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Old 01-04-2008, 12:01 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Do you have a lit of these more then 200 ebook stores selling Mobipocket format ebooks?

Is it
https://www.mobipocket.com/ebookbase...?Type=Retailer
?
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:03 PM   #17
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If I started ranting that pbooks were useless because the books I wanted to read were not available, people would laugh at me and rightly so.
Very appropriate answer, hedro.

shousa, as Harry tried to point out, your statement that the Kindle is tied to Amazon is inaccurate. In fact it is the reverse is what is true. Amazon ebooks are tied to the Kindle.

On a further note, you have not defined what you mean by "average user". This could be considered the "average ebook reader" and if that is the definition then I think those of us on this forum represent the average user and therefore your argument fails.

Another definition might be the "average person". With this definition, your argument makes no sense because the average person usually doesn't read very much.

Finally if you mean the "average reader" you must keep in mind that "average" often does not provide adequate information about a distribution because it may be skewed or have a very large variance. That said, think back about the introduction of personal computers, if you are old enough. My first computer, in the early 1980's, was a RadioShack Color Computer. Any user today would laugh at it's capabilities (or what they would see as the lack of capabilities). I won't bore you with details of that computer (you can look up the information in history books) but let's just say its capalibities as a computer make the current ebook readers look fantastic and very easy to use. As someone else stated, the ebook reader technology is in the kindergarten stage.

As to my own preferences - yes I am a gadget freak who really likes to read and hates being somewhere with a single book when I reach the end and yet have hours to spend before I can get something else to read. The ebook reader, holding several books, is an ideal answer for me.

You can see that my reading requirements may be very different to Harry's (I don't particularly enjoy reading the classics) but the ebook reader is the right solution for both of us. In 20 - 30 years, look again at your premise and see the state of reading electronically stored material.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:11 PM   #18
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Brilliant! Thanks, Sparrow.
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Old 01-04-2008, 12:38 PM   #19
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If I started ranting that pbooks were useless because the books I wanted to read were not available, people would laugh at me and rightly so.
I wouldn't be laughing. I regularly go out looking for major publisher's novels to buy, only to discover that it's already been pulled off of my bookstore's shelves after being there for a few months to a year.

With a shrinking number of used bookstores out there to find slightly older titles, and even Amazon not being able to supply some books after their first paperback run, I see the value in e-books making those books available. Books no longer have to vanish just because they are not "brand new" anymore.

Now, as far as the e-book readers (and I believe we are limiting this discussion to "dedicated" readers, and not multi-use devices like PDAs), if you can settle on a reader that satisfies your need for operability, I think you can find most novels out there in a format that you can convert to the reader's format, with just a little work. It's obviously not an optimum solution, many people would consider it too much trouble.

In the future, possibly every e-book will be released in a universal format that can be ported onto your reader automatically (like having your Sony Reader automatically convert an ePub file to LRF). For those who have trouble finding the book they want in the right format (or not wanting to bother to convert), they might have to wait for that next step.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:39 PM   #20
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Points taken but again small stores without the same range as paperbacks are irrelevant to the average user who I have defined as needing the same range as paperbacks, Fictionwise and Baen's range may be fine for your needs but do not invalidate this point (I am just repeating this point again).

To put it bluntly (excuse caps) THE BIG STORES WITH A BIG RANGE ARE ALL I AM TALKING ABOUT NOT SMALL STORES WITH A SMALL RANGE NOR PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Kindle ebooks cannot be put on the Sony Reader (without hacking) and neither can Sony ebooks be put on Kindle - THIS IS MY POINT. So having now defined it more accurately I think you can see where I am coming from. Apologies again for my lack of a full definition.

The books in question are bestsellers - the first book (which is not available as an ebook from your sellers) being a new york times bestseller as this link shows. The fact you are ignorant of this book is not an argument.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Fir...me_%28novel%29

I really think obscure small stores are not an issue for my defined "average user" and certainly not for me.
Ok, so you want someone to explain to you why you should buy a reader when you can't get the books you want in electronic form, and the books you can get are largely tied to a specific brand device.

Here is your answer:
You should not buy a reader until the books you want are available in electronic form, and you should do your research about what formats are readable on what device before you buy.
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Old 01-04-2008, 03:11 PM   #21
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I think I nearly qualify as an average user. I have no financial interest in ebooks or readers, I love reading, and I hate gadgets (although I will make limited exceptions occasionally when there's one I need or really want). I love my Sony Reader. It's not perfect. I couldn't care less about DRM or not because most of what I want to read is either public domain or stuff that I convert. About 40% of what I read comes from the Sony store and has DRM. I am aware of the pitfalls of DRM but don't care because I don't expect this gadget to have a life of more than two or hree years anyway. If I get that much from it, it will have been well worth it to me. If I get more, I'll be elated. If those ebooks are lost after I have read them all, I can live with that although I'd obviously prefer to keep them. The number of titles that I can buy as ebooks is also increasing and I presume will be very high in a couple of years. Until then, I still have plenty of stuff I want to read that is available and I don't mind reading the occasional pbook when there's something I really want now that isn't available. So I think your conclusion is wrong that ebook readers aren't ready for the average user except for one part of what you said:

