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Old 09-17-2008, 07:34 AM   #1
Megapode
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"Beautiful, perfect, supreme chunk of paper"

(The title is a quote from the article.)
There is a new video article on the BBC website today:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7619303.stm
that talks about the new (in the UK) Sony reader and why, in the opinion of the reviewer, it can not replace books.

Personally, I found it an interesting article but with a strong prejudice against the ereader. I can't read this ebook in the dark without turning on the light...! (But it is like paper, you can't do that with paper either...)

Off my soapbox (for now) would be interested to know what other people think of the piece...
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:16 AM   #2
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Edit.

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Old 09-17-2008, 09:20 AM   #3
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It's good for any article to promote reading, in whatever form.
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
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positive about the p-book.
Not sure that the p-book would agree with you at the point he threw it into the bath! As a lover of books that upset me...
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Old 09-17-2008, 09:58 AM   #5
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The problem IMHO is that a lot of people looking at Ebook readers are looking at reading ebooks as a Either / Or Preposition. Not as Complementary distribution channel or device.

They often overlook or discount its benefits for a number of people, which may not apply to the population at large.

Still, its good to see the discussion coming into the mainstream as opposed to the world or Geeks and Early adaptors
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Old 09-17-2008, 01:54 PM   #6
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Well, as an e-reader owner I do look at it as an either/or proposition, at least on a book by book basis. If I buy the p-book I do not buy the e-book and vice versa.
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Old 09-18-2008, 03:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Well, as an e-reader owner I do look at it as an either/or proposition, at least on a book by book basis. If I buy the p-book I do not buy the e-book and vice versa.
On a "per book" basis then yes, I agree. Where I differ from some is that I'm happy if I have enough eBooks to justify having an eBook reader (and I have several lifetimes' worth of reading lined up!); I don't demand that every book be available as an eBook; I'm happy to buy on paper those which aren't currently available as eBooks.
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Old 09-18-2008, 11:51 AM   #8
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Books Do Furnish a Room

"Books do furnish a room", Anthony Powell suggested" - This is a telling quote that 1) is very true and 2) reminds me that one of the best books written in the 20th century is not available as an E-Book as far as I have been able to find.
Please correct me if I am wrong.
In any case Mr Powell would probably roll in his grave if he saw an E-Book reader!
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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I prefer Ebooks. I still read p-books ,but the fact of the matter is, pbooks take up space, they aren't environmentally friendly, and they tend to be one time reads in most cases. I've started using my library heavily for the books I want to read that aren't in ebook form, as well as donating my old books to them, and donating money to them to buy books.

For me, the phrase that "books furnish a room" is an accurate phrase, but it does depend on what kind of book you have. My grandmother reads Harelquin type romance novels. She has a room in her house that contains thousands of these things. These books weigh about half a pound each. She has 5000 of them. She literally has a ton of romance novels. She'd like to do other things, but can't. Libraries won't take that volume of books from her, and she doesn't want to just throw them all away, and somewhere in there she's got some she likes.

So, I showed her the reader. And she squealed. Literally, squealed. Now she wants one and sees the future as going that way. And more importantly, she's tech savvy, so she can save her books on computer and not clutter up a Reader with finished books.

All in all, P-books are great. They're wonderful. And I go to them when I need to. But I live in a small condo, and I already have around 2000 books myself , many of which I read once and that do not justify the space they take up.

So as we go forward, I'll favor Ebooks over pbooks, simply because I have a lot of clutter in my life, and the less of it I have, the better.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:18 PM   #10
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Every time this comes up, I sympathize with the physical book lovers. I agree with the opinion that a large part of the joy of reading comes from the tactility of a physical book. I love well-made, high-quality paper. I also miss, with e-books, the ability to browse through a book, picking out favorite passages. Physical books truly engage more of the senses than e-books.

That said, when I choose "what to read next", and browse my bookshelf of unread books, and look at my list of unread e-books, I overwhelmingly choose to read an e-book next. I wish I could define why. I don't miss the kinesthetic pleasure of a physical book. Or, cradling the Sony Reader in it's nice leather case, with it's elegant, sleek design, provides a good enough analog that there is no barrier to sinking into the story, which, when all is said and done, is the point.
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #11
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memo to self: once ebooks become the norm, open a little book-smelling/fondling store where I can milk the tactile crowd dry.

I wonder if there is something like "smell of books" perfume?


