Quality eBooks for Free Download
Welcome to a home of ebooks that are both the best in quality and absolutely free. The best in quality? At present, over 400 other sites worldwide are serving LimpidSoft pdf books, which suggests that other book distributors are impressed with the quality.
But why free? I am fortunate enough not to need to charge for my books. At the start, my primary interest was in developing software to reprocess books that were already available free from the wonderful Gutenberg site, to process them specifically for ebook readers (of the many different formats) and to produce books that are of much better quality than many that are commercially available.
No. There is no charge and no requirement for registration. Perhaps, if you read many of my books, you might spare a thought for the less fortunate on our planet. Perhaps, too, you might consider a small donation to any charity (of your choice) that is attempting to improve literacy and education in the third world.
John Redmond (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recommended Page Formats
LimpidSoft provides a range of quality free ebooks.
The options are:
The theme here is, loosely, religion and philosophy. Featured are the Bible (King James version), three translations of the Koran, the Book of Mormon, Analects of Confucius, The Tao and its Characteristics, the classic Consolation of Philosophy of Boethius and the over-arching Varieties of Religious Experience by William James.
Page Formats in eBabel: An Overview
- First was the small (6-inch) eBook reader, typified by the Kindle,
Kobo, Nexus and similar readers. Significant here is the page aspect
ratio (shape) of 1.33 (4:3), which has been well accepted in terms of
readability and portability.
- This aspect ratio was later adopted for the very much larger
9.7-inch iPad, detracting somewhat from readability (the lines are
arguably too long) and greatly from portability (size and weight).
- As a possible response to these concerns, the 8-inch iPad Mini appeared,
also with a 1.33 aspect ratio.
- The Samsung Galaxy ereaders are available in two main formats: the 10.1-inch and
8-inch models (with aspect ratios of about 1.6) are direct competitors
to the iPad models, while the 7-inch model has an aspect ratio of about
- Most of the available formats are supported directly by one of the
LimpidSoft formats. The best option for narrower formats is probably to use
the A5 printing format. Why? Because the margins are wide, and
are ignored by the ereader. The size of the page block, including the
headers and footers, is about 8 inches and the aspect ratio is about
1.7. Perhaps surprisingly, this has proved to be the most-downloaded
- The final option is to read books on your computer using your
built-in PDF reader. The page size can be enlarged or reduced to enhance
readability---a very attractive option for vision-impaired readers. And
a full-featured PDF reader provides all of the niceties of PDF,
including hot links from the table of contents, which are often missing
from tablets. This seems to have been a real hit with the Beatrix Potter
eBooks in eBabel: The Choices
Given the differing display sizes and aspect ratios, an overarching
issue in producing ebooks is the question of how to obtain quality
display of any book on any reader, regardless of the aspect ratio. There
are two broad options:
- Use a reflowable file.; This is a well-established
appoach in HTML browsers: if the viewer shape or size is altered, the
text rearranges itself. For display of ebooks, it is a distinct
compromise as each page needs to be generated dynamically and lacks the
details of physical books, such as page headers and footers, foototes
and cross references.
- Use a PDF File. PDF is the professional standard
for book production and, as such provides high-quality display,
fully-featured pages and a table of contents. Reflowing of text is not
an option. To understand this, it is useful to think of the pages of a
PDF book as a series of snapshots: they look good, their size can be
altered, but the shape stays the same.
- Use optimised PDF Files.The LimpidSoft Approach is
to provide each ebook in several sizes and aspect ratios. This
multiplies the shear number of files on this site, but ensures ebooks of the best quality.
The LimpidSoft Books: The Sources
- It is a pleasure to acknowledge that almost none of these books would exist if it were not for the wonderful and long-established Gutenberg site, which provides versions of books that are old enough to be free from copyright restrictions.
- The Gutenberg books, mainly as text or html files, are the result of
the work of a team of volunteers who have processed copies of these old
books. This is a labour of love!
- At LimpidSoft, the text files are edited, lightly marked up and
processed with specialised scripts to a set of LaTeX text files,
corresponding to books of differing formats.
- Finally, working the free Linux environment, the LaTeX files are processed with free software (pdflatex) to the final eBooks.
For all Shakespeare scholars and enthusiasts, the First Folio
of 1623 occupies a special place, and is now available as a text file
from Project Gutenberg (EBook #100). This is indeed a great asset, but
it has one big disadvantage: it is plain text, with no real styling.
LimpidSoft provides several of the most popular plays as PDF files, with further plays in prospect.
It is a pleasure to acknowledge that
Project Gutenberg provides, in HTML format, most of the well-loved
stories of Beatrix Potter. An important part of the Potter stories is
the relationship between the images and small fragments of text, which
can be difficult to achieve in HTML. LimpidSoft provides PDF versions of some of the most popular stories in A5 format---ideal for display on-screen and on handheld devices.
As support for this site developed, large numbers of unrelated sites
included links to obsolescent versions of the LimpidSoft books. For this
reason, links are still included here, but the newer versions and
formats must be recommended. The older versions are: