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Old 02-14-2008, 04:30 PM   #1
Patricia
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"Death of the Book" London Times article

A rather shallow article on the death of the paper book and the rise of e-reading.

Quote:
A new generation of e-books is emerging that will challenge the real-book. Amazon launched its Kindle e-book device in November and sales have been strong. It may be expensive at $399 and there are as yet no plans to roll it out beyond the United States, but bibliophiles should be very afraid.
Link: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...cle3359899.ece

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Old 02-16-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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Patricia:

That woman is a flipping idiot. Amazing how people can criticise something without even using it.

Posted a snarky comment, and the website crashed.

Absolute drek. Neo-luddites are so irritating. Even so, being aware of such vapid hang-wringing and misunderstanding is good to know. Ignorant, differing viewpoints just help us plan for the coming revolution. The author will be first against the wall!

;-
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:12 PM   #3
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A nice piece of fiction
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Old 02-17-2008, 11:15 PM   #4
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I don't mean to be a pessimist here, but I think there is some validity in the article. I am not saying that books will all-of-the-sudden stop being printed and sold, but ebooks are beginning to make quite a face. Maybe I am a little bit biased though, I have large vision problems so I already rely heavily on technology to compensate, so I have already almost entirely abandoned the traditional book for its electronic counterpart. But I will say that there is just something about the feel of a book that I don't think will ever go away.

I was reading a sci-fi novel called "Rainbows End" and it discussed a near future in which there were no more books in active print by publishers. I don't see that happening in the next 10 or even 15 years, but I think it will happen eventually.

I think a good option would be to have a code printed in every traditional book that is bought that would allow you to get a free copy of the same book in electronic format. I see nothing wrong with this since the book has already been purchased. Then a consumer would have a choice. Perhaps they like to have a traditional book in front of them while they relax in an armchair or their bed at night relaxing, but when they travel they just don't have the space to take the book along with them, so they load the electronic copy on to their ebook reader to take with them. I think this would be ideal and I think publishers should take this idea into consideration.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:03 AM   #5
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The article is empty of anything that isn't already known by pretty much everyone. In fact, the only thing that we have learned is that the author thinks the transition to e-books will be painful (to Antonia). She's reacting like a little girl about to get a flu shot, and shrinking from the needle.

Everyone who doesn't think this matter through seems to think such a transition will be "painful." They don't think about the rising costs and waste involved with producing paper books that no one is buying, being driven back and forth on fossil fuels, being sent back to incinerators and landfills after filling bookstores and warehouses. That will be the "pain" that drives industry and public alike to e-books, the same way it drove both groups to paperbacks a century ago.

If she'd thought about it for more than a second, she'd realize that e-books will lessen her pain.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 02-29-2008 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:24 AM   #6
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MY wife told me of an article (I must add that I have not yet read it) from Slate that claims that an ebook actually is less "green" than the paper equivalent since its production and use actually consume more power. Who knows? Are we here so sure? Is a hybrid car more fuel efficient than a comparable gas-powered one?
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radleyp View Post
MY wife told me of an article (I must add that I have not yet read it) from Slate that claims that an ebook actually is less "green" than the paper equivalent since its production and use actually consume more power. Who knows? Are we here so sure? Is a hybrid car more fuel efficient than a comparable gas-powered one?
A single ebook, sure. Switching to digital information, no way in hell.
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:57 PM   #8
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I don't understand this response. I am talking about producing, distributing and displaying the book electronically, and that takes power. OTOH, I freely admit that I don't know. Note that according to the numbers the Prius is not the most fuel-efficient car in the U.S. (it's a Honda Civic).
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:57 PM   #9
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I don't quite understand the harsh reactions to this article. I thought it was cool that she admitted that change was coming. It didn't appear that she has experienced the joy of e-ink, but didn't she mention that the idea of a portable library is appealing?

As the "I'm scared of change and technology" articles go, I didn't think it was that bad. Might even spark some people to investigate e-books more and try to find out what all the fuss was all about. At least she is discussing it rather than ignoring it and saying it won't happen. Music publishers made this mistake. They thought that digital downloads would go away if they became bullies, but that's not what happened and now they are pinching themselves by not taking advantage sooner.

I do find it ironic that she was saddened by the change e-books are bringing, yet her article was posted on the web. Plenty of people are saddened by the fact that newspapers are becoming more web based.

Last edited by tsgreer; 02-27-2008 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 02-27-2008, 01:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radleyp View Post
MY wife told me of an article (I must add that I have not yet read it) from Slate that claims that an ebook actually is less "green" than the paper equivalent since its production and use actually consume more power. Who knows? Are we here so sure? Is a hybrid car more fuel efficient than a comparable gas-powered one?
Since one e-book reader can store potentially thousands of books... and since Slate probably does not know how much power is consumed by producing paper, printing the book, transporting it about and displaying it in bookstores... Slate doesn't even remotely know what it's talking about.
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Old 02-27-2008, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Since one e-book reader can store potentially thousands of books... and since Slate probably does not know how much power is consumed by producing paper, printing the book, transporting it about and displaying it in bookstores... Slate doesn't even remotely know what it's talking about.
That has never stopped Slate in the past from making jack*ss statements.

In the current world the writing, editing, and layout of the books is the same for both paper and electronic. Only in the production, distribution, sales, and reading of the books does it change. My back of the envelope calculations indicate that for a modest selling mainline book (say 5,000 copies) electronic is far less invasive than the electronic version. The numbers are even more impressive for electronic books as you go in either direction from there as 5,000 copies seems to be the best showing for print books.
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Old 02-27-2008, 04:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
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My back of the envelope calculations indicate that for a modest selling mainline book (say 5,000 copies) electronic is far less invasive than the electronic version.
Uh... say that again?
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:51 PM   #13
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Bad article. It should be titled "Here's some reactionary nonsense, with no research".

Also the newspaper is "The Times" not the "London Times".
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:20 PM   #14
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Resource use by pbooks is pretty ugly - mostly because they use a lot of non-renewable resources, like old growth forests. Not to mention water. Once you get down to only caring about distribution you''d need real audited numbers I think.

One other thing to think about is to what extent your lissoose replaces a full computer. If I spend a couple of hours a day using a lissoose that takes (say) 1W to use instead of my desktop PC that takes about 200W, that's a reasonable saving. Not enough to pay for the lissoose, but it does help.
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Old 02-27-2008, 10:30 PM   #15
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I just read the article. I think it's fairly good. It's not negative about ebooks at all. It's just pointing out that bibliophiles shouldn't be afraid of the ebook. I love the quote about Achilles. I think you guys are all being a bit harsh on her.
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