Paper versus e-Reader

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Paper versus e-Reader

Postby verygoodthings » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:55 am

I'm a diehard paper book guy, but recently I've been a bit frustrated that it is difficult to go back and look up what you need from a paper book. Having an e-reader with search features would sure have its advantages.

That being said, I don't think I'll ever convert entirely. Are there other people out there like me? Why don't publishers of paper books include e-reader copies upon registering the paper copy purchase? Or even charge a small additional fee for a "combo pack".

I'm never going to just buy an E-Book, so does this mean I'll never have access to the electronic versions unless I buy it separately?
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Postby verygoodthings » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:59 am

Putting some more thought into this, perhaps the reason this hasn't been accomplished yet is not the unwillingness of publishers, but more of a logistics issue.

I wonder if Barnes and Noble could convince certain publishers to offer the E-Copy automatic during the retail store checkout by entering the customers email address. They would provide this while forfeiting their return policy privilege of course. I know there are a ton of publishers they would have to campaign this to, but it could give the large retail book chain some power to compete with Amazon. I think publishers would entertain the idea of supporting B&N in any way possible.
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Postby nisiprius » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:46 am

My personal answer is that publishers are greedy, unimaginative bastards who are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, and may be in danger of damaging our public libraries, an understanding of books and cultural transmission that has existed for five centuries, and, in a real sense, our culture.

I have a couple of dozen books which I own in print form, for which I have obtained pirated copies to use on my computer for the exact reasons you mention. I believe this to be completely moral, completely ethical, and of course completely illegal.

If publishers could do it, they'd force me to buy separate copies of a book to read at home and on the train, separate copies for me and my wife, and each page weakly attached so that after being turned 26 times the page would tear out.

Project Gutenberg of Australia has a lot of stuff that is out of copyright there but still under copyright in the U.S., such as most of George Orwell's work, but of course I would never suggest, even hypothetically, that anyone from the U.S. log onto their servers. Just saying, I've heard from a friend that it could be done.

I will say that if the point is just searching, between Google Books and Amazon Look Inside the Book you can do fairly well and I've used both of them to locate page number references for things in books I own.

Maybe it's just me, but indexing seems to be a dying art. I have the impression that publishers think computers can index books, and they can't. Creating an index not only requires the ability to read and understand the text, it requires the ability to understand the structure and organization of the whole book, a keen insight into what's important and what isn't, and a shrewd guess as to what a reader might be looking for. It just sickens me when I'm trying to look something up and see something like "Mutual funds, index: 15, 17, 22, 29, 33, 41, 42, 44, 46, " etc. and on and on for twenty or thirty page references, as if you were going to thumb to each one.

P. S. And will someone please clue in Consumer Reports that they can quit wasting the money sending me junk mail solicitations for their paid-subscription website, because I already pay for their print magazine and I think is shabby treatment to ask me to pay more for their website. (Consumer Reports is showing a really bad tendency to siphon off more and more content that used to just be in the magazine, and put it in separate newsletters, online, etc. I've been a subscriber for forty years and each year the decision to renew gets to be a closer and closer call).
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Postby Bob B » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:17 am

nisiprius wrote:My personal answer is that publishers are greedy, unimaginative bastards who are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, ...)
...oh, for a minute there I thought you were talking about the music recording industry.
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Postby Go Blue 99 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:51 am

There is a precedent, from the movie industry. If you purchase a Blu-ray, you typically get a digital copy included that you can use with your iPod, etc.
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Postby CyberBob » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:54 am

nisiprius wrote:...and each page weakly attached so that after being turned 26 times the page would tear out.

Since 26 seems to be such a precise number, I assume that nisiprius knows that this is already happening with Harper Collins e-books.
See This Library E-Book Will Self-Destruct After 26 Check Outs.

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Postby The Wizard » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:03 am

nisiprius wrote:...P. S. And will someone please clue in Consumer Reports that they can quit wasting the money sending me junk mail solicitations for their paid-subscription website, because I already pay for their print magazine and I think is shabby treatment to ask me to pay more for their website.


