Digger is a Hugo-winning Webcomic by the excellent and remarkably prolific Ursula Vernon, originally written between 2005 and 2011. This essay exists to recommend the book, with a bit of back-story, but also to recommend a good way to read it.

When Digger was coming out as a comic book it was popular, and then there was an omnibus of the whole thing, but eventually the print run ran out, and you couldn’t buy it any more. The problem was that it’s really freaking huge — a thousand-ish pages — and thus expensive to print, and publishers didn’t want to. So Patrick Rothfuss founded a publishing company and set up a Kickstarter for an edition called Digger Unearthed; it did very well.

My wife Lauren Wood bought the hardcover package and eventually I started reading it, and was enjoying it, except it was just too damn big and heavy and made my wrists hurt. Also, one of my favorite reading retreats is a kind of dark place, and Digger has many very dark pages, and it wasn’t making my eyes happy.

That’s OK, because I have a Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ which, with Gaiman’s Sandman, gave me the best comic-reading experience of my life. But Digger Unearthed isn’t on Kindle. Electronically, it’s a 419MB ePub file. Well then, you can upload ePubs to Kindle; but not that big.

After spinning my wheels for a while, here’s how I got it flying on the Galaxy: First, I put the ePub into DropBox. Then I installed Moon+ Reader and pointed it at the ePub. Initially opening it… wasn’t fast. But once it got going, page-turning was perfectly snappy..

Digger Unearthed, paper and tablet version
· · ·
Digger Unearthed, paper and tablet version

It was a comfortable reading experience, much easier on my wrists and eyes.

Now… those pictures are lying a bit. They were taken outside on our back porch on a bright cloudy afternoon, and in that context the paper was immensely brighter than the tablet screen. So I brightened up the tablet a bit in the photos. In my usual reading context, later and darker, the tablet is much more readable than the book.

Anyhow. Good book. Good software. Good hardware. I still love paper, but not exclusively.


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From: PJ (Sep 28 2023, at 18:04)

Since you're clueful, you might investigate Kavita as a place for your online books and comics. Then you can point your Moon+ reader at it and it should be able to pull said books and comics down from it. I run it under docker on my NAS and export it to the net via ssh tunnel, thus leaving my content to reside on my NAS which has all the disk space. YMMV, of course.


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September 24, 2023
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