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Old 06-16-2010, 11:51 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
The very definition of a cellphone. (With a protective case, probably). If you have one of those, you don't need a dedicated reader... something millions of people have already discovered, especially in Asia. And even if you did break it, cellphones are (usually) easily replaced, and hopefully you were smart enough to keep file backups.

Dedicated readers are, let's face it, luxury items right now, and for simply reading text, barely worth the cost and trouble. Multi-use devices are more economical, and preferred by most of the world for their utility. If you already have a multi-use device that is ebook capable, you've just removed the cost of a dedicated reader from your budget.

Point is, ebooks are already cheap to buy... especially when you consider the real costs of paper books that you will pay for later, for instance, your taxes that will go to managing landfills and cleaning the polluted air and streams from pulp manufacturing and transportation. Add convenience to the low cost, and you have a win-win that will steadily convert more readers to digital.
True, cell phones can meet that need but the cell phone I have strictly makes and receives phone calls...when I turn it on. I'm from a generation that grew up not needing to be connected at the hip (lip?) with someone 24/7 (I also just don't really like talking on the phone because of my ADD; I have to have more than one form of input to be able to properly process it, such as watching body language while listening, otherwise it's exhausting). The only reason I got the one I have is I often drive long distances and it is handy to have just in case. The rest of the time I don't need it (can't afford a plan with internet access) so I just have a very basic phone (the old Oyster) and a prepaid plan (it's actually more cost effective for me than a monthly plan) that rolls over every month ( I typically won't use it for two or three months then use it a bunch for a week or two). I've arranged to have the provider automatically top up for me as needed so I don't even have to think about it. I've had the phone three or four years so I'm happy with the arrangement.

I agree multiuse devices make more sense, most of the time. A phone wouldn't be suitable since the vast majority of my e-books are going to be scanned pdfs without being OCRed (too time consuming) and will need to be viewd at least the full width of the scanned page. I bought my first netbook with the idea of using it as a reader but found battery life was too limiting and even waking up from hibernation just took too long. It's also heavier than a reader. I love netbooks because they are really handy when traveling and make good backup computers for accessing the internet if my main computer goes down but they make lousy e-book readers.

I've been waiting for the readers to improve and come down in price. I recently ordered a 6" Astak that NewEgg knocked $150 off the normal price so I'll see how that works out (if not, I'll send it back and keep waiting).

For now (note I said "for now"), I'm finding buying paper books and scanning them is more economical and since I buy used whenever I can, I'm not really impacting the environment since the books are already in existance and headed for the landfills eventually anyway. Eventually, buying e-books directly will be more economical (I'll buy them now if I can get them DRM free; I refuse to subsidize the bastards who sell books with it nor let them force me to be a criminal by buying them and stripping the DRM).
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:48 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
Dedicated readers are, let's face it, luxury items right now, and for simply reading text, barely worth the cost and trouble. Multi-use devices are more economical, and preferred by most of the world for their utility. If you already have a multi-use device that is ebook capable, you've just removed the cost of a dedicated reader from your budget.
Agree. E-readers need to come down in price. We havent hit the knockout price for them yet. Disappointed the Kobo retailing for $149. Too much for a basic reader.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:31 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald
Younger generations won't have that problem because they will be used to "clicking the mouse".
The older users still remember the time when mice wer only for gaming or not present at all

Quote:
True, cell phones can meet that need
not really - I tried it (generic Nokia with Java mobi reader) and its a PITA
the display light + batt consumption ...

Quote:
buying paper books and scanning them is more economical and since I buy used whenever I can ... I'll buy them now if I can get them DRM free; I refuse to subsidize the bastards who sell books with it nor let them force me to be a criminal by buying them and stripping the DRM
I second both

Last edited by Freeshadow; 06-16-2010 at 03:31 PM. Reason: typo corr
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:48 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeshadow View Post
The older users still remember the time when mice wer only for gaming or not present at all
Yeah, I can still remember having to use a joystick in place of a mouse on my Commodore C64c (which I still have, btw) and just cursor keys on the early PCs, especially the old mainframe terminals (I liked their keyboards better, though).
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:52 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeshadow View Post
I tried it (generic Nokia with Java mobi reader) and its a PITA
the display light + batt consumption ...
Obviously, some phones are better at it than others. My HTC Touch Pro 2 (smartphone) is great at ebook reading, having 6 different reading apps on it, and plenty of power to last for the periods of time that I read. (My review of it is here.) If ebook reading is important to consumers, they'll have to choose their phones according to which device does the best job for them. I chose the TP2 with ebooks in mind (as well as other things... it is a multifunction device that replaces my old phone and my PDA), and I have not regretted it.
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:59 PM   #81
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Some very good thought here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
In the end, when e-books overtake paper books (and they will) will depend on economics. Unless people are voracious readers, it remains cheaper to buy (or borrow from a library) paper books, especially if people buy used or, even cheaper, buy used then trade them in when they are done with them.

