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Old 06-10-2011, 07:30 AM   #1
astrangerhere
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"Why wired.com is wrong about ebooks"

Last week, an editor on wired.com wrote an editorial about why ebooks aren't there yet. You can see that story here. For those that don't want to read the whole story, I've copied his 5 points below.

1) An unfinished e-book isn’t a constant reminder to finish reading it.
2) You can’t keep your books all in one place.
3) Notes in the margins help you think.
4) E-books are positioned as disposable, but aren’t priced that way.
5) E-books can’t be used for interior design.

This week, there has been a very nice point for point rebuttal peice on Laptop.com.

Just thought I'd share as this is always an interesting coversation, but with all the recent naysaying, it was nice to see the other point of view.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:06 AM   #2
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I think it's a good reply. On the first point, whenever I see my Kindle lying around I remember the books on it that I haven't read.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:11 AM   #3
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My two points:

1) Who are these people who are writing all over their books? I'm not the biggest reader in the world but I like to think I read more than the average person and have read a lot of books in my time but I can't remember a single time I have ever written in a book other than to put my name on the front cover.

2) I don't agree that ebooks are disposable. They should last far longer than regular books. Not sure if that's the kind of disposable he had in mind.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:11 AM   #4
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From the first article: "And what about the serendipity of sharing your thoughts, and being informed by the thoughts of others, from the messages in shared books?"

Yes, serendipity is exactly what I feel when I buy a used book and discover someone has written "OMG so true" and "??????" next to entire paragraphs they've underlined. No wait, not serendipity, rage.

Per Laptop.com"I will admit, part of my annoyance at this section of the post is my utter, utter horror that there are actually people in the world who defile perfectly wonderful books by writing in them. I can’t imagine. It gives me hives."

Also that.

I like paper books. There are some good arguments for their value over ebooks, but tech writers insist on making stupid ones.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:12 AM   #5
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i enjoyed reading this rebuttal

i also greatly agree that "ebooks don't cost nothing". saying that ebooks cost nothing sounds to me like they think little of authors and everyone who's involved in the whole process.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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No offense to the author, but the piece reads like it was written by someone who doesn't read very much.
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OtterBooks View Post
Per Laptop.com"I will admit, part of my annoyance at this section of the post is my utter, utter horror that there are actually people in the world who defile perfectly wonderful books by writing in them. I can’t imagine. It gives me hives."
My second hand copy of The Siege of Trencher's Farm has one word scribbled out in blue biro. Can't say what the word was here, but I had fun imagining the sort of person who would take the time to scribble it out as if that would somehow also erase it from their memory.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:50 AM   #8
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My favorite is argument #5, books as interior decoration items. There's a much cheaper way to do that than either ebooks or pbooks. Why not just use the props that real interior decorators use then staging a model home? They are empty cardboard boxes that look like a stack of classic books. They are as empty of content as the article in Wired, but it presents the right image.
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Old 06-10-2011, 10:56 AM   #9
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I liked Laptop.com's rebuttal to the "taking notes" point. While I will sometimes have an index card used as a bookmark in a pbook that I'll scribble stuff on...I'd set someones head on fire and submit them to a 10 hour marathon of Shamwow and "Sweatin' to the Oldies" commercials if I caught them writing in one of my books.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:12 AM   #10
astrangerhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garrybuck View Post
My favorite is argument #5, books as interior decoration items. There's a much cheaper way to do that than either ebooks or pbooks. Why not just use the props that real interior decorators use then staging a model home? They are empty cardboard boxes that look like a stack of classic books. They are as empty of content as the article in Wired, but it presents the right image.
Of course, a google search of "decorative books" gives you numerous results of companies that sell "books by the foot" for you to fill shelves with. You can buy books by color, age, vintage or have your current books wrapped in decorative covers. It was the silliest thing I've seen in a long time.

Last edited by astrangerhere; 06-10-2011 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:13 AM   #11
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I've very, very rarely written in books. The only time I can remember doing so is highlighting textbooks in college. For the rare paper books that I want to make notes about now, I use a separate notebook.

This could be because I have a serious aversion to damaging paper books. In that regard ebooks are actually better because adding notes doesn't affect the original file.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:18 AM   #12
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As far as keeping books all in one place, sure you can. You keep them in Calibre. What device you're using to read at the time is of only peripheral interest, just drag/drop onto the device, Calibre will worry about fixing the format.

And even though at times in my life I've had multiple rooms filled with bookshelves, I'm not a fan of books as interior design. They're just a pile of things, there are other things equally as nice looking that I could put there, and certainly for less money; a bookshelf full of books could easily cost several thousand dollars.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garrybuck View Post
My favorite is argument #5, books as interior decoration items. There's a much cheaper way to do that than either ebooks or pbooks. Why not just use the props that real interior decorators use then staging a model home? They are empty cardboard boxes that look like a stack of classic books. They are as empty of content as the article in Wired, but it presents the right image.
Yes, books can be beautiful decorating items, but....

You need less lving space without them. As I convert my pbook library to ebook, I need less space to store things I use ocasionally. I haven't downsized yet, but my living space keeps looking neater and neater.

The same for piles of audio CD's as well.

Someday I expect to have all my permanent entertainment in a mini messenger bag...
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #14
astrangerhere
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Someday I expect to have all my permanent entertainment in a mini messenger bag...
When I was younger, I was always jealous of Captain Picard's ability to read all of Shakespeare off of his little datapad. Thank you Gene Rodenberry.

I have converted most of my substantial library to ebook and sold or donated the DTBs. Most of my library was classics, so this was fairly cheaply done, and our house is much, much neater for it. I have converted most of my music as well, same story.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:01 PM   #15
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I don't find books to be very decorative. Here and there they can add a bit of chaos to an otherwise "cold" room, but shelves full of books of all sizes and odd colors just don't seem aesthetically pleasing. And in my case, they sit around in piles because I don't have shelves for them or wall space for more shelves. Most are in boxes in the attic and the garage.
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