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Falling out of love with my Kindle

(32 Posts)
DuchessofMalfi Sat 16-Aug-14 12:08:43

I love the convenience of my kindle, being able to buy books straightaway, no need to go out to the shops etc. However, what has annoyed me recently is the seemingly slapdash way in which books are converted to ebooks.

Two books I've read recently on my kindle have had glaring errors - spelling, grammar, even getting names wrong. It's annoying. I'm cross that I've spent money, maybe not as much as I would have done for a paperback, on a book that has not been proof-read properly or perhaps not at all.

The quality is disappointing. It should be the same standard as a paper book but it often isn't. I read Elizabeth Jane Howard's The Light Years last week (the first in her Cazalets series). I had it on my kindle, and also had a paperback copy as part of the set I bought after getting the ebook. There were too many errors in the ebook. I was fairly certain she would never have used the word "dude" either in her novels or in real life grin and yet there it was. On checking the paper book, it should have read "dear". Just one example of several errors.

Rivers of London by Ben Aarononovitch, as an ebook, is virtually unreadable - typos throughout and even names are wrong.

Has anyone else found glaring errors? What do you do about them? Do you complain to the ebook provider, try to get a refund? I don't know the best way forward - mass returns of erroneous books? Petitions for better quality? We need to take a stand smile

hackmum Sat 16-Aug-14 14:17:22

Yes, I've noticed this. It's not true of every book, just some books - you see really glaring errors of spelling or punctuation or the occasional missing word. And you know that it's not the fault of the original author, it's something that has happened in the transition from print to ebook.

I haven't done anything about it - possibly because I haven't come across anything quite as dreadful as your examples - but perhaps I should.

Coddo Sat 16-Aug-14 14:18:14

Surely thd errors exist in the text too?

Coddo Sat 16-Aug-14 14:18:50

I'd presume they just put the text from the authors original work on to alms kind of kindke format

OwlCapone Sat 16-Aug-14 14:24:42

I was going to say that I've read Rivers of London and it was absolutely fine. However, it turns out I read it on iBooks and not my Kindle.

I agree in general. I've read a few books lately and some have been truly dire. Do they not proof read them?

hackmum Sat 16-Aug-14 14:26:02

Coddo, I'm not quite clear what your last post means (predictive text error, I'm guessing) but I think the way they do it is to scan the print version using optical character recognition and then go through correcting the errors - but often not very carefully. I was really struck by one Julian Barnes book I read on Kindle where the letter I and the letter l (lower case ell) sometimes got mixed up. That's usually a sure sign of OCR being used.

antimatter Sat 16-Aug-14 14:30:03

you can return book in Kindle if you don't like it
I guess this is big advantage over buying the actual book

Whiskwarrior Sat 16-Aug-14 14:32:24

I love my Kindle, I really do, but I know exactly what you mean. I'm reading the fourth in a series at the minute and it has some appalling errors in it.

I do think it's sloppy editing and I know it gets brought up time and again on book reviews online. Why they haven't sorted this yet is beyond me.

OwlCapone Sat 16-Aug-14 14:35:53

I imagine that the ones that are perfect existed as an electronic copy in the first place with both print and e-book being produced from the same file. I'm surprised not all of them are done like this to be honest, especially ones which are not reprints of older books, surely all new books exist as an electronic copy now?

hackmum Sat 16-Aug-14 14:43:06

OwlCapone - that really puzzles me too. You can understand how it happens with older books, but why would it happen with something like a new Julian Barnes, which surely must exist as an electronic file to start with?

Redhead11 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:45:12

I have found that, too and as a former proofreader, it drives me up the twist. It isn't just old books it happens with - brand new ones suffer too. I have no idea who to complain to about this - or believe me, i would have done so.

antimatter Sat 16-Aug-14 14:48:05

I think returning e-books with explanation - poor spelling/editing would achieve that

Coddo Sat 16-Aug-14 14:59:04

"Some kind". Soz

Coddo Sat 16-Aug-14 14:59:14

I've returned before

magimedi Sat 16-Aug-14 15:07:09

Complain to Amazon!

You can also subscribe, via manage my kindle, to automatic updates for your books. A couple of books I've had have been updated & the errors have gone.

The kindle discussion forum is a good place to start looking for what to do, as well.

AnnField Sat 16-Aug-14 15:07:55

You can report specific content issues on the kindle, well on the paperwhite at least. Tap & hold the word, press more and then you should get a "report content error" option.

OwlCapone Sat 16-Aug-14 15:13:25

I had no idea it was that easy to report errors.

Although it does make me feel I am doing their job somehow.

OwThatHurt Sat 16-Aug-14 15:14:18

There has been a lot of falling out of love with kindles in our home too. I hate clutter and was delighted with the thought of all the books being stored electronically. Kindles also made a lot of financial sense to us as my parents and my DH and I all read the same type of books so my parents could 'share' our books easily.

However, we can't quite get to grips with them. The biggest problem is that you can't 'flick' through the books. Bookmarking only works if you know that you want yo bookmark something. Often when I read I want to go back and check something earlier in the book and I can't do that easily on the kindle.

We still use them but not half as much as we thought we would.

AnnField Sat 16-Aug-14 15:16:00

I know Owl, but content errors really annoy me so being able to point them out when I spot them is weirdly satisfying!

OwlCapone Sat 16-Aug-14 15:17:31

You'll love a book called something like "mr Charalambus and the one soul" then. Packed full of grammatical errors!!

DuchessofMalfi Sat 16-Aug-14 17:27:12

Wow, lots of you have the same problems. DH is reading a book by Barbara Erskine atm and every few pages there's a mistake. He is utterly fed up.

My kindle is just a basic one but will look into reporting errors. It's unacceptable to think readers of ebooks should have to put up with this. Will get onto Amazon and have a look at their discussion pages.

Just noticed I misspelled Aaronovich in my first post blush

BsshBosh Sat 16-Aug-14 19:19:17

The poor proof-reading and layout has put me off my once beloved Kindle Paperwhite too. I've returned to PBs & HBs for now and love flicking back and forth easily through the pages and the simple tactility of paper. But I'm no paper snob and have enough books unread on my Kindle to return to it. I also use my Kindle for cheap disposable literature like chick lit (which I'll only ever buy at cut-price Kindle prices).

Lurleene Sun 17-Aug-14 22:44:40

The technology used is well known for confusing it's arms with it's anus. Cue lots of childish sniggering.

Arms or anus?

PlaydoughGirl Sun 17-Aug-14 23:13:54

The reviews on Amazon will often say if there are lots of OCR errors. I've been avoiding buying Neil Stephenson books for that reason.
Does anybody know how accurate Stephen King books are? They're next on my to-buy list.

CoteDAzur Sun 17-Aug-14 23:26:15

I'm sure they at least spell Neal Stephenson's name correctly wink

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