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Author Topic: Traditional or Electronic?  (Read 5011 times)
Daggerstrike
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« on: January 06, 2010, 11:55:46 AM »

So I have seen a lot of debate over e-books and how they will be the downfall of traditional books. Does anyone here use some sort of e-book device? Which do you have? Do you prefer it to a traditional book? Do you find that you don't visit bookstores anymore?

I am torn on the issue. On one hand I read so often and so quickly having the immediate access to the books is huge. Also the cost is lower in the long run because you can get new released hard covers for about $10 in e-book rather than pay the $25-30 for an actual hardcover.

On the other hand I like the feel of a good book. I like walking into a bookstore and touching the books, reading the back, and then glancing over to see something else that I might want to read. It is an experience.

Thoughts?
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Ithunn
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2010, 03:12:25 PM »

I prefer traditional books over e-books. Though e-books are more convenient in the longrun, I can't imagine having a digital collection when I've already started with hard copies. That, and I prefer looking at paper for longer periods of intervals than I do screens. I've read only one e-book, and I read it via my iPhone, so perhaps I wasn't getting experience with the right interface (iPhone screen is small compared to Amazon's e-book reader..... forgot its name).

There is just something about the tactile quality of hard copies that makes the longterm financial benefits of e-books seem less luxurious. I don't have hardbacks, no, I'll save that for later. On pros, both are transportable, etc - I'm wondering if those devices have battery life? That would then make traditional books a more superior medium in terms of the general length of time you'll invest per reading session.
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Tooker
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« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2010, 04:07:08 PM »

I'm a physical book guy as well.  My wife and I are approaching 3400 books, and I just like the way a book feels in your hand, as well as the ease of flipping back to something you want to read again, and other things.  That said, I've been walking more in the last few years, and I've gained a great appreciation for audio books during the winter and on windy/rainy days.

I've read Project Gutenberg books on my PC and on my old smart phone, and neither way bowled me over, although I recognize that they're not really geared for it the way a Kindle or other dedicated hardware would be.


Oh - that reminds me, I've read a few more recent books on my PC that I'd actually recommend as entertaining reads.  Here are a pair of freebies, and I still feel like I'm forgetting one:

Timely Persuasion - it's a little bit Back to the Future, a little bit Quantum Leap, a little bit The Butterfly Effect... good stuff.  The stuff that'd be in the dust jacket is here:
http://timelypersuasion.com/Story.html

The book is here:
http://reader.timelypersuasion.com/Introduction.html


Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask - "Ryan, a shy, caffeine-addicted university student, can turn into a fly. Cassandra, a waitress at a greasy spoon, can make things disappear. They were made for each other... and to battle the forces of evil! Inspired by Sailor Moon, Flyboy and Ms. Place take on the villains who inhabit their world: cigarette barons, redneck tabloid newspapers, and the patriarchy."
http://manybooks.net/titles/munroejother05flyboy.html
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CastNuri
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« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2010, 04:15:16 PM »

The Amazon Kindle became available in the U.K. recently and I've been debating getting one. But most of the reasons I haven't yet decided on this...

(a) The inability to lend books. I like lending books to my friends and borrowing books from their library. On the other hand, I've heard that Barnes & Nobles has released "The Nook" which possesses a lending feature.

(b) I don't travel enough to want to be able to carry lots of books in a light device. If I did, then an e-reader would help avoid the bulk at weight of carrying traditional books.

(c) An e-book will never smell like a real book. I guess this is about the whole bookstore argument too-- I like the smell and feel of books. And the satisfaction of drawing to the end of a lengthy text. I'm only 20 but when I'm older, I want to be able to amass a physical library. It's much more impressive than an electronic device.


The idea of reading on a screen doesn't bother me much. E-ink technology might not be the same as reading a real book but definitely better than a PC or iPhone screen.
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« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2010, 04:34:51 PM »

Ebooks, like MP3s, are incredible for convenience.  Being able to take every book on my bookshelf and compress it into a device smaller than a laptop?  That's pretty cool.  And using it to download indie books by indie authors who couldn't get publishing deals with Simon & Shuster?  Cool!  One place I did a lot of reading was whenever I did indoor cardio at the gym, so having a lightweight device that fits into my gym bag is nice, especially when the book I'm reading is a big fat epic. 

