Posted on by & filed under book design, epub zen garden.

At BookCamp Toronto this weekend I released ePub Zen Garden, modeled after the pioneering CSS Zen Garden project.

EZG aims to inspire and promote digital book design. Like the CSS Zen Garden, it demonstrates that solely via Cascading Style Sheets (and in our case a cover image), a wide range of expression is possible.

Contributions of new styles aren’t just welcome, they’re strongly encouraged.

While all browser typography needs improvement, these screenshots were taken on a Mac, which provides the best experience right now:



Tags: design, ebooks, EPUB, epub zen garden,

7 Responses to “ePub Zen Garden”

  1. katre

    Very cool. How hard would it be to add in a CSS override feature to Bookworm to use user-supplied stylesheets, much like you can do with web browsers now? Are most ebooks uniform enough in markup to even allow that to be useful, or is the CSS always going to be specific to the ebook?

  2. liza

    That’s an interesting idea; I added it as a bug.

    The markup won’t be uniform across books, but I could simply not use the book’s CSS if the user has one (and then allow them to toggle that setting).

  3. bowerbird


    very good work.

    it will become interesting when users can
    adjust the internals of the c.s.s. themselves.


    p.s. but there’s nothing .epub-specific here.

  4. bowerbird

    what i mean is that one could build such a site
    using any underlying format other than .epub…

    indeed, the two iphone apps most often cited as
    having the best “look” are classics and eucalyptus.
    classics utilizes .pdf as its underlying format, and
    eucalyptus grabs _plain-ascii_ e-texts from p.g.

    and again, i’d love to see user-customized c.s.s.


  5. Douglas

    I wonder if you could also use this to promote a standard set of css classes for ePub.
    I’d expect a lot of people would appreciate being able to mark up a book and have a large choice of well done styles that “just work”.
    It does show that ePubs can look awesome too, good work :)


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