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Old 05-19-2010, 05:01 PM   #61
captcrouton
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I get that kind of stressed out by shopping. Not in like Best Buy or B. Dalton, but the clothing stores mostly and sometimes in grocery stores. I hate shopping malls.

On Planet Markus, they would just have t-shirts in all the main colors. Blue jeans for all occasions, and the styles would never change. Converse All-stars for shoes, probably in the same colors of the t-shirts.

But lots of choices for e-books. Mmm, that's my Eden.
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Old 05-19-2010, 05:49 PM   #62
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I get that kind of stressed out by shopping. Not in like Best Buy or B. Dalton, but the clothing stores mostly and sometimes in grocery stores. I hate shopping malls.

On Planet Markus, they would just have t-shirts in all the main colors. Blue jeans for all occasions, and the styles would never change. Converse All-stars for shoes, probably in the same colors of the t-shirts.

But lots of choices for e-books. Mmm, that's my Eden.
No, no, the T-shirts only need to be black. And only one kind of blue jeans, the plain 4-pocket ones. But on Planet Worldwalker, there would have to be two kinds of shoes: leather sneakers for times when there's snow on the ground, and sandals for the rest of the year. Actually, on Planet Worldwalker, there wouldn't be any "no shoes, no service" signs, so the sandals probably wouldn't be necessary. And maybe hiking boots, too, for back country use, because Worldwalker has ankle issues.

But there would be more bookstores than convenience stores, and they'd all have not just new books but used books, print-on-demand printing systems, and ebook vending kiosks that could dispense millions of gloriously DRM-free ebooks straight into your reader, or onto some physical medium (card, CD, whatever) if you don't happen to have the reader with you, or email it to you at home, and all at reasonable prices. Also, they would not have snooty cafes.

Oh, and manufacturers of deodorant would only be allowed to sell one scent. Seriously, WTF? What is a "fresh rush" and why should I want my armpits to smell like one? You could house a family of four in the deodorant section at Wal-Mart. Likewise for other personal care products. Am I the only one who misses the days when nobody worried about color-coordinated soap?

I wonder if they need a replacement for Andy Rooney?
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:52 AM   #63
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One way to use the tech to simplify things is devising a "genius list" for readers or e-book sites, like Apple has for the iPod/pad. Based on books you've read or purchased or just on the content of your device the software could make suggestions for future books. Ideally this wouldn't just be based on category, author and so on but on feedback and linkages from thousands of other customers.

Personally, I have never read as much as I do now that I can have a book with me everywhere I go. Whether it's my iPod Touch or my Sony Touch, it's easy to spend any "downtime" fruitfully. The variety and selection has always been enormous and I remember spending hours sometimes trying to find something new at the library. I can do the same thing in minutes by surfing Amazon and reading comments or samples of books. To some extent such comments are as good as word of mouth from associates. At some point some smart seller will meld this all together and you can see what a particular commenter likes to read and use that to help you decide if his opinion has value to you. Amazon already does this to an extent but it's still just getting started.

This reflects the internet overall. Info that formerly needed weeks to compile can be accessed in seconds but most people just trust whatever wikipedia says. Or use the net for mostly non-educational purposes and just cut and paste enough junk info for a passing grade on a report.
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:23 AM   #64
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One way to use the tech to simplify things is devising a "genius list" for readers or e-book sites, like Apple has for the iPod/pad. Based on books you've read or purchased or just on the content of your device the software could make suggestions for future books. Ideally this wouldn't just be based on category, author and so on but on feedback and linkages from thousands of other customers.
iGuess that's one of the things where iTunes might trump other eBookstores. I don't see why they shouldn't be able to use the Genius function for books too.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:56 PM   #65
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A "genius" list will serve me only if there's enough manpower or readership to make solid recommendations. At this point, Amazon has a big advantage in that. I don't see iBooks selling enough to gain the edge, because of book prices and tethering to only Apple devices. I could be wrong, of course. Personally, I won't buy iBooks because I refuse to pay for books tethered to one company's devices.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:59 PM   #66
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With paper books I was always limited. Limited by space, by what I could afford, by what I could stack next to my chair.

With Ebooks the limits are gone. There are thousands of books out there free.
There are others reasonably priced if I feel so inclined. I can store thousands of them on my reader. My library is threatening to eat up my computer hard drive. Leaving me seriously wondering about a Terrabyte hard drive.

In a word, before limitations, now abundance.
My cup runneth over, and truly it is a good thing.
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Old 05-22-2010, 09:58 AM   #67
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I do feel overwhelmed by too many books, much like the editorial describes, but it has nothing to do with ebooks. I just got into the bad habit of buying books faster than I could read them - and I got into that habit years before I got my first reader.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:25 AM   #68
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I am a fiction reader who reads very fast (Dad wouldn't allow TV when we were kids ... our entertainment was the outdoors or books).

I couldn't carry enough books home from the library to ensure I had enough books for the weekend; I always ran out of [new to me] books to read. Also, the library is not open 24/7, so it is hard to get there whenever the urge to read a new book strikes. I also could not afford to support my reading habit by buying books. Heh. Maybe if I was a multimillionare...

To be honest - at times it is an incredible handicap to be a fast reader. No matter how hard I tried to pace myself, I always ran out of new books to read. Notice I am talking about books that sound interesting to me; although I read many, many different genres - if it doesn't sound interesting, I ain't reading it!

So I learned to re-read all my books. I have many favorites that I like to re-read to this day. I can open to any page and start reading - transporting myself to whatever universe the author has invented. Its obviously not the same as reading a NEW novel, but at least I was reading.