You'd like what The New Yorker is doing then.
I've been a subscriber for a long time and now they give us the online edition for free as well.
In fact, I think a lot of their content is available online for free for everybody...
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Postby stratton » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:25 am

nisiprius wrote:My personal answer is that publishers are greedy, unimaginative bastards who are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, and may be in danger of damaging our public libraries, an understanding of books and cultural transmission that has existed for five centuries, and, in a real sense, our culture.

SF author Jim C. Hines is trying this on his own. Evidently he got the rights back on one of his books and he's selling Gonlin Tales on Amazon for $2.99 and on the first day... This is the minimum price where the author gets 70% of the price. Below $2.99 and the author gets 30%.

Considering typical $7.99 mass market paperback author royalties are about 5% (40 cents) he's getting 70% of the ebook; the ebook is 5x more profitable.

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Postby chaz » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:30 pm

I prefer paper books.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Kalo » Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:39 pm

My concern over all things electronic is losing my electronic copy and having to pay again. Therefore I've never downloaded either a song or a book. But I'm very tempted to try an e-reader because of the many benefits over print.

For music I try to buy a CD and then copy it to my computer and then to my iPod. In this way I always have the CD to go back to if my computer dies or whatever. However, I have not purchased a CD in many years. I really like the radio just fine. I'm a true music and literature lover, but once I start to feel like I'm being gouged, I tend to withdraw from the market.

I do agree with earlier posters who have implied that the publishers are hurting both their own businesses as well as our culture by their short-sighted actions. However, consumers should vote with their wallets.

Over the years I have purchased duplicate copies of records on LP, 8-Track, Cassette and Compact Disc, usually because the medium had eventually failed. And I've also owned multiple paper copies of my favorite books. I always felt there was an injustice in having to re-purchase at full price.

In a perfect world, I think it would be fair to pay per use. For music, a fraction of a penny for each time I choose to listen to a given piece. For books, a certain price per page read maybe. That way if I realized, eight pages in, that I was no longer interested in reading further, I would not have had to pay full price. And if I read it all the way through and paid "full price", then I should be able to read it again indefinitely or maybe for a set number of additional times as long as the price was commensurate (less than the price of unlimited reads).

I think the publishers would benefit from any scheme that made the customer feel that they were getting a fair shake. But currently that is not the case and I for one am voting with my dollars (or in my case, not voting by simply exercising self control and not purchasing products that I feel are not a fair value).

But I am sorely tempted to get an e-reader. It sounds so awesome!

When Homer Simpson offered to sell C Montgomery Burns the secret to eternal happiness for one dollar, Burns reply was: "Mmmm. I'd rather have the dollar." He wasn't questioning the fact that Homer had the secret and would deliver. Just making a decision based on value vs price.

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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Dopey » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:09 pm

I haven't read novels consistently since being forced to in high school, which I did rather enjoy.

My wife bought me a Kindle Paperwhite 6 months ago for Christmas and I think I've read 8-10 books. It's just handy and even though I'm extremely busy with work, grad school, home owner, etc., I always read a couple chapters a night before bed.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby frugaltype » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:43 pm

If you bought a necklace, would you expect it to disappear after you'd worn it 26 times? If so, I imagine you'd probably be willing to pay, say, $10 for it, not $1,000. No handling it down to a kid, either.

I have quite a few ebooks. I like them because they're easier to read because I can set a larger font and they have more contrast than a paperback. This is after saying I would never change to them. However, I am moving back to paperbacks. I read my ebooks on kindle for pc, and it has an awful interface on terms of managing books. Plus, you have to keep an amazon account open or you lose access to those bought and paid for books. If you want to transfer them to a second pc, the collections come across in scrambled order. You can't arrange the collections - no sorting of collections of any kind.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby frugaltype » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:47 pm

Rammer wrote:I haven't read novels consistently since being forced to in high school, which I did rather enjoy.


They made us read The Mill on The Floss in high school. That's enough to turn someone off reading forever.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby gkaplan » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:07 pm

frugaltype wrote:
Rammer wrote:I haven't read novels consistently since being forced to in high school, which I did rather enjoy.