The price of e-book readers needs to come down dramatically and quality and durability needs to increase (when's the last time you broke a book, rendering it unreadable, by dropping it?). People will be more likely to buy e-book readers if they are easier to read, cart around, won't break when dropped, are more reliable and are easier to use. Books don't break, have batteries, and are as simple to use as anything will ever be. E-book readers need to come close to that with the difference being offset by being cheaper and taking up less room than a library of paper books.

E-books need to become more available and publishers need to get over their copyright violation paranoia and plain old greed. Copy protection schemes in place now do not work but do drive away potential new adoptors of the new technology. Instead of trying to make e-books uncopiable, both physically and legally, attention needs to be focused on how to catch and prosecute violators. How? I don't know but the present system isn't working and is hurting everyone in the long run.

The claim by publishers that e-books are killing them is just an admission that they do not know how to profit from the new technology. Instead of fighting the eventuallity, they need to just go ahead and plan for it. Instead of bemoaning how e-books are hurting paper books sales, start scaling back paper book production and ramping up the distribution of e-books. The present factories cost money to operate, maintain, and upgrade. As a factory ages, instead of throwing more money at it, phase it out or, even better, repurpose it (Studebaker and Greyhound are still around under different names, they just saw the light and got out the car and bus business). In the long run (and, with wise planning, the short run), they stand to increase their profits.

The final stumbling block to e-books replacing is people still being attached to paper books. Part of this is the need for something tangible to hold and own. Something physically intangible as a digital file is uncomfortable. Younger people tend to be quicker to adopt new technology so that discomfort will start dying out with us flatuent geriatrics.

The time will come. How soon depends on the variables I've mentioned.
Dear Lady Fitzgerald:

You seem to be well tuned in with the situation.

I work for a company that makes eBook Readers and has a new eBook Store(www.EZread.com). Books do break actually. I have busted a few bindings.

You are very right that devices need to be cheap, light, reliable, easy to carry, and no worry about batteries. I cannot advertise on here for my device and will not. But I can say that certain 5 inch devices weigh 5.8 ounces, fit in a clutch purse or suit jacket pocket, have user-replaceable rechargeable batteries where popping in a spare takes maybe 30 seconds, come with the protective case included, and are selling for $199 now and dropping in price. That would be with 20 formats, 36 languages, text-to-speech, SD card slot to 8,000 eBooks and your MP3, and choice of colors.

My point is not to talk about a device but to say that some device manufacturers have heard you and are indeed trying to put out exactly the device specs you name. Some will argue they want the price even lower and we are aiming there... but reading on a good 5 inch is excellent with 9 font sizes and 20 choices of font style.

You are right that all statsitics point to people over 45 being the early-adapters to eBook Readers. The young seem to not have much time for reading and never found the joy and adventure of a good book.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:25 PM   #82
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My daughter w(10, advanced reader) walked into Borders and the FIRST thing she noticed was the Sony reader display--it was the coolest thing in the whole store. She said she'd trade every one of her books to own one, and said, "If I had that, I wouldn't have to pay $4 for a hardcover when the paperback wasn't available" and "I could carry 3,000 books."

BOOM. She is already smarter than publishers. She also said "All bookstores smell the same."

Scott
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:53 PM   #83
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Dear Lady Fitzgerald:

You seem to be well tuned in with the situation.

I work for a company that makes eBook Readers and has a new eBook Store(www.EZread.com). Books do break actually. I have busted a few bindings.

You are very right that devices need to be cheap, light, reliable, easy to carry, and no worry about batteries. I cannot advertise on here for my device and will not. But I can say that certain 5 inch devices weigh 5.8 ounces, fit in a clutch purse or suit jacket pocket, have user-replaceable rechargeable batteries where popping in a spare takes maybe 30 seconds, come with the protective case included, and are selling for $199 now and dropping in price. That would be with 20 formats, 36 languages, text-to-speech, SD card slot to 8,000 eBooks and your MP3, and choice of colors.

