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Old 05-30-2010, 09:13 AM   #1
JerseyBiker
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New York Times commentary this morning

Further Thoughts of a Novice E-Reader
By VERLYN KLINKENBORG


See link below

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/op....html?emc=eta1

~eddie
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:58 AM   #2
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As a reader and novelist, I appreciate the pass-along value of books, and I hope digital book distributors figure this out soon and make it a reality with e-books.
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Old 05-30-2010, 10:30 AM   #3
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The next to last paragraph explains the reason I chose a nook - lending libraries. Plus it allows limited lending of some titles.

Ereaders aren't books and I don't understand why they are compared (favorable and negatively) to books. I'd like to see media marketed in a way specifically tailored for ereaders' capabilities, say, a Rhapsody-like subscription service.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:44 AM   #4
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What I love most about the cheap paperback books I buy is the way the pages fall out as you read. The loose pages make perfect bookmarks, and the texture is perfect for light sanding.

(Feeling a little snarky this morning.)
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #5
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"Further Thoughts of a Novice E-Reader". Hmm..It seems just a blatant marketing campaign to me. But then again, since it's discussed here, it looks like a blatant but effective marketing campaign.
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J. Sellers View Post
As a reader and novelist, I appreciate the pass-along value of books, and I hope digital book distributors figure this out soon and make it a reality with e-books.
L.J.
I can't really see that happening with ebooks. The idea of one sale per reader will be very attractive to publishers.

As a writer, do you have any influence over things like that?
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Old 05-30-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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All moot for more. I don't much care how my books look, text is text to me. And I don't care much about lending. I seldom lent books out or borrowed books from others or used libraries.

I love just being able to buy whatever I want to read (or get PD books for free) so easily and not have a physical copy to worry about getting rid off since 99% of books I'll never re-read.

I share my Kindle account with my girlfriend who is the only person I'd be lending books to anyway, so I have no issues with e-books at all.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:26 PM   #8
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Maybe eReaders aren't a good medium for poetry. . .

Or those dopey, too hip for words, booklike printed things that Marshall McLuhan published in the 1960's. Yeah I "read" 'em, but I'm not braggin'.

You can 'sort of' fix the layout with a PDF, but not exactly. Maybe we need to think of publications where layout IS part of the message (Sigh, we'll never get away from McLuhan completely) as a totally separate medium from epublications.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:39 PM   #9
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yes, ebooks are not the same as books. But, to me, the text is what's important (unless it's a picture book!) And I have a Sony, and have found wonderful gems of books from the library (where I got 95% of my paper books in the first place) and from various places on the web- free, discounted, whatever.

The longer I go back and forth between pbooks and ebooks (had my ereader a little over a year and a half now), the more I realize I greatly appreciate different attributes of each experience. But I must say, I appreciate that my sony doesn't try to pretend like it's a book with the six next pages showing... wth is that about??
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
I don't much care how my books look, text is text to me.
Oh, yah, baby.

I spent a number of years slaving away in a Toronto typography studio and I really admire type design. This experience -- a book presented as a typographic delicacy -- is entirely missing e-books as rendered by my Kindle and Kobo.

But, hey! I read Raymond Chandler for his dialogue, not the book designer's tasty Caslon ligatures.

I can be patient: better typography will emerge and, in the meantime, the word's the thing.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:03 AM   #11
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The author of that article really seems into having her e-books look as much like a printed page as possible... And yet she's reading on an iPad.

First step would be to pick up an e-paper device.
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Old 06-01-2010, 07:08 AM   #12
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Personally, I find that the ability to change the font and font size creates a more pleasant reading experience. I can't count all the times I've bought a paper book that turned out to have tiny print that made it unpleasant to read.

Also,

Quote:
In the mass migration from print to digital, we’re seeing a profusion of digital books — many of them out of copyright — that look new and even “HD,” but which may well have been supplanted by more accurate editions and better translations.
HD??
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:20 AM   #13
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"HD??"

Maybe he likes to drop trendy words like HD. I mean that HDTV is trendy and he just wants to show that he's "in the grove".

"I have been reading a lot on my iPad recently (what constitutes "a lot" to him? One or two chapters? Three?) , and I have some complaints — not about the iPad but about the state of digital reading generally. Reading is a subtle thing, and its subtleties are artifacts of a venerable medium: words printed in ink on paper. Glass and pixels aren’t the same. (Does he miss the clipity clop of horse drawn buggies? I know that I do. Ask any of the pioneers. I'm sure that they would prefer to spend 3 mouths crossing the continent along with the sickness and death that added so much to the experience.)

When I read a physical book, I don’t have to look anywhere else to find out how far I’ve gotten. The iPad e-reader, iBooks, tries to create the illusion of a physical book. The pages seem to turn, and I can see the edges of those that remain. But it’s fake. (And there it is in a small nut shell. He wants a paper book, nothing else is real.)

"Your poems — no matter how wretched or wonderful they are — will never look as good as Robert Hass’s poems in the print edition of “The Apple Trees at Olema."

I suppose that he prefers to buy leather bound, hand writen, books at his local scriptorium. I remember suffering through Kahlil Gibran books printed in plain type. I feel so humiliated.

"We need a digital readers’ guide — a place readers can find out whether the book they’re about to download is the best available edition."

I have some books in 2 or 3 DIFFERENT editions. And I will not part with them! Each one has been "updated" by the publisher. When I die my wife will just throw out "those old books". But to me they're gold. So if some idiot wants to make up a guide to prevent me from buying the newest edition that’s fine. So long as I can use it in my reader.

One point in his favor - he has grasped that DRM is bad.

News papers want to stay news papers. RIP news papers.
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:37 AM   #14
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With Kindle, you get free sample chapters for pretty much everything.
If between that and the reviews you can't figure out whether the thing is worth buying you might as well go back to mooching at Borders...
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Old 06-01-2010, 02:18 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyBiker View Post
Further Thoughts of a Novice E-Reader
By VERLYN KLINKENBORG


See link below

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/30/op....html?emc=eta1

~eddie
The big problem I have with the comments expressed in the opinion piece is the assumption that the layout, design and font choices are somehow *more* relevant to the reading 'experience' than the words themselves. Sure, I'll grant that a truly abysmal layout can detract from the reading. But not that much. There's a wide range of fonts, sizes and page layouts that *most* people would be able to use without having to struggle to read the words. On the other hand, if a layout is so 'attention-getting' that the reader is almost *forced* to spend more time admiring it than concentrating on the actual message - well, that's not a book in my opinion, it's an art piece.

Derek
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