An Elegant Solution to a Vexing E-Book Problem

Comments

1
I think that I shall never see
An e-poem as lovely as a tree
Because after the power cut
My e-book's dead oh what the fvk
2
Taking time to adjust things yourself? That just won't do at all in the era of the tablet, the app store and of highly sculpted user experience. We want shit that, you know, just works.
3
Actually, though, Zebes is right.
4
That sounds tedious rather than elegant, the e-Reader should self calibrate. Not that I have ever actually used one, maybe I am missing something?
5
@ Paul, did you run across a particular news item about this (link)? There wasn't much on the Copper Canyon site other than the fact that titles were released and the Paul Allen Foundation funded the back-catalog conversions. I found a few older articles on the topic at the Poetry Foundation, but nothing recent.

I'm interested in the larger problem of preserving the artistic and functional elements of layouts for all kinds of books when viewing electronically.

I save and file tons of info from the web on topics I'm interested in, usually in the form of .pdf files ("printing" web pages to .pdf). I often have to try many different ways of doing this ("printing" directly if the page uses cascading style sheets; using the Reader function in Safari; CleanPrint; PrintFriendly; etc.) in order to get an acceptable result that includes the information I want.

I'm always amazed at the variable results from the same page using different methods, and how some sites have obviously devoted effort to making this process work well, while others produce ridiculously cluttered and garbled results.

From that experience, it seems obvious to me that one of the best ways to preserve the graphical elements of a poem would be to render it in a zoomable form, à la .pdf, but I guess either e-reader manufacturers don't want to pay licensing fees to Adobe for full PostScript capability, or the readers lack the computing horsepower to render it.
6
I am confused by this solution. There are already accepted -- and tested -- ways of dealing with line breaks and hanging indents in HTML, ePub and kindle formats (negative indent positive margin) . With well thought out styling from the designer long lines can be easily distinguished from hard line breaks. It seems as if people don't want to learn new ways of doing things. This solution is a little like a scribe, used to working with scrolls, suggesting that his readers cut pages out of a codex and tape them together before reading.