Two Tips for Reading our Books Online

All books, articles and other resources listed on this site are actually hosted on the servers of various organizations around the U.S.; especially Internet Archive and its sister site Open Library. Most books hosted on Internet Archive or Open Library can be downloaded to your computer or eBook device, if you prefer. However, it is often more convenient just to read online, using the viewer application at their sites. These two suggestions are for reading Internet Archive and Open Library books on that viewer application. Try the recommendations on this book below by right-clicking on the link and opening it in a new tab:


Portrait and Biographical Record of Waukesha County, Wisconsin, containing Biographical Sketches of old Settlers and Representative Citizens of the County (1894)


When you click the link, the book opens showing the first two pages of a profile of George Washington. The text is small and unclear, and reading for a long time at this resolution would be tiresome. You could enlarge it, but then you could not see the tops and bottoms of the pages without shifting them around.


Our two recommendations:


Click on the single square at the bottom right to make only a single page visible

This makes it possible to scroll up and down with your mouse wheel; a better way to access the top and bottom of the page. The right and left arrows at the bottom right can still be used to change pages if you prefer, and the little hand at the bottom left can still be used to navigate quickly around the book.


Keep enlarging the page until the text becomes especially clear

This sounds obvious, but many books on these two sites seem to have an optimum resolution where the text doesn’t just get larger, it suddenly becomes much clearer. If you don’t normally enlarge the pages quite a lot, you may not have noticed this.


Now that you have found the perfect resolution on this book, you can sit back, read comfortably, and change pages with your mouse wheel. Unfortunately not all books will become quite this clear, and you’ll also notice the larger resolution requires more bandwidth, so pages open a little slower.