Just an aside, because a few of us mentioned it. Bruce, of House Studio, had this post recently. It gives some info on the ebook/paper publish discussion. Given the demographic of the group that House Studio is trying to reach, it seems that on one hand the ebook discussion would be right in their sweet spot. Also, one has to figure into the discussion that teaching from an ebook may have some complications...
On a personal note, often on Wednesday night, I go straight to church from work. I often don't have my print bible with me, but my phone has 4 different versions of the bible, plus access to my personal favorite site, blueletterbible.com. If/when I use my phone to follow along on the text, I often wonder what those around me may think.
It's worth mentioning that the Kindle does not support the open standard .PUB format. The PDF books from Google are composed of images of text not the text itself and therefore you can't adjust font-size, highlight, etc.. This makes reading sometimes difficult because you have to zoom and then scroll to read small text. Google's text recognition software is very good, but there are still lots of errors and it can make difficulty reading the text versions. Amazon has a collection of well over 100k books from the public domain already in their format ready for download so there's a good chance it will have the books you want if their even remotely popular. The best solution is for Amazon to support the .PUB format but there are free ways to convert the .PUB format to the Kindle's format.
It's also worth mentioning that Archive.org has a collection of free books as large as Google's and has some exclusive rights to the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard's library, New York Public library, and lots more and they have the option to download in the Kindle format. I have rarely found a book on Google that I can't find at Archive.org also.
Yeah, which is why I don't think you can really say that Kindle's lack of .PUB compatibility is really a problem.Google's text recognition software is very good, but there are still lots of errors and it can make difficulty reading the text versions. Amazon has a collection of well over 100k books from the public domain already in their format ready for download so there's a good chance it will have the books you want if their even remotely popular. The best solution is for Amazon to support the .PUB format but there are free ways to convert the .PUB format to the Kindle's format.
good to know.It's also worth mentioning that Archive.org has a collection of free books as large as Google's and has some exclusive rights to the Smithsonian Institution, Harvard's library, New York Public library, and lots more and they have the option to download in the Kindle format. I have rarely found a book on Google that I can't find at Archive.org also.
Amazons model works well with ebooks, (not all books are available in the ebook format though), but amazons model stores the ebooks online in your account even after you download the content so you never lose your books. The ebooks can be synced between devices/computers, which includes keeping track of where you stopped reading even if you change to a different device. I don't own a ebook reader yet. The ebooks I have read were on my computers (Mac and PC'c) with amazon reader software. It works and should work much better with a handy kindle but most of the content I read is available free from the library. For the cost of a kindle I could purchase many books, but the newer ebook format should be cheaper than the hardback book cost so if you do purchase a lot of books that are also available in the ebook format that would be a point for the ebook format. If you travel alot the kindle would be a much more valued option as you could take your entire amazon library with you on a portable device. The newer lower cost kindles have caught my eye but I may get a Ipad or Ipad type device. I am in no hurry to obtain a kindle "yet"
Well, today I ordered a Kindle 3G. Been thinking long and hard on whether I'd buy more generic e-reader here, or would order Amazon's Kindle in the US.
I've chosen the latter because of good reviews, price, good integration with Amazon (and Amazon has quite a few ebooks), the fact that I'll mostly buy English ebooks for my device anyway, and there appear to be ways to convert quite a few different formats to a format the Kindle can read.
Also, I was quite impressed with the one David Troxler showed me.
Now all that is left is to wait .......
I am a paper book lover. There's just something about the feel of paper in my hands that I just love. However, I also love my iPod Touch. So, after Mark got his iPad and was using the eReader, I thought I'd give it a try. BTW, his small group is using a book that each person needed to purchase for around $10. He found it digitally for around $5 and has been using it for his group. All four of us in the family have a free Bible application on our iPods that gives us tons and tons of versions of the Bible in English and in a huge number of other languages. Our daughters had a youth pastor tell them that their digital Bible was not as "holy" or "blessed" as a paper Bible. (?????) Well, he can have that opinion, but our girls carry their Bibles everywhere they go which is a lot more than I can say about that youth pastor! Ha!
