Great, but what if I want to be able to read when I am not connected to the Internet? (I don't know why I am so worried about having local copies of some things, it is some digital hoarding tendency.) It turns out that the bookreader is an open source project, entirely downloadable from github! Some documentation is here.
Easy, I thought. I downloaded the zip file, unzipped it, and was off and running with the BookReaderDemo (double-click index.html and it should open in your browser). It took a few small tricks to get it to work with a new book downloaded from the archive. I decided to start with On growth and form by D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson. I downloaded all of the files (under All files: Torrent. I unzip the "ongrowthform1917thom_flippy.zip" folder, which contains a bunch of .jpg files of the pages. I copy them all into a directory called "jpgImages" inside "BookReaderDemo". Then I change BookReaderJSSimple.js in the following ways:
line 11 to return 365;
line 16 to return 600;
line 80 to br.numLeafs = 708;
(Just changing the width, height, and number of pages here, not entirely sure these are correct.)
Finally the important part, telling it where to find the new images:
line 28 to var url = 'jpgImages/'+leafStr.replace(re, imgStr) + '.jpg';
This worked, but the pages all looked low-quality and blurry. I poked around, and it looks like internet archive actually uses jpeg 2000 (.jp2) for the real full-quality images. These are stored in the original download in the ongrowthform1917thom_jp2.zip file. I unzipped this, the problem is that just opening the new directory crashes nautilus! I guess jp2 hasn't exactly gotten widely accepted... I downloaded imagemagick by running sudo apt-get install imagemagick
Now I could navigate to the directory containing the .jp2 files and convert them to .jpg with the command mogrify -format jpg *.jp2
Now if I change line 80 to var url = 'jp2Images/ongrowthform1917thom_'+leafStr.replace(re, imgStr) + '.jpg';
(after copying the jp2 directory to BookReaderDemo and renaming it jp2Images) it looks like I get a functioning bookreader! I'm sure their implementation with jp2 files is faster and has other advantages, but I'm just happy to get something working relatively quickly.
Finally, let's see how well it works to embed the book (still hosted on archive.org) here: