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Old 09-25-2008, 08:20 AM   #76
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Would you prefer free pbooks to free ebooks?
If I had the choice between the same book in paper or electronic format, I would choose paper. I agree that ebooks have their advantages: the main one seems to be the possibility of transmitting books over the Internet. Still I think the paper book has still more advantages.

But you've put your finger on the main issue: cost. Whichever is cheaper, that's what I prefer. So if you offer me the same book for $2 in paper and $1 in ebook format, I'll take the latter. Since it costs less to produce ebooks, we should expect them to displace paper soon enough. But for now, ebooks are actually more expensive when you have access to a library, and the reading experience is inferior.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:17 AM   #77
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Many (most?) local libraries will acquire any book you ask for, as long as it fits within their acquisitions policy, which usually covers all novels, for example. They can also do inter-library loans (ILL), usually for free. So it may not be necessary to switch libraries just yet. Besides, the other library's collection is probably very similar to your current one.
No, our county's library system has lots of library buildings but very few books - fairly rural. The next county over is very affluent and has a much better system.

My problem w/ ILL is that I can't get to the library in time to pick up the books when they come in because I live so far away from a branch. I'm right in the corner of 3 counties and no one builds a library at the edge of the county.

And, I totally miss the experience of being able to browse shelf after shelf of books.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:06 AM   #78
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If I had the choice between the same book in paper or electronic format, I would choose paper. I agree that ebooks have their advantages: the main one seems to be the possibility of transmitting books over the Internet. Still I think the paper book has still more advantages.

But you've put your finger on the main issue: cost. Whichever is cheaper, that's what I prefer. So if you offer me the same book for $2 in paper and $1 in ebook format, I'll take the latter. Since it costs less to produce ebooks, we should expect them to displace paper soon enough. But for now, ebooks are actually more expensive when you have access to a library, and the reading experience is inferior.
Ha! For what I have read, book companies are aiming at parity. In prices, not in profit, of course. Seems that taking a book and formating it for an Ereader is aaaawful expensive. Rather shameful of them. I don't think that is going to help a lot in the fight against piracy.

BTW, there are libraries that lend pdf books.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:14 AM   #79
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Because I like to check out approx. 340 books [titles] at one time, and because they're too heavy to carry, and because I don't live in the U.S. where English titles are readily available....well, let's just say I'll HUNKER [love that word!] down with my Reader.

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Old 09-25-2008, 12:24 PM   #80
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So can anyone start an "official" thread? I thought only moderators could do that.

BTW: I still love my PRS-500 and my Kindle.

BOb
Well, 1 year and 800 plus eBooks later; I still love my 505.
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:28 PM   #81
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Well, here's my $.02

I bought both the Kindle and the Sony 505 about a month ago to test them concurrently and then decide which to keep. If you're interested in the specifics of my experience, you can search my old threads and see my pros and cons.

Suffice to say, I bought the Sony after giving them both a workout. I had some issues when I first decided to keep the Sony--several hours, in fact, of sweating and swearing while trying to figure out the conversion to .lrf from .lit using ConvertLit and Calibre was the most major hurdle. Now that I've got that totally under control, I've been able to enjoy the 505 immensely.

And, since I bought the Sony, I've noticed some major changes in my reading habits as a result, such as:

1) I'm reading a LOT more. The small size and easy portability of the Sony make it much more likely that I'll carry it with me and read everywhere
2) I'm discovering a lot of new authors (like Cory Doctorow, for example. I probably would never heard of him were it not for this board, and my Sony).
3) I don't worry anymore about ruining a book by reading in the bathtub. I put the Sony in a quart size freezer Ziploc, get in the tub, and it's like Calgon, take me away! (TMI, I know)
4) My house isn't being overrun by books. I love pbooks, but I've downloaded 50 books for the Sony since I've had it, and I don't even know where I'd put all those books if they were pbooks. So I'm willing to spend more on books knowing I'm not going to have to buy another bookcase along with them.

So in short, I love my Sony. While it would be a bit of an overstatement to say it's revolutionized my reading experience, it has certainly enhanced and revitalized it!

Joanne
I concur, completely!
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:55 PM   #82
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balok,

I've no doubt that by 2266 (the year you encountered Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew), you won't have a choice about pbooks vs. ebooks. In the meantime, I'd like to respond in a thoughtful manner to the points you made in your earlier post:

>until I read all there was that interested me in the public domain

Wow. I can't imagine ever reading EVERYTHING in the public domain that interested me. So I have a serious question for you--did you REALLY run out of public domain stuff to read? Fascinating!

>Now all I'm interested in is copyrighted material, so I would have to buy the books if I wanted to read them on the Sony Reader. I have a great public library at my disposal that can get any book I'm interested in, on PAPER, and for FREE.

Well, sort of free. I'm about to make some arguable points, but I think they illustrate my meaning. First of all, what is your time worth? For me to make a QUICK drive to and from the library, I'm looking at an investment of at least an hour, and that's if I've gone to their website FIRST and picked out what books I'm getting. If not, it's a good 2 hours including travel time. I can purchase and download a book in under 5 minutes. Based on what I get paid for my time, that's a lot cheaper. And how much is gas where you live? Here it's over $4 a gallon. Unless you live really close to a library, don't forget about the cost of gas. Additionally, those books need to get BACK to the library, which is more time, more gas, and more money, especially if they're ever overdue. Finally on this point, you don't get to own the books. I'm a rereader, and you may not be, so I understand it may not be a factor for you, but it is for me--I love instantly being able to read or refer to a book when I want or need to.

>So why would I buy an electronic book when I can read it for free, with unbeatable contrast, eternal battery life, and a robust construction?

