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I’d think that the vast majority of all the serious writing ever produced exists in the form of books, yet currently there does not seem any fully satisfactory means of reading this huge accumulation of content material on the Internet.

Most of those books currently available are provided in PDF-type format, but this is inconvenient for sustained reading, especially on small-screen devices such as smartphones, and particular parts of PDFs also cannot easily be referenced elsewhere or shared. Meanwhile, closed-design Kindle-type books may not be externally linked, nor is their content generally visible to Google and other search engines. The pure HTML-type books found at Project Gutenberg and other websites either occupy inconveniently large webpages or must be split between numerous separate ones, representing chapters or sections.

Therefore, since the beginning of this year, I have been working on a project to produce a new software system aimed at avoiding these difficulties by presenting even very long books in the form of single HTML webpages, but with the individual chapters or sections hidden by default for reading convenience, but available for display at the click of a mouse. The underlying software technology represented an extension of what I had already developed for the UNZ.com website. As a consequence of my design architecture, the system is extremely fast and responsive, with even books running hundreds of thousands of words reaching your browser in just a second or two, and all subsequent operations usually being almost instantaneous. And unlike books displayed in PDF-type formats, the system should function quite well on smartphones and other mobile devices.

A few features still need to be added and my system is not yet ready for full release, but I’m making it available for initial testing and would welcome any comments or suggestions you might have at this time, obviously including problems or bugs that you notice. While developing the system, I also added over 150 million words of mostly copyright-expired books for development/testing purposes and so that people could get a good sense of the capabilities.

OUTLINE OF BOOK SYSTEM

(1) The main bookpage is located at /book/ and the boxes near the top let you display a dynamically filtered “cloud” of the available books grouped to Author or various characteristics. For example, here are the available Authors filtered by the letter “L”

http://www.unz.com/book/?AuthorFilter=L

If you click on “Jack London”, you’ll get a list of 49 of his books:

http://www.unz.com/book/author/jack_london/

You can search the list using the Search box, or just scroll through it. Here’s a link to his famous book THE SEA-WOLF. It runs over 100,000 words, but with my caching system should load almost instantly:

http://www.unz.com/book/jack_london__the-sea-wolf/

(2) Just click a given chapter to open it up and read it. All his other books are displayed in the Sidebar.

Very large books are almost as fast and easy to read. For example, here’s Tolstoy’s WAR AND PEACE, which runs well over 500,000 words, but loads in just a couple of seconds:

http://www.unz.com/book/leo_tolstoy__war-and-peace/

You can open a given chapter or section for reading just by clicking it, and close it in the same way. Near the top is a Table of Contents box that allows you to see and jump to any portion of the text.

(3) The system is also very useful for research purposes, and I’ve included a considerable amount of serious nonfiction. For example, another author in the system is E.A. Ross, one of America’s greatest early sociologists, and here’s his outstanding 1914 book on American immigration issues:

http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/

You can instantly search all the books for words or combinations of words. For example, here’s a search of the Ross book for all paragraphs containing both “Irish” and “German”:

http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/?search=irish+and+german

Once you have found something interesting, you can share it with others by “deep linking” to particular paragraphs:

http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/#p_3_20

You can also provide “deep links” to particular words or phrases:

http://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/#p_3_15:3-55

Such links are easy to obtain by double-clicking on a particular paragraph, or holding down your mouse button (which works on mobile devices via touch-and-hold). This tints the target paragraph and opens a series of action buttons, allowing for linking or permanent cookie-based bookmarking. On a desktop browser you can also drag your mouse to highlight a portion of the text, which opens up those same buttons, allowing linking or bookmarking those particular phrases. These bookmarks can even be shared with others.

(4) An example of a fairly large and complex book is H.G. Well’s famous OUTLINE OF HISTORY, which runs hundreds of thousands of words, and includes a large number of footnotes, illustrations, tables, and chapters. Despite the size, reading or manipulating the work should be very fast and manageable, even on a smartphone:

http://www.unz.com/book/h_g_wells__the-outline-of-history/

As an extreme example, here’s the entire multi-volume text of Edward Gibbons’s DECLINE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE, which runs over 1.5M words:

http://www.unz.com/book/edward_gibbon__the-history-of-the-decline-and-fall-of-the-roman-empire/

As another extreme example, here is Hubert Bancroft’s gigantic five volume 1874 review of the history and culture of the Amerinds of the Pacific Coast and Central America, also running 1.5M words, which might perhaps contain more information on the topic than possessed by any living scholar, but has not been previously available on the Internet in any convenient form:

http://www.unz.com/book/hubert_howe_bancroft__the-native-races-of-the-pacific-states/

(5) Books are also grouped by genre. For example, here are the “Libertarian Literature” and “Marxist Literature” sections:

http://www.unz.com/book/genre/libertarian-literature/

http://www.unz.com/book/genre/marxist-literature/

Once you’re on any Author or Genre pages, you can find individual books by filtering by Title or other characteristics. For example:

http://www.unz.com/book/author/p_g_wodehouse/?TitleSearch=J

(6) Although the overwhelming majority of the books I’ve currently included in the system are copyright-expired or otherwise freely available, I think this might become a very useful free distribution channel for non-fiction books on serious subjects whose sales have declined below the point at which they generate any significant continuing revenue.