They made us read The Mill on The Floss in high school. That's enough to turn someone off reading forever.


You must have different reading tastes than I. I thought The Mill on the Floss ranked with George Eliot's best. That and Daniel Deronda.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby gerrym51 » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:16 pm

I have a kindle HD 8.7.

i love it but-many books are too expensive-i get these from the library.

amazon also has a lot of free and cheap books. every day a book you want can some times go on sale for little or nothing. they get rotated specials.

amazons search capabilities are excellent. i find books i did not know existed.

But the main attraction for me is graphic novels(err comic books-what can i say). i still buy and read al superman related comics. been doing it for 50 years.

with the kindle no more paper clutter. :mrgreen:
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sat Jun 22, 2013 11:29 pm

Kalo wrote:My concern over all things electronic is losing my electronic copy and having to pay again. Therefore I've never downloaded either a song or a book.

It's actually the other way around with books. With Amazon and I assume Barnes & Noble also, once you purchase the book, it is safe. If you lose a paper book (leave it on a plane, in a hotel room, etc), it's gone forever. If you lose a Kindle, it stinks, but you still own every book you've purchased. I have been a Kindle fan for a long time, and the Paper White version is really a pleasure. If you're a reader, I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Kalo » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:09 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Kalo wrote:My concern over all things electronic is losing my electronic copy and having to pay again. Therefore I've never downloaded either a song or a book.

It's actually the other way around with books. With Amazon and I assume Barnes & Noble also, once you purchase the book, it is safe. If you lose a paper book (leave it on a plane, in a hotel room, etc), it's gone forever. If you lose a Kindle, it stinks, but you still own every book you've purchased. I have been a Kindle fan for a long time, and the Paper White version is really a pleasure. If you're a reader, I don't think you'll be disappointed.


Thanks for that advice. The Paper White is the one I would buy if I decide to. However, my concern goes beyond safety.

If you have the electronic versions on a device, then you are at risk for device failure. And if in the cloud, then you are beholden to the cloud. I do not trust the cloud.

I do not want to pay a subscription for the privilege of accessing something I have already purchased. And I don't want to get locked into continuously purchasing new devices because the old device is no longer supported.

I am completely mistrustful of merchants. I consider the merchant/customer relationship an adversarial one. When I walk out of a store carrying a paper book I can read that book forever and I don't have to pay another dime for that privilege.

I think merchants are viewing the electronic format as an opportunity to take unfair advantage of the consumer. So I don't feel good about electronic formats in general. The one exception is the compact disk. I've had no trouble converting music from compact discs to files that will play on my iPod. I admit I don't buy music any more, but it's not strictly because of mistrust. I mean, I already got the Beatles, Zep, Floyd and Steely Dan. Has there even been any new music made since those guys all got old? Oh and I forgot, Frank Sinatra and Linda Ronstadt's Round Midnight. I'm covered. :beer

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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby TomatoTomahto » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:20 pm

Kalo,

I can understand your feeling about the adversarial nature of the relationship, but I have personally not had Amazon do anything dastardly to me. I do most of my non-grocery shopping on Amazon and am happy with how they treat me.

Regarding music, my kids use iTunes. I rip CDs as you do, but I don't even bother that much with it any more. I like your list of music, but would add Little Feat to the list :D [see my avatar]

As a practical matter, and this applies to CDs as much as to physical books, just because I own it doesn't mean that I can find it. If I can't find it without tearing the house apart, it's useless. I'd like to say that I have a room with alphabetically sorted books, CDs, and DVDs, but then I would be lying.
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Re:

Postby scottjspencer » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:56 pm

nisiprius wrote:My personal answer is that publishers are greedy, unimaginative bastards who are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs, and may be in danger of damaging our public libraries, an understanding of books and cultural transmission that has existed for five centuries, and, in a real sense, our culture.

I have a couple of dozen books which I own in print form, for which I have obtained pirated copies to use on my computer for the exact reasons you mention. I believe this to be completely moral, completely ethical, and of course completely illegal.


