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Old 06-23-2011, 01:11 AM   #1
wyndslash
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Cool Books that would be lost forever?

Okay, maybe not forever, but the buying of used books recently has made me curious about those out-of-print books that do not face reissuing and perhaps might not be digitized either. Would they be lost forever? Will we never read their words again? xP (<-- a little dramatizing to make it seem more exciting )

Thoughts? xP

Oh, and I hope everyone will stay nice to each other *hands out cookies*
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:43 AM   #2
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i bought a few very experience expensive out of print books by an author who was much like the jay leno of his day, except more literary, as there was no television--cobb is his name. he was a favorite of zora neale hurston

anyway the books were digitized and are available for free all over. :doh:

i find the prospect that good books and important voices are being "lost" daunting. i don't think that would be possible today, especially not a fahrenheit 451 scenario. i do think that ebook stores should do more to showcase extant ebooks that do not find a large audience today whether they be from the 70s or 10s, either century.
it wouldn't cost amazon or other booksellers much to have a blog, if they don't want to muck up the front page cash cow they have in the kindle store,--which hawks trashy bestsellers, imo. the blog could showcase these older, extant works and the men and women who wrote them. handsome black and white author photos could be produced on the blogs front page with big underlined book links over the photos or below them, etc.

i think the question that your thread raises is: does amazon care about books? they do, certainly, and i guess, ultimately, their job isn't to be an archivist or showcase or smithsonian for forgotten titles of bygone eras.

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Old 06-23-2011, 02:07 AM   #3
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I think academic libraries (ie at universities, state run libraries etc) should really give time and resources to digitising their collections. A lot are probably in copyright and would have to be stored, but at least it would save old reference books and records. As their time came around for copyright expiry they could then be released. A good idea would be to store copies of collections in a remote location or another country, in case of natural disasters or wars.
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:11 AM   #4
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Isn't this what Google's project was all about? Didn't they want to digitize every book ever published?
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GA Russell View Post
Isn't this what Google's project was all about? Didn't they want to digitize every book ever published?
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/enter...gle_12-30.html

ah, didn't remember that. wouldn't have went off on a meaningless tangent had i.

i wonder where they plan to profit with all these seemingly non-commercial projects of theirs
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:31 AM   #6
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Hmm... ebooks exist without regard to Amazon, there are other sources for ebooks, and
ereaders.

OK, now take slow - deep breaths, you two will be fine in a few minutes.

There may be a danger that many great books/stories will be lost, though. I am
wondering about the fate of many. (I thought of Robert Benchley when I read the
above post) I can't even find any ebooks of the Andre Norton "Witch World" series,
a very popular series at one time.

I suppose it is all a part of the winnowing process that gave us the "Classics" that are
proclaimed today, but I don't have to like it.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-23-2011, 02:52 AM   #7
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Keep your finger crossed, Baen are gradually bringing out various Norton titles and reprinting series in omnibus volumes... hopefully WW will arrive soonish...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Hmm... ebooks exist without regard to Amazon, there are other sources for ebooks, and
ereaders.

OK, now take slow - deep breaths, you two will be fine in a few minutes.

There may be a danger that many great books/stories will be lost, though. I am
wondering about the fate of many. (I thought of Robert Benchley when I read the
above post) I can't even find any ebooks of the Andre Norton "Witch World" series,
a very popular series at one time.

I suppose it is all a part of the winnowing process that gave us the "Classics" that are
proclaimed today, but I don't have to like it.

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:35 AM   #8
wyndslash
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Sounds good. It's like what Langtail Press is doing.
I certainly would like it if my university would expand their literary collections and also put some effort in acquiring complete series as well as core collections for several genres such as sci-fi and fantasy.

@ken: i also do not like the winnowing process, as of course, we are just human beings, and surely there will be biases there and perhaps eradication to prevent "radical" social thought? Okay, that sounds a little silly, but you never know what people are capable of xP
Hmm..maybe people who have copies of these out-of-print books could just digitize them and contribute to the effort? But then that'd be considered as piracy xP

Last edited by wyndslash; 06-23-2011 at 05:39 AM.
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Old 06-23-2011, 07:51 AM   #9
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Yes, I thought that was point of the Google Books project. But whatever happened to the controversial "we own the digitial rights unless the copyright owner contacts us?"

eP
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:45 AM   #10
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Anything commercially published has its copyright registered, and that process involves sending two copies to the Library of Congress. So no, they won't be lost completely. Just very, very obscure. And for most books, nobody will ever notice or care.
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Old 06-23-2011, 10:58 AM   #11
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Some of Norton's Witchworld books are available on the darknet, as are many others that the publishers haven't published as ebooks.

If the book is important, it will survive. Even if it's obscure we have Project Gutenberg busily producing ebooks from some of the most obscure books I've seen.

And if you want to help, you can always sign up with Distrubuted Proofreaders and help Project Gutenberg add more books.

Current Books in Proofreading Round 1.
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Old 06-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyndslash View Post
Okay, maybe not forever, but the buying of used books recently has made me curious about those out-of-print books that do not face reissuing and perhaps might not be digitized either. Would they be lost forever? Will we never read their words again? xP (<-- a little dramatizing to make it seem more exciting )

Thoughts? xP
This is the purpose of copyright libraries - to ensure that books are NOT "lost forever".
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:41 PM   #13
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I have heard of several of Norton's WW books on the darknet. I bought them all, most of them used. Most of them are out of print which saddens me greatly.

I hadn't heard that Baen was going to do her ebooks. I thought they only had her Sci-Fi collection (slowly) coming in.
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Old 06-23-2011, 01:33 PM   #14
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I blame the problem on long copyright, rather than "winnowing" down to the classics. Project Gutenberg has shown that people will preserve just about any books, as long as it's out of copyright. (I have a stack to scan for PG the next time I'm out of a job.)

But copyright keeps getting stretched and stretched. What was 56 years in the US is now 95 years (and it may be stretched ever further). Think of the books released between 1923 and 1954 the Project Gutenberg could have scanned if the US copyright hadn't changed in 1978.
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Old 06-23-2011, 03:00 PM   #15
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Ok, bullet vest on. Helmet? Check! Ok, going in:

I reckon losing books is part of the natural order of things. If they go, then they must have outlived their usefulness. It's what shaped out civilization, I believe (thinking of the Dead Sea Scrolls right now; what if they had not been lost? What if the Iliad and the Odyssey had not been Homer's only surviving masterpieces? What if... What if...).
You can only carry so much knowledge and information at one time. Some of it is bound to become forgotten and disappear into the mists of time (*notice the drama, wyndslash*)
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