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Old 06-15-2011, 08:59 AM   #1
jbcohen
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Attacks on electronic books

What can we conclude about the recent attacks on electronic books from such places as wired.com and Andy Rooney and others?

Can you see any parallels between the recent resistance to electronic books and previous innovations such as the movement from tapes to CDs and CDs to MP3s and still earlier is the move from type writters to word processors?
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:13 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jbcohen View Post
What can we conclude about the recent attacks on electronic books from such places as wired.com and Andy Rooney and others?

Can you see any parallels between the recent resistance to electronic books and previous innovations such as the movement from tapes to CDs and CDs to MP3s and still earlier is the move from type writters to word processors?
I see more of a parallel to the move from LPs to CDs, but that could just be my age!! There is a certain hard core fanaticism and nostaligia associated with LPs in the audiophile communtity, just as there is in print books in a reading community. Those who express those views typically do so by bashing the new kid on the block, not by pointing out the virtues of the older format, and the older formats do have some virtues. A cd will never sound as good as a new LP played back on really good equipment, just as an ebook will never feel like a new leather bound edition of your favorite book. But progress is progress, for the most part the average person finds the CD inperceptible in sound quality to the new LP and doesn't really care about holding a paper book, but there are those that do.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:22 AM   #3
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I see more of a parallel to the move from LPs to CDs, but that could just be my age!! There is a certain hard core fanaticism and nostaligia associated with LPs in the audiophile communtity, just as there is in print books in a reading community. Those who express those views typically do so by bashing the new kid on the block, not by pointing out the virtues of the older format, and the older formats do have some virtues. A cd will never sound as good as a new LP played back on really good equipment, just as an ebook will never feel like a new leather bound edition of your favorite book. But progress is progress, for the most part the average person finds the CD inperceptible in sound quality to the new LP and doesn't really care about holding a paper book, but there are those that do.
True.

However, there is no need for it to be a complete break. LPs are still being made & sold...granted the DJs are doing most of the buying, but still the format survives. It will be the same when it comes to books. Unless there is some dire need to stop making paper, there will always be books.

[Edited to Add] I would go so far as to say, that if we choose to go paperless in other areas (bills, pamphlets, etc), we can pretty much assure that we will always be able produce books.

Last edited by Nyssa; 06-15-2011 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:43 AM   #4
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My own humble opinion - I wish I could eliminate paper books entirely, one of the companies that I deal with for books simply does not offer electronic versions. Electronic books have saved my hind end from drowning in books at home.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:48 AM   #5
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i wish the out of print books that i want have digital versions, but i don't think i will ever see that coming so i'm buying rather costly used copies.
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:57 AM   #6
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I'm not sure I'd characterize them as "attacks"... but all of the recent articles have essentially been lamentations over the idea of change, rather than serious pro-vs-con comparisons of either format (and by serious, I don't mean "con-ebook vs pro-paper"). None of them have offered anything new or unheard-of.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:03 AM   #7
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True.

However, there is no need for it to be a complete break. LPs are still being made & sold...granted the DJs are doing most of the buying, but still the format survives. It will be the same when it comes to books. Unless there is some dire need to stop making paper, there will always be books.

[Edited to Add] I would go so far as to say, that if we choose to go paperless in other areas (bills, pamphlets, etc), we can pretty much assure that we will always be able produce books.

I agree. There will always be the older format. That is why I point to some of the virtues of them. It isn't necessarily a bad thing to have accessibility to older formats, just as change isn't necessarily bad.

The post above this one said it best it isn't as much of an attack on the new format as a lamentation to change. Some just want the older format.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:04 AM   #8
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My own humble opinion - I wish I could eliminate paper books entirely, one of the companies that I deal with for books simply does not offer electronic versions. Electronic books have saved my hind end from drowning in books at home.
As I said before, ereaders are excellent for reading text-only books. The problem develops when you have other elements in the book. 6'' screen is not convenient for displaying pictures, tables etc, specially when you need text explaining these elements. e.g. even A5 book can have a picture on left page with text explaining it on right page. With 6'' screen you get a small picture as it is and loose details, text on next page so you have to constantly switch pages.

If you increase screen size you loose part of portability, comfort etc. The solution is different types of screen (roll out, foldable....) but that technology is still years from being available for mass market. Until then you'll have such books either in paper form or limited to computers. Former is what we have now, later doesn't take advantage of ereader main point, portability.