Once the design and features of the system have been completed and various bugs fixed, I’ll officially release it probably along with explanatory YouTube videos providing a guided tour and survey of the numerous powerful features.

As mentioned above, I’d greatly welcome any feedback on the this initial version of the system, including bug reports and suggestions.

 
    []
  1. Beautiful … but is there any way to bookmark a specific page to continue reading at that location later?

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    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    This is marvelous!
    I opened up chapter 1 of War and Peace, no problem, with other Tolstoy titles linked on the right.
    Will this be accessible via a dedicated webpage or something? Or from this site?
    Seems like it should be accessible from this site.
    Perhaps this topic has already been discussed.
    I didn't read all.
    I just went directly to War and Peace.
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  2. Ron Unz says:

    Beautiful … but is there any way to bookmark a specific page to continue reading at that location later?

    Absolutely.

    (1) Double-click (or press-and-hold) on the paragraph you’d like to mark.

    (2) The paragraph acquires a light green tint and several buttons appear above. The “Link” button provides a permanent link to that paragraph, allowing you to reference it or provide it to others. But if you press the “Bookmark” button, a permanent bookmark to that paragraph is added to your cookies, the paragraph is tinted blue, and the next time you visit that book, you’ll be popped directly into your first bookmarked paragraph.

    (3) You can add up to 20 bookmarks to a single book, and bookmark up to 20 different books. All your bookmarks in a particular book are listed/linked at the top in a Bookmark box. The system is intended to allow you to extensively bookmark what you’re reading and using.

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  3. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Well done Sir! You are truly an impressive man (especially for giving Sailer such a comfortable home).

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  4. Dave Pinsen says: • Website

    Ron,

    In (4), you’ve got “worlds” where you meant to type words.

    Also, re (6): maybe you could include a feature where readers can donate money to the book authors.

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  5. Jimmyboy says:
    @Dave Pinsen
    Ron,

    In (4), you've got "worlds" where you meant to type words.

    Also, re (6): maybe you could include a feature where readers can donate money to the book authors.

    But the book authors are all long dead.

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  6. robot says: • Website

    very nice. (little search bug: substrings only match if they include the start of the word. eg ‘his’ doesn’t match ‘this’)

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  7. This is a major achievement. Sure, we will all need to test it further, and to give feedback, but then I think it needs a lot of publicity to bring in a wide public who do not already know about unz.com and also, probably, a device which loads up the books for easy reading in natural light. With those two extra ingredients this could become a major player in the book reading world.

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  8. Ron Unz says:

    Also, re (6): maybe you could include a feature where readers can donate money to the book authors.

    Actually, that’s something I’m definitely planning on adding.

    The economics of book-publishing, especially serious non-fiction is very strange, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, negligible revenue is generated after the first few years.

    If authors make their books available for free reading/linking/availability in search engines, they probably would gain more from the visibility/impact than they’d lose in dollars, and if a tiny fraction of particularly grateful readers donated $5 or $10 each, they’d even make more money.

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  9. I wonder if there’s any way to extend this to new books.

    Copyright laws are the biggest hurdles. Reach agreements with authors to give users access to their works here for $$$?
    (with the authors getting 90% and Unz.com 10%, or something like that).

    Wonder if that’s a viable business plan.

    Also any chance of a highlights/note-taking function and making it exportable? Personally that would be the real clincher for me.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Copyright: As I mentioned above, I think most serious non-fiction works generate only negligible revenue after the first few years. Even leaving aside the important visibility benefits, authors would probably generate as much revenue via donations if they made their books available in this system.

    Highlighting/Note-taking Note-taking would require a login system, which I might look at adding down the road. However, rudimentary exportable highlighting is already in the system via the cookie-based Bookmarking feature. If you just double-click a paragraph or use your mouse to highlight some text, and add it as a Bookmark, the Bookmarks can then be exported. Here's an example:

    http://www.unz.com/?p=79195&bookmarks=p_5_8:1-36,p_5_9:55-92
  10. Ron Unz says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    I wonder if there's any way to extend this to new books.

    Copyright laws are the biggest hurdles. Reach agreements with authors to give users access to their works here for $$$?
    (with the authors getting 90% and Unz.com 10%, or something like that).

    Wonder if that's a viable business plan.

