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Old 01-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #1
Gideon
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Getting Rid of Your Real Books

I've seen a lot of posts regarding people who get rid of their old books, clear up shelf space, etc. I'm just wondering if someone could elaborate on that.

I mean, I get the stuff you may be able to acquire easily in the public domain... but what about other books? Things you buy from one store or another. I couldn't be happier with my eBook reader, and I may buy versions of some of the books I have for it - but I'd never get rid of the originals. The copies you buy are in a proprietary, DRM'd format... and all it takes is them to no longer support it for you to lose your library.

A few years ago, I bought a PDF book from Amazon. Then, a bit ago I tried to open the file to find out that Amazon was no longer authorizing these and upon contacting Amazon was told, more or less, that I was SOL. I bought it, paid for it.... and then couldn't use it at all, with no recourse, because Amazon decided to quit selling those types of eBooks.

So, maybe I misunderstand what people are saying. Anyone care to explain it to me?
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:31 AM   #2
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I would never get rid of any paper book that I had only a DRM version of. It's sort of like the peculiar formatting rules that the Gutenberg project follows - you never know what is going to happen.
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:45 AM   #3
Patricia
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I've been getting rid of the PD classics: so, for example, my Dickens has been replaced with HarryT's excellent versions.
But I have been keeping the paper books where the only electronic version I have is drm'd.
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patricia View Post
I've been getting rid of the PD classics: so, for example, my Dickens has been replaced with HarryT's excellent versions.
But I have been keeping the paper books where the only electronic version I have is drm'd.
Horror! I'd throw out pretty much anything EXCEPT my Dickens. If I threw it out, what would I have to proof-read my Dickens eBooks against?
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:53 AM   #5
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I am one of those people that decided to get rid of his library.

A large percentage of my books were in public domain--that was easy. Another bookshelf or two contained books that I knew I was keeping just for reference. These I could always get in my local library (or on Google Books when pay-per-view comes).

In general, I am trying to change my attitude towards owning content. It is cumbersome to maintain a personal collection of texts, music, and video when the corresponding online databases are becoming more complete, more accessible, and less expensive with everyday. Your .pdf may be obsolete in a few years, but chances are that another electronic version will be available for a fraction of the cost.

I still buy paper books once in a while, but I have no intention of keeping them. I have stopped buying music and video entirely though, substituting those with Pandora and Netflix.

Simplify!
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:16 PM   #6
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Basically if I can procure an electronic version without DRM or a LIT version then the paper version is gone. I'm toying with scanning and OCRing some of my favorite pbooks that aren't available legally electronically.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
The copies you buy are in a proprietary, DRM'd format... and all it takes is them to no longer support it for you to lose your library.
I only buy LIT versions of books which I then convert for my Reader (I'd do the same if I had a Kindle or Cybook) so that I'll be able to convert them to other formats if needed in the future. I guess this depends on how you feel about breaking the DRM on LIT files. I don't have a particular problem since I'm format shifting books I bought for my own use only.


I've been able to get rid of some books, but I am finding it hard to give up my pbook copies of many of them. It's probably illogical, but I just can't make myself get rid of some of them. I have stored some of what I've replaced with ebooks in boxes and no longer have them taking up shelf space.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:48 PM   #8
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I mainly have nonfiction books, many of them obscure enough not to be available for the readers... but I have been scanning my books in very successfully for my class this semester. I can't imagine getting rid of any of my books though... I may not read many more not in the reader, but I love being able to grab one and look something up real quick. And there isn't much resell value anyway, so there's that... lol.. Though I admit it'd be nice to have less book shelves.

Regarding LIT books... I can see how that'd be a good idea, but aren't they quite pricey? I saw a book I picked up at Borders the other day for 10 and for 20 at Powells in .lit format. (I miss Powell's... I used to live in Portland - it really is a City of Books!)
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:27 PM   #9
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when our readers arrive and we can buy the e-versions of our favorite books we will get rid of quite a few of the paper versions. Some books though that we have a complete series of we will likely keep
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Old 01-27-2008, 06:48 PM   #10
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I am not only keeping my print versions, I am adding to my library. Where my Sony Reader replaces print books for me is in fiction and in older books that can only be gotten in the used book market for a very premium price. For example, I would read the ebook version of Bleak House rather than buy a print version because were I to buy a print version, I would only be interested in a first edition in VG to fine condition, an edition whose price I am currently unwilling to pay. Similarly, I would buy and read the ebook version of Savage Survival by Darrell Bain because it is fiction from an unfamiliar author and I am unwilling to buy a print version until I deem his writing worthy of joining my library.

OTOH, a book such as When Asia Was The World, a new nonfiction release, I would (and did) buy the print version rather than the ebook version. This is the kind of book I want in my library as a permanent book that I can refer to and my grandchildren can use, for example, when writing a school report.

I guess what I'm saying is that for me ebooks are either disposable books or are books no longer available in print in first edition versions except at a very premium price.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon View Post
Regarding LIT books... I can see how that'd be a good idea, but aren't they quite pricey? I saw a book I picked up at Borders the other day for 10 and for 20 at Powells in .lit format. (I miss Powell's... I used to live in Portland - it really is a City of Books!)
Depends on the book & the publisher. Some publishers still insist on charging the same 'cover price' they do for the current most expensive print version. So if the only print version out is a hardcover with a cover price of $25.95 then that will be the list price of the ebook too. It then depends on how much the retailer discounts the book. When I buy hardcover equivalents I find I can get many of them for $10-$12. I paid $16 for one once, but when they're that much I tend to wait for the paperback equivalent pricing to take effect so I can get it for $4-$5. Don't know about Powells as I've never bought ebooks there.


I should say that all my comments earlier & here are based on fiction books. I don't think I could ever part with my non-fiction stuff at all. At least not with the current reader I have. When I'm using my non-fiction books I tend to generally want to flip to certain parts of the book to look something up & read a few pages. For me paper is a more convenient way to do that and think it still would be even if my reader had a search function.
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Old 01-27-2008, 08:55 PM   #12
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Even if I have the pBook edition and the eBook edition, I am keeping the pBook.
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Old 01-27-2008, 09:13 PM   #13
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Horror! I'd throw out pretty much anything EXCEPT my Dickens. If I threw it out, what would I have to proof-read my Dickens eBooks against?
But, as a result of your efforts, your versions of Dickens are very much nicer and more accurate than the cheap paperbacks available. And yours are kinder on my eyes than the tiny print in my late grandfather's copies (now given to my sister).
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Old 01-28-2008, 03:25 AM   #14
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I don't think I could ever part with my non-fiction stuff at all. At least not with the current reader I have. When I'm using my non-fiction books I tend to generally want to flip to certain parts of the book to look something up & read a few pages. For me paper is a more convenient way to do that and think it still would be even if my reader had a search function.
Much of my non-fiction consists of programming books, which very quickly "date". I regularly have a "clear-out" and throw out the obsolete ones.
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:47 AM   #15
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Myself, I'm trying to get my books back down to one room. I estimate that I need to replace another thousand or so pbooks with ebook equivalents. I only buy DRM-free ebooks from baen and Fictionwise at present; I certainly wouldn't regard a DRMed book as 'owned'.

I thought this thread would be about how to dispose of your p-books - I have been getting depressingly low prices for old SF on ebay (not to mention the hassle), and the local dealers won't touch the hardbacks.
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