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Old 06-15-2010, 10:49 PM   #1
BenLee
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"I Won't Read a Great Novel on an eReader"

Came across this article discussing the move towards digital books. http://www.dailyiowan.com/2010/06/15/Metro/17517.html

Talks about the typical changes in the classroom, at university bookstores, recent statistics, etc...

But the interesting bit came toward the end...

Quote:
Prairie Lights customer Pasi Jouhikainen acknowledged that e-book versus print editions may not be a “one or the other” controversy.

“E-books are a great idea,” he said, adding it would also be easier for students to download new editions of textbooks rather than buy reprinted material every few years.

But he noted that there are drawbacks.

“I do not want to read a great novel on an e-reader,” he said. “There is something about the experience of holding a book and reading it.”
I myself would read any great piece of literature any day of the week on any eReader with decent contrast : ) But heck, I'm biased as hell...

What do you guys think? Is he going too extreme with the paper?
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:00 PM   #2
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Max Planck once said "Science advances one funeral at a time." So will it be with e-books. Over time, the people who must read a book on paper will all grow old and die. And future generations of young people who will be the future generations of adults will never give electronic book reading a second thought, because it is perfectly normal to them. (Okay, there may be an occasional fad of nostalgia for the past, but it will pass, as fads do.)

The mistake every person who resists change because "we never did it that way before" is in thinking that the future belongs to them-- it doesn't.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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there is some validity to the article, I can't imagine reading Watership Down in digital format.
don't get me wrong I love my nook but with certain books, nothing will take the place of beautiful hardcover and hte best contrast in any format.

but for day to day reading, I am fully on board the digital e-reader train.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:21 PM   #4
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Ack.

You know, there are a few tactile experiences I miss about print books. I still remember when I finished Shutter Island how I had to immediately flip back to the front of the book - that sharp *snap* sound - to see how'd I'd missed all the clues.

But, do I miss those things enough to give up my Sony?

Oh, hell, no ....

.... my precioussssssss!
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:31 PM   #5
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Save your paper books! They will be worth fortunes on ebay in just a few years when all books will be digital. That sharp *snap* sound you were talking about will become just a novelty effect from silly paper books of yesteryear : )
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:49 PM   #6
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I don't care how other people wanna read. If someone prefers stone tablets, shrug.

I read plenty of great novels (Gutenberg) in e-form. They're free and portable. That said, I still buy print books, because I care more about content than format, and many books aren't digital yet.
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:09 AM   #7
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Another vote for "shrug"

Any new technology has its detractors. By now, a story like this is a pretty well-worn template: "Wow new tech, isn't it great, but so-and-so will stick to the old stuff."

And I, for one, would much rather carry A Dream of Red Mansions on a 10-ounce ebook reader than lug 6 huge books around again....
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:37 AM   #8
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The funny thing is, my dad (who always said he loved the smell of paper, etc) finally came around to e-readers when he saw one in person---and now that he is getting one, he wants to ONLY read the classics on it, not the throwaway stuff. I guess he feels like the throwaway modern stuff is more about the experience of going to a bookstore as an outing, to browse and look and have a coffee etc. The ebook reader will be so he can re-read all the great classics he read in his youth. He likes the idea that he can download an entire library for himself for free from Project Gutenberg and carry it around in his phone. He totally plans to use his ebook reader as a repository of Great Literature and save the paper for trashy reading
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Old 06-16-2010, 12:38 AM   #9
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I admit there is a certain tactile pleasure to a paper book. Of course, there's also a tactile pleasure to opening up my Kindle and seeing all the reading material on it, too. To each his own, of course, but eventually technology will progress, whether we like it or no. I look at people watching their favorite movies and tv shows on tiny screens on their iPhone and think, "I could never enjoy a movie like that!" But they do, and I don't judge them for it.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:19 AM   #10
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I just don't get the worship of the paper experience. It's what I grew up with. I still have an extensive collection of pbooks gathering dust as I try to replace them all with ebooks. I go back to my pbooks when I want to reread an old favorite that isn't available as an ebook, but I miss the ebook experience. I can't comfortable hold my pbooks in one hand without risking damage to the spine of the book, they are way heavier than my PB360, and I can't read more than one book at a time easily. I've been reading a lot of political non-fiction recently and when it gets too heavy/depressing/boring I switch over to a lighter fiction read.

I really miss nothing about the pbook experience even though it's all I knew for the first 91% of my life. The only pbooks that I think are superior to ebooks are children's books. There's something magical about a nice big book and the child looking forward to what's on the next page. My son has his favorite parts of his books memorized and flips right to them. He wouldn't be able to do that himself, even on a large, color ebook.

-Marcy
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boswd View Post
there is some validity to the article, I can't imagine reading Watership Down in digital format.
don't get me wrong I love my nook but with certain books, nothing will take the place of beautiful hardcover and hte best contrast in any format.

but for day to day reading, I am fully on board the digital e-reader train.
I don't understand this... Why can't you read Watership Down in digital format, but can read author Yyy's latest novel?


I forsee a glorious role for paper books. They will be treasures. They will also be more expensive, but who cares, they'll be collector's items.

The paperbacks will disappear, in favor for electronic. But the hardbacks will be works of art. Something you will want to show in the living room. So, you'll have author Yyy's latest novel on your reader only, and Watership Down on display in your livingroom.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:55 AM   #12
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I like paper's electricity and device independence. It is easy to interact with, and the quality of printed text on paper is still light years ahead of ebook readers. Further, nobody has made a really compelling ebook hardware/software solution for my purposes yet. There are plenty of books and documents that simply won't display well on ebook reader devices, so I won't read them. But "great novels"? Those tend to be precisely the books that are well-suited to ebook readers, along with disposable fiction.

That is, unless the book itself is a prop, and sitting down and reading it is a ritual or ceremony. I could make a nostalgic picture of me sitting in a small Chinese gazebo atop a nearby small mountain, making traditional tea in very old teaware and reading poetry from scrolls on a big stone table. Heck, been there, done that. But you know, it's really bloody hard to get all that done on my commute to work, and I don't want to require a vacation in order to read good literature...and scrolls are no fun on a bus or in the subway.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:35 AM   #13
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No paper books, please. How can one read classics without the smell of parchment?
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:06 AM   #14
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I am a new E Reader & am a complete convert. I love the fact that my 505 is lighter than a Pbook, I can hold it with one hand & have so many books at my fingertips literally. Apart from a few paperbacks which I have kept, I gave them all away after I had read them anyway, as I do not read a book again unless it really grabs me, & those I have kept, but I can see my bookshelves again...lol
I cant see myself buying another Pback unless it simply cannot be bought as an ebook & I absolutely must have it.
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Old 06-16-2010, 05:59 AM   #15
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Whenever I'm reading a deadtree book now, I can't stop myself from keeping glancing down into the darned lower-right corner of the page to see the time!
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