Folger eBooks

Just this week in the comments someone was bemoaning the poor state of Shakespeare ebooks these days.  Well I think I might have an answer to that.

Folger Editions, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, are now available in eBook format.

I have two very important questions that I haven’t been able to answer yet:

1) The image in this article clearly looks like an iPad-specific format.  Is this only going to be available in the iBook store, and not for Kindle and others?

2) From the article, each ebook “will have the same pagination as the physical book, with hyperlinks allowing readers to move easily between text, commentary, and a host of illustrations from the Folger’s collections that bring Shakespeare’s plays and world to life.” As a techie this frightens me, because this sounds suspiciously like “we took an image of each page, and the so-called ebook is really just a sequence of pictures of pages.” This makes the page look perfect, of course, but it also causes a number of features to suffer, including the ability to search and bookmark the text, as well as doing simple but important things like manipulating the text size to a comfortable level. In the world of ebooks, “the same pagination as the physical book” is actually a bad thing, because working backwards that means “we will decide how much content goes on a page, not you, so if the print is too small for you, that’s your problem.”

If I can find out more details I’ll update.

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