I agree 100% with nisiprius on all of this.

I always point out though that there is at least one publisher who already does exactly what verygoodthings was asking about.

O'Rielly, a very popular technology publisher, offers many of their books in electronic form for an additional $5. In fact, if you buy the physical book elsewhere and then register it to your account on their website, they'll still give you an electronic copy for just $4.99. You can even go back later and download the electronic copy in a different format if you need to. I have no connection to O'Rielly other than as a customer. I'm just glad to see there's at least one publisher who gets it.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bUU » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:41 pm

First sale doctrine, in operation, would essentially allow people to buy the book, as you suggest, keep the electronic copy and resell the paper copy, thereby making the package of both together worth the price of a paper book plus the price of an e-book - a price you're unlikely to be willing to pay.

Barring that, your idea would require a means by which the buyer would have to prove periodically that they haven't separated the paper copy from the electronic copy. How would you suggest they do that?
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Ged » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:57 pm

I am a book lover. I think books are the greatest invention of the human race. Visiting a great library that contains books that are many centuries old is an event that stirs my soul.

Image

The idea that we are transitioning books to a media that is so ephemeral distresses me greatly, and I refuse to participate in a process that could lead to a digital dark age.

http://www.americanscientist.org/issues ... dark-age/1
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bUU » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:08 pm

I don't buy it. Paper books are as ephemeral as digital, as far as I'm concerned, and if you doubt it, let me introduce a match to your favorite paper book. It all comes down to prudent storage and for digital data that means multiple backups in different locations (which is super-efficient, space-wise, as compared to paper), continually refreshed by rewriting data. Truly, the only weak part of the digital system is a "no more electricity" situation, which is fantasy. (The television series Revolution is fiction.) The concern raised about deciphering is ridiculous, imho, as if future human beings are going to be substantially dumber than human beings are now, and incapable of solving problems that we have already solved.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby wilpat » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:17 pm

<I am a book lover. I think books are the greatest invention of the human race>

Interestingly enough what many consider to be the greatest invention of mankind is the alphabet. Without an alphabet nothing could be written down for future observation. Without things being we could only learn from people who are alive.

Of course, I think the greatest invention of mankind is the electric screwdriver! :o)
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Ged » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:36 pm

wilpat wrote:<I am a book lover. I think books are the greatest invention of the human race>

Interestingly enough what many consider to be the greatest invention of mankind is the alphabet.


The alphabet is important for sure, but there are many cases of written works based on pictograms.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Ged » Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:11 pm

bUU wrote:The concern raised about deciphering is ridiculous, imho, as if future human beings are going to be substantially dumber than human beings are now, and incapable of solving problems that we have already solved.


Really? When we have many existing examples of works that cannot be deciphered? And considering that much of modern digital media is protected by strong encryption?
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby 5buffalo » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:16 pm

I love e-books! As e-book champions are sparse on this thread, let me list what I see as the main advantages:

1. Read on multiple devices. Amazon is certainly no angel of a company, but you currently don't have to pay to maintain access to your books in the cloud, and I really don't think that they are likely to suddenly start charging- it would be a terrible business idea. If your Kindle is lost you can continue reading your books on a different kindle, your phone, laptop, whatever. If you forgot your kindle at home but you unexpectedly have a long wait in line, just take out your phone and the book will be there right where you left off.

Which is very convenient. Plus, with a paper book, you might not have to pay another dime to read it, but it's certainly possible it might get wet or moth-eaten or left on a train or be too much trouble to bring along when you move, requiring you to eventually replace it. So there's a risk either way.

2. Lightweight. I love to read and pretty much always have a book with me, but longer books can get prohibitively sized for reading on the subway or taking on a bike ride, especially in hardback.

3. Underline and write notes, as many as you want, without disfiguring your book or having it be distracting to re-read. Then you can easily access all your thoughts later without having to flip through the pages.

