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Old 01-17-2014, 05:11 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Salgueiros View Post
Another thing i like to see in my books is handwritten notes, and making those in an ebook, though possible, are not as easy, immediate, and good looking as they are in a paper book. I like to see handriting (mine or other people's in case it is a used book) in the margins of a good book. I find it a great frame for a nice text. And if the notes are insightful and intelligent, even better.
Writing a school paper (I'm thinking history here since I have a history degree) or something is a bit of a pain with an ebook also. It's a lot easier to flip from page 50 to page 300 and back again for a paper.

Then again if you read a book, remember a point but don't remember where it's at, it's easier to find in an ebook (since you can search for a keyword). But a google books search on a PC normally does the trick for that.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:39 PM   #62
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Hardcovers will last forever.
Except for fires. Or floods. Or any other disaster that will render the paper unreadable.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:05 PM   #63
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And I can hopefully get them signed at some point!
I'm still refining my technique, but I've gotten several ebooks signed. I create a blank page on my iPad mini, the author uses a stylus and a paint program to sign it, and I tip it into my copies of their ebooks. I even tweak the metadata to reflect the existence of the signature and where/when I obtained it.

There's even (at least) one company that specializes in producing autographed editions of ebooks; the author sends them the master ebook, a set of email addresses, and a corresponding stack of autograph page images, and the company incorporates the autograph pages and sends the personalized ebooks to the recipients.

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And as a bonus, if it's a new release and I don't want to wait (the case with my favorite authors), often the hardcover is cheaper, or at least, about the same price.
My experience has been exactly the opposite; the hardback is distinctly more expensive. However, there are cases where a mass-market paperback is priced lower than its ebook during the preorder period.
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Old 01-18-2014, 04:41 PM   #64
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This was before there were ebooks, but I remember when you could fit the IRC and Regs into one volume if you used very thin paper and tiny print. I wrote notes in tiny print in every open space. There was NO space in margins, or between paragraphs. That would be so difficult with an ebook. For that reason, to this day I print out portions of the code that I need to annotate. Ebooks are wonderful to find what you need, but for really analyzing, you need paper. I wonder if it is the same for Drs?
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by pidgeon92 View Post
Except for fires. Or floods. Or any other disaster that will render the paper unreadable.
True. But there's a lot of files from the 90s that are becoming neigh unreadable. Digital obsolescence is a risk. I spent hours trying to open some writing my dad created in the 90s. .doc files on a modern PC. Apparently they started off in WordStar or StarOffice or something.

For example, I actually encountered some powerpoint / word files at work that were created in Office 97 or older. I could not open them for the life of me. And I tried installing Office XP in a WinXP Virtual Machine - still no luck opening them. I wasn't quite willing to go track down a copy of win98 or whatever to open them. We ended up just deleting them.

Just because it's popular now doesn't mean it will be that way in 10, 20, or 30 years. At least DRM-removed ebooks are a bit safer in that regard.

A hardcover will simply *work* and that's one of the nice things about it. And when I know it's a book I will still want to read in a couple of decades I like that about it.

People are way too confident that their files will be openable in the long run. The prevalence of epub and mobi mean it's likely at least for the next decade or so, but so were the formats I mentioned above.

Don't get me wrong - I like ebooks plenty - but for archival/long term purposes, a sturdy hardcover is better in my mind. Or both. I like that approach the best.

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 01-21-2014 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:27 PM   #66
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True. But there's a lot of files from the 90s that are becoming neigh unreadable. Digital obsolescence is a risk. I spent hours trying to open some writing my dad created in the 90s. .doc files on a modern PC. Apparently they started off in WordStar or StarOffice or something.

For example, I actually encountered some powerpoint / word files at work that were created in Office 97 or older. I could not open them for the life of me. And I tried installing Office XP in a WinXP Virtual Machine - still no luck opening them. I wasn't quite willing to go track down a copy of win98 or whatever to open them. We ended up just deleting them.

Just because it's popular now doesn't mean it will be that way in 10, 20, or 30 years. At least DRM-removed ebooks are a bit safer in that regard.

A hardcover will simply *work* and that's one of the nice things about it. And when I know it's a book I will still want to read in a couple of decades I like that about it.

People are way too confident that their files will be openable in the long run. The prevalence of epub and mobi mean it's likely at least for the next decade or so, but so were the formats I mentioned above.

Don't get me wrong - I like ebooks plenty - but for archival/long term purposes, a sturdy hardcover is better in my mind. Or both. I like that approach the best.
The difference being that EPUB and AZW3 are just plain old xhtml. xhtml is not going to be obsolete, unlike proprietary not-fully-understood formats that have reached their expiry date re: support from the manufacturers.