    Also any chance of a highlights/note-taking function and making it exportable? Personally that would be the real clincher for me.

    Copyright: As I mentioned above, I think most serious non-fiction works generate only negligible revenue after the first few years. Even leaving aside the important visibility benefits, authors would probably generate as much revenue via donations if they made their books available in this system.

    Highlighting/Note-taking Note-taking would require a login system, which I might look at adding down the road. However, rudimentary exportable highlighting is already in the system via the cookie-based Bookmarking feature. If you just double-click a paragraph or use your mouse to highlight some text, and add it as a Bookmark, the Bookmarks can then be exported. Here’s an example:

    http://www.unz.com/?p=79195&bookmarks=p_5_8:1-36,p_5_9:55-92

    Read More
  11. iffen says:

    Wow! This is truly a remarkable and admirable accomplishment. Thank you very much Mr. R. Unz.

    This project atones many times over for your publishing some of the nonsense found at UR.

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  12. Mr. Unz –

    - this project looks like a major achievement (=something for future history books). Thank you!

    1) What about a comment or discussion section? Like on Unz.com?

    (2) Would you publish your own work too, on this site?)

    3) Name? Books Online Now = “BON” – or B.O.N. or B.on or? UnzBooks?

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  13. Ron Unz says:

    1) What about a comment or discussion section? Like on Unz.com?

    (2) Would you publish your own work too, on this site?)

    (1) Actually, all the underlying HTML Book software is just an extension of what I’d already built for UNZ.com, so all the commenting systems are available, and I just have to decide how/when to apply them for books. I already made some of the necessary modifications a couple of months back, but still have to decide how to handle them, since 100,000 word books from 120 years ago are obviously quite a bit different than 200 word blog posts from last weekend.

    (2) Since the underlying Book code is shared with all the UNZ.com content, I’m currently inclined to just host all the books them on a different domain branch of the current website, since otherwise it would be a headache to keep all the code in synch. But maybe I’ll set up a URL alias or something.

    Incidentally, although I developed all the Linking/Bookmarking/Searching features for the Book module, they’re also now available on all the regular UNZ.com articles and posts.

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    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the above replies.

    Incidentally, although I developed all the Linking/Bookmarking/Searching features for the Book module...
     
    I was wondering where that came from and its purpose.

    Your call, of course, but I think the "Search Text" feature at the top of all articles looks weird and is redundant, considering that all browsers have "Ctrl-F."

    The one additional feature it has is a case sensitive search but while that might sometimes be relevant for very big books I don't see that ever helping people find something on an article.
  14. Miro23 says:

    I think this might become a very useful free distribution channel for non-fiction books on serious subjects whose sales have declined below the point at which they generate any significant continuing revenue.

    That’s a really interesting idea. I have plenty of 19th Century and early 20th Century books that in my opinion still have great value (although financially they don’t) such as Butler’s “The Arab Conquest of Egypt” (1902) or Mowrer’s “Germany Puts the Clock Back” (1933) and better access has to benefit everyone.

    As far as book discussions go, I think that Amazon does a reasonable job. although they’re under pressure and degrading their voting system and starting to eliminate some titles.

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  15. If copyright is no longer an issue, I may be able to provide you with a scanned copy of Mining and Metallurgy in Negro Africa (Clive, Bantam books, 1937) in the next month.

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  16. @Ron Unz

    1) What about a comment or discussion section? Like on Unz.com?

    (2) Would you publish your own work too, on this site?)
     
    (1) Actually, all the underlying HTML Book software is just an extension of what I'd already built for UNZ.com, so all the commenting systems are available, and I just have to decide how/when to apply them for books. I already made some of the necessary modifications a couple of months back, but still have to decide how to handle them, since 100,000 word books from 120 years ago are obviously quite a bit different than 200 word blog posts from last weekend.

    (2) Since the underlying Book code is shared with all the UNZ.com content, I'm currently inclined to just host all the books them on a different domain branch of the current website, since otherwise it would be a headache to keep all the code in synch. But maybe I'll set up a URL alias or something.

    Incidentally, although I developed all the Linking/Bookmarking/Searching features for the Book module, they're also now available on all the regular UNZ.com articles and posts.

    Thanks for the above replies.

    Incidentally, although I developed all the Linking/Bookmarking/Searching features for the Book module…

    I was wondering where that came from and its purpose.

    Your call, of course, but I think the “Search Text” feature at the top of all articles looks weird and is redundant, considering that all browsers have “Ctrl-F.”

    The one additional feature it has is a case sensitive search but while that might sometimes be relevant for very big books I don’t see that ever helping people find something on an article.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    Your call, of course, but I think the “Search Text” feature at the top of all articles looks weird and is redundant, considering that all browsers have “Ctrl-F.”
     