4. The paperwhite has a diffuse lighting feature that allows you to read everywhere even if the light isn't good. Theoretically you can carry a battery book light everywhere too, but I never did that before I had a kindle.

5. Instant gratification. Finish one book in the series and it ends on a cliffhanger, you can just click and start on the next one right away. It still feels luxurious to me to be able to do that. Of course if you're not good at controlling impulse purchases you can spend a lot of money this way.

I still read plenty of regular books- they're great too, and I don't forsee the death of paper books anytime soon. But I also regularly make use of and appreciate all of these e-book features.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby letsgobobby » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:54 pm

I am very much like the OP: a slow and reluctant convert to e reading who prefers holding a book, and who is frankly a traditionalist in most respects.

That said, here is an indisputable fact: since acquiring a kindle eighteen months ago as a gift, I have done far more reading for pleasure than I had in the previous eighteen months.

Why? I can carry several books with me everywhere I go so I'm never not in the mood for the one book in my hand. I can read on my phone while waiting in a long line. I belong to two library systems with two non-overlapping Overdrive memberships so I can always find a good book to borrow, especially slightly older books no longer in high demand. I can read pamphlets, long brochures, even some journal articles on my reader at a much reduced cost compared to buying them from a government agency.

If you buy a Kindle you can borrow books from family members at no cost, or from the free kindle library if you're a Prime member (I'm not). In other words there are many ways to get books for free, more or less.

I never lose my library copy, having to pay overdue fines or, even worse, lost fines.

I have bought a few kindle version only books, ones that for some reason I think might read just as well electronically, and mostly that has worked out well. I only buy books that are not available free in print or e version anywhere else.

I think it's a terrific invention and a nice complement to physical books.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby RustyShackleford » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:40 am

I recently got an e-reader, but I think I prefer the old-fashioned kind. However, I'll keep the Kindle. Why ? I'm a "backpacker" (American definition), and so looking to cut ounces (trusting that the pounds will take care of themselves) from my pack-weight. A Kindle (the basic un-lighted model) weighs less than almost any book (maybe the same as a small paperback printed on newsprint-quality paper).
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Epsilon Delta » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:53 am

RustyShackleford wrote:I recently got an e-reader, but I think I prefer the old-fashioned kind. However, I'll keep the Kindle. Why ? I'm a "backpacker" (American definition), and so looking to cut ounces (trusting that the pounds will take care of themselves) from my pack-weight. A Kindle (the basic un-lighted model) weighs less than almost any book (maybe the same as a small paperback printed on newsprint-quality paper).

But can you rip out a page for use as TP?
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby frugaltype » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:52 am

bUU wrote:I don't buy it. Paper books are as ephemeral as digital, as far as I'm concerned, and if you doubt it, let me introduce a match to your favorite paper book.


My house(s) haven't burned down in the decades of my life. Let me show you the cardboard boxes I have of VHS and Beta video tapes, and the floppy disks that are unreadable on current systems. I have some papertape also. If I hadn't given up and thrown them out, I'd have DECtapes as well.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bUU » Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:54 am

frugaltype wrote:My house(s) haven't burned down in the decades of my life.

I haven't experienced an electro-magnetic pulse.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby tractorguy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:25 am

I read both e-reader and paper books and don't have a strong preference. Like any other competing technology they each have their advantages and I like being able to use each one for the situation its best suited for. I think we haven't had the breakthrough new application of e-readers yet. When we do, it will be so obviously better than printing on paper that it will totally supplant paper books.

Human nature being what it is, I'm sure there were monks who were complaining about that newfangled printing press destroying the experience of creating and reading hand copied, illuminated manuscripts. The Gutenberg bible looks a lot like a hand copied bible (complete with illuminations). It took a lot of years for printing to start doing things that were physically impossible for a hand copyist.

I like the e-reader (Kindle) when I'm traveling. As others have said, having several books in a package the size of one paperback is great when you're going to be reading several books. I used to check out (and carry) 7-9 hardbacks from the local library in preparation for a 2 week trip to the beach. Now, I fill up my kindle with 5 books from overdrive, read them, and then find a wireless connection to "return" them and check out 5 more.

