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Old 01-10-2008, 04:04 PM   #16
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The hurdle remains the cost of the reader itself ($350-$800). I would never have bought one, but my wife and daughter, in true holiday spirit, got me a Kindle, and I must admit that I find it very handy to use (especially to read a large format newspaper, such as the NYTimes or WSJournal). But $400 up front is something I find that even my monied friends find unacceptable, though I have gotten some of them intrigued. The 2% number thus seems to me on target and unlikely to change until the price of the readers comes way down.
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Old 01-10-2008, 07:38 PM   #17
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Airplanes are daily filled with travelers hauling around paperback books. Before I got my 505, I carried 5 or 6 with me on long trips. Since I've had my 505 I feel liberated from all the excess weight. I get countless inquiries from other travelers about the 505 and where can they get one. The demand exists. The supply is pitifully too low. For a traveler, ereaders are a dream come true. I no longer have to worry about stacks of read paperbacks cluttering up my shelves. But, I can read them all again in a few years and they won't be faded or have broken backs. They'll always look fresh. E-books will grow to replace a lot of paper, not all because the occasional reader doesn't want to spend $300. The frequent or heavy reader (travelers) will plop down the money in a heartbeat if a device is available. But the 505 would probably cost a lot less if they were more available. The cost of the 505 is a clear case of low supply against high demand keeping cost high.

Last edited by allen.gotwald; 01-10-2008 at 07:39 PM. Reason: wrong word
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Old 01-10-2008, 08:34 PM   #18
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Trees might be renewable, but the expenditure in energy and use of toxic chemicals needed to produce, store, transport and deliver paper products, not to mention the lessening of trees' ability to capture and store carbon and purify the air when they are cut down, make paper a surprisingly non-green (brown?) technology.
Bear in mind all of the other things wood products are used for besides paper, and all of the other uses for paper besides books.

There's an old joke:

Mrs. Petrovich calls for her son Ivan in their Moscow apartment. She opens her purse, hands him money, and says "Here is 70 kopeks. Go to the newspaper kiosk. Get Isvestia for me, Pravda for your father, and Cosmonaya Pravda for yourself!" "Yes, mama", say Ivan, and goes off to run the errand. On the way out the door of the building, he runs into his father, who asks what he is doing. When he explains, his father says "We don't need the newspapers, we have the radio!", and takes the money to buy a shot of vodka. Ivan returns empty handed.

When Momma asks what happened and Ivan explains, she sighs, opens her purse again, and hands him more money. ""Here is 50 kopeks. Go to the newspaper kiosk. Get Isvestia for me and Cosmonaya Pravda for yourself!" "But Momma", protests Ivan. "What about Poppa?" "What about him?" snorts Momma. "Let him wipe with the radio!"

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You expend a lot of energy and resources to create one reader, but after that, you can read the equivalent of multiple thousands of paper pages, making e-book readers greener products than paper.
You can't wipe with a reader. And while a lot more stuff is now made with recycled paper, reducing the number of trees cut down, the fundamental process of paper making remains the same. Making trees into paper won't go away, unless you plan to forgo things like paper towels and toilet paper.

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This is why I think e-books may not completely replace paper books, but they will most likely replace most paperback books, which have generally been considered by the industry as the "poor man's disposable" book. Better to have collectible hardbacks, and e-books as the disposable format, saving on a lot of paper production.
I somewhat concur, but ereaders have to get a lot cheaper, and ebook publishers have to agree on a standard format. I'm not holding my breath.
______
Dennis

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Old 01-11-2008, 09:57 AM   #19
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You CAN wipe with a reader - but it hurts and doesn't get you very clean.
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Old 01-11-2008, 10:02 AM   #20
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You CAN wipe with a reader - but it hurts and doesn't get you very clean.
How do you know?

Wait, now that I think about it, don't answer that.

Cheers,
Marc (I bet the Kindle would hurt, with all those edges)
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:30 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
There's an old joke...
I like you. you're silly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
You can't wipe with a reader. And while a lot more stuff is now made with recycled paper, reducing the number of trees cut down, the fundamental process of paper making remains the same. Making trees into paper won't go away, unless you plan to forgo things like paper towels and toilet paper.
I don't wipe with my paperbacks, either. (If I did, my wife would make me put all my bookshelves outside. Bada-bump-tash!) I'm not saying paper should go away, just that it is wasteful to use paper for books when a more practical and environmentally-friendly alternative now exists. Save paper for important stuff... like wiping.
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Old 01-11-2008, 11:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
I like you. you're silly!
Thank you. I'll be here all week...

Quote:
I don't wipe with my paperbacks, either. (If I did, my wife would make me put all my bookshelves outside. Bada-bump-tash!)
Of course you don't. That's what Sear's Catalogs are for.

