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Old 11-24-2009, 11:42 AM   #1
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Top 10 Myths about Ebooks

We need more articles like this one to bring people over from the dark side. It's a comprehensive list of the most common objections people have to reading ebooks, and answers for each of them.

From http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2009...t-e-books.html

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The Top 10 Myths About E-Books

After my recent post about the inevitability of e-books, I was surprised that there were so many misconceptions in the comments section about e-readers and e-books.

For the record, I don't think everyone is going to or should or will like e-books and converting people is not what this post is about. But I do think people should at least have the facts.

Now would also be a good time to state for the record that I have no financial interest in e-books or e-readers whatsoever and in fact, my job would probably be easier if they didn't exist. But they do exist, I genuinely like them, and I don't think this industry can afford to be behind the curve on technology.

Here's my personal Top 10 list of the mistaken beliefs people have about e-books:

...

Last edited by anurag; 11-24-2009 at 12:00 PM. Reason: Copyright Violation
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:56 AM   #2
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nice break down
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:08 PM   #3
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I had to pause at #1: Again, someone suggesting that eInk is great for everyone, and by extension, that LCD screens are no good.

It also concentrates on dedicated readers, as opposed to mentioning non-dedicated devices (that would largely eliminate the expense he references in #9).

But he does mention an environmental study that indicates superior "green-ness" for devices vs pulp.
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Old 11-24-2009, 01:24 PM   #4
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Another interesting myth is that ebooks are somehow comparable to hardcover versions.
Another is that e-ink is just like reading on paper.

Plenty of myths that are left relatively untouched in that article...
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:10 PM   #5
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I like that he mentions the second-hand vs paper issue. For me, I know I buy a lot more 'new' books now that I have the e-option because I don't have to worry about physical space to store them. When I did need to worry about such things, I relied on the used bookstore so I could get them very cheaply and then take them back when I am done. And as he points out the author gets no royalties on that
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
Another interesting myth is that ebooks are somehow comparable to hardcover versions.
Another is that e-ink is just like reading on paper.

Plenty of myths that are left relatively untouched in that article...
No, they are opinions, not myths. Of course you are entitled to your opinion.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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This has to be my favorite one
Quote:
8. "You can't read an e-reader in the bathtub" / "I would never take an e-reader to the beach

Put it in a Ziploc bag and it's more waterproof/sandproof than a paper book.
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Old 11-24-2009, 02:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post
No, they are opinions, not myths. Of course you are entitled to your opinion.
They're popular enough misconceptions that could easily overtake a few on that blog post's list, if it weren't for the fact that the post's intention is to promote ebooks rather than be honest about them.
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Old 11-24-2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
They're popular enough misconceptions that could easily overtake a few on that blog post's list, if it weren't for the fact that the post's intention is to promote ebooks rather than be honest about them.
Prove they are misconceptions rather than the opinion of you and a handful of others on here and trying to sound superior is not proof.
Also prove why the blogger is lying and tell us why he should not be promoting e-books if he so wishes.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #10
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The point about lending books isn't very convincing and not entirely accurate.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #11
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The point about lending books isn't very convincing and not entirely accurate.
Can't comment on the 'not entirely accurate' part as I haven't looked into it yet but the lending books is of concern. A group of us is swapping books on a regular basis and have heaps of fun with it as it allows us to read authors / genres that we might not have considered otherwise.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:01 PM   #12
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This has to be my favorite one

Quote:
8. "You can't read an e-reader in the bathtub" / "I would never take an e-reader to the beach

Put it in a Ziploc bag and it's more waterproof/sandproof than a paper book.
Geesh, you can do the same thing with a paper book.

How do you turn the pages?

Oh, come on. Just push the.... whoops. Never mind.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by LDBoblo View Post
They're popular enough misconceptions that could easily overtake a few on that blog post's list, if it weren't for the fact that the post's intention is to promote ebooks rather than be honest about them.
Seriously, we know you think ebooks have serious problems. I will readily agree that they are not up to the presentation you get from a hard cover. But they are not intended to. You should compare them to paperbacks, and I think the vast majority of users agree with me that ereaders are doing very nicely here. I really do prefer an ebook over a pbook if reading the text is my only concern. Add to that the convenience and savings when getting the books and when traveling.

You don't like ereaders, but the fact is, they are a great fit for most people. No need to turn everybody off to them.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:53 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HansTWN View Post
Seriously, we know you think ebooks have serious problems. I will readily agree that they are not up to the presentation you get from a hard cover. But they are not intended to. You should compare them to paperbacks, and I think the vast majority of users agree with me that ereaders are doing very nicely here. I really do prefer an ebook over a pbook if reading the text is my only concern. Add to that the convenience and savings when getting the books and when traveling.

You don't like ereaders, but the fact is, they are a great fit for most people. No need to turn everybody off to them.
Not my intention at all. I simply made 2 suggestions that are not at all untrue.

Whenever we see comparisons of paper books and ebooks in terms of price, the comparison is very nearly always made between ebooks and hardcover editions ("a paper book that costs $30 may only cost $15 as an ebook!"), which is frankly not a very honest comparison. I'm not making any opinionated comparisons of quality/presentation here.

My second point was that e-ink is relatively low resolution and low contrast and with only the rarest (and still unavailable) exceptions fixed to a glass substrate which is glossy and full of glare compared to most printed paper (excepting photo paper and some glossy magazines). The point I was making wasn't just "it's inferior". That indeed is my opinion but the reason I posted it here was simply because while e-ink does have some more print-like qualities than most transmissive displays, it is quite a misleading exaggeration to say it's "just like paper".

Both of those claims are extremely common when seeing people promote ebooks and ebook reading devices. Both of those claims are inaccurate at best, misleading at worst. I find it rather surprising that anyone would really believe that "I can't read in the bath!" is truly a popular myth and then dismiss some more common misconceptions on the other side of the fence as the opinionated ravings of an ebook hater.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:45 PM   #15
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If you live in Taichung like me and locally you have a but tiny selections of classics in English only (all of which are free for an ereader anyway), then you would have to pay international shipping rates for English and German books. So an ereader pays for itself very quickly. And my house, even though bigger than most, is already full of pbooks, anyway. Additionally I travel 40% of the time.

Don't forget, even many Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc all live off the beaten path and the situation is similar. Ever calculated gas or transit tickets to go to the book store? In many cases ebooks are already cheaper, and they will become much cheaper as more people buy them. Can't stop this Tsunami.

Is ebook just like paper? It is like paperback paper, not like high quality print.

Last edited by HansTWN; 11-25-2009 at 02:12 AM.
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