My children gave me the Kindle as a way to give me birthday and Christmas gifts. I have several books that they gave me. The get them cheaper than paper copies and don't have to worry shipping them to me as I'm sometimes traveling on my birthday or at Christmas.

I still go to the library and check out paper books when I'm at home. Browsing the shelves is just easier and more satisfying than any of the check out systems that I've seen at Amazon or Overdrive.

I'm not worried about keeping the files for a long time. I've got a few thousand paperbacks and hardbacks gathering mold in my house. I know from experience that paperbacks have about a 20 year shelf life. Hardbacks can survive longer but after about 50 years they need to be treated as rare objects instead of things that can actually be pulled off a shelf and enjoyed. A digital copy can be transferred from one medium and format to another with a little work so a digital copy should be readable as long as the owner wants to keep it that way.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Sidney » Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:13 am

I was a little slow to convert but given a choice, I prefer my Kindle. I usually have 2-3 books going at once. Kindle makes it easy to take everything with you. Still go to library shelf first before buying though.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby GracieLou » Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:17 pm

I love both, but the Kindle easily wins out while traveling.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Mr Grumpy » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:51 pm

I like both for different reasons, but if I had to choose, I'd go with paper. As some have mentioned, you can't beat the portability of an ereader while traveling, but even then, I find I miss having a small paper bookmark to write down words to check vocabulary or a page citation on a particularly piece of good writing (I know ereaders have some of those capabilities - but they are inferior to perusing a printed page.)
But...ereaders are here to stay and IMHO have introduced many to the joy of reading. Many eBooks are now trending on Amazon, B/N, and Smashwords toward 50 pages, etc., for 99 cents - the marketing seems to be based on the iTunes model and our lowering attention span. Hopefully, new readers will be open to longer content as time goes on.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Dutch » Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:57 pm

I love my e-reader!! I can't think of any reason to ever go back to paper.

The ability to hold hundreds or thousands of books in the palm of your hands, in such a small form factor.
Not sure about the meaning of a word? Just tap on it and have instant access to the dictionary, including support for multiple languages.
Remember reading a paper book in bed, how the left page is more "comfortable" to read than the right page (or vice versa)? Well, with an e-reader you don't have to adjust your position anymore.

That said, I'm not a big fan of the Kindle/Amazon combination. I own a Sony e-reader myself and find that there's lot more free or low cost content available when you're not locked-in with Amazon's proprietary formats.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby letsgobobby » Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:40 pm

I just did a four day backpack and took my Kindle with me for the first time. I loved it - much more than having a book. I kept it in a perfect-sized dry bag and cushioned it between a fleece and my sleeping bag. I had many different books with me, all for less weight than just one physical copy. Chalk up another win for the e-reader.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby jupiter_man » Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:54 am

e-reader is convenient, but I do find the books to expensive as compared to the Library; but the way everything is going digital, I wonder what happens 5,000 Years from now.

Someone will come across our civilization and when they dig stuff, there will no hieroglyphics, no words, no cave paintings, no pictures, no stone tablets with writings, no Emblem glyphs (Maya?). They will find buildings with "crippled machines" (our Cloud Data Centers), they will find some "Disks" but no mechanisms to read the 0's and 1's.

Future generations will wonder how we communicated, lived, what our issues were and why our civilization ended. I wonder if the Internet goes down for couple of days, and we loose access to all this cloud information if things will change and we personally will keep more paper copies, or find a balance between Paper vs. e-information
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby HornedToad » Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:13 am

I vastly prefer e-books and are phasing out my paper books. I agree thought that it'd be nice if could convert paper to e-book or have copy of both
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bUU » Sun Jul 21, 2013 7:48 am

jupiter_man wrote:they will find some "Disks" but no mechanisms to read the 0's and 1's.
That would make them pretty stupid galactic travelers.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby masteraleph » Sun Jul 21, 2013 10:45 am

There's one thing still holding me back from buying more of my books in e-format: the lack of ability to either link accounts or have multiple accounts on the same device. If I have an Amazon account, and my wife has an Amazon account, then we can't share libraries. When we have kids, I imagine we'd want to share libraries as well. This isn't possible at the moment, which means that I tend to avoid buying ebooks, at least from Amazon.