    Well, it's obviously not very important for blog posts or short articles running perhaps 1000 words or less. But it does have considerable advantages for longer pieces, let alone books.

    (1) It searches only the main article, not the comments or sidebar clutter.

    (2) It allows for AND/OR text search on the paragraph level, unlike Ctrl-F.

    (3) It displays the search hits in the box at the top, allowing them to be casually examined so that you can then jump to the one you want, and also allows for jumping forward/back between them.

    (4) If there's any need, I could easily extend it to full Regexp pattern matching.

    Suppose you're interested in what the Ross Immigration book linked above had to say about "Germans" and "Jews." How else would you find those paragraphs?

    I suppose I could hide the Search bar for short articles or blog posts, but probably that would only confuse people and it doesn't take up much vertical space.
  17. Apologies for spamming this thread, but the idea just came to me, after the 5 minute edit window.

    Any plans for including foreign language sections?

    For instance, there are many collections of free Russian online books on the Internet. Their respect for copyright is of course quite minimal, a path Unz.com presumably wouldn’t want to follow even with respect to foreign countries, but still, that leaves plenty of works up to at least the middle of the 20th century.

    In particular, it might be a cool idea to incorporate some of the liberal-conservative philosophers of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, many of whom are criminally little known even in Russia let alone the West. I can help with that, if you wish.

    (Bold, possibly unrealistic extension of this idea: Add a functionality for reader-sourced collaborative translations of foreign works).

    This will of course be possible to replicate for many different languages. Since Amazon has a very poor selection for all non-English/major European languages (Spanish, French, German) in terms of Kindle e-books, I can definitely see myself using the Unz.com system if I ever decide to, say, resume learning Chinese.

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    • Replies: @whoever
    A lot of Japanese-language books are free on-line via 青空 文庫 (Aosora Bunko).
  18. Ron Unz says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Thanks for the above replies.

    Incidentally, although I developed all the Linking/Bookmarking/Searching features for the Book module...
     
    I was wondering where that came from and its purpose.

    Your call, of course, but I think the "Search Text" feature at the top of all articles looks weird and is redundant, considering that all browsers have "Ctrl-F."

    The one additional feature it has is a case sensitive search but while that might sometimes be relevant for very big books I don't see that ever helping people find something on an article.

    Your call, of course, but I think the “Search Text” feature at the top of all articles looks weird and is redundant, considering that all browsers have “Ctrl-F.”

    Well, it’s obviously not very important for blog posts or short articles running perhaps 1000 words or less. But it does have considerable advantages for longer pieces, let alone books.

    (1) It searches only the main article, not the comments or sidebar clutter.

    (2) It allows for AND/OR text search on the paragraph level, unlike Ctrl-F.

    (3) It displays the search hits in the box at the top, allowing them to be casually examined so that you can then jump to the one you want, and also allows for jumping forward/back between them.

    (4) If there’s any need, I could easily extend it to full Regexp pattern matching.

    Suppose you’re interested in what the Ross Immigration book linked above had to say about “Germans” and “Jews.” How else would you find those paragraphs?

    I suppose I could hide the Search bar for short articles or blog posts, but probably that would only confuse people and it doesn’t take up much vertical space.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whoever
    I tried (3) with the Bancroft book and found it really useful. CTRL F is time-consuming, and if your browser doesn't have a Reader View, brings in, as you say, distractions.
  19. Bravo, and thanks!

    I’ve spent many hours at UNZ.org. and am looking forward to this new addition. I shall always be extremely grateful for your efforts.

    Bless you, Sir!

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  20. whoever says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin
    Apologies for spamming this thread, but the idea just came to me, after the 5 minute edit window.

    Any plans for including foreign language sections?

    For instance, there are many collections of free Russian online books on the Internet. Their respect for copyright is of course quite minimal, a path Unz.com presumably wouldn't want to follow even with respect to foreign countries, but still, that leaves plenty of works up to at least the middle of the 20th century.

    In particular, it might be a cool idea to incorporate some of the liberal-conservative philosophers of the late 19th-early 20th centuries, many of whom are criminally little known even in Russia let alone the West. I can help with that, if you wish.

    (Bold, possibly unrealistic extension of this idea: Add a functionality for reader-sourced collaborative translations of foreign works).

    This will of course be possible to replicate for many different languages. Since Amazon has a very poor selection for all non-English/major European languages (Spanish, French, German) in terms of Kindle e-books, I can definitely see myself using the Unz.com system if I ever decide to, say, resume learning Chinese.

    A lot of Japanese-language books are free on-line via 青空 文庫 (Aosora Bunko).

    Read More
  21. whoever says: • Website
    @Ron Unz

    Your call, of course, but I think the “Search Text” feature at the top of all articles looks weird and is redundant, considering that all browsers have “Ctrl-F.”
     