On my iPod, I have a Kindle App, a Nook App, and a Kobo (?) App. I have downloaded several digital books from sources to try out the eReading experience. While I am still a paper book lover, I do like the digital experience. Personally I do better with the "night reading" option of turning the print white and the background black. It is easier on my eyes. I also like the ability to read in bed without having a light on. The other night, Mark was playing a Scrabble-type game with friends and reading all while I was lying in bed sleeping peacefully (other than the times he needed help coming up with a word). I have read in bed with the lights out and been quite comfortable. I also like the ability to easily have a book with me to read when I have a short wait someplace. I can carry a whole library of books in my jeans pocket or my purse. You can't do that with paper.
A negative...like Ryan, I love finding discounted books on the "cheap" rack in the back of stores like Halfprice Books. One cannot find a $0.50 or $1 book on digital sites. I also love the hunt of searching through piles of books to find a jewel to read. Another negative...battery life. My paper book will never run out of battery power like the iPod does if I don't watch carefully on my battery reserve.
My final verdict...I like them, I'll use them, I won't give up on paper.
Just downloaded Chesterton's, 'The Ball and the Cross' free! If you like old authors like Chesterton, then you can get a lot of free books! Just don't know if I can wait long enough for some of my other favorites can get that old.
Well, I delved into the e-book world. Very nice. Hacking your own e-books in order to be able to run then on your own device with python scripts. You gotta love all the specific DRM files.
Hopefully they'll one day come to their senses and develop one system for all those different DRM protected files
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 0 LaughingShea Zellweger - "thanks" for this post
Honour to whom honour is due. Ordered my Kindle on Saturday. Amazon shipped it on Monday from Kentucky. And today I received it. Not bad at all for a transatlantic delivery, not bad at all. My respect, Amazon!
I have had my kindle for a month and a half now or so and I have to say that I love it!! Very easy reading. Very light. I love being able to highlight small sections and automatically post links to facebook/twitter.
Well, I have had my Kindle for a few weeks now. I love it!! I love that when I think of a book I'd like to read, I can pretty much find it, download it, and start reading......that is worth it for me, not having to go to the store and buy the book, or not having to order it and wait....I'm still learning all that it does, but so far, I really like it.
Edit: I also like the fact that I can buy a book in the middle of the night if I think of it, and the next time I turn on the Kindle, it automatically syncs all the books I bought.
I don't like what it's doing to my checkbook, however......ha ha ha ha (but I keep telling myself that all these books I've bought are so much cheaper on the Kindle than if I'd bought the actual book....)
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)
First experiences of the Kindle:
1. It reads very well! I like the screen a lot, much, much better than a regular computer/cell phone/whatever screen.
2. Actually managed to get all my e-books on the Kindle. A diverse lot of free e-books, converted from epub to mobi, drm protected mobi files that I own and managed to make drm free, and even a Adobe DRM protected epub file that I bought yesterday and managed to get the DRM off and convert to mobi as well. So far, I'm turning into quite a hacker in order to read the e-books I legally own on my also legally owned e-reader. It seems we can do with some improvements in the market of e-books here, but I'm starting to repeat myself.
3. One problem so far: when you want to highlight text, you cannot start with a word that follows the number pointing to a footnote. Must be a bug.
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)
Ah-ha -- that is probably it. I just saw on the left side of the page that it requires you to enter your country's name. Interesting......
Great discussion on this topic folks! Like you all, I have been busy investigating e-readers for a long time now. For the record, I have a Kindle and an iPad, as well as an iPhone. I use them all to read, although my preferred method of digesting books is in audio format. I specifically use the iPad when teaching my small group because of how well it handles PDF's in large size. I like the Kindle, and when I need to access a book quickly and can't find it at the library (my go-to solution), I download it to the Kindle. My irritation that the Kindle doesn't read ePub--the quickly emerging standard--is growing. But I am sure they can fix that with a software update whenever they are ready. To me reading on the Kindle feels like working on a computer with only DOS. One day I am sure we'll realize how lame it is.
Here at The House, I can tell you that from our very first book--The Kingdom Experiment--we have planned every book for a digital release. The means ePub, mobi (for Kindle) and Adobe Digital Edition PDF. Because our books are highly designed, it takes a good bit of work to make them look good in ePub and mobi. As a matter of fact this is such a big issue with the project we did with Shane Claiborne that it will probably only be released in PDF. Also, all House Studio titles are released WITHOUT ANY DRM so you can use those files between your devices.
