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Old 11-15-2004, 06:02 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Essay: Why are people so resistant to e-books?

Barbara Anna Marjanovic wrote an essay on why people, including the author herself, are so resistant to e-books. Interesting read, although I don't agree with her in every point.

Yes, I *can* cuddle up with my PDA, drink a hot chocolate, and even enjoy reading an e-book novel.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:28 PM   #2
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She's clearly not a Clie owner (ie jog-dial user), and hasn't figured out that most pda text readers have auto-scrolling....

Her little treatise reminds me of last Christmas when I told my uncle's local bookstore owner (town of 1k ppl in the Hudson Valley) that 'I don't read paper books anymore'.

She looked like I had forewarned her of the apocalypse.


I'm all for donating paper books though. There are people who could really use 'em.
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:17 PM   #3
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I like some books better in paper, but not novels or fun reading that goes from start to finish in sequence. I need paper for things that I go back and forth in, and need to scan out of order. Of course, hyperlinks and quick jumps are making that sort of thing easy in things like Bibles and reference books already!

As far as novels, I can cuddle up with a drink and my PDA book reader a lot easier than with a paperback that is harder to hold and requires two hands when turning pages! I use my thumb to click the up/down button on my PDA to turn pages. I don't have to move at all, and it "feels cool"!

...And ebooks don't cause me allergies from dust like old books and library books do.
...And try fitting a library of 10-20,000 classics on your bookshelf. Even interior designers should be thrilled with ebooks!
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:23 PM   #4
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I'm sorry but I really hated this essay.
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Needless to say, it would take a real life altering incident for people to change from their creature habit of paperback reading to e-book reading. E-book reading--sounds strange, huh?
What is she talking about?

And... is people resistant to eBooks? I think eBooks are digging their way. Download a P2P client and play a little, you'll find many people who have been through life altering incidents.
Also, who's keeping ereader, mobipocket, and such on business? Is Gutenberg project a huge waste of time, then?

Last edited by Francesco; 11-16-2004 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 11-16-2004, 02:12 PM   #5
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I think what is so hard to handle about ebooks is that people like something to show for their spent money. You spend $5-20 on an ebook and you just get a 300kb file. Some of my emails are bigger than that. I only started reading ebooks becuase I moved to japan for two years and I was tired of paying $11 for a 300 page paperback book, and then when I move back home I didnt want a pile of books. Im one of those people who dont dog ear pages and never sell books. So it was kinda a life altering event that turned me onto ebooks. I will miss paper books but ebooks have too much going for them. I think it will take a looooong time for ebooks to catch on but I think they will replace paperback books. But I do agree with Bob. Some books need to stay in paper.
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Old 11-21-2004, 06:16 PM   #6
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I use and love BOTH digital AND paper books! Both formats have their pros and cons. I use my medical reference ebooks constantly at work. I also like having something entertaining / distracting to read wherever I happen to be.

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Old 11-22-2004, 12:21 PM   #7
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I'm not impressed with this essay. She hasn't even tried curling up with an ebook. And if she thinks that you have to use your pen to scroll the pages, she needs to do a little more research. And as a snide aside, she may have a technology-laden house, but she hasn't yet learned how to use the spellcheck...
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Old 11-22-2004, 08:33 PM   #8
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I've seen this before. Many people that post essays like this really haven't done their research (though they may think they have). It's annoying....

Craig.
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Old 11-26-2004, 12:39 AM   #9
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Although I personally enjoy reading news and articles on my Zire 71 via Plucker and Sunrise, I don't think I have the attention span to read an entire ebook. On the other hand, I prefer an audio book, via Audible instead since I can listen to the book while I'm doing whatever, commuting, etc.

I guess it's not the same reading something in a hard copy format like a newsapaper or a physical book as opposed to viewing it in electronic format, like a computer screen, PDA whether it's online or from the hard drive. It's a personal thing. Although, there has been a conversion of the "printed" newspaper format available online nowadays, it almost still isn't the same. But, I do like the printed format of the newspaper as opposed to the online layout of most internet newspaper sites.

I think if they really want the ebook idea to work or make it become more popular, they really need to drop the price. I personally can't justify paying about the same price for an ebook when I can get the hardcopy at a bookstore. A book still looks nice on a shelf and gives me a feel of physical ownership. It costs the publishers way less to create an ebook (no paper, printing costs) yet the price of ebooks are too expensive in my view, even with all the constant discounts at offered at Palm Digital Media or Fictionwise.