I'll occasionally buy ebooks direct from Baen or Tor, with no DRM. And we're pretty much out of shelf space. But until we can actually share books (like we can with a physical one), we're not going to get more committed to e-reading.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby Northster » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:06 am

I don't think this a technical or logistical issue. It is not uncommon for textbooks to come with supplementary CD ROM or online content. There is no reason this could not be the entire text as well. Of course in the case of online content it is typically 'one-user-only', limiting resale value. Maybe some of our younger members could share their experience.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby KyleAAA » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:09 am

I suspect the demand just isn't there. I have no desire for both a print AND electronic copy. For me, that would completely defeat the point of owning an eReader to begin with.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby lightheir » Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:41 am

I just have to say - I finally yielded and bought a Kindle paperwhite. (I had been using Kindle on the PC and iphone).

I really, really like. I think it's totally worth it. The battery life is really good and the screen is excellent. Makes reading a pleasure. I've also started reading spanish language books (I took spanish in High school, but that's it) and with a spanish language dictionary on it, it's an awesome way to read books since you can get definitions for words by just clicking on the word on the text.


But the best part of it for me has been the space savings. I'm not in a cramped apartment, but I've learned to not hoard stuff over the years, and books were always one of the top items that required periodic purging since they took up so much space. And it always made me so, so sad to part with otherwise perfectly good books. With the Kindle, I can keep everything, no fuss, no muss. It's great.


I know that some of you are going to be aghast at the idea of throwing away books, and that's fine, but my father-in-law who is a retired college professor, amassed thousands of books in his home over the last 30 years, thinking that he would bequeath them all as a large gift to his children someday. No particularly special rare editions, just copies of the classics, historical books, and other intellectual fare. He now actually regrets collecting them all over the years since he too is faced with the enormous task of discarding them all since there's nobody that will buy them (he's tried several methods including local used book dealers, but they're all economically nonfeasible.) Even he's realized that with the internet, it's far more efficient and cost-effective to be able to purchase or download the book in e-format on demand rather than carving out tons of shelf space to store book just in case you might read them again someday (and likelihood of that is often small.)
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby gkaplan » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:41 am

Donate them to a library. If the library can't use them, they can always sell them.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bUU » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:31 am

Libraries are increasingly declining donations of old paperbacks. There is a cost associated with storing them and such. Around here, a clearer path is donating to religious institutions for fairs/bazaars/sales and such. Our church has noted, especially, a dearth of donations in the last two years, presumably stemming from the transition of many people to e-readers, so whereas five years ago we would have had some standards on donations in terms of condition and such, just to keep the donations within the realm of what we could legitimately present for sale during our fall fair, now we'll take anything since we've actually had to reduce the footprint of your book sale area due to how much fewer books we have to sell.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bungalow10 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:40 am

5buffalo wrote:I love e-books! As e-book champions are sparse on this thread, let me list what I see as the main advantages:

1. Read on multiple devices. Amazon is certainly no angel of a company, but you currently don't have to pay to maintain access to your books in the cloud, and I really don't think that they are likely to suddenly start charging- it would be a terrible business idea. If your Kindle is lost you can continue reading your books on a different kindle, your phone, laptop, whatever. If you forgot your kindle at home but you unexpectedly have a long wait in line, just take out your phone and the book will be there right where you left off.

Which is very convenient. Plus, with a paper book, you might not have to pay another dime to read it, but it's certainly possible it might get wet or moth-eaten or left on a train or be too much trouble to bring along when you move, requiring you to eventually replace it. So there's a risk either way.

2. Lightweight. I love to read and pretty much always have a book with me, but longer books can get prohibitively sized for reading on the subway or taking on a bike ride, especially in hardback.

3. Underline and write notes, as many as you want, without disfiguring your book or having it be distracting to re-read. Then you can easily access all your thoughts later without having to flip through the pages.