    Well, it's obviously not very important for blog posts or short articles running perhaps 1000 words or less. But it does have considerable advantages for longer pieces, let alone books.

    (1) It searches only the main article, not the comments or sidebar clutter.

    (2) It allows for AND/OR text search on the paragraph level, unlike Ctrl-F.

    (3) It displays the search hits in the box at the top, allowing them to be casually examined so that you can then jump to the one you want, and also allows for jumping forward/back between them.

    (4) If there's any need, I could easily extend it to full Regexp pattern matching.

    Suppose you're interested in what the Ross Immigration book linked above had to say about "Germans" and "Jews." How else would you find those paragraphs?

    I suppose I could hide the Search bar for short articles or blog posts, but probably that would only confuse people and it doesn't take up much vertical space.

    I tried (3) with the Bancroft book and found it really useful. CTRL F is time-consuming, and if your browser doesn’t have a Reader View, brings in, as you say, distractions.

    Read More
  22. What is the copyright status of these works? As an extreme example, is it permissible to cut and paste the entire copy of unz.com’s War and Peace and host it on another site? If not, why not?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Well, nearly all the works I've currently presented are copyright-expired. But if someone wanted to copy-and-paste War and Peace, it would be much easier to just use the Project Gutenberg version, available at the link near the bottom, which is where I had obtained it myself.

    As I had stated above, books provided as extremely large simple HTML web pages aren't very convenient to read, which is why I built the JS/CSS presentational software to remedy that problem.
  23. Ron Unz says:
    @blastocrax
    What is the copyright status of these works? As an extreme example, is it permissible to cut and paste the entire copy of unz.com's War and Peace and host it on another site? If not, why not?

    Well, nearly all the works I’ve currently presented are copyright-expired. But if someone wanted to copy-and-paste War and Peace, it would be much easier to just use the Project Gutenberg version, available at the link near the bottom, which is where I had obtained it myself.

    As I had stated above, books provided as extremely large simple HTML web pages aren’t very convenient to read, which is why I built the JS/CSS presentational software to remedy that problem.

    Read More
  24. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Don’t you also host lots of scientifiction classics, like

    http://www.unz.org/Pub/AnalogSF-1936may

    There’s just one problem. You have the PDFs, you have the content, but you won’t show it to me, because of some sort of copyright restrictions. You’ve frustrated me many times over the years.

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  25. MJ,M, says:

    Will this be available on Android phones

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    • Replies: @John Cunningham
    Since the file format is HTML, it certainly should be readable.
  26. @MJ,M,
    Will this be available on Android phones

    Since the file format is HTML, it certainly should be readable.

    Read More
  27. Ron,

    All five volumes of Bnacroft’s book on the Indians are available on Amazon in Kindle format in one download for $2.99. I can buy it and download it via OneClick in two minutes.

    https://www.amazon.com/Works-Hubert-Howe-Bancroft-Illustrated-ebook/dp/B00MEJZPD2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007313&sr=1-1&keywords=hubert+bancroft

    Your system is impressive. However it seems to me that it is in de facto competition with Amazon. Bezos seems constantly to be adding what might be called obscure books—Bancroft, for example. Kindle allows considerable note-taking and searching. On iPads and iPhones, you can listen to Kindle books read aloud in a slightly robotic voice via VoiceOver, and Amazon Alexa will read them in a not-at-all robotic voice. This is convenient for both the visually impaired and people who want to listen in cars. Last-page-read syncs across devices. And if you are reading in a foreign language, Kindle has pop-up dictionaries. Of course you have to pay for Kindle books.

    Dunno how relevant all of this is, but thought I’d mention it.

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    All five volumes of Bnacroft’s book on the Indians are available on Amazon in Kindle format in one download for $2.99. I can buy it and download it via OneClick in two minutes...Your system is impressive. However it seems to me that it is in de facto competition with Amazon.
     
    Sure, all the books currently in my system are also available in Amazon Kindle, which also has a vastly larger collection, and indeed there's an Amazon-purchase link near the top of every book:

    https://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/#preface

    However, I think the drawbacks with closed-system Kindle-type books are the ones I'd mentioned above, namely that the internal contents are non-linkable, non-shareable, and the text doesn't get into the search engines. But thanks for reminding me about that read-aloud feature, which I'll now see about trying to add.
  28. not sure what is going on, but try to access london’s ‘people of the abyss’, and no go…
    get to table of contents page, but can’t select the dedication, forward, etc from there…
    (guess it takes *ptui* javascript to run, but enabled scripts, and still no go…)
    not sure if ghostery or ABP by itself would prevent this from working, but will not so far…
    for someone who commonly runs my browsers with noscript, ghostery, ABP, etc; i tend to avoid any sites which require it…
    just sayin’…