I think right now we are at point where we were ~15 years ago regarding audio-visual. CDs were becoming available for music, slowly replacing audio tape cassettes but we still used cassettes for movies as DVDs were not yet available. New technology was able to replace lower end demands (audio only) but not yet high end where you need more information (audio and visual).
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:06 AM   #9
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Ebooks are not just a format change; they're a platform change. It's a change to the human/book relationship: visual, haptic, possession. Many people see that relationship as part of their entire experience with books. I don't feel quite the same (a little), but I understand their perspective.

It's not really parallel to changing what source material is transmitting the signal through speaker wire.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:26 AM   #10
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Ebooks are not just a format change; they're a platform change. It's a change to the human/book relationship: visual, haptic, possession. Many people see that relationship as part of their entire experience with books. I don't feel quite the same (a little), but I understand their perspective.
I understand the perspective, and I can sympathize. It's part of the experience to hold the book, to turn the page, to find a book-mark (or use a dog-ear) to hold your place, etc... I don't really care one way or another, just so long as I'm reading. But, I can see where some others are coming from. It's part of their ritual, their reading habits. And it's hard to change that.

I DON'T LIKE CHANGE! - As Stewie would say.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:30 AM   #11
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I understand the perspective, and I can sympathize. It's part of the experience to hold the book, to turn the page, to find a book-mark (or use a dog-ear) to hold your place, etc... I don't really care one way or another, just so long as I'm reading. But, I can see where some others are coming from. It's part of their ritual, their reading habits. And it's hard to change that.

I DON'T LIKE CHANGE! - As Stewie would say.
One huuuuuge advantage of ebooks: you don't get dog-eared ones... If there's one thing worse than writing in a book, it's folding its pages...
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:40 AM   #12
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I understand the perspective, and I can sympathize. It's part of the experience to hold the book, to turn the page, to find a book-mark (or use a dog-ear) to hold your place, etc... I don't really care one way or another, just so long as I'm reading. But, I can see where some others are coming from. It's part of their ritual, their reading habits. And it's hard to change that.

I DON'T LIKE CHANGE! - As Stewie would say.
Another part of experience is having 23*16 cm, 900 pages hardcover book. It's hard to hold it up comfortably for a long time and it's bulky so it takes a lot of space in your bag.
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:52 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan View Post
I'm not sure I'd characterize them as "attacks"... but all of the recent articles have essentially been lamentations over the idea of change, rather than serious pro-vs-con comparisons of either format (and by serious, I don't mean "con-ebook vs pro-paper"). None of them have offered anything new or unheard-of.


Same story, different technology. Every time something comes along that constitutes a format or technology change to a familiar item, this happens. Sometimes the resulting articles are good, pointing out things that people should be aware of, but others come off as "this is a bad idea so you shouldn't like it either!"

At this point, ereaders are not so pervasive that one doesn't have a choice (not counting, of course, indies that are only publishing digitally), so I have little patience for those who try to tell me I'm causing the sky to fall by choosing ebooks.
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:07 PM   #14
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If you increase screen size you loose part of portability, comfort etc. The solution is different types of screen (roll out, foldable....) but that technology is still years from being available for mass market.
The problem is that a paper book is a single format customized for a single content. I have books as small as 3" x 3" and as large as 12" x 16". The printed book can have any size and shape, but it's limited to a single content. Essentially, you're buying a new "display device" each time you buy content in paper form.

So, what size of ereader screen would accommodate my 12" x 16" book which, by the way, is full color and has pages that fold out to 15" x 21" (and weighs 13.5 pounds) as well as my 3" x 3" book?

It's just silly to think that any one ereader would fit all content any more than any one size of print book would do. When I keep reading "the Kindle does not do textbooks or 'whatever' well" I just slap my forehead and go, "Well, duh! Here's another newsflash: Your Vespa scooter won't tow a boat!"
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Old 06-15-2011, 12:26 PM   #15
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A cd will never sound as good as a new LP played back on really good equipment,
why not? What audiophiles (rather than music connoisseurs) really enjoy and is lacking in CDs is the warm background sound of the needle sweepingly wearing off the vinyl tracks. They don't really have magical ears that can truly distinguish the analog fine-grained noise comprising sound waves from the nano square pits and heaps comprising the digital equivalent.

BTW, CDs are even more dead than dead tree books.

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just as an ebook will never feel like a new leather bound edition of your favorite book.
why? Can't you buy a leather case for your ereader?
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