Reading Old Books with New Tech

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

Foseti’s process for reading old books involves getting a Kindle, downloading Stanza, and then downloading books from Google Books in Adobe EPUB format and converting into Amazon Kindle format:

My wife got me a Kindle for something like $250. I’ve probably read almost 200 old books on it and paid $0 for each book. That’s a $/book cost of $1.25 and I’m still going.

In an afternoon, you’ll easily be able to transfer a couple hundred books to you Kindle. There’s no cheaper, easier way to read the best books in the world.

Tyler Cowen would add that you’re getting plenty of old, bad translations, but we do what we can.

Buckethead has gone with an iPad instead:

EPUBs from Gutenberg work great in Apple’s iBooks app. For an additional $2, I got the GoodReader app, which is an excellent PDF viewer. I actually prefer this option, because I can download the PDFs from Google Books, and they look charmingly old-timey on my iPad. The EPUBs from google are often twitchy — the OCR is not perfect. GoodReader also has the advantage of wireless syncing; you have to actually plug in the iPad to update the iBooks app.

I’m reading all three books from Moldbug’s challenge at once, which is slowing me down, but I’m enjoying bouncing back and forth. After that, I’ve got the entire Harvard Classics loaded up and ready to read.

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