Typesetting E-books

Project Gutenberg provides the majority of its books in plain ASCII only. While this is fine for portability, I think every e-book should also include a high-quality typeset version for both on-screen reading and printing. Typesetting significantly enhances the reading experience.

To this end, here are some e-books typeset with LaTeX, together with tools to assist in converting a raw Gutenberg file to a LaTeX file.

Example books

Each book includes a "book.txt" file with corrections, the "book.tex" LaTeX source file, and two PDF files, one intended for on-screen reading ("book.pdf") and one intended for printing ("book-f.pdf"). Note that these are unofficial versions, though some may migrate to the Gutenberg mirrors after sufficient review.

The print version can be printed directly on a duplexing laser printer, or alternatively duplexed manually by printing the odd pages, flipping the sheets, then printing the even pages on the other side.

Each sheet of paper includes four page impressions, two on the front and two on the back; therefore each sheet should be folded in half ("folio"), either by hand or by machine, to form a trade-paperback-like book block. Kinko's will perfect-bind the result for a few dollars if you don't want to mess with adhesives; stapling together chunks of a dozen sheets or so near the spine is another low-tech alternative.

Author Title Plain Text LaTeX PDF (screen) PDF (printer)
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice pandp.txt pandp.tex pandp.pdf pandp-f.pdf
Jane Austen Sense and Sensibility sense.txt sense.tex sense.pdf sense-f.pdf
Jane Austen Mansfield Park mansf.txt mansf.tex mansf.pdf mansf-f.pdf
Jane Austen Emma emma.txt emma.tex emma.pdf emma-f.pdf
Charles Dickens Some Christmas Stories cdscs.txt cdscs.tex cdscs.pdf cdscs-f.pdf
Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities 2city.txt 2city.tex 2city.pdf 2city-f.pdf
Anthony Trollope North America vol. 1 1noam.txt 1noam.tex 1noam.pdf 1noam-f.pdf


I'm still working on making a releasable version of the Python scripts to convert italics, rectify quotes and dashes, etc.

But for now, here are the LaTeX style files and the Makefile for producing PDFs from the LaTeX source.


Here's a checklist for conversion:


Diffs with University of Virginia texts


Other resources

Freely-downloadable TeX software and tutorials