KV5R’s Reading Room
- The books are not broken down into a bunch of little chapter files, and some are quite large—1-3 megs. If you’re still on dial-up, some will take several minutes to fully load.
- The body font size defaults to 16 pixels, but is not constrained. You may freely use your browser’s zoom and/or font size controls to make reading comfortable for your needs (look in your browser’s menus). Most moderns browsers also use Control+Mousewheel to adjust zoom (and Control+0 to reset to default).
- If you prefer to read in a serif font, you may choose Bookman in the slide menu. This makes the document look more like a printed book.
- You will read faster and with greater comprehension if the text line-length-to-height ratio is optimal. You may freely adjust the width of your browser window to make line-starts easy to follow. The optimal reading width for this layout (with the font size at default) is around 700 pixels.
- Screen Reader Controls: Four jump links are at top and bottom of documents. Alt 1: Jump to book list page. Alt 2: Jump to Contents. Alt 3: Skip Contents. Alt 4: Top of page. Heading 1: Book Title. Headings 2, 3, and 4: Chapters and sub-chapters. Heading 5: Original book page numbers, in some documents. Tab index is also available: Tab key steps through the jump links, then the slide-menu items, then the Contents items, then as usual, any other links in the document. Note that some books have sub-chapter contents, at the chapter level. These are not skippable, but are usually fairly short.
The text of these books are in the Public Domain, or in some cases, used by permission. While the text of these books may be public, the web design and coding are copyrighted intellectual property of Harold Melton, KV5R. Please link, or print for personal use, but do not copy or republish without written permission. Hundreds of hours have been expended on these documents to make them appear as you see them here. Please consider a contribution to help continue funding of this work. KV5R is a web developer that takes old and deprecated web documents and re-formats them to the latest standards in web coding, layout, formatting, and typography. Please contact kv5r[at]kv5r[dot]com if you need expert web document formatting services.
These books are available on many web sites. Why publish them again? Well, for several reasons:
- Technology changes—many sites were well-coded in 1999 or so using the now-old-style HTML with in-line formatting. Now in 2010, nearly all “presentational markup” is separated from the HTML and controlled (site-wide) by CSS (cascading style sheet) technology. This makes the HTML code much smaller (50% or less), and also allows the appearance and formatting to be controlled and adjusted by a single CSS file. Note: These books will appear and work best in a standards-compliant browser—Opera, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox—and you may see certain “bugs” if using Internet Explorer 6 or earlier. Do yourself a big favor and install a good web browser. Why? See “Upgrade” and “Browser” on this site for the whole story.
- Most on-line documents are broken down into many pages. This tradition developed back when everyone was on dial-up, because people would not wait for a large document to load. It continues because web developers want to create as many pages as possible to populate and clutter with way too many ads. I find it annoying to read a document broken into dozens of pages, wading through the clutter to find and click “Next” every minute or two, so I decided to break with tradition and combine these documents into single, large files. That makes them easier to read, easier to print, and easier to search.
- Most on-line books are designed to look like printed books. However, this is a mistake: typesetting and formatting for printed material is not optimal for on-screen reading. I have attempted to completely abandon the idea of making these books look like printed books; rather, made them more suitable for long periods of easy on-line, on-screen reading. The generously-spaced and medium-stroked Verdana typeface used has been shown (in university studies) to provide the highest comprehension and reading speed. By contrast, serif print fonts, such as Times, are not well suited for display on computer monitors—their thin strokes in the letter curves, being less then 1 screen pixel, are suited for paper printing at 300-1200 DPI, not the 72-96 DPI used by computer displays. However, if you prefer to read in a serif font, you may set the body text to Bookman in the slide menu.
- I have taken great pains (and hundreds of hours) to restore proper typography to these documents. This includes millions of HTML entities in the code that represent proper typographic marks such as double and single quotes, en- and em-dashes, ellipsis, and the proper apostrophe. The approximated characters on a keyboard are easy to use, but they are not proper typography! Since most professionally published material uses proper typography, people are accustomed to it, and it increases comprehension.
I hope these enhancements make these books much easier to access and read on-line. The materials presented are not popular in this age of “political correctness,” but they are nonetheless both historically and presently valuable and important documents.
Return to the Book List.