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Old 01-10-2007, 01:59 AM   #31
Redfoot
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Back them up!!!

It is very important that you back up both the books and where possible the reader. I have had to reinstall all of my books (now well over 1000 titles) and their readers four times now, twice on new computers when the old laptop died. I have also had one publishing company (Embiid) go under on me, leaving me with 80 orphaned books. The biggest problem was with the readers, especaly the Mobipocket reader. That one made me redownload all of the books which had DRM.
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:24 PM   #32
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RE: You're not married, are you?

Yup, but since my wife is getting her Ph.D. in 19th century Brit. Lit. she lives in a bit of a glass house where book hoarding is concerned. In fact, we're in agreement that the house we buy must have a room for the library, and I'm exploring high density shelving options for it.
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Old 01-11-2007, 10:04 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yvanleterrible
The reasons are multiple. First you have to think outside of the throwaway culture we're maintained in by multinationals; where everything must be consumed and destroyed to make place for the 'new'.

-You can lend your copy of the book while keeping your reader.
Not quite. In the case of a paper book, there is a reader device, too. The reader device consists of a bunch of pressed and bleached woodpulp sheets. The difference is that the reader is disposable. Once you're no longer interested in the book, you can't erase it and use the reader for another purpose.

With ebooks you can give the book to someone else while keeping the reader if the DRM allows it (almost all the ebooks I use have no DRM). With a paper book, you can't--you can only give the book by giving the reader. However, the reader is much cheaper.

On the other hand, as you note, pressed woodpulp readers last a lot longer. The issue of preserving digital data across formats is an important one. This is why open formats are very important. (For instance, when I use anything other than standard tar/gzip for backing up, I also keep a copy of the source code for the backup software on the backup media, so I can recover the backup eventually on a different platform if needed. This means that I can't use any backup software that doesn't have an open format.)

I think the only way to preserve digital data over time right now is to keep it on a hard-drive that one regularly upgrades, and backs up regularly (say, onto another hard-drive or onto optical media, ideally stored at another location). The backups are temporary, in case of short-term hard-drive failure, rather than for long-term storage. For long-term storage a continually operating, regularly upgraded drive seems the thing. This does mean that it's a lot more of a nuisance to preserve ebooks than paper books over the long term, and hence it is good for society at large to keep paper books. But that doesn't mean I need to. However, since I already have a lot of electronic data I need to preserve, it would not be any more work if the ebooks were among the data. (Not that it matters that much to me. Content produced by others is generally replaceable. I am mostly worried about loss of unpublished self-generated data.)
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:16 AM   #34
L1Wulf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BooksForABuck
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.
That rule would never fly in my house! Books get rotated off the bookshelves as needed, with books that were good for just one read getting donated, traded or given away and the rest finding a home in a box for storage (in accessible spaces of course).

Luckily, I have a girlfriend who, even though she doesn't read quite as much as I do, goes on book buying spurts, so the "book clutter" is just as much her issue as is mine.

Naturally, now that I am a convert, my clutter won't be much of an issue (I hope/think). It only took a couple of years to convince her to use an MP3 player and she's shown some interest in my Reader already, maybe I can get her to ask for one for her birthday, hehe.

edit: now if I can just find some software that will help keep and organize my new and growing collection, I'd be in bliss. (As discussed here .)

Last edited by L1Wulf; 01-13-2007 at 02:21 AM. Reason: addendum
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:42 AM   #35
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I just bought another Reader for my wife the very next day after I bought the first one. It became clear that this could have a bad effect on our relationship - fighting over who gets to read in bed with the reader
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