Quote:
I'm not saying paper should go away, just that it is wasteful to use paper for books when a more practical and environmentally-friendly alternative now exists. Save paper for important stuff... like wiping.
Oh, I agree. I just don't consider saving paper to be the most important reason for ebooks. It's a fringe benefit. As mentioned, the daily newspaper is the first place to look if saving paper is the big motive.
______
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:17 PM   #23
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Other comments:

@maggotb0y: Sure, paper books can be gift items, but so can e-books. That would come in the form of gift cards, like iTunes gift cards or Starbucks gift cards, that allow the user to get what they want, or what you preload onto it. (We discussed this on another forum a while back, the idea of preloading an e-book on a card.)

@radleyp: Yes, the devices are expensive, and yes, prices should come down. But it is important that e-books are readable on many other devices, many of which people already own... like PDAs, iPods, smartphones, blackberries, laptops, UMPCs, etc. There should be as much effort to get people to try e-books on hardware they already use, so they don't have to feel left out by not having a $400 piece of hardware. (I personally think Amazon's greatest mistake in e-book promotion was locking their books into Kindle. I hope they will change that, especially if Kindle numbers do not turn out to be as high as they'd like.)

@dennis: Saving paper may be a fringe benefit... but it's a pretty big bunch of fringe, and worth saving. Add magazines to books and newspapers, and you're talking about a lot of... wiping.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:19 PM   #24
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A butter knife does a better job.
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #25
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Or maybe a paint scraper?
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:21 PM   #26
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Much cheaper anyway!
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Old 01-11-2008, 12:58 PM   #27
sebastien
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Don't quote me on this as I have no actual data to back it up, but I would assume that the eBook reader would be the most polluting solution for a few reasons.

A) Most books today contains recycled papers and the process is usually done in 'industrialized' country where environmental laws are strict since the industry once abused their manufacturing process (at least where I live). Also, unless you decide to burn your books, your carbon foot print should be positive as the threes used up CO2 in the air while growing and the book will be far more stable to hold it than the same three rotting or burning in a forest. Like it or not, responsible three harvesting is necessary for the environment.

As for the eBook readers, they use tons of more armful chemicals to create those O-so-helpful transistors and other electronic/plastic parts. A good order more of them. Added to the fact that the majority of the electronics these days comes from China an other countries where feeding the masses is still a higher priority than the protection of the environment. So planet wise, paper book is probably better.

B) Paper books have an expected lifespan of a what? ~50-100 years. Can you say the same for your reader? I'm pretty confident that in 5 years, the majority of us will have either upgraded our readers for a faster, bigger and/or color model, or simply bought another one because ours will have broken down. Once again, paper seems better to me.

This said, I think the eReaders will start to really pickup once a company like Iliad, can get their price down to a more reasonable level. Their size and the fact that you can annotate is the key factor for the medium to gain momentum in the University and the work place, where electronic documents are common and (DMR) free. I see so many electronic documents being printed everyday for the soul reason that the reader don't want to read them on their computer. The book industries is only a small fraction of all printed material and I find it odd that they should be the one to support the development of the e-ink technology.

Seb
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Old 01-11-2008, 01:11 PM   #28
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Salut Sébastien!

Welcome to the Mobile Read spotlight!

You're right on all counts. All it comes down to is a question of balance in the amounts of what is being used and in how much of it is wasted or can not be recycled. So far I've read more than a hundred books on my device. If every device owner does the same and more, the equilibrium is reached where the balance will tip in favor of electronic support... theoretically. But still, anything renewable is better for the planet.

I would also like to add that for every paper book or magazine read, there is an other that has been scrapped and wasted.

BTW We have a French thread here and soon a whole section. You'd fit right in!

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Old 01-11-2008, 01:47 PM   #29
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Until e-readers become very inexpensive there is another use for p-books. If I am relaxing at the beach I might want to read a book but would not want to leave a valuable device laying around unattended when I go for a swim.
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Old 01-11-2008, 04:15 PM   #30
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BRIBE Steve Jobs !?!!!

Hi!

My suggestion for this problem is very simple:

Get Steve Jobs (of APPLE inc.) interested in eBooks - in at most 1 year's time ereaders will sell like iPods (won't they!).

Maybe someone here can find out by dubious means / bribery / blackmail / robbery /surgery (please add to list at your own pleasure!) WHAT are Steve's favourite book titles.
THEN get an eReader, find these titles and send 'em to him!

I'm sure he'll get cramps from the very unAPPLE-like way we have to do without touch screen / intuitive handling / uncool design and so on. (Must admit here I'm typing this on a 6year-old white iBook, still very usable.)

My only demand: if anyone from this community is invited to the APPLE-eReader-opening party at Cupertino - I WANT an invitation, too!
(Otherwise I'll talk Steve out of it again !!!)
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