The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 21, May 20, 2012, Article 9


Last week, Scott Barman stated that he was unable to buy a copy of A Guide Book of United States Coins (the "Red Book") in e-book format. Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publications writes:

Actually, we've had the e-version available for quite a while, now, and it's been publicized in The E-Sylum and elsewhere. We've had a strong response --- thousands of coin collectors purchased the 2012 e-book edition.

Chris Fuccione writes:

Scott Barman mentioned that the Red Book is not available in e-book format. It is available on Amazon for the Kindle and Kindle reader app for smart phones and iPod/iPhone/iPad. I have not bought it yet because I was hoping to find out from some of your readers how the charts and tables are converted to e-book format. If I were to buy it, it would be to read on a third generation iPod Touch.

Here is a link to it on Amazon:

Scott Barman also mentioned the CoinsHD app for the iPad from the Money Museum in Zurich. There is also an non-HD version of the app for the iPhone/iPod: .

Tim L. Shuck of Ames, IA writes:

I wanted to comment about digital book availability, specifically Scott Barman's claim that the Red Book is not available in ebook form.

But it is, listed on the iTunes site for $9.99, along with several other titles, including the Cherrypickers' Guide. The selection is not huge, and as noted on iTunes, requires iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later. I didn't purchase the ebook copy because, being unaware of its availability, I had already ordered the printed version. Next year I'll probably get the ebook version.

I also received an email today, via my MetaCoin website, that the Official Blackbook Price Guide to U.S. Coins is also now available as an ebook, for $8.99, readable using Adobe Digital Editions. There's no charge to download and preview, so assume payment is needed to load a copy to a personal digital device.

I am a supporter of digital information, but can understand why some publishers are cautious in their transition to ebooks. Those who expect all coin information to be freely available on the internet may be surprised some day to find the supply of new books has dried up. Doing things well requires time, often a lot of time, and it's not unreasonable for authors and publishers to expect to get paid for their efforts.

Chris Fuccione adds this review of the e-book version:

On the May 13th edition of The E-Sylum there was a comment that A Guidebook of United States Coins was not available in e-book format. I am not sure about the availability of it for the other e-book readers but it is available in the Amazon Kindle store. A few months ago I saw this but was hesitant of buying this because part of what makes the Red Book the Red Book was the charts and I was afraid that I would not be able to see them in this format (I am using the Kindle app and a 3rd gen. iPod Touch).

With the way the e-book was set up, if you want to see a chart or a close-up of a coin you put your thumb and two fingers on it and then stretch it out and then magnify it and move it around. The two things that I noticed that I hope they are able to fix next year or on a update is that there are a few charts that start on the bottom of a page and continue on the next page. Also, if you are not careful clicking on the charts on the lower part of the page you will get the go-to section of the app.

For the most part I saw very few spacing errors and no grammatical errors. For an e-book that is very good. I have seen some translations that were almost unreadable. This is not one of them.

The only other problem I have with this is the table of contents. They follow the format that is in the dead tree version where they will list the denominations in the table of contents but you have to flip pages to get to the type of coin you want. In book format this is not a problem. But in e-book format this is a major problem because you can't flip through pages that quick.

Let's say you are interested in looking up information on Mercury Head Dimes. You go to the Table of Content and then go to the dimes section. From there you have to go through every dime series before the Mercury Head. This can take forever. I would rather see the table of contents broken down further to include the type of coins to relieve this problem.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON ELECTRONIC BOOKS (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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