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People name their favorite ebook fonts.

So I asked folks on various social media sites this question:

If you read ebooks, do you have a font preference? What font do you change to?

Only two fonts received more than one vote.

Georgia / / /
Caecilia / /
Dutch /
Times New Roman /
Droid Serif /

Sans Serif:
Futura /
Arial /
Century Gothic /
Lato /

That’s a pretty small sample size (all self-selected), but 7 8 – 4 serif over sans serif is a pretty strong preference. And, since Georgia comes already installed on my computer (while Caecilia costs $35 or whatever) I might as well publish upcoming books with that font as the default. People can always change it to ::shudders:: Futura if they want.

Anyway, I like Georgia. The serifs are a little heavy compared to something like Cambria, but the letters have a nice size to them, which my aging eyes appreciates.

UPDATE: I’m going to keep changing the votes as people weigh in.

Mirrored from Twenty Palaces. You can comment here but not there.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 8th, 2014 11:20 pm (UTC)
Well, I write mostly in Courier (for constant-space fonts) or Times New Roman (for proportional spacing). I can put up with pretty much any font, though, so in general I wouldn't bother to change them.
Jun. 8th, 2014 11:31 pm (UTC)
I sometimes change fonts because of my shitty vision.
Jun. 9th, 2014 12:57 am (UTC)
Oddly enough I've never stopped to check or change an ebooks font. The font size yes but the font no. I'm going to have to stare at a few ebooks to decide if I have a preference or not.
Jun. 9th, 2014 01:04 am (UTC)
Most people seem to prefer serifs to help identify letters quickly, but when the letters are too small and busy, the serifs add to the confusion.

I like Cambria and Cochin, but Georgia is nice, too.
Jun. 9th, 2014 06:14 am (UTC)
So the kindle app on my iPad uses Georgia for the books and apparently everthing I read in that app is in Georgia. My iBooks app has everything in Palatino by default. Just checked 2 books and lets look at the Twenty Palaces books... yep Palatino.

And I note that I've never even noticed that the two apps use different fonts. Shows how insensitive to the font choice I am. ;)
Jun. 9th, 2014 01:29 am (UTC)
I'm not eligible to vote, being a fogy who hasn't gotten around to getting an e-reader yet, but it bugs me that the ones I've looked at have only one or two fonts each that I like at all, if that. The thought of having to read everything in the same font is not appealing.
Jun. 9th, 2014 02:24 am (UTC)
Now I'm curious to see if my wife's iPad has a range of fonts to choose from.
Jun. 9th, 2014 02:54 am (UTC)
My iPad has: Athelas, Charter, Georgia, Iowan, Palatino and Seravek (sans serif), Times New Roman.

It *used to* have Cochin, which is what I was using; I use Athelas now.

Because I can switch fonts, I have no preference. If I couldn’t, I would not read a book set in a sans serif font. I can live with most of the serif fonts.
Jun. 9th, 2014 03:11 am (UTC)
Your comment convinced me to hunt up the fonts on my wife's. She has the same in iBooks. Other apps have different fonts.

I'm sure there's a way to share across programs but my wife wouldn't care and it's her machine.
Jun. 9th, 2014 04:19 pm (UTC)
Palatino is one of my faves. Proportional and serif in any event.

But for goddesses sake, world, can we switch to something the lets us not do forced justified (right and left) and if you do, have something that can open up the kerning instead of just putting huge spaces between the words. TeX is the right way, not postscript, let alone html. Yeah, that war has been lost, I know.
Jun. 9th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
Is this something determined by the font or by something else?
Jun. 9th, 2014 06:01 pm (UTC)
Utterly and totally beyond your control, and beyond the scope of fonts (though they do include some kerning hints, hopefully).

One of the sharpest minds in computer science, Donald Knuth, got distracted by laser printers, and wrote a typesetting language called TeX (that's not really how it should be written, but I'm way to lazy to see if I can do it in an LJ comment field). It thinks about layout at the paragraph level, which really is the smallest unit you can think about and still get the right answer.

The world also has PostScript (including Acrobat files), which is artists programing, TrueType, which is programmers trying to be artists, and whatever lays out html, which clearly doesn't give a shit.

For decades, math papers were and I believe still are submitted in TeX, because it's the only thing that handles them well.

Also, TeX is probably the largest piece of software of which you can plausibly claim is bug free. This is due to legions of computer science grad students scouring the code in hopes of getting a check from Knuth for finding a bug.

Jun. 9th, 2014 11:52 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. If there was a way to avoid rivers of white on the page by choosing one font over another, I'd be all over that.
Jun. 9th, 2014 06:03 pm (UTC)
Proportional means the width a letter takes varies (an i takes up less space than an M), and serifs are the little things at the ends of letters, san serif doesn't have them, they improve readability.
Jun. 9th, 2014 11:50 pm (UTC)
Jun. 9th, 2014 06:40 pm (UTC)
In Instapaper I switched to Dyslexie a while back. It is ugly as an ugly thing, but the features intended to make reading easier for people with dyslexia also seem to make reading easier and faster for me. I haven't tried switching my other reading thingies to it.
Jun. 9th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
I wrote about Dyslexie when it first came into the public eye. I wish I could afford it for my wife, who's dyslexic.
Jun. 10th, 2014 05:40 pm (UTC)
It looked like they had a free home-use license. Maybe that's new? I haven't paid anything for it, I presume Instapaper licensed the use in their app.
Jun. 11th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
Have you seen Open Dyslexic? http://opendyslexic.org/

I happened to run across it as an option in another app (quickreader) since my last comment. Seems to be independently developed using similar principles to Dyslexie. A bit better looking to my eye but I haven't used it much yet.
Jun. 11th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
Since Dyslexie came out, there have been a few fonts that that seem indistinguishable from it to the untrained eye. I'm honestly a little leary about going there, for reasons of fairness. I know the Dyslexie people are/were suing one of the copies.

Mostly, I want it for my wife's iPad. There are apps that let you add fonts to some of the other apps on the tablet, but apparently you can't change the general setting.

I'm tempted to just hassle Apple into making it happen.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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