My point is not to talk about a device but to say that some device manufacturers have heard you and are indeed trying to put out exactly the device specs you name. Some will argue they want the price even lower and we are aiming there... but reading on a good 5 inch is excellent with 9 font sizes and 20 choices of font style.

You are right that all statsitics point to people over 45 being the early-adapters to eBook Readers. The young seem to not have much time for reading and never found the joy and adventure of a good book.
Pardon me for laughing right now but your kind response struck me funny because you're preaching to the choir. I recently ordered an Astak 6" Mentor from NewEgg. It should arrive tomorrow (or so they claim; more likely Friday). They had slashed the price down to $130. Even with $2 for shipping, that's a smoking price for a 6" reader (I wasn't expecting to see that kind of price before Black Friday) so I had to go for it. If it doesn't work out, I can always send it back and go back to waiting for the technology and prices to reach points I can accept. Based on what I've read about Asteks, if it doesn't work out it will be more because I'm using PDFs that are just images of pages which won't flow and have to be viewed as is than the reader itself.

I've broken a few bindings, too (mostly older hard backs). At least they were still readable (even though it was a pain in the neck). Paper backs seem to be way more robust (unless left in the sun in a locked vehicle in my neck of the woods in summer).

I have never doubted that e-Book manufacturers are developing their product and trying to lower prices since that has been happening. I've just been waiting for the quality to increase and the price to lower to a point I find acceptable. It just may be that is now. I'll know when I get my reader in the next few days.

As far as saying it was the 45+ demographic that are the early adopters of e-books goes, I never actually said that although I have seen statistics supporting that (I'm an old fart at 61). The 45+ crowd may be the early adopters (probably because they have more money) but it's the younger generations who will make e-books and readers a success, even if they don't read as much as us old folks do (btw, both of my kids are in their midthirties and read voraciously). Traditionally, they adopt new technology more quickly than us old fogeys because they grew up with it and haven't developed the hard to break habits and attachments to older technology us older folks have. In my case, I much prefer paper books to e-book technology but I'm adopting it from necessity. I have roughly 1100 paper books that I refuse to give up but I'm moving into travel trailer in a year or two and there is no way I can cram them all in there unless I digitize them. I've already done that with my CDs and will with my old photos (I use digital cameras now, thank God) and DVDs. Pity I can't digitize my tools (Daddy was a machinist and I inherited his love of tools).
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Old 06-19-2010, 03:25 AM   #84
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ebooks very well may become more popular, but many like myself still prefer the real thing. I have an ereader mainly to read web material and books I can get for free, as well as those I can rent for free from my local library via overdrive.

I will never buy an ebook, it is just a flat out waste of money when you can have a uninhibited paper version in your home. But that is just my option. I have had my kindle for nearly 6 months and still am yet to buy an ebook, and I don't plan on it anytime soon. I have downloaded a few of the available classics, but surly did not pay for them.

I truly prefer paper based books, especially those made of high quality paper. I mainly use my kindle for material which is not worth printing, but is worth knowing and not worth reading on the computer. As an example would be a wikipedia page or a RFC. News, blogs and the like are also good for ereaders, but again I would never pay amazon for them. But is it better than a printed news paper, if there is no missing content which seems common these days.

I also feel I learn a lot better from paper books than I do ebooks. There is just something missing from the ereader. As an example, my textbooks are filled with small notes, such is just to hard on an ereader. Today I was working on a circuit, I was able to go back to my engineering circuits text from school, and knew exactly where to look in the book for the formula I needed. My knowledge is tied to those books, and I need them here in print format.


I also like to own what I buy, and don't want to rent them. I will never buy a book or any form of media which includes any form of DRM. I also don't want companies to have the ability to change what I buy, or decide they should take it away. If I buy it I want it in my home, for me to have and hold. I am the exact same with music, movies and tv shows. I would never consider buying a album from iTunes when I can just buy the real thing at the store, or from amazon with free shipping. I get a higher quality product and its mine.

Thats how I feel I guess. Id consider buying an ebook, if I had the option to get the paper copy for free along with it. But paying $9.99 for an ebook when I can get the paper copy for the same price is insane. A proper price for an ebook, to me at least would be around $2 USD. If they cant go that low, they include the ebooks with the purchase of a paper copy and allow those who don't want the paper copy to simply opt out.
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