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Old 10-17-2006, 02:00 PM   #16
radleyp
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Launch PD, FYI, I'm 71, and changing fonts, which I do, is for me more a matter of aesthetics than eyesight. This is another one of those features which computer people - most of whom are a lot younger than I - constantly tout for its supposed benefits.

You should all understand that I read ebooks (I wouldn't be part of this discussion otherwise), and see some added benefits in them. Most people, however, do not. And you must also realize that a changeover to ebooks means a change to the entire book market as it exists today, something present publishers for obvious business reasons will resist.

What I suggest is that instead of talking to your fellows here, all of whom are into ebooks, you speak to acquaintances who don't know what an ebook is: that will give you the reality.
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:08 PM   #17
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Yah, jęd, but radleyp's point is that we're not exactly typical.
Ok... So we if we take the typical person they read one book at a time, probably while they are commuting to klll time. I've noticed that most people read small paperbacks to save having to carry something around... I would guess that, if buying, downloading and transferring a book onto a reader was as easy as an Ipod then many more people (if they knew about it) would prefer an e-reader.

And commute-books are mostly trashy chick-lit, Dan Brown and Harry Potter... Who cares if they are made unavailable due to dodgy DRM...!
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Old 10-17-2006, 02:26 PM   #18
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You assume that if people knew about ereaders, they would embrace them: this is obvious to you, of course, but not to the masses of readers who simply don't care about such devices. Unless you accept that you (and I too) are an exception and that the great majority of readers are not even interested in ereaders, you will never be able to popularize them, because you will assume that what is clear to you must be to others. The analogy with the ipod seems to me off-base: the ipod changed the way people carried tunes around, but in fact they had been carrying them for many years before (with the Walkman, cd players, et. al.), whereas no one even thought of a reading device until handhelds arrived on the scene.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:11 PM   #19
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There is an other reason I like a portable reader. I read laying in the sofa. Some books are truly heavy like the latest Harry Potter stories. After an hour the holding hand gets blue. E-readers are much lighter.
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Old 10-17-2006, 03:29 PM   #20
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I agree. But my reason for it being easier to hold is that I like to lay the book next to me on my bed and read. With a paperback book I have to constantly hold it open and sometimes seem to lose my page (e.g. if I put it upside down for a bit and then bump it, or it slips in my hand). The e-book just sits there waiting for me to simply push a button.

And it's also nicer than my Treo in the sense that if I take break or a long time on one page, it doesn't shut off after a few mins. I can dilly dally for up to an hour and it waits there for me without draining the batteries!

On the Treo, the big advantage is that I can read eReader books, which I can't on the Sony Reader (and vice-versa, of course). Plus even better, the Treo is self-illuminated, which means I can read in the dark. Which is a topic that we have batted around quite a bit in other threads, and I'm sure those threads will continue to be resurrected every now and then because it's really a hot topic!
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Old 10-17-2006, 04:18 PM   #21
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My daughter always scorned my eBookwise saying she preferred the "Real Thing".

However, once I got my iLiad the eBookwise became redundant and I was greatly surprised when she asked to borrow it for a trip overseas.

I loaded it up with books I hoped she would enjoy and gave it to her well before her trip was due.

She started to use it straight away and I was so pleased to hear her say she loves it and "can she have it on permanent loan please?"

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Old 10-17-2006, 05:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radleyp
The analogy with the ipod seems to me off-base: the ipod changed the way people carried tunes around, but in fact they had been carrying them for many years before (with the Walkman, cd players, et. al.), whereas no one even thought of a reading device until handhelds arrived on the scene.
Very good point... Personally, I think the way e-readers are sold is wrong... To most people, "books" are dull and boring... Best sell them on convienence... Tell them they can walk around with all the papers they need for that day, that they don't have to carry large folders of dead trees anymore...
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:20 PM   #23
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First of all as the popularity of Project Guttenberg, of free online data that in the past would have been read in encyclopedias and reference books, as well the existence of massive underground libraries with easily tens of thousands of titles shows, the not succesful part applies to commercial e-books.