As for NPH, we have helped facilitate the conversion of their titles too. And if there are specific titles you'd like to see from them, they would love to hear your suggestions (commentaries noted). Given the way we work here at The House, we've just gone ahead and turned their titles into epubs and mobi files even though their processes for getting them into their systems isn't complete. You can get their work at Amazon, Sony's ebookstore, and Barnes and Noble.com. All Beacon Hill books have standard DRM that is applied from Amazon, Sony, and B&N.
Going forward we are working on getting our products into the Google bookstore. Whenever Apple releases the reigns and lets more than 6 vendors provide conversion services for the iBookstore, we'll move in that as well. But for now those 6 vendors are price gouging publishers for those services.
Calibre on my PC. It's features are:
And it's free software!# Library Management
Calibre manages your e-book collection for you. It is designed around the concept of the logical book, i.e., a single entry in your library that may correspond to actual e-book files in several formats. Calibre can sort the books in your library by: Title, Author, Date added, Date published, Size, Rating, Series, etc.
In addition, it supports extra searchable metadata:
* Tags: A flexible system for categorizing your collection however you like
* Comments: A long form entry that you can use for book description, notes, reviews, etc.
You can easily search your book collection for a particular book. calibre supports searching any and all of the fields mentioned above. You can construct advanced search queries by clicking the helpful "Advanced search" button to the left of the search bar.
You can export arbitrary subsets of your collection to your hard disk arranged in a fully customizable folder structure.
Finally, calibre will even go out onto the internet to find book metadata based on existing title/author or ISBN information. It can download various types of metadata and covers for your books, automatically. The metadata system is written using plugins so that different types of metadata sources can be supported in the future.
# E-book conversion
Calibre can convert from a huge number of formats to a huge number of formats. It supports all the major e-book formats.
Input Formats: CBZ, CBR, CBC, CHM, EPUB, FB2, HTML, LIT, LRF, MOBI, ODT, PDF, PRC**, PDB, PML, RB, RTF, SNB, TCR, TXT
Output Formats: EPUB, FB2, OEB, LIT, LRF, MOBI, PDB, PML, RB, PDF, SNB, TCR, TXT
The conversion engine has lots of powerful features. It can rescale all font sizes, ensuring the output e-book is readable no matter what font sizes the input document uses. It can automatically detect/create book structure, like chapters and Table of Contents. It can insert the book metadata into a "Book Jacket" at the start of the book.
# Syncing to e-book reader devices
Calibre has a modular device driver design that makes adding support for different e-reader devices easy. At the moment, it has support for a large number of devices, the complete list of which is here. Syncing supports updating metadata on the device from metadata in the library and creation of collections on the device based on the tags defined in the library. If a book has more than one format available, calibre automatically chooses the best format when uploading to the device. If none of the formats is suitable, calibre will automatically convert the e-book to a format suitable for the device before sending it.
# Downloading news from the web and converting it into e-book form
calibre can automatically fetch news from websites or RSS feeds, format the news into a ebook and upload to a connected device. The ebooks include the full versions of the articles, not just the summaries. Examples of supported news sites include:
* The New York Times
* The Wall Street Journal
* The Economist
* The Guardian
* and many, many more…
Calibre has over three hundred news sources and the news system is plugin based, allowing users to easily create and contribute new sources to calibre. As a result the collection of news sources keeps on growing!
If you are interested in adding support for a news site, read the User Manual. Once you have successfully created a new recipe, you can share it with other users by posting it in the calibre forum [External link] or sending it to the calibre developers for inclusion in calibre.
# Comprehensive e-book viewer
calibre has a built-in ebook viewer that can display all the major ebook formats. It has full support for Table of Contents, bookmarks, CSS, a reference mode, printing, searching, copying, customizing the rendering via a user style sheet, embedded fonts, etc.
# Content server for online access to your book collection
I use MOBI as a standard and that works quite well on the Kindle.
"No scripture can mean that God is not love, or that his mercy is not over all his works" (John Wesley - Free Grace, 26)Post Thanks / Like - 1 Thanks, 0 LaughingJay Stiegelmeyer - "thanks" for this post