What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?



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  1. #1
    Puck
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    Default What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    I am fortunate enough to have a library near by that has a pretty decent selection for me to start reading from when I can use my Nook. I do have one concern/question though, many books are only available in .pdf versions. From research, I have gathered that the .pdf support on Nook has been a controversial and frustrating one. So I was just wondering what that means for .pdf ebooks. In your opinion, how is the experience when reading a pdf ebook compared to an epub book? What frustrations, if any, should I prepare myself for?
    Thanks! =)

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  3. #2
    Tom Sawyer karrde's Avatar
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    I just ended up with one that I didn't realize it before I checked it out. While the text re flows to a degree it has issues. I normally read on "extra small", but on this that's microscopic. In order to enlarge to the degree I can read a single "page" is just more than a full screen. What this meas it that I alternate between a full screen of text followed by a quarter screen of text. Somewhat annoying.

  4. #3
    Mowgli
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    In my experience, text-only PDFs aren't too bad if they're the kind that let you increase the font size so that the document isn't trying to fit a full page on the Nook's little screen. Due to the reflow, sometimes you end up with page headings in the middle of your text, and it bothers some people. Also, you may have to hit two or three page turns before turning an actual page, though that may be the case if you use large font on epubs as well. *shrug* I've gotten used to it, since a lot of my books are in PDF format. It's a mileage may very sort of thing. Epub is far superior, but sometimes it isn't an option.

    However, if you've got a lot of illustrations or charts or whatnot, PDFs can be a pain. Sometimes the images don't show up, sometimes they do but it's messy. Sometimes you can't increase font size because of the images, and you're stuck with tiny little text that takes a magnifying glass to read.

    I guess it depends on what kind of books you're wanting to borrow, and how the document is set up.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    My dad was telling me that since he's updated to 1.5 his .pdb (that he gets from baen) that they've been showing up much better than they were before the update, i don't know about pdf formats though.
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  7. #5
    Puck
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    Thanks for the replies guys! =) So it sounds like if there is going to be an issue, it would be more of a minor annoying issue. Not rendering books unreadable (I don't intend to ready any books with illustrations).. That's nice to know. I was afraid my options were going to be severely limited by the amount of .pdfs available from my local library.
    What is the 'reflow' you guys mentioned?

  8. #6
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    Quote Originally Posted by ItsMe
    Thanks for the replies guys! =) So it sounds like if there is going to be an issue, it would be more of a minor annoying issue. Not rendering books unreadable (I don't intend to ready any books with illustrations).. That's nice to know. I was afraid my options were going to be severely limited by the amount of .pdfs available from my local library.
    What is the 'reflow' you guys mentioned?
    Oh, PDFs are by no means unreadable, you're right, some of the formatting is just a bit annoying, with like unusual line breaks here and there and like??? in the middle of words or a sentence (that's what I've encountered at least)

    I think the "reflow" is just areference to how the PDFs formatting show up different and "flow" different on different size screens and stuff. The nook's screen is fairly large (for ereaders) so I''m not really sure why there is a problem, but it seems to be improving over time)

    so, don't worry about borrowing PDFs from the library, you shouldn't have any trouble reading them on your nook
    Currently reading:
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    Book Challenge 2011 38 bks read of 60

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  9. #7
    Oliver
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fireflywishes
    Oh, PDFs are by no means unreadable, you're right, some of the formatting is just a bit annoying, with like unusual line breaks here and there and like??? in the middle of words or a sentence (that's what I've encountered at least)

    I think the "reflow" is just areference to how the PDFs formatting show up different and "flow" different on different size screens and stuff. The nook's screen is fairly large (for ereaders) so I''m not really sure why there is a problem, but it seems to be improving over time)

    so, don't worry about borrowing PDFs from the library, you shouldn't have any trouble reading them on your nook
    Actually for me it was more than annoying. It made technical files unreadable. You MIGHT be able to increase text size, but charts, when they show up at all, cannot be changed. For me this was a deal breaker and I have ordered a kindle 3. I am hoping that with PDF pan and zoom, along with landscape mode, I can finally read my technical books. I won't know until I receive the Kindle. I would like to think that the Nook will address these issues, but I came to the conclusion that you buy it for what it does today, not in the hopes of future features.
    Againm as stated above, if the pdf files are just text, it work OK, but man, a landscape mode would really help.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    Quote Originally Posted by scottfa
    Actually for me it was more than annoying. It made technical files unreadable. You MIGHT be able to increase text size, but charts, when they show up at all, cannot be changed. For me this was a deal breaker and I have ordered a kindle 3. I am hoping that with PDF pan and zoom, along with landscape mode, I can finally read my technical books. I won't know until I receive the Kindle. I would like to think that the Nook will address these issues, but I came to the conclusion that you buy it for what it does today, not in the hopes of future features.
    Againm as stated above, if the pdf files are just text, it work OK, but man, a landscape mode would really help.
    I think you're going to be disappointed with a Kindle 3 too.. it's not really that different from the nook and I'm not sure whether it has landscape more or not, but I'm thinking the screen isn't that much bigger. anyways, I think if you are wanting to read technical books with lots of charts and stuff - go with the Kindle DX all the way!! It's MADE exactly for that sort of thing.
    Currently reading:
    The Poisoned House - Michael Ford
    Book Challenge 2011 38 bks read of 60

    12,724 Pages Read of 12,000

    My Shelf Confessions

  11. #9
    Tiny Tim
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    i've read a couple of novels in pdf form over the last few weeks from my library. it was all perfectly readable. i noticed the similar thing that i had to adjust my font size and i did see some odd page breaks and extra large margins on some pages. with the page breaks, for example, id see a whole page, then turn the page, and get only three lines, then turn the page again and have a whole page. some extra clicking/swiping but otherwise fine. around the same time i started reading my first pdf i started having freezing problems but I'm fairly sure that was coincidental. also, my most recent pdf i've been reading post 1.5 update and haven't noticed any page break or margin weirdness at all so they may have fixed those quirks with that release.

  12. #10
    Mowgli
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    Default Re: What is the reading experience like when reading .pdf books from library?

    @scottfa:
    Ugh...I found the pan and zoom on the K3 to be a pain, but it can be done if you go into landscape mode; you generally only have to scroll up and down in landscape, as opposed to doing it both directions in portrait view. I agree with Fireflywishes that, if you can afford it, you'd be much better off with a DX. If you have to pan and zoom, it would likely be a lot less. Either device will definitely do you better than the Nook as far as charts and images are concerned, though. I have a series in PDF that's heavily illustrated, and after I've increased the font size to readability, it's hit-and-miss whether the images show up on my Nook.

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