Reduce preview file size

I really like the idea of Bloom but I’ve found it’s almost unusable with a poor internet connection. What would really help would be if the preview file was much smaller than the actual book download. Currently they are almost the same size (e.g. one book I looked at is 17MB and the preview pdf is 16MB).
Would it be possible to have an option to preview a lower-quality compressed pdf, or even to view just the text without the pictures?
Then I could more easily look through the books, find the ones that are suitable, and focus on downloading those.

Katharine, thanks for that suggestion, which is something we would definitely like to do. I’m afraid it’s a far bigger task than one might assume, so it won’t be soon. Meanwhile I’ve moved your idea to our “Feature Requests” section of this site, so we won’t lose track of it.

Two updates on this:

  1. Nowadays the PDFs created by Bloom are just much smaller. Unfortunately the majority of books on were uploaded before we made that change.

  2. We are working towards a rewrite of which will not rely on PDFs for previewing the book. We aim to load low-res versions of the image in this new preview.

I’ll close this now since you can now view books via the the READ button, without resorting to PDFs. Also, starting in Bloom 4.9, we automatically reduce the size of overly-large images before they go into PDFs.