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Old 02-28-2008, 03:10 PM   #16
DMcCunney
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Resource use by pbooks is pretty ugly - mostly because they use a lot of non-renewable resources, like old growth forests. Not to mention water. Once you get down to only caring about distribution you''d need real audited numbers I think.
Got figures on the old growth usage to back that up?

Paper is a renewable resource, and the last I knew, the vast majority these days does not come from "old growth" sources.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:59 PM   #17
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I quite agree with Charlie: the article merely states something quite obvious, that there is and there will continue to be resistance to ebooks. So many times on this site when someone expresses the view that ebooks may not be the greatest thing since the invention of the wheel (what heresy!) criticisms and even insults are hurled as if a crime had been committed. Yelling at this reporter that she is an idiot and does not understand that ebooks are better for her, for the environment, for the whole world will accomplish nothing. Books as they exist today are still perfectly usable and, as Dennis points out, paper is a renewable resource and is also recyclable. We are all here because we use and like ebooks, but we are, for the moment, a tiny minority, and we'll have to wait while the news about them spreads.
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Old 02-28-2008, 05:58 PM   #18
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Books as they exist today are still perfectly usable and, as Dennis points out, paper is a renewable resource and is also recyclable. We are all here because we use and like ebooks, but we are, for the moment, a tiny minority, and we'll have to wait while the news about them spreads.
When the reactions on things like this get really heated, I wonder what is really stirring the emotional pot. I suspect the actual facts of the matter aren't the point, and the real issue for the person being heated is a feeling of being unimportant and not listened to. When you don't think you are being heard, the reflex is to raise your voice...

My attitude is simple. Ebooks are an additional format for books, and not a replacement. Each format has strengths and uses. I own thousands of pbooks, and will continue to buy them. I also have thousands of ebooks, and will continue to get those, too. Which I get will depend on the book and the purpose. I may get (and have gotten) some books in both formats.

Folks whose primary concern in ebooks is "green" should spend a little time looking at things like semi-conductor manufacturing. Less green and environmentally friendly will be hard to find. If I'm going to feel guilty about my environmental impact, I'll have far more to feel guilty about in my electronic gear than my paper books.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:55 PM   #19
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I have said it before and will say it again:

"Death to the priests of Papyrus!"
"Burn the evil books and their makers!"

Please note that when I theoretically shout these incitements to violence and flaming, my tongue is lodged in my cheek.

Yes, it is ironic, perhaps hypocritical that the author's essay is on-line, and that we debate it merits using no pen or paper. What irks me about her prose is her dire lament of the new world order.

Maybe there is more than one cheek being pierced here. She does seem to understand that new formats are adopted not all ways because of improvement, but do to a (possibly only) perceived benefit.

As for ecological concerns, am sure that I don't know how SONY gets me my steaks.

@ Dennis: Do recycling centers take books? Am not being snarky, but it seems that many such places may place regulations on difficult items.

I like digital texts for their ease of use and ridiculously small storage requirements. Given the choice, will never purchase a physical paper book.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:02 AM   #20
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@ Dennis: Do recycling centers take books? Am not being snarky, but it seems that many such places may place regulations on difficult items.
What's difficult about a book? It's paper. It recycles.

Electronic equipment is another matter, as a fair amount of components are made with highly toxic materials. Where I am, at least, you don't just throw out computers, unless you want fines.

On those infrequent occasions when I have excess pbooks, I generally try to find homes for them where people will read them. The only ones I've ever thrown away have been too badly damaged for actual reading. (Water damage from a burst pipe.)

Many years ago, I spent a period working for a local library. One of my chores was to destroy a set of Encyclopedia Britannica. It had been badly damaged by patrons, and was being replaced, but the action still felt like sacrilege.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:10 AM   #21
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Two years ago I placed a number of books that my mother had compulsively collected into the recycling bin. The workers refused to take them.

I tried several approaches--all requiring a week's worth of waiting--such putting a label to the effect "please recycle these" to drastically limiting the number of books in the bin, thinking it could be a weight-laziness issue.