My only real complaint is the geeky tech junk that you have to put up with to use it. For example, I use PDFLRF all the time and it has saved me because it works. But it is a slow, painful annoyance that I find typical of dealing with gadgets. Having to use it reminds me of the antivirus updates and scanning and the backups of data and upgrades of software and defragging of hard drives and other such incredibly terrible time-wasting junk that I have to deal with to use a PC. I can't believe the time and effort that the average PC user (and that includes me) is willing to expend just to use one. Having to run PDFLRF is just as necessary for me so I do it. I don't fool with the other utilities and hacks for the Reader because there's nothing there I absolutely need. I want something my grandmother could use (if she were around). I don't want to search the internet for sites that have what I want. I don't want to do format conversions. I don't want to manage my library. I just want to read. Amazon had it right by making all of these steps trivial for non-geeks to use the Kindle, in my opinion, and Sony needs to catch up in that regard.
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:18 PM   #22
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Average consumer? Heh...heh, heh.....sorry, I don't think there really IS such a beast anymore. The farther technology and information progress the wider the spectrum of people using it grows. You just have to look at particular areas of said spectrum.

That said, I fear that I would classify as one of those "techno-fr33ks" so my opinion would carry no weight. Thankfully, most of the people I associate with are closer to the mythical "average consumer" since they consist of non-technical people anywhere between the ages of 12 to 76 with careers ranging from slacker to retired. (Or retired slacker if they come from an artistic or executive background.) Their opinions should carry weight. And their opinions are: about 15% like (and use various) ebook readers. About half of the rest like them but can't see using them themselves due to cost/use factors or general needs. It seems that those who read the most are the ones who ended up getting readers. (Huh, who could have seen that coming? People who read a lot are more inclined to use ebook readers than, say, people who's hobby consists of sculpting cocker spaniels out of butter.)

On the third hand (which I keep in a jar by the door, right next to the face) you are absolutely correct in that there is no ebook reader that does everything you listed. But then again, there is no paper book that does everything you listed. Cripes, so many books I want to read are out of print it makes me cry. Though if you want to keep them forever, digital beats paper in most cases. (Curse you, silverfish! And you, brittle aging paper! Fie on you, floor/weight restrictions and fire hazard codes!)

Hmmmm, actually, there is NO appliance that for its purpose that does what you ask. Let's say I watch movies. I know! I'll get a DVD player! But wait! Can I get every movie ever made for it? Will it be fully compatible with everything that comes out? Will it circumvent the DRM to make "backups" in the case of loss? No? Well then, I guess as an average consumer I will never get a DVD player until it does all these things, right? Especially if I can still get them on VHS and Beta.

Stupid comparison? Err, actually, yea it was. Sorry. Lets try something closer to reality. Look at your list again. Substitute "MP3 player" for "ebook reader" and "music" for "books". Do the biggest sellers measure up to the criteria you've proposed? Does ANY MP3 player match up? No? Guess these "overpriced gadgets" will never sell then.

It all boils down to the same advice everyone gets when they ask "should I get". That advice is "Yes, if it does what you want it to do. If not then don't". Some people are getting HD and Blu-ray discs. Most aren't. Some people love their Tivos. Most don't care. Some people swear by Vi*g*ra (and hopefully at least one other person cares) but most everyone else won't.

Putting my "techno-fr33k flag" up, I will say that I do believe we are approaching a new tipping point with the release of the Kindle. (Don't like the Kindle personally, just feels weird and price/features for me....not feeling it. But I HAVE recommended it for some people who got it and loved it because it fits their needs.) With Amazons release of this "revolutionary" product, ebooks have just been pushed into a major amount of public perception. So many more people will see that "Kindle edition" on books they want to read that it can't help but start to seem like a standard method of reading. And bless us all, as soon as someone starts to make some sort of grossly large amount of money (or is perceived to make said large gross of money) others will jump in for a cut. And the more product that exists, the more people get used to it and the more it has to be revised so that it can be sold to people with more and more defined needs. With luck, ebooks will eventually be DRM free and easily converted between standards so that they can be used on any reader.

Far fetched? Perhaps. (Say, have you read that charming little blurb about the last of the big music DRM supporters getting rid of DRM for digital downloads so that they can sell more music to more people using different players? Hmmm, wonder why that happened?)
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:17 PM   #23
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You like your ebook reader?

Then respond to this thread to tell those of us (me included that really loves the IDEA) that cannot commit to purchasing an ebook reader.

Or did you buy it cause you love useless gadgets?!

Here are my arguments why all ebook readers now are SIMPLY NOWHERE NEAR GOOD ENOUGH for the average consumer IMHO.

If you have any financial or other ties to Sony, Hanlin, Cybook, Kindle or Irex then please do not participate at all, I want the view of the AVERAGE consumer not seller.

