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Old 02-04-2014, 09:00 AM   #106
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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.
That is why I like calibre so much. I have my collection of books in one place with tags etc that are saved into the metadata of the book. An epub is just a specially formatted html file with css encased in a zip file. I can always get back to the plain text format.

With all the books in the calibre library I can zip or rar it into one large file which I then store / backup on a usb drive. When I get a new computer with a new form of drive I will then copy those files onto the new system and whatever new format of portable storage there is.

With portable 2 and 4 terabyte hard drives it is easy to have backups of the library on multiple devices. My tablet had a 32 gig sd card for my books and while I don't have "off site" storage, well, if it was a paper library I had, fire would destroy it also.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:03 AM   #107
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I've finally come to love and accept ebooks. I've spent the past few days looking at my cluttered bookshelves and wondering exactly why, besides maybe force of habit, I'm holding on to all these dust collectors. I'm never going to re-read them and glow-lit, one handed reading is just far more convenient than trying to get comfortable with a paperback these days. As a result I plan to decimate my library when the next book sale collection rolls around.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #108
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Actually, I can remember the frustration of many paperbacks that had missing pages, duplicate pages, pages out of order lol.
Let's not forget bad binding! Even 25 years later, I still remember the copy of The Andromeda Strain that fell apart as I was reading it. (There wasn't enough glue on the spine.)
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:13 PM   #109
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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.
Next tme you find documents from the 20th century, try bth LibreOffice and ApacheOpenOffice. Odds are that one of the two will be able to open them, albeit a couple of extensions might need to be installed.

ePub is a documented, open standard. As such, one will be able to either install software that converts the content to a new formt, or write software to perform that function, even in 2100.
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:23 PM   #110
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LibreOffice supports a format it calls Office 97/2000/XP/2003, which seems to work fine with my old Word docs. I imagine that Word should handle them as well. It did the last time I tried it. Maybe the documents had the .doc extension, but weren't really .doc documents?
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:20 PM   #111
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I recall finding an 'ancient' .doc file that looked like gibberish in regular MS Office.

I managed to find a way to decipher it by opening it with WordPad or something... it was from an early version of Office, apparently.

MS keeps changing their way of doing things and doesn't always make their newer products backward-compatible...
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:27 PM   #112
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Which is of course why epub/azw3 is very different from MSWord, as it is understood so it will never become useless, as it can always be read. Not so proprietary and little-understood formats.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:05 PM   #113
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A couple years ago, my wife and I were at a bed and breakfast for our anniversary, and there was a copy of the Little House on the Prairie books. I started reading, and then I noticed that part of the book was repeated. There was a huge section of one book that was missing and in its place was repeated text.

I had forgotten all about that version, but I had seen it before. I believe it was in the 70's that there was a botched printing where they had inserted the wrong pages, and it made it to the stores. And here, many years later, someone has a set in my B&B room.

My wife has an encyclopedia of fictional places. It is interesting reading about fictional lands, but there was a whole section missing. It is much easier to update an e-book, if a botched paper book gets to the shelves, it is a real problem.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:27 AM   #114
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One advantage that ebooks have over pbooks is that you can buy them and be reading them within 5 seconds or so of purchase even at 2 am when the paper book stores are all closed for the night. On the other hand order a physical book (paper) online at Amazon and you have to wait for someone to package it for shipment and for it to make its way through I don't know how many hands before it reaches you up to several weeks later. Also ebook pages can't get dirty by being handled unlike a paper book. Borrow a paper book from the library on the other hand and you are dependent upon whomever borrowed the book before you having taken care of it while it was in their possession.
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:03 PM   #115
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I don't know about the smell, but it would be nice to have an eInk reader made out of wood instead of plastic. It would help capture the special-ness of older books.
gotta have dead trees in your hands anyway, huh?
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Old 02-10-2014, 01:15 PM   #116
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I got rid of almost al of my paper books, because I just don't have the space for them. The only ones I kept are the ones I think I will reread at some point.

I won't be buying digital copies of the books I own, but my boyfriend and I had to for a couple of our Wheel of Time books, as they'd been reread so many times they were starting to fall apart. Of course he likes to blame it on them having been lugged around in my handbag though
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Old 02-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #117
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gotta have dead trees in your hands anyway, huh?
"I love the smell of Ent corpses in the morning. It smells like...literature."
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:04 PM   #118
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"I love the smell of Ent corpses in the morning. It smells like...literature."
Don't let Treebeard hear you say that.
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Old 02-10-2014, 03:33 PM   #119
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Don't let Treebeard hear you say that.
I regularly refer to my paper TBR stacks as "the Ent graveyard."
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:43 AM   #120
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I recall finding an 'ancient' .doc file that looked like gibberish in regular MS Office.

I managed to find a way to decipher it by opening it with WordPad or something... it was from an early version of Office, apparently.

MS keeps changing their way of doing things and doesn't always make their newer products backward-compatible...
You could try docreader if the original owner of that file used a palm or pocket pc device.

Some old palmdocs used a .doc extension.
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