However, I cannot have an author take a pen and sign an autograph on a piece of data.  This is why I still like physical media; like when I go to local shows or cons and buy manga, CDs, LPs, etc. directly from the artists at their merch tables, I like to get them signed. 

My eyes prefer reading on paper, though.  I feel like backlit screens hurt my eyes more quickly than paper pages. 
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Azrael
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 12:37:25 PM »

ebooks will not(hopefully) ever kill the traditional book or we forever lose one of the greatest institutions of any community, the library (of course there are many places, my own town included, that have severely cut library funding...heck I'm pretty sure that Philly closed some of its public libraries...scary stuff).  I admit that I love to buy books and have amassed a decent enough library for a college student (though considering I am a Lit major it isn't too hard since half were books I had to buy for class) but I am a library fiend.  I enjoy browsing through authors and picking up books and most importantly being able to take them out of the library for free...I just don't see how that will happen with ebooks.  Even the portability factor, I just don't find those things all that nice.  I messed around with a Kindle once and found it incredibly awkward.  I'd much rather have a nice paperback in my hands than that thing.  I will admit that I love that new technologies and forms of networking are emerging, but I don't entirely like the way they are.  It seems like the world is moving too quickly in the direction of making everything electronic, automatic, instant.  But I really don't think that ebooks will ever catch on enough to be the downfall of traditional books. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 03:28:12 PM »

Let's not forget either that there is a growing movement of technology backlash.  Like more people are selling their cars and using bicycles to get around.  And I thought that libraries would make a massive resurgence what with the economy and everything; it's a wonderful free resource and can host plenty of events like storytime for kids and book clubs- both inexpensive activities.  So at this point, I don't think Kindle will replace real books.  To a lot of people, the mentality is "well, for the price of a Kindle, I could get a whole truckload of books." 

Of course in grad school, getting PDFs of research articles rather than having to dig through volumes of journals at the library and make photocopies was convenient.  On the other hand, browsing through volumes at the library, I stumbled upon articles for lit reviews that I wouldn't have found otherwise. 
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Ithunn
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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 09:48:22 PM »

People never make enough use out of their local library, but perhaps the idea of use lies solely in their perception. In the library/archiving sphere, I see a stronger push for digitizing certain collections, but not the entire library collection. That would be unfathomable and give people absolutely no incentive to visit. What is particularly funky is the difference they make between scholarly intellectual use and their general collections. I won't go on a rant about it (~I want to be a librarian), but in terms of consumerism of fiction, non-fiction, and other categories of books, libraries should hop on the bandwagon of digitizing new releases for books. More often than not, the library in my community runs out of its two-filled quota new release books that have an indefinite return date because people never return them. I wouldn't mind reading in the library on a Kindle-like system that could be institutionalized if they are out of stock. I just don't see the demand for it right now. Boo on that.
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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2010, 12:49:16 PM »

The eBook scare comes back every few years. Books are something too rooted in our culture to ever go away. There's a human experience that goes on with the tactile feel of books and the romanticism associated with them. Sure, eBooks may catch on, but they'll live side by side with the traditional book.
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Ithunn
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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2010, 03:16:41 PM »

Isn't the ebook scare generally masked as the scare deriving from becoming a too-digitally focused society rather than it being linked to increased illegal book downloading? Supposedly if people are more likely to buy ebooks than traditional books, it would put places like Barnes and Nobles and Borders already at a distinct disadvantage. Haven't heard much about them complaining about ebooks.
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Daggerstrike
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2010, 01:51:48 PM »

Well, based on my reading habits I decided to purchase a Kindle. We will see if the world ends because of it.
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2010, 11:05:50 PM »

A friend of mine recently bought a Kindle - she showed it to me this week.  It's pretty sexy, but didn't convince me.
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« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2010, 08:16:51 PM »

Oh, something came to mind: Using the word "traditional" is silly. Just say "regular" books, versus electronic books. There's nothing particularly traditional about books, considering how varied the format can be. :P
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Daggerstrike
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« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2010, 09:51:28 PM »

Oh, something came to mind: Using the word "traditional" is silly. Just say "regular" books, versus electronic books. There's nothing particularly traditional about books, considering how varied the format can be. :P

You are such a pedantic fuck.
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2010, 12:01:51 AM »

You love it in your asshole. Shut up.
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