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Old 06-07-2008, 11:19 AM   #1
manchuia
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Did an ereader help kick start a reading habit

I might of mentioned this in a previous post, but I don't like books. I love the idea of books, but I don't like them in their physical form. Different sizes different weights, different formatting, and the like, all lead to be being unable to really get comfortable with reading books.

I know this seems a bit odd for this forum.

This discomfort with the actual physical nature (not the content) of books has led me to be frustrated with reading. I have (and buy) a small number of books, and I want more, but each time I try to get into reading the actual act of holding, flipping, etc. gets to me. And so I am here.

I actually like the ereaders simply because they are NOT books. They are one page ergonomic machines that extract all the things I like from books and put it into a shell that i could live with on a day to day basis. Now that copy of the Iliad is the same as my copy of The Inmates are Running the Prison. That makes me look forward to reading again.

I was wondering how many people on this board are like me in that respect? I also wonder how many people''s reading habit took a sharp upturn since they bought their reader (doesn't have to be 0 to astronomical, but how many were occasional readers to now constant book worms)?
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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I already had a 2-3 book a week habit, so it hasn't changed the amount that I read. It has, however, changed where I read. I always hated lugging a big thick book into restaurants, especially paperbacks. Hardcovers weren't so bad because they stayed open pretty easily, but I had to keep my hand on the paperback to keep it open and on the right page.

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Old 06-07-2008, 12:07 PM   #3
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No!

It’s very simple: you have it or you do not have it!

To be let oneself involved by a good story It’s an individual thing - I would say a solitary pleasure…

What we do let ourselves get into is the power of the content… if this does not click, digital will no be the answer… hell nothing does!
Once more: do you love it or you not, if not, forget it…

So once more - IT DID NOT!.. What it did was to make available the content to the user:
1 - independent of the place where it is;
2 - independent of the time it’s available - it’s 24/7/365 days per year;
3 - everyone in the world can access to it (if they have full access to digital and money…)

Now try to do this with a pBook…………
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:32 PM   #4
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wow .. that is a pretty um... drastic view point. I guess if someone hasn't had it in the past then they should just give up reading?
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:10 PM   #5
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Nope, exactly the contrary: once you have it, it sticks... and you just read in any support it's in, even in the wall's if it's where the content is.

The important is always (to the contrary of some experts say) the content. The support exists just to help the content to arrive to you the way you want it to arrive.

Sorry to sound so extreme, not my intent.
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:15 PM   #6
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Speaking of content. That's why i said I like the "idea" of books, but so far how that idea has been worked out hasn't fit into the way I live my life. As such I see a large number of books i want to read, but am hampered by how I have to actually interact with them.

Content is always key, and I understand where you are coming from in that.

I was curious if that physical relationship (not content relationship) with physical books has stopped others from reading as much as they feel they want / could, and if an ereader has altered that interaction so much that they are now happier with books than they were previously.
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by manchuia View Post
Speaking of content. That's why i said I like the "idea" of books, but so far how that idea has been worked out hasn't fit into the way I live my life. As such I see a large number of books i want to read, but am hampered by how I have to actually interact with them.

Content is always key, and I understand where you are coming from in that.

I was curious if that physical relationship (not content relationship) with physical books has stopped others from reading as much as they feel they want / could, and if an ereader has altered that interaction so much that they are now happier with books than they were previously.
I'm glad you found a way to enjoy books! I think your experience is perfectly valid and is part of the reason why I decided to get an e-Reader device (not ereader). The other issues were storage of books... my book shelves are overflowing and just take up space for no good reason, but I do like to maintain a nice library. My library is no maintained on Amazons servers for me and I have pretty quick access to them all.

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Old 06-07-2008, 01:29 PM   #8
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I see your point; let me give you an example:

You are in a bus or a train, you are reading a story (forget in what), and you just loose yourself… and then… someone just comes to you and say: “sorry you have to leave, we are in the last stop…” hell!!!... you had to go out 3 stops before!

So… once more… books are… not an idea… it’s “you have it, or you do not”… or, you loose yourself in them - pleasure or work does not meter - or not.
If not… well the battle is lost. There is .no gadget that saves oneself from that.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:47 PM   #9
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DD, I think we are talking about the same thing.

Using your example: If it were a real book, I wouldn't have bothered to open it on the bus or train. I can't get comfy with it, and hold it at a good angle. The print may be a bit too small so I have to hold it closer, and my arms are getting tired. I don't like having to wrap the other pages around the back to hold it in one hand. I go to highlight something and it bleeds through the pages and makes the other side hard to read, so I just stop trying in that book. Something in the book makes me think of a passage in another book, I am near a stopping point anyway so i would like to switch gears (say from computer tutorial to fiction to biography).