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    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    get to table of contents page, but can’t select the dedication, forward, etc from there…
    (guess it takes *ptui* javascript to run, but enabled scripts, and still no go…)
     
    Sure, the book presentation system relies very heavily on Javascript/jQuery, but so does the entire UNZ.com website. I'm not familiar with "ghostery" or those other systems you say you're using, but it would be odd if the Book pages were broken but the rest of the website worked fine.
  29. Ron Unz says:
    @Fred V. Reed
    Ron,

    All five volumes of Bnacroft's book on the Indians are available on Amazon in Kindle format in one download for $2.99. I can buy it and download it via OneClick in two minutes.

    https://www.amazon.com/Works-Hubert-Howe-Bancroft-Illustrated-ebook/dp/B00MEJZPD2/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499007313&sr=1-1&keywords=hubert+bancroft

    Your system is impressive. However it seems to me that it is in de facto competition with Amazon. Bezos seems constantly to be adding what might be called obscure books—Bancroft, for example. Kindle allows considerable note-taking and searching. On iPads and iPhones, you can listen to Kindle books read aloud in a slightly robotic voice via VoiceOver, and Amazon Alexa will read them in a not-at-all robotic voice. This is convenient for both the visually impaired and people who want to listen in cars. Last-page-read syncs across devices. And if you are reading in a foreign language, Kindle has pop-up dictionaries. Of course you have to pay for Kindle books.

    Dunno how relevant all of this is, but thought I'd mention it.

    All five volumes of Bnacroft’s book on the Indians are available on Amazon in Kindle format in one download for $2.99. I can buy it and download it via OneClick in two minutes…Your system is impressive. However it seems to me that it is in de facto competition with Amazon.

    Sure, all the books currently in my system are also available in Amazon Kindle, which also has a vastly larger collection, and indeed there’s an Amazon-purchase link near the top of every book:

    https://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/#preface

    However, I think the drawbacks with closed-system Kindle-type books are the ones I’d mentioned above, namely that the internal contents are non-linkable, non-shareable, and the text doesn’t get into the search engines. But thanks for reminding me about that read-aloud feature, which I’ll now see about trying to add.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Skeptikal
    I don't have a Kindle or any such device.

    But when I read, say, Der Spiegel or another German newspaper online, I sure wish THEY had a pop-up dictionary.
    It would be a great learning device.
    So it would be great if a dictionary were linked to any foreign-language items that may be added to this Ultimate Library in the future.

    How about some Russian literature in the original?
    Some poems?
    Linked to a dictionary?
    Help international understanding?
  30. Ron Unz says:
    @art guerrilla
    not sure what is going on, but try to access london's 'people of the abyss', and no go...
    get to table of contents page, but can't select the dedication, forward, etc from there...
    (guess it takes *ptui* javascript to run, but enabled scripts, and still no go...)
    not sure if ghostery or ABP by itself would prevent this from working, but will not so far...
    for someone who commonly runs my browsers with noscript, ghostery, ABP, etc; i tend to avoid any sites which require it...
    just sayin'...

    get to table of contents page, but can’t select the dedication, forward, etc from there…
    (guess it takes *ptui* javascript to run, but enabled scripts, and still no go…)

    Sure, the book presentation system relies very heavily on Javascript/jQuery, but so does the entire UNZ.com website. I’m not familiar with “ghostery” or those other systems you say you’re using, but it would be odd if the Book pages were broken but the rest of the website worked fine.

    Read More
  31. FKA Max says:

    Somewhat off-topic, Mr. Unz.

    I noticed that all Unz Review articles’ Facebook like counts were reset to “zero” a couple of days ago.

    Example:

    The following article used to have over 7000 Facebook likes, if I remember correctly, and now it has zero likes: http://www.unz.com/article/an-obituary-of-the-new-york-times/

    More recent articles have higher-than-zero Facebook like counts again, like Mr. Reed’s latest article on China, which has 17: https://www.unz.com/freed/china-tech-interesting-bits-and-pieces/

    But Mr. Reed’s article before that has zero Facebook likes again, and I am pretty sure it had a double-digit Facebook like count several days ago: https://www.unz.com/freed/gigo-and-the-intelligence-of-countries-disordered-thoughts/

    I am curious what could explain and have caused this reset?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz

    I noticed that all Unz Review articles’ Facebook like counts were reset to “zero” a couple of days ago.
     
    Thanks for spotting that. Quite independently of releasing the new Book system, I finally got around to switch the website over to the "secure" protocol "https:", which involved numerous changes throughout the code.

    That change confused Facebook, causing the older articles and posts to be reset to zero, but I've now fixed the problem.

