On Trying to Read the First Chapter of Harper Lee’s "Watchman" Offline
Much attention has been paid to the fact that the first chapter from Harper Lee’s new novel would be available to read online. The excerpt was published on the WSJ and The Guardian this morning, but have you actually tried to read it?
The Guardian has added crap the likes of which neither websites nor ebooks should be using, including auto-play background music, animated gifs, persistent animated gifs, and, well, I don’t know what else (I would not be surprised if there were a blink tag in there somewhere).
I found the reading experiences on the two sites to be so disasitsfying that I went looking for options to read offline, and I’m betting I’m not the only one. (I honestly feel that everyone who was involved in the design, layout, and creation of The Guardian’s excerpt should be fired, it’s that bad.)
And so I went looking for a better option.
It took me four or five different attempts with different tools before I found that the DotEpub bookmarklet could make a reasonably clean ebook out of the The Guardian’s text-only version of the excerpt (Instapaper, Pocket, and calibre also sorta worked but not as well, IMO).
The ebooks are not the absolute highest quality but I think they’re more readable than the websites. I’m hosting the files myself:
I hope they work well for you; at the very least I found them more appealing than the websites.