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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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A page from Elmer Kelton's The Time It Never Rained

I am really enjoying reading books on the iPad. So far I've read Garet Garrett's The Driver and Henry Hazlitt's Time Will Run Back. Both were free ePub versions from the Ludwig von Mises Institute and were free of typographical errors. I found reading them on the iPad to be easy and comfortable.

Emboldened by my experience reading two several hundred-page books, I decided to see what the iBookStore had to offer. I bought Elmer Kelton's The Time It Never Rained on the recommendation of a Cato Institute review. It was only $6.99 and it sounded intriguing.

The image at right is indicative of what I found. I've circled three examples that are rife in the eBook:

  • "catde" instead of "cattle"
  • "heU" instead of "hell"
  • "hadrippedat" instead of "had ripped at"

This eBook was under the imprint of Macmillan but the errors above are suggestive of OCR issues. OCR! I would expect that sort of amateur problem from Project Gutenberg, but this was presumably from the publisher that had the original files. I'm very leery of purchasing any further books based on this one: there doesn't seem to be an update mechanism to re-download corrections.

If the Kindle app, whose eBooks I've found to be impeccable, had a two-page layout in landscape, I'd forego the iBookstore entirely.