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Old 08-20-2010, 05:06 PM   #1
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E-Books Make Readers Less Isolated

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/fa....html?src=tptw
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:22 PM   #2
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From the article:
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Social mores surrounding the act of reading alone in public may be changing along with increased popularity. Suddenly, the lone, unapproachable reader at the corner table seems less alone.
I rather disagree with that. Whenever I read a pbook in public, people were always asking me what I was reading and would try to strike up a conversation. When I'm reading an ebook in public, I'm usually approached and asked "Is that kindle? Can I see it?" (And, of course, by "see it" they always mean "touch it with my grubby hands".)
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Old 08-20-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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Looked like nonsense to me. Of course people will approach you when you have a New Shiny Thing like an iPad that is being heavily hyped. Once everyone has one, it becomes less interesting.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
Looked like nonsense to me.
To me too.

The demi-god Charlie Brooker had this to say on the topic last February:

Quote:
But the single biggest advantage to the ebook is this: no one can see what you're reading. You can mourn the loss of book covers all you want, but once again I say to you: no one can see what you're reading. This is a giant leap forward, one that frees you up to read whatever you want without being judged by the person sitting opposite you on the tube. OK, so right now they'll judge you simply for using an ebook – because you will look like a showoff early-adopter techno-nob if you use one on public transport until at least some time circa 2012 – but at least they're not sneering at you for enjoying The Rats by James Herbert.

The lack of a cover immediately alters your purchasing habits. As soon as I got the ebook, I went on a virtual shopping spree, starting with the stuff I thought I should read – Wolf Hall, that kind of thing – but quickly found myself downloading titles I'd be too embarrassed to buy in a shop or publicly read on a bus. Not pornography, but something far worse: celebrity autobiographies.

And coverlessness works both ways: pretentious wonks will no longer be able to impress pretty students on the bus by nonchalantly/ demonstratively reading The Journals of Soren Kierkegaard, at least until someone brings out an ebook device with a second screen on the back which displays the cover of whatever it is you're reading for the benefit of attractive witnesses (or more likely, boldly displays the cover of The Journals of Soren Kierkegaard while you guiltily breeze through It's Not What You Think by Chris Evans).
Linky:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...-ebook-convert
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:13 PM   #5
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Yeah. . .well I live in Israel, a country which is both gadget crazy and where e readers are virtually unheard of. You'd think I'd be asked about my Sony Reader constantly. So far, one person asked me about it when I was in the mall and assumed it was an iPad. One waitress at a restaurant commented that it was "so cute" and one person at my writing critique group was interested and then gave a litany of reason why he would "never own one." Other than that, I sit around for an hour reading and eating my meal at a corner table in the mall's food court and get left utterly alone. Even the guards, whom you would think would at least want to know what it is I'm carrying (if for no other reason then to make sure I don't have a bomb) just have a bored look as they pass it on to me on the other side of the metal detector. My iPhone, which pretty much everyone has in this country (like I said, we're gadget crazy and everyone seems to have a touch screen phone and the iPhone has sold like mad) has gotten more notices than my reader, but even that doesn't attract much attention. . .

So yeah, still isolated. Then again, I prefer it that way. I don't want to be interrupted every five seconds while I'm trying to read a book.
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Old 08-20-2010, 07:50 PM   #6
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When I read books, the people who talked to me were other readers. When I'm reading on my Kindle it's frequently people who don't read but want to know what my new "toy" is.

"Oh, you have an IPad. Don't you love it? Isn't it wonderful? Oh, oh, I want one."

"It's an ebook reader."

"Never mind."
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Old 08-20-2010, 10:48 PM   #7
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"Given that some e-readers can display books while connecting online, there’s a chance the erstwhile bookworm is already plugged into a conversation somewhere...."

“But the e-reader changes that also because e-readers are intrinsically connected to bigger systems.”

I wonder what these people would make of Tweeter, Facebook, Blackberry, et al.

Should we tell them?
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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For all the whining about the blogosphere killing off "real" journalism, it's amazing how much drivel the "real" press cranks out. Oh, wait -- I missed the fact that an actual dermatologist is quoted here.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:20 PM   #9
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The large number of people interviewed does buggle (intentional) the mind.

To be fair, it is a slow summer. And they know atleast as much about ebooks and ereaders as their subscribers do.

Just about anyone on MR would be able to fill up more space than the NY Times would like to print.

Then too look at the NY Times section that they put this informative piece in - Fashion & Style.
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Old 08-20-2010, 11:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Thornton View Post
Looked like nonsense to me. Of course people will approach you when you have a New Shiny Thing like an iPad that is being heavily hyped. Once everyone has one, it becomes less interesting.
Precisely. I used to get asked about my Kindle all the time. Three years in and it's pretty rare now. I don't mind. I don't really enjoy being interrupted while I'm trying to read.
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:15 AM   #11
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I have yet to see another reader in the wild ....

.... perhaps I need to get out more ....
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:57 PM   #12
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An airhead quoting an airhead ... this is journalism? It must be: it was in the New York Times.

Quote:
“There may once have been a slight stigma about people reading alone, but I think that it no longer exists because of the advancement of our current technology,” she said. “We are in a high-tech era and the sleekness and portability of the iPad erases any negative notions or stigmas associated with reading alone.” -- Debra Jaliman, a dermatologist in Manhattan
What social stigma -- reading alone in public -- is she talking about?!? :

Last edited by SensualPoet; 08-21-2010 at 01:00 PM.
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Old 08-21-2010, 01:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
I have yet to see another reader in the wild ....

.... perhaps I need to get out more ....
They last two readers I saw out in the wild other then mine was a K2 and a KDX. And it's been ages since I saw them.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queentess View Post
I rather disagree with that. Whenever I read a pbook in public, people were always asking me what I was reading and would try to strike up a conversation. When I'm reading an ebook in public, I'm usually approached and asked "Is that kindle? Can I see it?" (And, of course, by "see it" they always mean "touch it with my grubby hands".)

Hmmm, I always had people asking me what I was reading with paper books too. However, now that I'm reading on my nook, nobody ever seems to ask about it! And this in a small town where you are not likely to see many e-Readers or iPads or anything fancy. It's a mostly poor area.

I've had mine sitting in its stand at restaurants, pulled it out in line at the grocery store, etc... nary a word from anyone. I'd kind of like to show it off, but seems like no one is interested.

Did have a waitress ask if I liked it, and after answering, I asked her if she'd seen many e-readers. She said she'd seen a few, but not many. I haven't seen a single glimpse of a reader besides my own and my husbands as yet.
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Old 08-21-2010, 03:40 PM   #15
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Last week I found myself standing between a Kindle and an iPad user on the train. I regularly see Kindles on the way to and from work; only occasionally another Sony. I don't think I've ever seen a different kind of ebook reader.

I like questions about the reader; love telling people how much I enjoy it & how much use I get out of it. But I'm usually shy about showing it off, 'cos much of what I read is explicit fanfic. I find myself wanting an Astak Pocket Pro because it's got a faster processor & would be quicker to switch between books; I'd prefer to keep a "safe" book around to show people how it looks without subject them to bizarre porn. ("No, really; it all makes sense in context, see, there was this Pink Kryptonite and Poison Ivy's sex-pollen plants, and...")
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