    Incidentally, that same protocol change may be responsible for various other temporary rendering problems on various devices, but with luck, they should all be fixed pretty quickly.
  32. Ron Unz says:
    @FKA Max
    Somewhat off-topic, Mr. Unz.

    I noticed that all Unz Review articles' Facebook like counts were reset to ``zero'' a couple of days ago.

    Example:

    The following article used to have over 7000 Facebook likes, if I remember correctly, and now it has zero likes: http://www.unz.com/article/an-obituary-of-the-new-york-times/

    More recent articles have higher-than-zero Facebook like counts again, like Mr. Reed's latest article on China, which has 17: https://www.unz.com/freed/china-tech-interesting-bits-and-pieces/

    But Mr. Reed's article before that has zero Facebook likes again, and I am pretty sure it had a double-digit Facebook like count several days ago: https://www.unz.com/freed/gigo-and-the-intelligence-of-countries-disordered-thoughts/

    I am curious what could explain and have caused this reset?

    I noticed that all Unz Review articles’ Facebook like counts were reset to “zero” a couple of days ago.

    Thanks for spotting that. Quite independently of releasing the new Book system, I finally got around to switch the website over to the “secure” protocol “https:”, which involved numerous changes throughout the code.

    That change confused Facebook, causing the older articles and posts to be reset to zero, but I’ve now fixed the problem.

    Incidentally, that same protocol change may be responsible for various other temporary rendering problems on various devices, but with luck, they should all be fixed pretty quickly.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FKA Max
    Thank you very much, Mr. Unz.

    I discovered another minor glitch.

    Recently added guest authors like Steve Yates and Andrew Fraser have had only one article published on the Unz Review so far, but their archive/home pages show that they have two articles published:

    https://www.unz.com/author/steven-yates/

    one of the ``articles/links'' takes one to this page: https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-steven-yates/

    https://www.unz.com/author/andrew-fraser/

    https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-andrew-fraser/

    I also discovered this minor glitch with a guest author who has had more than one article published at the Unz Review:

    https://www.unz.com/author/jeffrey-st-clair/


    Jeffrey St. Clair
    • October 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment
     
    - https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-jeffrey-st-clair/
  33. FKA Max says:
    @Ron Unz

    I noticed that all Unz Review articles’ Facebook like counts were reset to “zero” a couple of days ago.
     
    Thanks for spotting that. Quite independently of releasing the new Book system, I finally got around to switch the website over to the "secure" protocol "https:", which involved numerous changes throughout the code.

    That change confused Facebook, causing the older articles and posts to be reset to zero, but I've now fixed the problem.

    Incidentally, that same protocol change may be responsible for various other temporary rendering problems on various devices, but with luck, they should all be fixed pretty quickly.

    Thank you very much, Mr. Unz.

    I discovered another minor glitch.

    Recently added guest authors like Steve Yates and Andrew Fraser have had only one article published on the Unz Review so far, but their archive/home pages show that they have two articles published:

    https://www.unz.com/author/steven-yates/

    one of the “articles/links” takes one to this page: https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-steven-yates/

    https://www.unz.com/author/andrew-fraser/

    https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-andrew-fraser/

    I also discovered this minor glitch with a guest author who has had more than one article published at the Unz Review:

    https://www.unz.com/author/jeffrey-st-clair/

    Jeffrey St. Clair
    • October 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment

    https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-jeffrey-st-clair/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ron Unz
    Thanks for catching another small bug. I just fixed it.
  34. Ron Unz says:
    @FKA Max
    Thank you very much, Mr. Unz.

    I discovered another minor glitch.

    Recently added guest authors like Steve Yates and Andrew Fraser have had only one article published on the Unz Review so far, but their archive/home pages show that they have two articles published:

    https://www.unz.com/author/steven-yates/

    one of the ``articles/links'' takes one to this page: https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-steven-yates/

    https://www.unz.com/author/andrew-fraser/

    https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-andrew-fraser/

    I also discovered this minor glitch with a guest author who has had more than one article published at the Unz Review:

    https://www.unz.com/author/jeffrey-st-clair/


    Jeffrey St. Clair
    • October 10, 2013 • Leave a Comment
     
    - https://www.unz.com/guest-author/cap-jeffrey-st-clair/

    Thanks for catching another small bug. I just fixed it.

    Read More
  35. This is a tremendous resource, thank you so much.
    I started browsing, then reading the intro to Decline and Fall, and just now came up for air.

    Apparently it’s not necessary to be online to read a text once it’s opened — similar to the Read function on Mac?? However, if one is reading offline, the “Search Text” is not available — unless I’m doing something wrong.

    Thanks again; for older eyes, reading on some machine that allows enlarging fonts, as well as clipping quotes and noting passages, means an extended lifetime of good reading.

    Read More
  36. Ivy says:

    Your new feature should be quite a hit with serious students and researchers.
    Thanks!

