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Old 05-17-2010, 06:13 PM   #16
gastan
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I really don't intend to be mean but I don't know of any other way to say it ...... this is an absolute waste of time. This is an argument/discussion looking for an excuse to justify its over-long, irrational, pointless existence.
  • As an e-book reader, have you ever looked at the number of titles available for free on the web, or available conveniently for purchase, and felt lost? Why would you feel any more lost than when you enter any well stocked book store or library?
  • I didn't really have to keep track of which books I was currently reading, because they were all there on my desk or table. So just put the books you are currently reading on an SD card. Move finished books to a computer file and add the new selection to the card. Never any question of what's currently being read.
  • In addition, there are so many source of e-books of every type and quality. Yeah, sort of like finding a book store or two in every shopping mall or a library in every town. Choices, choices. I'm pretty sure that this easily exceeds the available libraries of the richest men on earth throughout all of human history before the digital age. But I bet it doesn't exceed any good large city public library.
  • How do I pick the right books, and manage my reading list? How did you do it before ebooks and ereaders? It shouldn't be any different.
  • ...we want to read the best stuff, and we almost anguish when we compare the number of books we can read with the number of books we'd like to read. I seem to remember having this same feeing in a library, a good bookstore, and now with ebooks. What's changed?
  • So what are the ways people can simply and comfortably find the right books to read. How about the old fashioned way? Word of mouth; reviews; tried and true favorite authors, etc..
  • How to keep track of what books they've read and what they liked or learned from them? Physically segregate read books from unread books by maintaining a "read" and an "unread" file - analogous to physically seperating read pbooks from unread pbooks in your bookshelf.
  • "Wow, that book looks interesting. I think I'll read it." Has there ever been any other way of deciding what to read for pleasure? Will there ever be any other way to decide which book to read -- for pleasure?
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Old 05-17-2010, 06:47 PM   #17
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so many books, so little time

The large selection is one of the great things about ebooks and eReaders. Instead of trying to figure out my book mood, say on the way to the dentist, and choose one book to go, I have hundreds.

If I'm short on time or anticipate a lot of interruptions, I'll choose something like Reader's Digest. If I just want to read myself to sleep and need something light, I'll choose a shorter fiction book. If I want to increase my knowledge or experience and have a rare reading day, I'll choose something heavier.

One of the great side-effects of the agency model controversy is that I'm reading all kinds of genres and authors I would never have been exposed to. It's almost like throwing a dart and reading what it lands on. The thrill of discovering a new favorite, or even just something that was pleasant is an unexpected extra. I find myself paying more attention to the mechanics of the unfamiliar books too - is it well written? Are the characters well developed? Those are qualities I took for granted when reading favorite authors.

I really love my Kindle and read far more than I was before I received it as a Christmas gift.

As a side note, to keep track of what I've read, I delete books from my Kindle when I'm done reading them and archive them. It also helps to sort by most recent, which will put the last book you looked at at the top of the list. The upcoming folders functionality will definitely help.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:03 PM   #18
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What you are talking about and what Alejandro talked about are two different things. Alejandro was talking about the experience of a paper book and how ebooks are less personal to him.

As to your question, I don't feel the way you do in general (more choice is amazing and I love the idea that I can carry around with me every book I have ever read on a stick the size of my finger). My one area where I do agree is in the 'chore' aspect, but that is my own fault. I let myself be seduced by the rebate program at Fictionwise and wound up with a ton of fairly average multiformat books just because they were cheap (i.e. I had a rebate and the multiformat books were the best way to get the most books for what I had spent). Most of them have been quite forgettable and I would love to be done with them, but I feel obliged to read them because I paid for them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell View Post
As an e-book reader, have you ever looked at the number of titles available for free on the web, or available conveniently for purchase, and felt lost?
No more or less than with paper books.

In fact, probably less so, since there are far fewer ebooks than paper books available. I also pretty much ignore the heaps of self-published books; no one would be willing to pay me what I'd ask to wade through the Internet Slush Pile.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
Now I definitely feel a bit more stress about which books to read. The world's collective library is at my fingertips, so covering the most important books has become a lot more important to me. Life is short, and my interests are wide, so I know I can only sample what's out there.
How is that any different than walking into a fairly large bookstore, or surfing any major book retailer's website?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
How do I pick the right books, and manage my reading list?
Read what strikes your fancy at any given moment. Unless you are reading a series, a set of technical manuals, academic texts, or something else with a specifically preset order, what does it matter? Does the weight of the world really depend on what books you read first?

Or have you really never, ever had the experience of staring at the paper books on your shelves, or on the library bookshelves, and not being able to decide what you wanted to read?