All of these things with a physical book deter me. They stop me from enjoying the content like I should.

Now (of course I don't have an e-reader yet, so these may be rose colored glasses I am using) all of these things are NOT an issue with an e-reader going through the SAME book.

I am sure if I found the right set of circumstances (book size, nice paper, good print size, nice area to rest arms, etc.) I would enjoy a "real" book as much as the e-reader, but because the e-reader's physical nature is ALWAYS going to be constant (and the print should be relatively constant depending on formatting and such) none of those other issues that I would have with a "real" book are issues with the e-reader.

So, all I am left to do is get lost in the story and then curse that I missed my stop.......again
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:05 PM   #10
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manchuia, i never had any trouble with books as objects before, and i have always loved to read since childhood. BUT since getting my liseuse i have discovered that paper books are really not ergonomical, and now i greatly prefer to read ebooks to paper books whenever possible.

in fact, it has almost spoiled paper books for me. when i first got it, i read only ebooks for a few weeks. then i began to read a paper book i had just received. it was frankly a very uncomfortable experience ! it was an omnibus edition, so very thick and heavy, and it took a lot of effort to keep it open (particularly at the beginning !!). never mind using only one hand to read, that was out of the question. i like to read in bed, and i had a lot of trouble finding a comfortable position ; if i tried to read on my side, one half of the book cast a shadow on the page i was trying to read. and my hand was getting tired propping the pages up. and the text was printed too close to the binding, so i had trouble reading the ends of lines. and when i came to a word i didn't know, i was frustrated, because there is no dictionary look up integrated in a paper book (so convenient !! i love that). arg ! i never noticed all these details before.

so yes, i was already an avid reader before, but having a device definitely changed my reading experience in ways i would not have predicted, and has made it significantly more comfortable and enjoyable. i think if it is the ergonomy of books as objects which ruins your reading experience, then you should definitely try ebooks. on the other hand, if you really don't like reading (i hear some people don't...), then they might not be enough to change your mind.
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:12 PM   #11
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I love long novels, but I hate big books. I refuse to read the 1408 page paperback copy of Sacajawea I just bought until I convert it to an e-book.

P-books are soooooo 2007
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:13 PM   #12
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Hi manchiua

I think you have just pointed an outstanding situation (for me at least): the deterrent situation of a technology of 500 years (the concept of the modern book, in a tech point of view is so old as that - paper, ink letters and images, sequential pages, one special front and one back page, the book separated by chapters and one toc to let one “jump” to other parts of the story, etc… etc… etc…) into accessing content.

I must accept I have never viewed it by that point of view…

Anyway, as you so well have put it “I think we are talking about the same thing”, the key is always the “loosing in the story…”, when you will be able to reach that, you are using the correct stuff to access the content, hell… you will even do not notice it.

Going back to your first question: still no, the technology is always a mean to objective, no technology is going to help you loose yourself into the content - it will help you to loose yourself more, or in a different way, or sooner, or deeper, or… - but the attraction to the content is independent of the technology.
Exceptions are of course, the technology not existing turns the access impossible, like, if I’m blind and there is no audiobook published I do not have easy access to the story.

I really would love to ear you proving I’m wrong and that eBooks helped you to get that kick, really do. As, for me at least, books are one of the 5 best things in life.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:48 PM   #13
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No!

It’s very simple: you have it or you do not have it!
Although I largely agree, I think it is a little less simple. I had it for most of my life -- have been reading for pleasure since I was a boy. But at some point in my adult life, "it" went somewhat dormant in the face of other responsibilities and time demands. I never stopped reading for pleasure, but gradually found myself doing much less of it.

When I bought my first Palm PDA years ago, I came across the Palm Reader software and started reading ebooks. This ability to read ebooks on my PDA re-energized my reading habit, and it has not stopped since -- in fact, I probably do more pleasure reading now via ebooks than I have at any time in my life.
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Old 06-08-2008, 01:05 AM   #14
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I do find myself reading a lot more now that I have my Sony PRS reader. I've always loved books however, carrying them around has been difficult. Esp since I tend to read several books at the same time (Is that weird?). I can load it up with several books. Because it's small I carry it with me most of the time so it's became real easy to break it open and read a few pages here and there.
I've even put my missal on the book so I can use it during the mass.

Last edited by =X=; 06-08-2008 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:40 AM   #15
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I've always been an avid reader, but I do find myself reading more with an ebook than I did before. Part of it is that I typically read multiple books at a time and I also travel frequently. Lugging multiple books along just wasn't practical so I would read less as a result. With an ebook I can carry my entire library in one slim package.

To your other point I generally find it more comfortable as well. It's definitely easier than holding a big thick hardback.
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