I settled on The Way To Go, and saw that Kindle edition was a steal at ~$3, so I snagged it. This was a mistake.
In fact, my every Kindle purchase of a technical book has been a mistake. It’s not just wonky fonts or off colors. They’re a god damned repaginated mess. They’re usually downright unreadable.
And code examples. Christ. The person who wrote them can’t tell what the fuck they do.
They look as if you gave a troubled child a pair of scissors and a complex book and said “Hey kid, somehow make this fit a smaller screen.”
I get it. There are challenges with fitting a wide range of devices.
You know what seemed to handle that OK, though? PDFs. Remember those? What the fuck was wrong with PDFs? Paginated to the original specifications of the publisher. Full color. Beautiful fonts. Legible.
This problem was solved in 1993.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers won a Grammy for “Give it Away” in 1993. They could have gone back to their dressing room and enjoyed a beautiful Ruby book on their shared Hewlett Packard desktop. Why the fuck are we worse off going into 2013?
I purchase a Kindle book every few months to sort of check in. I says to myself, “Self, they’ll get this worked out eventually. There are very big companies involved. Other people have this problem.”
But I’m starting to wonder if technical books were just forgotten in the transition.
I mean, who gives a shit about some nerds when you’re moving bazillions of copies of books that help teens or moms explore new facets of their sexuality?
I’m assuming it’s more accurate to blame the publishers. Maybe it’s just not worth the effort to put in the extra design work. If they put out a shitty version for the kindle, they’ll still make sales because of the popularity of the platform. There are probably even people with crappy-enough taste not to care.
Don’t tolerate it. It’s unacceptable.
Next time you’re about to grab an ebook, compare the Kindle sample to the PDF sample from the publisher. You’ll spend a big chunk of your career reading about your craft. Why suffer through another hollow digital representation?
Use PDF and enjoy the luxurious amenities the early 90′s had to offer.