As I started getting ready for our upcoming trip to Mexico, I decided that it would be interesting to learn more about the history of Mexico in general and about the area around Cancun in particular, and turned to my favourite quick reference source, Wikipedia. My plan was to copy and paste two or three Mexican related articles, including some current history, and background information about other civilizations that have come and gone in the area, into a Word document. Then I’d save them as an HTML file and copy the file on to my tablet and cell phone so that I could read them on the flight down.
As I was looking at the top level Wikipedia article on Mexico, I noticed in the left menu, under “Print/export” and option to “Create a book”! When I clicked on it I realized that this relatively new feature would not only allow me to make a “book” out of the article I was looking at, but I could also add other Wikipedia articles as chapters in a book that I could compile and re-order to my hearts content. This is exactly what I needed! It saved me a couple hours of work, and made print and e-book versions of the Wikipedia articles quick and easy to create.
When I finished compiling articles for my custom book, I then had the option of doing the following on the Wikipedia “Manager your book” page (see image above):
Order as printed book (printed by a third party partner of Wikipedia’s)
Download as a PDF e-book (so you could print out on your own or read on your computer).
Download as a word processor file (OpenDocument) so you can edit the document on your computer
Download as an ePub file ready to be loaded on your smart-phone or tablet.
I chose the last option, and have my custom book loaded on my Android tablet, reading to read while flying to Mexico. I also made a $10 donation to the wikimedia foundation to help support the good work they are doing making Wikipedia available free of charge and fee of advertising.