None of the books were even taken from the nice green bin.
When I filled a plastic garbage can chuck full of books, they were eaten by the big smelly truck no problem.

Such is my personal experience with recycling books.
Burning them...unless you have a place for a bonfire, it is quite a challenge.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:17 AM   #22
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A used book store I frequent (I buy huge quantities of books, some become keepers, some go to a used book store for trade/store credit) will take any books that they don't want to buy and you don't want to keep, and dispose of them by giving them away to prison libraries.
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Old 02-29-2008, 12:25 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Got figures on the old growth usage to back that up? Paper is a renewable resource, and the last I knew, the vast majority these days does not come from "old growth" sources.
I wonder where all the old growth woodchips go then?

Alternatively, ask where the pulp for the papermills comes from. It's common for forestry promoters to say things like "15-20% from recycled paper, 50% from plantations, aren't we good", without noting that the 30% remaining comes from existing forests that are being cut down. This sort of reporting is almost ubiquitous and makes collecting stats on old growth logging very tedious.

"Up to 400,000 tonnes of logs from forests and plantations south of Hobart are to be transported to the Tamar Valley pulpmill each year."
http://www.wilderness.org.au/campaig...ill/hampshire/
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:28 PM   #24
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Why this incredible push to get rid of print books? They are ubiquitous and still very usable and they have the great advantage of being passed around from reader to reader. I love ebooks and I love pbooks too, is there something wrong with me? I have been a lawyer for many years and I have heard many proclamations to the effect that we would soon have paperless offices: well, it hasn't happened because paper has its benefits. There remains a very great need for hard copy (I won't go through all the reasons, they are mostly obvious). For the moment ebooks and pbooks live very comfortably side by side (so to speak) in my world. Here's an exercise: imagine a completely paperless world and then determine how you would communicate. Are you sure you are going to burn all your paper?
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:02 PM   #25
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@ RadleyP:

Verily, paper combined with an ink-deploying device, is amazingly resilient, and useful.

Much of my rhetoric is just that--inflammatory rhetoric made to get a rise out of folks.

I like looking at new technology and imagining new, useful, peaceful ways to use it. Granted there are many limitations to keyboards, electronic touchscreens & styli, mostly cost and time, but there are some advances being made that bode well for a change.

As for your proposed exercise, I think that you had better include the proviso "and there's no electricity." Am communicating with you without even a thought of using paper, and I could do so in a number of ways, like using email, a phone, a sharp stick and some agreeable soil, or even my own voice.
But I take your meaning.

As for the superior tactile experience of paper over another display medium, yes, attending the opera is the best way to hear Wagner, the theatre the true means of appreciating Shakespeare, and a dank, dingy bar the best way to commune with Rock'n'Roll. However, there are digital versions of all these things that for storage and convenience are more than worth the loss of certain sensations in the everyday world. I don't need the text I read to smell or feel a certain way in order to fully enjoy it.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:45 PM   #26
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Perhaps there are two different issues here.
1. Making an electronic book reader uses a fair number of resources, but I hope to have mine for a few years yet. In the meantime, since I've had it, I've bought fewer paper books, saving some trees (maybe).
2. Paper books also use a fair amount of resources. The wood-pulp may be renewable but I'm rather worried about the dioxins used to bleach the paper white. In Pontypool, 10 miles from where I live, people were advised not to eat home-grown vegetables from their gardens because of the risk from dioxins from Rechem, a local waste-incineration plant.
And the quality of paper books is very variable. I've got some 18th and early 19th century books which have barely aged. I've also got some useless paperbacks which went yellow in no time, have glued-in pages which fall apart, and mean that the book is seen as a very temporary product. This sort of thing seems wasteful to me.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:33 PM   #27
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And while books can be recycled, if they do fall apart, most people are just going to toss them in the trash.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:08 PM   #28
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Looks like I'm in the minority, in that I have no special affection for paper books. Well, mass market paperbacks anyway. I'd understand if it was hardbacks, or they had been gifts from someone, or inherited and there's sentimental value. But just normal run of the mill fiction paperbacks? I'll stick em in the blue bin... and hopefully they'll get recycled.
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