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Old 02-12-2009, 12:16 AM   #1
Donnageddon
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VistaNews asks "Has eBooks time finally come?" Answers "No"

A view from the VistaNews editorial desk. Much of it is what we have all heard before
Quote:
I think there are several reasons electronic readers haven't caught on as quickly as their makers might have hoped. The first is more emotional/psychological than practical: many of us just like the feel, smell and ambiance of holding a paper book in our hands and turning the pages. In fact, that's the most common reason I hear from friends who vow they'll stick with "real" books to the end.
And some definite misinformation
Quote:
the original Kindle needed to have the battery charged approximately every other day
And the bottom line is not too surprising, and again slightly misinformed and inconsistent

Quote:
ebook readers may be just the thing for some folks - but they haven't yet reached the price point and level of functionality that I expect from a $300-400 gadget. Rather than have one more device to carry and worry about charging up, I'd prefer more focus on book reading software for my Vista laptop and/or my smart phone. I'd shell out the dollars for ebooks if the price came down a bit, and if I had a good selection to choose from and if they came in a non-proprietary format without DRM technologies that prevent me from transferring them to a different device if my current one fails. Until all that happens, I'll probably continue to do most of my book reading the old fashioned way.
It seems to me the "selection" and DRM issues are much the same for a "Vista laptop" as it is for an eBook reader.

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Old 02-12-2009, 02:35 AM   #2
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Rather than have one more device to carry and worry about charging up, I'd prefer more focus on book reading software for my Vista laptop and/or my smart phone.
"Oh, let's go read a book in bed!" With a laptop...

And if he thinks that a smartphone is a good alternative for an ebook reader, he has never seen one. I mean, how big is the average smartphone screen and how big is the average ebook reader screen?

Quote:
But there is also a more pragmatic reason for holding off on buying an ebook reader: the cost. The Kindle is $359 and the Sony models range from $299 to $399. To most of the folks with whom I've discussed it, that seems like a lot to pay for such a device. Many people have told me that "if it were $100, I'd buy one in a minute." Three to four hundred bucks for a reader might have seemed reasonable back when full fledged computers were all close to $1000 and laptops were even more, but now that you can buy a netbook for about the same price as a dedicated reader - and get up to a gig of memory and 20 to 80 GB of storage space - the choice seems like a no-brainer to many.
One thing about cost is that it will go down. Which he just completely ignores. Back then, laptops etc, were way more expensive than they are now, and they dropped in price because people started buying them, which will always drop the price. Ebook readers are fairly new (at least the e-ink varieties) and they are only recently coming to the attention of the average public. Which will mean, as soon as more companies will start making those things, more people will start buying and the prices will go down.

Yes, they are expensive right now, and the book selection isn't as large as the pbook selection right now. But the more people get into this, the more the selection will become and the cheaper (and the more variety) the readers.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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What a ridiculous article.
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Old 02-12-2009, 02:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Sweetpea View Post
"Oh, let's go read a book in bed!" With a laptop...

And if he thinks that a smartphone is a good alternative for an ebook reader, he has never seen one. I mean, how big is the average smartphone screen and how big is the average ebook reader screen?



One thing about cost is that it will go down. Which he just completely ignores. Back then, laptops etc, were way more expensive than they are now, and they dropped in price because people started buying them, which will always drop the price. Ebook readers are fairly new (at least the e-ink varieties) and they are only recently coming to the attention of the average public. Which will mean, as soon as more companies will start making those things, more people will start buying and the prices will go down.

Yes, they are expensive right now, and the book selection isn't as large as the pbook selection right now. But the more people get into this, the more the selection will become and the cheaper (and the more variety) the readers.

I remember back when I worked as a Kaypro salesperson (back in the days of 40 pound, CP/M operating system, Z-80, 8-bit "portables") and our store got the chance to be one of the first to sell an MS-DOS 'laptop'. It had a 12", MONOCHROME display with less contrast than we see on an average e-ink device, had to be plugged in if one wanted to get more than 1/2 hour of operating time, weighed something like 8 pounds and cost more than $2,400!

Yep. Them e-ink prices ain't *never* gonna come down, boss. Not!

Derek
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Old 02-19-2009, 12:02 AM   #5
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Just a follow up, the VistaNews editor has posted replies to their editorial on ebooks, and the response surprised them:

Quote:
I address the subject of ebooks a couple of years ago in my WXPnews column, and I was struck by the difference in responses this time. Back then, only about one fourth of readers felt ebooks could even partially replace print books. This time, at least three quarters of our readers are ebook fans. The times, they are a'changing.
Hoorah! We win!

ahem.... sorry.

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Old 02-19-2009, 01:19 AM   #6
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Ridiculous article imo, some people have no foresight. It amazes me that he gets paid to write that. In my opinion, within 10 years ebooks and associated technologies with be EVERYWHERE
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:42 AM   #7
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The ambiance of turning a page? The ambiance of a bit of paper?

Me I just read a story. I forget the paper the page turning and pretty much everything else. I am obviously not a real reader. Next time I read a really good book I will focus more on the whole page turning thing and try to absorb some of the papers ambiance.
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:21 AM   #8
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some of the nay-sayers should look at e-ink devices before commenting on the readability of them. I think a lot of people think that e-ink has the same qualities as LCD.

And that 88-year old, that compares ebooks with audiobooks... I always have problems trying to go back a few pages with my audiobooks, just to read a sentence of two and then returning to where I was... (and don't even mention the price difference!)
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