    Read More
  37. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    ” I’m not familiar with “ghostery” or those other systems you say you’re using,…” (AdBlockPlus, for the record)
    .
    oh my…
    .
    1. your general web site *appears* to work okay with NoScript, etc turned on, but then again, i am probably not using any of the features dependent upon JS…
    2. book portion just plain not ‘working’ without turning on JS, and even then, having issues… as described, i smooshed on the link in your blog post on this subject, and it takes me to -in this case, london’s sea wolf- the table of contents page…
    3. when i smoosh on it WITHOUT JS enabled, *nothing* happens… if i enable JS, reload page, and smoosh on chapter link, i can see a brief flash of a message at the bottom of the screen, the tail-chasing icon appears briefly in upper left, then nothing changes…
    4. guess i will try it with plain-vanilla explorer i use for purposes such as this where JS-dependent, or otherwise ‘weird’ web sites are opened…
    .
    there is a reason (in fact, many) why uber nerds hate JS with a purple passion…
    .
    composing a semi-major, semi-cultish web site and hadn’t heard of NoScript, Ghostery or AdBlockPlus ? ! ? ! ?
    alrighty then…
    something else that might be new to you: instead of an abacus, you can use a little machiney thing called a calculator… there’s an app for that, too ! ! !
    .
    now -hold on to your straw boater!- have you heard of horseless carriages yet ? ? ?
    hee hee hee
    ho ho ho
    ha ha ha
    ak ak ak

    Read More
  38. Republic says:

    Any reason why unz.com has a new format?
    Desktop version now very different from a few days ago
    Mobile edition and unz.org the same

    Read More
    • Replies: @Republic
    Works in Tor
    , @Ron Unz
    That's quite odd about the desktop layout now being so different. Could you give me the details of your Browser/OS/device combinations so I can try to replicate the problem. Also, could you try a could try another browser/device or two, and see whether the problem persists.
  39. Republic says:
    @Republic
    Any reason why unz.com has a new format?
    Desktop version now very different from a few days ago
    Mobile edition and unz.org the same

    Works in Tor

    Read More
  40. Ron Unz says:
    @Republic
    Any reason why unz.com has a new format?
    Desktop version now very different from a few days ago
    Mobile edition and unz.org the same

    That’s quite odd about the desktop layout now being so different. Could you give me the details of your Browser/OS/device combinations so I can try to replicate the problem. Also, could you try a could try another browser/device or two, and see whether the problem persists.

    Read More
  41. Skeptikal says:
    @One-eyed King
    Beautiful ... but is there any way to bookmark a specific page to continue reading at that location later?

    This is marvelous!
    I opened up chapter 1 of War and Peace, no problem, with other Tolstoy titles linked on the right.
    Will this be accessible via a dedicated webpage or something? Or from this site?
    Seems like it should be accessible from this site.
    Perhaps this topic has already been discussed.
    I didn’t read all.
    I just went directly to War and Peace.

    Read More
  42. Skeptikal says:
    @Ron Unz

    All five volumes of Bnacroft’s book on the Indians are available on Amazon in Kindle format in one download for $2.99. I can buy it and download it via OneClick in two minutes...Your system is impressive. However it seems to me that it is in de facto competition with Amazon.
     
    Sure, all the books currently in my system are also available in Amazon Kindle, which also has a vastly larger collection, and indeed there's an Amazon-purchase link near the top of every book:

    https://www.unz.com/book/e_a_ross__the-old-world-in-the-new/#preface

    However, I think the drawbacks with closed-system Kindle-type books are the ones I'd mentioned above, namely that the internal contents are non-linkable, non-shareable, and the text doesn't get into the search engines. But thanks for reminding me about that read-aloud feature, which I'll now see about trying to add.

    I don’t have a Kindle or any such device.

    But when I read, say, Der Spiegel or another German newspaper online, I sure wish THEY had a pop-up dictionary.
    It would be a great learning device.
    So it would be great if a dictionary were linked to any foreign-language items that may be added to this Ultimate Library in the future.

    How about some Russian literature in the original?
    Some poems?
    Linked to a dictionary?
    Help international understanding?

    Read More
  43. RobinG says:

    OT – But for Ron –

    Project Veritas has appropriated “American Pravda” but I think you’ll agree, it’s to a good cause…. as you said, discrediting fake news should top the agenda, and O’Keefe is doing it.

    CNN Producer Doubles Down on “Stupid as Sh*t” Comments About Voters

    Read More
  44. iffen says:

    When reading a page in a book, if the pop-up for a footnote is near the right margin, the text of the footnote disappears under/into the sidebar, exact appearance as AK’s and Dr. Thompson’s articles for a few days.

    Why not give us the option of temporarily hiding the sidebar when reading?

    Read More
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