Reformatting Books with Affinity Publisher

«I read old books because I would rather learn from those who built civilization than those who tore it down.»

There are a lot of books available online. Some beautifully formatted, e.g., many of the books in the Internet Archive (warning: if you love books, prepare to … be «emotionally involved» and kiss the rest of the day goodbye 😉 ). But sometimes the text is badly formatted, or in a simple text file (e.g., on Project Gutenberg, although they do have eBooks as well). Not that well suited for reading, esp. not on a small tablet.

So, why not reformat the book?

I recently tried it out by creating a template in Affinity Publisher. In contrast to Adobe’s InDesign, it does not require an expensive subscription model. And once you get used to Affinity, it’s surprisingly powerful.

Just copy in the text, then apply the paragraph styles, and export it as PDF.

You can use you favorite font (I am partial to Baskerville) and even add suiting images. There are good videos available on YouTube that explain the process, e.g., «How to Use Affinity Publisher to Format for Paperback -26 Hardcover».

Just make sure the text is correct, especially that if OCR was used, it is really top notch. Nothing is worse here than having to correct lots and lots of mistakes.

Of course, you can also simply use Microsoft Word or any similar app, but there is something to be said for desktop publishing apps.

Happy reading.