Just Asking

Is there a central source for (links to) good, clean, well-marked-up, sensibly-curated books for biblical studies and theology? Mark, is this something that NT Gateway (for instance) might host as a separate category?
I’ve been looking around for Kindle-ready books, and have found relatively few well-prepared public domain books in theology — odd, since the vast preponderance of our subject matter is long since out of copyright. Indeed, it seems hard to get a sensible NRSV for a Kindle, even for ready money. Of course, this intensifies my sense that the world desperately needs a digital distribution source for Open-Access academic (or high-quality popular) texts, with a side business, if it be deemed appropriate, in commercial publications.

4 thoughts on “Just Asking

  1. There’s an important difference, though, between “books” (in some form or another) and “Kindle-ready,” “well-prepared” books. One of the drawbacks of the Kindle is its somewhat inflexible relation to PDFs; some PDFs do well in Amazon’s free conversion service, but many do not (likewise the excellent open-source Calibre format converter).
    To take the first example that I followed up: Souter’s small Lexicon from archive.org is an utter catastrophe in its Kindle version. The PDF version might be readable as a PDF, but that is of relatively small benefit for a system like the Kindle’s; the page images are much less useful when one has to juggle and nudge them in order to see the desired portion of a page. The books re there, but they’re very far from being congenial to Kindles.
    Which is not to diminish the value of your site or Danny’s — it’s just that the time- and frustration-cost of tracking down a book, then trying to make it useful on a particular eBook system, diminish the benefit of generalist-media sites. And by no means should anyone think I mean that you or Danny or anyone should be under an obligation to host a Kindle-ready (or any other proprietary system-ready) category; I’m checking to see if such a thing already exists, and (if not) whether anyone’s aware of the prospect of such a thing. It’s in the interest of a number (perhaps small, but almost certainly growing) of our colleagues and students.

  2. Hi again AKMA. I’m not a Kindle user so can’t comment on that problem. It sounds to me like it is a huge problem still that Kindle cannot handle PDFs properly.

  3. Of the last 20 books that I have purchased from Amazon, only 3 have been available on the Kindle. I really want to get one and at only $140, it is at the price I want to pay but the lack of available books is really holding me back.

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