Having an e-book reader has changed all that. I always have new material ready to read when I am done reading a book. ALWAYS. Right now, my TBR list is over 200 books. And they are Right. There. Ready for me to open them.

Having an unlimited supply of books available is heaven to me. With the number of free books available (contemporary and classic - and everything in between), 24/7 access to the internet and the library (I have seven libraries from which I can borrow books) and cheap books to buy should I actually want to spend money, I finally have quietened the little voice that always said "What new book can you find now?"

Actually, now that I think of it - by the time I ever get back around to re-reading my old favorites they'll be "like new" to me, because I haven't re-read a book yet in the six months I've owned an ebook reader. Which is a VERY new (and unique) experience for me.

So, long story a bit longer: No, having so many options is not bad. It is awesome!!

Happy reading.

Marilyn
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Old 05-23-2010, 06:16 AM   #69
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As the other thread on here says there are just to many free ebooks to choose from and a good percentage of them are crap. They problem with ebooks is anyone can publish one and upload it to a site like Smashwords or Feedbooks. To get a book published requires that it be good enough to make the publisher believe it will sell, with free books there is no middleman between us and the writer.

I think most people go through a phase of downloading pretty much any free ebook they can find and end up with hundreds of unread books on their computer/reader. I know I certainly when through this stage and am only now coming out the other side. I have read some absolute rubbish to the point that I have actually deleted a few books after only reading ten pages because if they haven't managed to grab my interest by them it's not a good sign (Don't Mess With Earth being one I felt was so bad I had to write a review).

Occasionally you will find a gem of a free book (I am currently reading the Northworld Trilogy which is a good read) or a good author (Cory Doctorow is one such author in my opinion) but a lot of the time you will find work that has not been proofread and has not had anybody helping the author by reading what they have done and pointing out where improvements could be made before publishing.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:52 AM   #70
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To get a book published requires that it be good enough to make the publisher believe it will sell, with free books there is no middleman between us and the writer.
The only problem with this is finding a publisher that will actually look at the book, and determine whether or not it will sell. Slush piles aren't shrinking, and pubs are still actually turning works away unseen because of their backlog. This is what happened to me when I first tried to get published... I was not turned down as unpublishable... I was told not to bother to submit!

So a lot of the works out there are by authors, like me, who are perfectly capable of writing a good book, but who weren't given a chance by the publishers, not even so much as a chance at consideration. So the authors, being coldly snubbed by the middlemen, acted on their own.

This effectively makes consumers the reviewers of the slushpile (the books that are published through Smashwords, etc), and it's up to you whether you want that role. Fortunately, there are sources of comments and reviews of much of that work, giving you a basis for deciding whether or not to read a book that is much more impartial than a book review paid for and written by agents of the publisher.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:54 AM   #71
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But as an author you must agree that it's always good to have other people read your work before you release it so they can proofread it and tell you if they found it interesting or dull so you can make the changes before releasing it to the public.
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Old 05-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #72
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But as an author you must agree that it's always good to have other people read your work before you release it so they can proofread it and tell you if they found it interesting or dull so you can make the changes before releasing it to the public.
Sure, at least for proofreading purposes (and assuming you don't consider yourself so great an arteest that no one has to "review" your work first).

But that doesn't have to be a publisher.
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:21 PM   #73
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Nope I agree it doesn't have to be a publisher just someone who's prepared to tell you the truth even if it's bad news. Even the proofreading is not that important as I read Death Ray Butterfly by Tom Lichtenberg from Feedbooks and it had typos and formatting errors but was still a good read.
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Old 05-24-2010, 05:27 AM   #74
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I think most people go through a phase of downloading pretty much any free ebook they can find and end up with hundreds of unread books on their computer/reader. I know I certainly when through this stage and am only now coming out the other side. I have read some absolute rubbish to the point that I have actually deleted a few books after only reading ten pages because if they haven't managed to grab my interest by them it's not a good sign (Don't Mess With Earth being one I felt was so bad I had to write a review).

Occasionally you will find a gem of a free book (I am currently reading the Northworld Trilogy which is a good read) or a good author (Cory Doctorow is one such author in my opinion) but a lot of the time you will find work that has not been proofread and has not had anybody helping the author by reading what they have done and pointing out where improvements could be made before publishing.
I only recently set up my devices for serious ebook investing and reading, and am starting to go through what you've described here. (Although I must disclose that I'm an author as well.)

As a reader, though, this experience is similar to what I've been going through for years with my favorite bargain bookstore. I went through a "buy a book just because it's [equivalent of 50 US cents]" phase, and then wound up with so many books I didn't want to keep on my shelves. And eventually books I didn't want to read. There were gems of course, and I follow those authors to this day, but I spent a lot of time and money sifting through everything.

Now I decide based on interest, cost and reviews, for both ebooks and the paper variety.

As for the original question, I'm not at all daunted by the possibility of "too many ebooks". In the span of a year I lost many books to termites and a flood, and after that flood began to explore going more digital with my reading.
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Old 05-24-2010, 10:38 AM   #75
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Nope I agree it doesn't have to be a publisher just someone who's prepared to tell you the truth even if it's bad news. Even the proofreading is not that important as I read Death Ray Butterfly by Tom Lichtenberg from Feedbooks and it had typos and formatting errors but was still a good read.
I rather think the other way.

Proofreading and fixing typos solve concrete issues with a text. Deciding it's a "good read" is another matter entirely... after all, your "good read" may be another person's "trash." It's a matter of opinion, and no book should be kept from others because one person didn't get into it.

I think it's better to have the book out there, as well-constructed as it can be with proofing and error-fixing, and let the overall market evaluate the book... the more people see it, especially the more of its target market, the more reliable the opinion of how "readable" it is.
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