Quote:
The Scent

English Novel taken from a Signed First Edition of one of my very favorite novels, Russian & Moroccan leather bindings, worn cloth and a hint of wood polish
Is there anything that can't be found on the intarwebs?
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Old 09-18-2008, 12:34 PM   #12
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Wow. I'm considering buying it just to check what it smells like. Probably book dust.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylor514ce View Post
I agree with the opinion that a large part of the joy of reading comes from the tactility of a physical book. I love well-made, high-quality paper. I also miss, with e-books, the ability to browse through a book, picking out favorite passages. Physical books truly engage more of the senses than e-books.
Taylor not aiming this at you specifically just this opinion in General.

I dont get it! I read books for the content and would NEVER enjoy a book more because its printed on nice paper or in a good cover.
Im the same with Music and as long as the basic quality is good dont care if its on the radio or on CD or MP3.

I would equally enjoy a good story on a tatty 6th Hand paperback just as much as on a beautiful leather bound 1st edition.

Is it an age thing?
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Old 09-20-2008, 09:51 AM   #14
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well, i love a well-made book as much as anyone. i enjoy the feel of quality paper, i appreciate on an esthétic level a well-designed cover and a lovely typeface with a nice layout. i don't intend on getting rid of ALL my paper books and i don't see why ebooks *should* necessarily replace them completely, ever (or at least, not in the near future).

however, i found the overwhelmingly positive attitude towards paper books of this article a bit... exagerrated, even misleading.

books are inexpensive : the last paper book i bought cost me 18€. granted, that's cheap compared to a sony, and granted had i waited for the pocket edition it would probably have cost 1/2 or 1/3 that. but nonetheless it adds up. buying books is an investment. i could never afford to pay for every single book i read ; thank god for my public library.

The book is readily portable... well, the omnibus volume of Léo Malet's Nestor Burma novels i have weighs probably about 2 kilos, which is far too heavy to cart around town in my bag, and printed on onionskin paper, which makes it particularly fragile, especially since the publishers in their wisdom did not see any necessity to provide a rigid cover to protect this unweildy, fragile mass ; just a slightly heavier (but very supple) stock with a plastified treatment. i wouldn't carry that book with me anywhere except from the shelf to the chair, and it's so inconvenient to read that i can't read it in bed. it's a lot like trying to read a telephone directory (remember those ?). ever see one of those in mint condition ? not after being used once or twice...

Being modular, it is easy to store. ...assuming you have the space. i emphatically do not. i'm pretty sure i'm not alone in this. the poster whose mother has litterally a ton of romance novels that she cannot get rid of probably would also disagree that paper books are all that easy to store.

Oh, and probably lasts forever. ha !! tell that to my litterally DOZENS of cheaply-made paperbacks whose pages are falling out in clumps ; tell that to all the paper which has turned yellow with age and become so brittle that even turning pages with precaution they will frequently tear, or corners will break off completely. "forever" ??? most of those things were probably printed in the 70's. that's barely long enough for them to be read by 2 generations of readers. and that's leaving aside the fact that if they are stored in a humid house they will mold and rot, and i won't even mention the more "extraordinary" damage than can be done by babies or cats or natural disasters like floods or fire...

...the book can easily be recycled. well, there is a whole thread around here about the greenness of e-reading as compared to paper, so i won't try to address this, except to say that even recycling is an imperfect solution, not least because it's not reliably done. (and for all the other concerns, see that other thread).

so there are some interesting points in that article, but i think people are so overwhelmingly attached to the idea of paperbooks that to some extent they lose objectivity. that's normal ; there is clearly an emotional element involved in reading and there is to some extent a fetishistic element in our relationship to paperbooks (for some ; not all, clearly). hopefully the blinders will start coming off soon though.
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Old 09-20-2008, 05:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stustaff View Post
Taylor not aiming this at you specifically just this opinion in General.

I dont get it! I read books for the content and would NEVER enjoy a book more because its printed on nice paper or in a good cover.
Im the same with Music and as long as the basic quality is good dont care if its on the radio or on CD or MP3.

I would equally enjoy a good story on a tatty 6th Hand paperback just as much as on a beautiful leather bound 1st edition.

Is it an age thing?
Don't think it's an age thing because I suspect I'm far older than you and have always read for content. Same with MP3s. Once it became easy to purchase DRM free MP3s I stopped buying CDs.

It's all about the content.
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