If you’re anything like me, you would have seen the ‘create ebook’ option on the left of Wikipedia. What? You haven’t? Go and have a look for it! (It is on the side menu on the main website.)
If you’re anything like me, you would have made a dozen books and never even read them.
They used to have a great way to download these books as an ePub, but they have done away with that option and now only have a PDF option.
Who wants to read a PDF?
Not me! I believe PDFs are fine for flyers or invoices from my gas company, but for a book? It needs to be in a proper book format.
But there is a lovely button to print the book and have it delivered. I thought it over. Decided against it. Pondered it some more. No, silly idea.
Dammit, I bought one.
I made a book on Hannibal- I don’t know much about who he is, because the book hasn’t arrived yet (Update: it just did!) Something about Ancient Rome, a few battles… There’s a great painting of an elephant falling off a mountain- which sealed the deal, in the end.
I made a book about an elephant that falls off a mountain and it is non-fiction. I’m as surprised as you are.
In terms of price, it works out to about $50 Australian. Expensive, no doubt, but for something that is unique then it is probably within reason. It is priced at the point of doubt- a couple more dollars and it wouldn’t be worth it (I should point out that I paid extra for colour- once more, because of the tumbling elephant.) The wikimedia foundation get a cut of the profits, so I feel that this is a better way to keep them running rather than just donating when their dreaded popup appears once a year. At least this way I get something I can hold in my hands, and it is a cool idea.
And the results?
It’s amazing! An encyclopedia as a book- what a novel idea! Actually, there is something incredibly pleasing about it. It is a good size physically, and it is just begging to be read- which is more than I can say for the website, which I often just skim. Even though it is just the same text as wikipedia, it feels more real.
So, in all, a glorious success. Go and make your own book today!