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Old 01-04-2007, 02:29 PM   #16
L1Wulf
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Hehe, got so distracted by Yvan's post, forgot the original topic. I agree with Steve Jordan, if the book itself is a keeper, you can't go wrong by buying the paper version first--then as prices drop, get the ebook later on.

No rules keep you from owning both, so why not get the first printing on paper initially?
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Old 01-04-2007, 04:46 PM   #17
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Having paid $350 for the Reader, it's going to be a long time before I buy any hard copy books! No happy Amazon boxes for the foreseeable future unless they contain gifts for others. In a few years I'm going to be retiring and moving to a smaller place with very limited space for books. I'm going to face serious choices about what books will be retained in my permanent library. It's a comfort to know that I'll have hundreds of digital books at hand. However, my very favorite authors I will have in hard copy and in digital form.
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Old 01-04-2007, 06:52 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
...

If these were digitized, she could still use them, and the original could be stored in a nitrogen atmosphere, that would stretch their lives. The longevity benefit from just not being handled as much would be significant.

And that doesn't even address microtext (microfilm/fiche) -- I don't know why that stuff hasn't been converted to digital storage long since -- some folks are still making it for cryin' out loud! It boggles the mind.
...:
I so want this digitization!

I have the same difficulties doing 18th century research. There are plays I've been trying to get the text of that only seem to be on microcard - but the local UC only has one very old reader (it only shows 1/8 of the page at a time) with a copier that only prints a fourth of the shown page. Very frustrating. I've also tried to get pamphlets and such (copies!) from places like UCLA's Clark, but they won't even consider it. Sooo...

When Google announced the whole World's Library idea, I cheered. Not for in print books, but all those old books that are very hard to locate, and even if you do, they are often too fragile to use. If I can find physical copies of old books, I'll scan them, but on the whole they are all too difficult to find. (One book from the library was - literally - tied with twine to hold it together!)

I know there are those who study the history of the book, and in their case, they will need the physical book. But for the rest of us who only want the info that's inside - digital is certainly the way to go, imo.

Just two days ago, I received a POD book that is a reprint of a 1724 medical treatise. I'm very glad I could get it, though I sure would have preferred not to have to pay the $35 price tag. I would just have happily purchased an e-book of this title had it been available.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:09 PM   #19
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I expect 18th Cen. is even worse!

Regarding the microcard -- can you get it to a plain old fashioned scanner? I've wondered if a really high resolution scan of one might produce a readable doc, you see.

I didn't even know what a 'microcard' was before I started my Marital B.S. in 19th Century Brit. Lit. (a by-product of my wife's PhD, don't you know? )
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:54 PM   #20
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My take is: if you won't miss the money, get the e-book; if you'd rather own the book indefinitely rather than license it provisionally, get the p-book. I purchased Idoru because it was essentially the price of a magazine (which I probably wouldn't keep).

I can appreciate why people question the lifespan of their DRM purchases as a matter of principle, but practically, I can't imagine myself getting bent out of shape 3 years from now over an orphaned e-book that I paid less for than a fast food lunch. On the other hand, I couldn't justify spending $20 on something without a physical artifact in return. Totally subjective, not particularly rational, but there you go.
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Old 01-04-2007, 11:48 PM   #21
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My problem is I love books. I have rooms and a basement full of them. I have given many to libraries both for their use and for them to sell to raise funds for their own new books. A lot of what my wife and I read does not have large popularity and therefore is seldom stocked in the local library -- in fact some of them are purchased directly from the author or publisher and are not even on Amazon.
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Old 01-05-2007, 09:17 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio717
I so want this digitization!


.
"La Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec" here in Montréal has "all" archival documents available on microfilm, linked to a 'pay by page' photocopier. Nobody but personnel can get to the originals.

The main drawback is that old printed documents are fairly rare. Most of them were handwritten, causing dissention on the real decoding of what is written. The only way to digitize such documents like this would be in a bitmap or image format without OCR, leaving to the historians the right to interpret true meaning.

Every historical document of the world shoud be available in e-format.

Last edited by yvanleterrible; 01-05-2007 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 01-07-2007, 02:12 AM   #23
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@natch
ROFL, I misread that as a martial B.S. which left me scratching my head, and then it sunk in and woke up the GF who dozed off on the couch with my laughing. Obviously, the humor factor was increased exponentially after the "huh factor".