And did you sort your paper books using the Dewey Decimal System, by the way?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
With this sudden abundance of wealth in the form of e-books, are we really prepared to take advantage?
Some of us are. No wait, make that "most of us."

With all due respect, man up. The only real difference here is that you can carry around a tremendous number of books in a highly portable package. Instead of staring at your shelves at the moment of decision, you're scrolling through screens.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Russell
I'm pretty sure this will connect with someone here, unless the multitude of e-books is just pure joy and benefit for all, with no downsides?
I wouldn't go that far, there are definitely some downsides to ebooks. However, IMO Selection-Induced Indecision isn't really one of them.
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:12 PM   #20
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My mother is frightened by trees, shrubs and plants that grow taller than her. I know this because every time a tree shows the slightest hint of topping six feet in height, she has it removed - never mind we live in an area of high utility costs and summer heat.

I look at anyone who's frightened or turned off by the volume of free or low-cost ebooks with the same pity I have for my mother.

Besides, *most* of those titles I'd never be interested in in the first place.

But it is nice to know that if I ever run out of authors I like, I can do a dash-and-grab to see if one of these authors can scratch my itch.

Derek
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Old 05-17-2010, 08:37 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delphidb96 View Post
My mother is frightened by trees, shrubs and plants that grow taller than her.
Would your mother happen to be a dwarf cleric?

Last edited by ardeegee; 05-17-2010 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:04 PM   #22
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I think the issue is some really stress over their reading. There have been posts here with people calculating out how many books they can expect to finish in their remaining life time and talking about wanting to maximize that etc.

I think that's pretty crazy myself. I know I'll never read a fraction of the great books, or watch most of the great movies, tv shows etc., nor hear most of the great music, or play most of the great video games.

And I'm fine with that. Life is too short to obsess over that kind of stuff. Go with what you feel like enjoying in your precious free time on a daily basis and don't obsess about lifetime maximization etc.

Make the most of each hour of each day that you have the luxury to spend on whatever you want. Don't add stress by worrying about whether you're going to get to read every great book, or as many as possible. Just enjoy everything you read in the hear and now, and choose the next book(s) to read when you get there based on what you feel like at that time.
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:58 PM   #23
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:17 PM   #24
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I don't believe e-books take the fun out of reading at all.

Oh, man, which of these three free books should I enjoy first? God how i gate the ability to word/character search if I forget something! Curse the seamless dictionary integration!!

I don't make lists or charts to keep up with my growing (200+) ebook library... It's only a hassle if you make it one....
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:34 PM   #25
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As much as I like to read, the real "pressure" has come, not from the vast array of readily available PD and creative commons books, rather it comes from selecting the next to start on my TBR list.
Should I read that Bret Harte I meant to sneak when my mother wasn't looking (when I was a towheaded lad), should I take another run at Josephus' Antiquities?
Or perhaps a treasure rediscovered in this mad, electronic age, or Douglas Adams again (not PD, but worth yet another re-reading), or Stephen Covey, K.P Johannan.
Maybe I'll just watch "Dancing..." and tend to my virtual Cafe.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:48 PM   #26
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Until my single ereader can hold more books than my library, I won't feel overwhelmed. As for remembering what I'm reading, that's what for the "Recent Reads" category on my ereader is for.
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Old 05-17-2010, 10:58 PM   #27
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Can we call it infringing the pleasure of reading?

*ducks to avoid all the things being thrown my way*
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:17 AM   #28
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I have been working on inventorying my paper books for a while now - I'm up to about 1900 so far, and that doesn't even count the books I have in storage. I've got so many ebooks now that I'm just trying to get them foldered under at least the author's name on a single drive.

The problem I'm finding is that I'll get an ebook that I think looks really interesting but unless I put it right away on my reader, there's a chance that I might not get around to reading it because by the time I wander through the folders, I will have forgotten the author's name.

But I'm a pack rat, and I view all of my paper books, ebooks and audiobooks the way a miser would view a bag of gold coins - he might never spend them but he gets great joy from the possessing of them. It's like having a box of chocolate miniatures - there's always something there that you want.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:20 AM   #29
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Wink Really your Sh*Ting me I want everything Ebook!

Yawn really e books as crack? LOL Wow what a much to do about nothing editorial piece, wow someone needs to get a grip or be a guest on Dr Drew new show Ebook rehab LOL . Anything can become addictive obsession and stressing inducing if you don't manage time well , I also smell a hint of ludite - ism Really Dude Get a Massive grip, this some of the silliest editorial pieces in a long time I have not laugh this hard sense Janice Han wrote a op ed piece for the La Times Really LOL
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:21 AM   #30
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Nope. Want squillions more. All the past volumes that have not been done.
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