Next thing you know, plaintext files will be acquiring digital obsolescence as well.

Last edited by eschwartz; 01-23-2014 at 04:02 PM. Reason: specified the xml aspect of xhtml, in response to a literalist pedant; I added the "x"
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Old 01-21-2014, 03:44 PM   #67
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I probably have about 30 physical books. I had to be ruthless after I made the move to ebooks. Books were talking over my apartment. The books shelves were over flowing to breaking point and I'd taken to piling them on the floor and putting them anywhere I could. I had to get rid of most of them, because even keeping a bookcase would have been tempted me to start pilling books up again.
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Old 01-21-2014, 05:04 PM   #68
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I've contacted a second hand store to see what my paperbacks would fetch.

Me: "I've got a lot of paperbacks in English, many complete series, in very good to excellent condition. The current price is between €6.99 and €9.99. What can I expect to get if I sell them to you? (I was hoping for €1, maybe €1.50.)

Answer: "I don't want them. E-Readers provide the ability to get books in other countries for very low prices, so they destroyed the second hand book market. And then I'm not even talking about just illegaly downloading the books. It doesn't matter how cheap you are: free is still cheaper."

He only wanted "special" books, about the local district, written in the local dialect, collector's items, that sort of stuff. Same with DVD's. ("Something special? If not, and they're just movies, I'll give you €0.25, if you have at least 10. Then I can sell them in a batch of 10 for €5.)

Even selling the most expensive books I have (around €17 new, can be sold at €10, maybe €12) will fetch me €5 at most after deducting postage and public transport costs to get them posted... IF I can actually sell them, but those are only a few. Maybe I'll try it and see what happens with those.

In short: I think I'm going to give most of the books and DVD's to a local charity book shop. Their entire profit goes to charity. Better to put them there than to just throw them out with the old paper.

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Old 01-21-2014, 06:57 PM   #69
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I've been wanting to build one of these little free libraries to put books in. http://littlefreelibrary.org
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:06 PM   #70
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I've been wanting to build one of these little free libraries to put books in. http://littlefreelibrary.org
What's people stopping from just taking all the books and be off with them?
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Old 01-21-2014, 07:12 PM   #71
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What's people stopping from just taking all the books and be off with them?
Nothing. Though I know a couple of people who have made them in their neighborhoods and haven't had that problem. I guess I'm optimistic about human nature or something. That the joy of sharing books will be greater than the desire to take them all. Plus, they have no great monetary value.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:25 PM   #72
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Nothing. Though I know a couple of people who have made them in their neighborhoods and haven't had that problem. I guess I'm optimistic about human nature or something. That the joy of sharing books will be greater than the desire to take them all. Plus, they have no great monetary value.
There's one of these in a friend's neighborhood, and it's nearly always got a decent supply of reading material for all ages in there. A decent amount of turnover in the books indicates it's pretty regularly used. And she's not in a great neighborhood overall, but it hasn't been vandalized or apparently raided in any fashion. It's a really neat idea.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:41 PM   #73
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I got rid of most of my books years ago. The only books I kept are my HC Stephen King Books. Which I have 34 or 35 of.

Oh and of course my cookbooks.

I just don't have the space for them. Plus once I got my first reader I never looked back.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:51 PM   #74
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With digital obsolesence, it's not so much that the format becomes unreadable and the medium it is stored on becomes unreadable. I can open an old trunk and pull out a century-old book and still read it. If I pull out an 20 year old piece of digital storage, I might not even be able to find something to load it on.

I was skeptical of the Little Free Libraries, I thought people would just take the books, smash or otherwise vandalize them. But they aren't. When I need to haul out a box full of books, I take them to a friend's Little Free Library. People are very supportive of these, they are nice additions to neighborhoods. Many people decorate them to match their own house.
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:08 PM   #75
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With digital obsolesence, it's not so much that the format becomes unreadable and the medium it is stored on becomes unreadable. I can open an old trunk and pull out a century-old book and still read it. If I pull out an 20 year old piece of digital storage, I might not even be able to find something to load it on.
That's what I'm most afraid of with regard to e-books.

For some reason, I don't have the same fear with regard to DVD's and Blu-Rays; records can still be played, and there are still new record players to be had. I expect that I'll be able to play DVD's and Blu-Rays for at least another 50 years.

Also, I have found that I don't need to keep movies anymore, apart from my absolute favorites. It's different with books: If I read it, I want to own it. It was like that with movies also, but I seem to have grown out of it, or something.

Maybe it's because most movies are only 90-120 minute affairs, while a book can easily take 10+ hours to read and therefore I value them more nowadays.
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