Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Applications > free eBook reader for Project Gutenberg texts?

free eBook reader for Project Gutenberg texts?
Thread Tools
Zoom
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 2, 2004, 10:19 PM
 
So I just discovered this wonderful online treasure trove of free classic books called Project Gutenberg. (I actually heard about it a long time ago, but just now checked it out.)

Unfortunately, all the books I've seen so far as just .txt files. However, there appears to be a standard header in there, so I'm hoping that this is actually a baseline eBook format that can be interpreted and read by an eBook reader.

I've done some searches, but can't seem to find a free eBook reader for the Mac. Acrobat Reader 6.0 will read eBooks, but it looks like it only handles the copyrighted books. I downloaded one of the .txt files and couldn't find any way to read this with Acrobat. (And God was this tool a pain in the butt to use.)

I wish Apple's Preview would handle this. I'm going to submit a request for this.

Anyway, what are my options? Even something that would convert it to HTML would be nice, with a table of contents and hyperlinks. Can someone out there enlighten me?
     
-Q-
Moderator
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 12:53 AM
 
Would this work?

eBook Reader
     
Wickedkitten
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Scotland
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 03:22 AM
 
Originally posted by Zoom:
So I just discovered this wonderful online treasure trove of free classic books called Project Gutenberg. (I actually heard about it a long time ago, but just now checked it out.)

Unfortunately, all the books I've seen so far as just .txt files. However, there appears to be a standard header in there, so I'm hoping that this is actually a baseline eBook format that can be interpreted and read by an eBook reader.

I've done some searches, but can't seem to find a free eBook reader for the Mac. Acrobat Reader 6.0 will read eBooks, but it looks like it only handles the copyrighted books. I downloaded one of the .txt files and couldn't find any way to read this with Acrobat. (And God was this tool a pain in the butt to use.)

I wish Apple's Preview would handle this. I'm going to submit a request for this.

Anyway, what are my options? Even something that would convert it to HTML would be nice, with a table of contents and hyperlinks. Can someone out there enlighten me?
It would take a bit of work to get it converted from Text to HTML with a TOC and hyperlinks because you would have to do that bit manually, however, you can download html versions, or open the txt file and then save it as pdf and read it with acrobat reader
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 07:59 AM
 
Originally posted by -Q-:
Would this work?

eBook Reader
I did see that one, but the reviews talked a lot about crashes. And it also seemed to be a Palm eBook reader for your desktop, meaning I'd have to first convert all the files to pdb format (which you can do with an app called "pordible"). Too many steps to be convenient, but maybe it will work as a last resort.
     
Zoom  (op)
Mac Elite
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: RTP, NC
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 08:00 AM
 
Originally posted by Wickedkitten:
It would take a bit of work to get it converted from Text to HTML with a TOC and hyperlinks because you would have to do that bit manually, however, you can download html versions, or open the txt file and then save it as pdf and read it with acrobat reader
I need to look at the format again, but I'll bet you could easily do it with a Perl script (or CGI). That's why surprised it doesn't already exist. So maybe I can infer from that that it's not really that easy. I'll have to check into it.
     
f1000
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 08:45 AM
 
1. Open the .txt file in TextEdit.

2. Format: Make Rich Text.

3. Make any other formatting adjustments as necessary.

4. File: Print...: Save As PDF...

5. Open in Adobe Reader 6.0 (or Acrobat, if you have it).

6. Iím sure you could use AppleScript to automate this.
     
Millennium
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Nov 1999
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 09:14 AM
 
Project Gutenberg's policy is to deliver its books only in plain ASCII format. There is no "eBook" format for these. There is a style guide, but it is too ambiguous to create a general "eBook reader" that would work for all texts.
You are in Soviet Russia. It is dark. Grue is likely to be eaten by YOU!
     
f1000
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 09:58 AM
 
Save the following AppleScript as an Application:

on open filelist
tell application "TextEdit"
activate
open filelist
print filelist
quit
end tell
end open

I'm hoping that someone knows of a way to get AppleScript to "Save As PDF..." after the print command.
     
monkeybrain
Mac Elite
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Dark Side of the Moon
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 3, 2004, 12:27 PM
 
If you want to read long text files on screen I find the program Tofu to be excellent.

It lets you read the text in columns and you scroll horizontally, making it much easier to read.
     
f1000
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 10, 2004, 05:30 PM
 
MacNN's news page posted this interesting solution:

http://www.beedocuments.com/freeSoftware.html
     
nica
Dedicated MacNNer
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Chicago
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 12, 2004, 11:54 AM
 
Couldn't you just print from Safari and then save as PDF? Then read in Acrobat or in Preview.
     
f1000
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Jun 12, 2004, 03:15 PM
 
Originally posted by nica:
Couldn't you just print from Safari and then save as PDF? Then read in Acrobat or in Preview.
Yes you could, but TextEdit (or Word) allows you to reformat the document before conversion.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:31 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,