4. The paperwhite has a diffuse lighting feature that allows you to read everywhere even if the light isn't good. Theoretically you can carry a battery book light everywhere too, but I never did that before I had a kindle.

5. Instant gratification. Finish one book in the series and it ends on a cliffhanger, you can just click and start on the next one right away. It still feels luxurious to me to be able to do that. Of course if you're not good at controlling impulse purchases you can spend a lot of money this way.

I still read plenty of regular books- they're great too, and I don't forsee the death of paper books anytime soon. But I also regularly make use of and appreciate all of these e-book features.


+1 I'm another ebook lover. I love having my entire library of ebooks, hundreds at my finger tip. I love to read and have been reading so much more since my DH got me my first Kindle. I was adamantly against ebooks, but he wanted to get it for me so badly that I said I would try it out. I love it so much, I now have three Kindles. My Paperwhite is my favorite. I even have a Kindle Fire I use for knitting patterns, no more printing them out, no matter what I'm working on I can have my pattern with me.

Ebooks are also very good for public libraries. In our library system, we have libraries in a large geographic region that share books through inter-library loan. It's expensive to ship books around. Ebooks cost nothing to ship. They can be anywhere they are needed in an instant.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby jebmke » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:43 am

bUU wrote:Libraries are increasingly declining donations of old paperbacks. There is a cost associated with storing them and such. Around here, a clearer path is donating to religious institutions for fairs/bazaars/sales and such. Our church has noted, especially, a dearth of donations in the last two years, presumably stemming from the transition of many people to e-readers, so whereas five years ago we would have had some standards on donations in terms of condition and such, just to keep the donations within the realm of what we could legitimately present for sale during our fall fair, now we'll take anything since we've actually had to reduce the footprint of your book sale area due to how much fewer books we have to sell.

Our library still takes them. But I also donate stacks of paperbacks to our local Senior Center.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby bungalow10 » Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:45 am

lightheir wrote:I just have to say - I finally yielded and bought a Kindle paperwhite. (I had been using Kindle on the PC and iphone).
...
I know that some of you are going to be aghast at the idea of throwing away books, and that's fine, but my father-in-law who is a retired college professor, amassed thousands of books in his home over the last 30 years, thinking that he would bequeath them all as a large gift to his children someday. No particularly special rare editions, just copies of the classics, historical books, and other intellectual fare. He now actually regrets collecting them all over the years since he too is faced with the enormous task of discarding them all since there's nobody that will buy them (he's tried several methods including local used book dealers, but they're all economically nonfeasible.) Even he's realized that with the internet, it's far more efficient and cost-effective to be able to purchase or download the book in e-format on demand rather than carving out tons of shelf space to store book just in case you might read them again someday (and likelihood of that is often small.)



Enjoy your Paperwhite! I absolutely love mine.

You probably know this, but many classics are available for free as ebooks. Volunteers convert books that are no longer under copyright to digital format and make them available for free.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.
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Re: Paper versus e-Reader

Postby frugaltype » Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:39 am

jebmke wrote:
bUU wrote:Libraries are increasingly declining donations of old paperbacks. There is a cost associated with storing them and such. Around here, a clearer path is donating to religious institutions for fairs/bazaars/sales and such. Our church has noted, especially, a dearth of donations in the last two years, presumably stemming from the transition of many people to e-readers, so whereas five years ago we would have had some standards on donations in terms of condition and such, just to keep the donations within the realm of what we could legitimately present for sale during our fall fair, now we'll take anything since we've actually had to reduce the footprint of your book sale area due to how much fewer books we have to sell.


Our library still takes them. But I also donate stacks of paperbacks to our local Senior Center.


Our local libraries take them, as does the local humane society. They sell them for fifty cents. The library has a large bookshelf at the entrance stocked with these, and periodically has a fill a grocery bag with books for $1 total sale. Volunteers stock the shelf and run the sale.

Some doctors' offices have a free book section in their waiting room.

Don't forget that paperbacks can go into paper recycling free.
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