I recently was awarded a grant from the Sony Corporate Foundation of five digital ebook Readers! My students and I wrote a letter to Sony asking for the Readers to compliment our already brilliant book club shelf of (analog?) paper books. Then, a couple months later there was a box sitting in the school office with our name on it chock full of Readers. It was so exciting!
The Readers are very elegant and bound in leather covers. The students are currently using two of them at an independant "Futuristic" reading center. Meanwhile, I am loading the others with as many books as I can scrounge up so they can eventually be put into rotation as book club choices.
Here is where I ran into a problem. As you may know, many books are freely available under public domain laws. (death+50 years in the USA I think?) So Huck Finn, The Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Treasure Island, The Call of the Wild, and others are all mine (ours, YOURS!) for the taking. But here's the catch: for anyone even remotely visual - like me - they are unbearably ugly and in many cases too small of print to be readable. (Not to mention, LACKING ILLUSTRATIONS.) So, I have begun the task of reformatting the text to PDF formats which match the Sony Reader.
First, I find the book in a format which is not already formatted to size. (tabs and margins make things very messy during cut-n-pasting) Then, I erase the often ugly, boring first few pages and replace them with snappy images of the ACTUAL BOOK COVERS AND TITLE PAGES. Novel idea, huh? Then I insert illustrations where applicable. Finally I resize the pages to 3.47x5.45 or whatever so that they fit to the Reader's screen - oh and increase the font to size 13 or 14. 8.5x11 pages are virtually unreadable on the Reader displays.
So, I mention all this because I plan to upload my work to this site for archiving. Over to the right, there should now be a "page" with Sony Reader PDF files. My first work is one of my all-time favorites, The Call of the Wild. Enjoy! I am currently working on "illustrating" (i.e. adding pictures from other websites, etc.) and reformatting Alice in Wonderland and The Magic Pudding. Please check back for more!