The main reason for this failure is that big publishers and distributors like it that way since they do not want e-books to compete with print ones. Since there is yet no powerful external force to push them into online content as music/movies were by mp3's and broadband, why should we be surprised of the unbelievable high prices and onerous drm on most commercial e-books. No ereader devices will change that.

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Old 10-17-2006, 05:22 PM   #24
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I agree that they have not been well marketed, and your remarks make me think that a good start would be to target them at those who need to use several books (particularly reference books) at once: students, professionals (doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountants, librarians, et. al.), researchers of various kinds. But then, of course, we run into the other major problem of what books are available, and whether the available books work only on particular ereaders. In any case, start targeting other than gadget freaks like us.
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:26 PM   #25
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I think PDAs are a good comparision to eBook Readers, but the opposite of what you describe. The Palm Pilot did not come out until 1996, before that there were many generations of PDAs (Apple coined the term in 1992 with the Newton) going back to the 70s. Psion Organiser in 1984, Sharp Wizard in 1992, AT&T EO in 1993, etc... The Palm Pilot brought in a lot of consumer acceptance, it broke the barrier of price/ease-of-use/marketing/timeliness. There will be an eReader that does this too. Might even be the Sony Reader if they actually make the Connect store an eBook version of iTunes.
Yeah, this is my mistake. You're right. In general, I agree with your sentiment.

By the way, it took awhile for paper to be accepted, too!
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:28 PM   #26
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Out of curiosity: What would you guys say to a "book" where the electronics of the devices were stored in the spine and the "paper" was actual paper flushed with e-ink that could be changed at whim? So, it has the same feel and weight (let's pretend) of a paperback or hardback, but it's an e-ink book that can change.

That would be something really exciting to me...
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Old 10-17-2006, 05:38 PM   #27
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let's see, at 250 Euros a page....
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:27 PM   #28
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You know, Liviu_5 mentioned Project Gutenberg. Isn't that reason enough for a Sony Reader. Think about it. More classic books than any library, and all "relatively easy" to put on a Sony Reader. If it really gets easy, that's a huge selling point that overcomes the $350 price tag already. As Liviu alludes to , remember how much money people used to spend on encyclopedia sets?!!!! And we're talking about a device that is actually practical to read all these great works of literature on (well, unfortunately just the English ones for now, I guess). If people could get their heads wrapped around that, surely it would have mainstream appeal. But has anyone in the mainstream press or from Sony played that up? No! Sony can't because it's not a seamless process yet, and it's not their store books. But the press should be talking it up, shouldn't they. Come to think of it, we should probably be talking it up more here at MobileRead too, but I guess we take it all for granted that everyone already knows that it's a big part of the e-book world already. Just imagine if everyone walking into a Borders thought of it as a device that could read Connect store books and for free the gigantic Gutenberg free library of classic works, plus other CCEL Christian books and Baen books, etc. all for free. All of a sudden $350 and a $50 credit doesn't sound very bad at all!
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:42 PM   #29
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...we're talking about a device that is actually practical to read all these great works of literature on (well, unfortunately just the English ones for now, I guess).
I think that the french & spanish (etc.) texts that use the same basic character sets probably work okay -- I just checked a Spanish one, and it's fine, anyway.

It's the languages with the totally different char sets (russian, arabic, etc.) that it can't handle. That's some (small) help, anyway.
Quote:
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Just imagine if everyone walking into a Borders thought of it as a device that could read Connect store books and for free the gigantic Gutenberg free library of classic works, plus other CCEL Christian books and Baen books, etc. all for free. All of a sudden $350 and a $50 credit doesn't sound very bad at all!
While we were out there, I suggested to several of the Sony folks they put a sticker on the box saying that free books were available at gutenberg.org, manybooks.net, etc. They seemed thoughtful about it, though not instantly enthusiastic.

At that point the packaging was probably already set in stone, anyway.
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Old 10-17-2006, 06:48 PM   #30
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It seems to me that you are all hung up on one notion, namely that you can put hundreds of books on one device. In my experience with relatives and friends, this point is irrelevant. People read a book, not libraries: that's the way most readers I know think. It does not surprise me that the marketing of the Sony is not making much headway, since quantity - which you all stress so much - is not a selling point.
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