I made a reading list in order to give myself some incentive this year as I have quite a backlog of stories just waiting to be read, and I generally read Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and or Mystery books when I am able to. Ideally, I'd like to read in my room anywhere I'm comfortable when it's quiet. Unfortunately there is little peace-and-quiet at the house these days, and it makes it hard for me to concentrate and focus on reading whatever book is available to me.

    I do want to have a go at the A Song of Ice and Fire series at some point since that looks like good heavy reading. Despite some of the bad things I hear about it, I'd still like to see if I can finish books with that grand of scale.

    Since I want to get into heavier reading, I thought I'd simply start light with a series based on one of my favorite video game franchises. I figure starting with a familiar world would ease me into better reading habits, since I don't have to think too much on descriptions and characters, and won't want to stop every minute to look up how to pronounce a character's name or anything like that.

    Can't wait to read them.

  • I'm happy to have found a new author that I like, Neal Stephenson. Nearly finished Reamde which I've enjoyed a lot and so I'll have to look for other books he's done. Heard good things about Snow Crash, which actually was what I was looking for initially when I got Reamde - it (Snow Crash) was recommended to me so when I was next in a good bookshop I looked for it but couldn't find a copy but saw this other book by the same author (Reamde) so I got that and haven't regretted it.

  • I've read Snow Crash, I enjoyed it a lot. It has a few info dumps, which are a bit overwhelming, but it's part of the point so I guess it still works.

  • I've got some new Stephen King books I want to read, but first, I need to finish my Harry Potter reread. I've been planning this for too long to not finish-- also, I want to read the James Potter super-fan free-books.

  • @Chyron8472 said: The reason why there are ebook versions of public domain books being sold for money (however cheap) on Amazon and such is because often the free public domain versions have poor formatting; a table of contents which is either missing or simple link-less text (which makes such TOCs completely useless); or missing NCX code, such that chapter-skipping shortcut keys don't work.


    I find that the Project Gutenberg e-books are of a high standard. Plenty of gems to be found there, enough to last you a life time... of course, people should still buy books by living writers as well, otherwise they won't be living writers for very long. :D

  • @Avistew said: I worked on a version of Les Misérables. 2.5k pages to reformat, special characters to fix, indentations to add... it was a big pain. But not as much as the time I just retyped a whole novel because I bought the paper version and wanted to be able to read the ebook (not 2.5K pages that times, fortunately. I'd still be halfway :p)

    Ehh... I don't put that much effort into it. I use Sigil to edit files and Calibre to convert them.

    Calibre is pretty good at fixing formatting problems once you figure out what conversion settings get the right results. PDFs, on the other hand.... ugh... don't get me started. PDFs SUCK when it comes to converting them to mobi/ePub.

    I hate PDF eBooks.

    @Avistew said: I find that the Project Gutenberg e-books are of a high standard. Plenty of gems to be found there, enough to last you a life time... of course, people should still buy books by living writers as well, otherwise they won't be living writers for very long. :D

    I downloaded a few classics from there, and the ones that I did either had text-only TOCs or none at all.

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