While reading over this thread again, I realize that I long for a service akin to the "all-you-can-eat subscriptions" for MP3 players (Yahoo Music, the new Napster, Urge, etc.). Yes, the critics will say the same thing as the music services, but paying a low monthly fee (lower than the music services since there is only so much you can read every month) for a whole library of books, just makes me drool. I know safari books already does something similar to this for technical books, but, unless something has changed, you can not load them up on mobile readers.
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Old 01-07-2007, 03:51 PM   #24
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Most ebooks are actually free

Are you people all oblivious to the fact that you can find hundreds of thousands of books on file sharing networks?
I don't want this to become a debate about intellectual property rights, but let's assume for a moment that many people don't care much for that (and if digital music is any indication, that's a safe hypothesis to make), then Bob's original list of pbook advantages becomes irrelevant:
*) There no DRM on books you download off bittorrent.
*) There's a huge selection - not as big as Amazon's maybe, but definitely bigger than your average town bookstore. I've yet to look for a book that I couldn't find.
*) The pricing is of course impossible to beat

I bought my Sony Reader only after I discovered what's available online for free, and would probably never have bought it otherwise.
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Old 01-07-2007, 10:22 PM   #25
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Yvan, are the French documents available online? I've done some searching but it was a few months ago and ended in (mostly) frustration.

ekehat, well, I do have some of Carlyle's Frederick from Gutenberg. But Carlyle, being Carlyle, is soooo hard to read on my Palm. Once the Sony Reader gets scaleable PDF capability, I think I'm there.

(Yeah, I know you weren't talking about Gutenberg, but I, personally, am uncomfortable with non-PD sites. (I'm just sayin'...))
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Old 01-08-2007, 08:27 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Studio717
Yvan, are the French documents available online? I've done some searching but it was a few months ago and ended in (mostly) frustration.

ekehat, well, I do have some of Carlyle's Frederick from Gutenberg. But Carlyle, being Carlyle, is soooo hard to read on my Palm. Once the Sony Reader gets scaleable PDF capability, I think I'm there.

(Yeah, I know you weren't talking about Gutenberg, but I, personally, am uncomfortable with non-PD sites. (I'm just sayin'...))
I have found some in graphic format. This is what I'm deploring. And since they are in image format, they are unsearchable. OCR is next to impossible with them because it's cursive text.

If you have pdf files that are not graphic, meaning that the text is not a bitmap but individual printed characters you can copy and paste a whole book. I do it with Word and then change the document properties, text font and size and do a search and replace to remove all extra returns at the end of lines that the pdf left. Takes about 2 minutes for every document. Its worth it for a 2 hour read.

Forgot to leave the link. http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/numtextes/indexs.htm

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Old 01-08-2007, 12:23 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekehat
Are you people all oblivious to the fact that you can find hundreds of thousands of books on file sharing networks?
Most of us aren't, no. I daresay none of us are now.

However, MobileRead is not a site that promotes this sort of extra-legal filesharing.

Sure, the intellectual property rights are discussed and and debated a great deal (and it's a lot of fun -- and usually interesting -- to do so ), and opinions on both sides are discussed and explored in detail. But for the most part, folks 'round here would prefer to see a situation develop where they can legally purchase the books they want to e-read, and just giving up and getting stuff from the darknet, without regard for compensating the folks who actually wrote the stuff, is a bit counterproductive to that goal.
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Old 01-08-2007, 02:42 PM   #28
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NatCh,

I definitely share the view that authors must be compensated in some way - otherwise, why would they write (actually, many would probably keep writing anyway, but that's another story).
Nevertheless, paying the same price (or more) for an ebook as I'd pay for a pbook, even though printing and distribution costs are near zero, just doesn't make sense. Extra-legal activity is what forced the music industry to cave in and allow Apple to start selling individual songs for logical sums. I expect it would be needed if we are to force a similar result in the book publishing business.
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Old 01-08-2007, 03:10 PM   #29
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And there are a lot of folks that share your view on that, ekehat.

I was just responding to your query as to why we aren't going on about the darknet content.
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:14 AM   #30
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You're not married, are you?

My wife has a rule--if a book comes into the house, another book has to go out. She spent the first couple of years we were married stopping at every garage sales to see if they had bookcases. Then one day, she realized our house had turned into a library and we still had stacks of books on the floor.

eBooks are the perfect solution--they all fit on your computer hard drive so you never have to buy more bookshelves. Figure that shelf space is worth what, ten dollars a year per inch, and you've cost-justified the three buck eBook penalty.

That said, eBooks shouldn't cost more.

About propriatary formats: my company, BooksForABuck.com, and Fictionwise's 'multiformat' versions both allow you to download multiple formats, including HTML, which will definitely be around long after your Sony has hit the eBook reader in the sky.

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