If I wanted an ebook I'd search through Memowise or Project Gutenberg first. Or, like I mentioned already, pay for my Audible copy, if available.

Last edited by maceyr; 11-26-2004 at 12:42 AM.
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Old 03-13-2008, 03:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Team7 View Post
I think what is so hard to handle about ebooks is that people like something to show for their spent money. You spend $5-20 on an ebook and you just get a 300kb file.
You're exactly right. I seem to remember a similar thing happening when software started to be digitally distributed. People (myself included) preferred to have the box, a disc, a printed manual, etc., as opposed to a file. Now, I find it really odd when a vendor insists on sending out an update on disc. It's just one more thing to keep up with.

Having said that, my wife is a bibliophile (for print, anyway). She loves the feel of the paper, the cover, etc. The only exception is audiobooks for the car. I'm hoping that I can eventually convert her when I finally get a reader.
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Old 03-13-2008, 05:02 PM   #11
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What I take away from this essay is the resistance is due to lack of knowledge as demonstrated by the author herself.

Last edited by TheJohnNewton; 03-13-2008 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 03-13-2008, 07:57 PM   #12
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There's abundantly apparent advantages and disadvantages to both paper and electronic media. Nobody can tell where's it's all going to go.

I don't see paper books being obsolete in my lifetime.
Nor do I see the eBook bubble bursting and all the readers etc becoming useless tech.

What could happen is... Kindle gets dropped, Sony stop producing them, Apple never get around to it, very few books are released in electronic editions, the market is left to niche producers like Bookeen etc.

Or both mediums could coexist, overall more books are read as people now have a choice over what medium they use. The paper book market is not negatively impacted, the electronic book market matures and develops, Kindle is not alone as a wireless device able to grab content any time.

Or.. we could see mass market paperbacks dying a death. Certain genres all but vanish. Books disappear from supermarkets, "book supermarkets" like Waterstones, Booksamillion etc close. Almost every mobile phone (cellphone for Americans) comes as standard with a roll-out electronic ink attachment. Convergence devices really kick off. It doesn't matter if you want to pay for an electronic ink device or not, or if you want an MP3 player in your phone, or if you want a phone on your MP3 player. Fact is you'll get them all in one because there's almost no cost to add the functionality to your device. Every semester students get the book list delivered to their device, they press the "accept" button and they have all their coursebooks in their device. Your morning paper arrives not through the letterbox with a slam, it arrives with a ping on your device.

Nobody knows where it's all going to go. Nobody can know. So any articles predicting anything are just basing future developments on their own opinion of things. But still, they're somewhat interesting to read.
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:44 PM   #13
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True in the short run who knows how the details will work out. In the long run though more and more reading is going to be done electronically rather than on paper. It's just a matter of the technology advancing, becoming cheaper, and more widespread and people getting comfortable with it.

When will the switch to electronic being mainstream and paper being specialty happen, will it be a fast or slow switch, 2 years or 20? Who knows. Eventually the kids will say to their parents "You mean you actaully carried around thick, heavy books printed on paper? To get a book you had to drive to a store or library and hope they had a copy? You even kept giant shelves of them in your house? How bizzare mom."

The resistance is like the resistance to any change. It's something new and unknow and thus causes discomfort. Paper is old and well understood and people are comfortable with it but eventually change will happen. When kids grow up and their school books are all electronic do you think they'll want to load up with a bunch of heavy paper volumes for their pleasure reading? At that point paper books won't make any sense to them.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:31 PM   #14
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what bothers me is that so many people say that they don't like ebooks because they couldn't stand to read off "a screen." There will always be people who will prefer paperbacks, but I wish those people were educated at least!
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:08 PM   #15
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Binzer, That's my point on people being resistant to change. For many they simply don't know what the new thing is, how it works, what it has to offer, so the easist thing to do is to stick to what they know. Throw in a bit of "if it ain't broke don't fix it" thinking and you end up with comments like "I'll never read off a sceen." Well never is a very long time. I think many would be pleasantly surpised at the current state of ereaders much less what will be available in 5-10 years. Don't bet too much money on "never".
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