If we take the views that
1) an Ebook reader tied to one ebook store will die because of restrictive DRM
2) Ebook readers need more than one ebook store

Then the conclusion is:
- All current ebook readers will die.
i have to agree with shousa bleak outlook on ebook readers . . . I love reading and about 3/4 years ago settled on a pda (palm T3). I quickly realised that although the palm T3 is a brilliant device it just doesnt cut it for comfortable reading. Having relegated it to pda duties which it performs really well, I use my desktop for reading ebooks. At the time dedicated ebook devices were only stories in the uk.

Following technology over the years like the eInk screens, OLPC projects etc I got very excited assuming these advances would bring around dedicated ebook reader devices in technology as well as dropping their very steep prices.

Four years down the road, and dedicated ebook readers are still only stories in the uk! Yes ok, maybe there are a small amount of uk users that have bought from abroad, but its so hard to find and decide on which one, that Im tempted to wait another four years (probably only to find these devices are still only stories in the uk!) Just out of interest, I dont know about the rest of the world, but here in the uk, the pda market also seems to be slowly dying as well.

Oh and DRM imho will also be the crowning glory to the tombstone on dedicated ebook devices.
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Old 01-04-2008, 07:30 PM   #24
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i have to agree with shousa bleak outlook on ebook readers . . . I love reading and about 3/4 years ago settled on a pda (palm T3). I quickly realised that although the palm T3 is a brilliant device it just doesnt cut it for comfortable reading. Having relegated it to pda duties which it performs really well, I use my desktop for reading ebooks. At the time dedicated ebook devices were only stories in the uk.

Following technology over the years like the eInk screens, OLPC projects etc I got very excited assuming these advances would bring around dedicated ebook reader devices in technology as well as dropping their very steep prices.

Four years down the road, and dedicated ebook readers are still only stories in the uk! Yes ok, maybe there are a small amount of uk users that have bought from abroad, but its so hard to find and decide on which one, that Im tempted to wait another four years (probably only to find these devices are still only stories in the uk!) Just out of interest, I dont know about the rest of the world, but here in the uk, the pda market also seems to be slowly dying as well.

Oh and DRM imho will also be the crowning glory to the tombstone on dedicated ebook devices.
I agree completely.
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:50 AM   #25
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So none of you really tried to answer my challenge and instead discussed the definition of the word "average", told me to wait until the ebook world gets "better", stated that public domain stuff with Baen was enough of a range etc etc.

The lack of any real answer exactly on topic (assuming my definitions as I wished) to my challenge has been illuminating. If you guys do not know why you have one, other than for public domain, and do not mind the DRM then I simply cannot understand why someone would rent books for a limited amount of time and/or go thru conversions of ebooks - waste of time for a busy guy like me.

Thank you all for your opinions and comments.

I have decided once again to leave these forums for a few years (as I did before for 1.5 years) seeing no compelling reason at all to purchase an ebook reader at this time.

Sorry to be a party pooper but time is a wastin'.
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Old 01-05-2008, 03:57 AM   #26
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I have decided once again to leave these forums for a few years (as I did before for 1.5 years) seeing no compelling reason at all to purchase an ebook reader at this time.

Sorry to be a party pooper but time is a wastin'.
Your choice of course, but while you're waiting for that "perfect device" many of us are happily reading eBooks. In my own case, I've been doing so for over 20 years.
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:53 AM   #27
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What Harry said. As you pointed out in your thread title, shousa, lots of new thngs are a challenge to the "average" user. What's at issue is if you're willing to accept the challenge. If you'd rather wait until someone hands things to you on a silver platter, be prepared to keep waiting while the rest of us use the devices at hand.

Personally, if I took the atitude that the things I own and do had to be perfect, I wouldn't read a paper book, drive a car, eat a meal, buy a CD, use a pen, own a cellphone, use money, or any number of other things. None of those things work perfectly, as far as I'm concerned. But I use them anyway, and make do.

But as Harry indicated, it's up to you.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:07 AM   #28
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I know some of those shops are not in business selling Mobi format ebooks. The list needs to be updated.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:35 AM   #29
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What Harry said. As you pointed out in your thread title, shousa, lots of new thngs are a challenge to the "average" user. What's at issue is if you're willing to accept the challenge. If you'd rather wait until someone hands things to you on a silver platter, be prepared to keep waiting while the rest of us use the devices at hand.

Personally, if I took the atitude that the things I own and do had to be perfect, I wouldn't read a paper book, drive a car, eat a meal, buy a CD, use a pen, own a cellphone, use money, or any number of other things. None of those things work perfectly, as far as I'm concerned. But I use them anyway, and make do.

But as Harry indicated, it's up to you.
Well said Steve. Life is learning. If you are unwilling to learn new things then you have quit living.
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Old 01-05-2008, 09:52 AM   #30
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I know some of those shops are not in business selling Mobi format ebooks. The list needs to be updated.
That list seems to be a genericly updated list, with anyone who registers as a retailer. If they open up a shop or not is irrelevant.
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