Well, for all the reasons people have mentioned in this thread. Convenience, ease, and portability come to mind. In addition to that, how about because that way you don't have to find someone else's crumbs and chocolate smears embedded in your books?

C'mon, balok...get with the times! For an alien from the future, you're a bit of a retrogrouch!

Joanne
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:07 PM   #83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsyDocJoanne View Post
>until I read all there was that interested me in the public domain

Wow. I can't imagine ever reading EVERYTHING in the public domain that interested me. So I have a serious question for you--did you REALLY run out of public domain stuff to read? Fascinating!
Actually, there isn't all that much PD stuff that interests me, per se, but I have rather narrow reading interests.

At the same time, I occasionally run across a PD book that I find quite interesting, I just didn't know about it before, and might not have thought it would be interesting in any case, until I encountered it later.

Besides, Vulcans read really fast, don't they?

I believe they also have a deep reverence for cultural heritage, as well.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:50 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by PsyDocJoanne View Post
balok,

Wow. I can't imagine ever reading EVERYTHING in the public domain that interested me. So I have a serious question for you--did you REALLY run out of public domain stuff to read? Fascinating!
I have limited interests. Most of the stuff in the public domain is pretty boring, in my opinion.

Quote:
Quote:
Now all I'm interested in is copyrighted material, so I would have to buy the books if I wanted to read them on the Sony Reader. I have a great public library at my disposal that can get any book I'm interested in, on PAPER, and for FREE.
Well, sort of free [...] what is your time worth? [...] And how much is gas where you live?
Very good point. It really depends on one's lifestyle, I suppose. I live near a library and take walks every day. I suppose the average stressed out North American doesn't have time for that. And as mgrunk pointed out, there are people who don't live in the city, for whom libraries aren't the best option. But I still think that for many people, while they may enjoy the novelty of ebooks, libraries are still the best option.

Quote:
C'mon, balok...get with the times! For an alien from the future, you're a bit of a retrogrouch!
I'm one of those aliens from the 60s, when the tricorder was invented.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:55 PM   #85
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For those of you who may be interested, while waiting for a book to arrive at my library (ordered by ILL), I dug out my Sony Reader. The battery was completely dead and it wouldn't even boot. But I charged it up and started reading one of the books included on the internal memory, Star Trek Vanguard. I've gotten 150 pages into it, and nothing has happened yet. Just a lot of blah blah. Can't wait until my library saves me from this crapilacious ebook.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:32 PM   #86
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Well, 1 year and 800 plus eBooks later; I still love my 505.
Wow!! That's 2,19 plus books per day everyday. Mmmmm... forget it.
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Old 09-25-2008, 02:34 PM   #87
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Hi balok!

Just to keep our witty banter going--

>I suppose the average stressed out North American doesn't have time for that

I'm lucky enough to be able to (mostly) choose what I spend my time doing, and trekking to the library and back doesn't make my top 10. I'd rather invest the 5 minutes or so to download, and then spend the other 55 reading, not in transit or searching the library stacks.

>But I still think that for many people, while they may enjoy the novelty of ebooks

I think you'll find as time goes on, ebooks (and edocuments in general) will become the norm, not a novelty. I just had a discussion the other night with my husband about what drives the ebook market. He believes it's very technology-driven (what do you expect, he's an IT guy), that in effect as technology advances, people will have to keep up or be left behind. I think it's more of a populous-driven mechanism (what do you expect, I'm a psychologist), whereby reader demand compels the technology to advance. Whichever way you choose to slice and dice it, the bottom line remains the same: I believe that in 25 years, paper books and documents will be the novelty, in much the same way as antiquated music and data storage--remember that many kids today have never seen a 5.25 floppy, or a 48 record.

>I have limited interests. Most of the stuff in the public domain is pretty boring, in my opinion.

I can agree with you that theres a lot of snoozers in the public domain. But, just the other night, I did some searching around, and found the following in the public domain (caveat: interesting for me may not equal interesting to you, but...):

Studies in Forensic Psychiatry (Bernard Glueck)
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (Charles Mackay)
Harvard Psychological Studies, Vol 1 (Various)
An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding (David Hume)
A Newly Discovered System of Electrical Medication (Daniel Clark)

Admittedly, many of those books are quite old, but extremely interesting to me nonetheless. I haven't yet searched a topic in the public domain that didn't produce vast and copious results.

>Just a lot of blah blah. Can't wait until my library saves me from this crapilacious ebook

I've read my way partially into some pretty heinous pbooks as well. Why wait around for the library to save you? Stop reading it and get something else (elementary, my dear Watson!). Don't blame the delivery device for the perceived shortcomings of an author.

Your turn, balok

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Old 09-25-2008, 03:23 PM   #88
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For those of you who may be interested, while waiting for a book to arrive at my library (ordered by ILL), I dug out my Sony Reader. The battery was completely dead and it wouldn't even boot. But I charged it up and started reading one of the books included on the internal memory, Star Trek Vanguard. I've gotten 150 pages into it, and nothing has happened yet. Just a lot of blah blah. Can't wait until my library saves me from this crapilacious ebook.


Now you have convinced me for good. I am throwing my 505 out of the window while I am posting this very reply.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:34 PM   #89
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I'm with Peto. Mine went out the window a few minutes ago with a nice, resounding smack as it hit the sidewalk.

Apparently I didn't realize what everyone already knows--all the pbooks at the library are phenomenal pieces of literature, and all the ebooks suck like an Electrolux
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:50 PM   #90
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For the first time since I learned to read I'm not even slightly tempted by second hand book stores. And I used to snuffle about in them for hours like pigs for truffles.

My only irritation is I really really want to preserve the battery so I have to wait until the battery has completely died before I upload more books so I tend to have accumulated a heap of Project Gutenberg texts ready to put on... anticipation!!
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