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Old 08-29-2010, 03:20 PM   #1
eric11210
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E-books can be really dangerous

Since I got my reader around three or four weeks ago, I've spent hundreds of dollars buying books (every time there's a sale, I can't resist getting a few more that sound interesting) and I'm always itching to read, much more so than I used to when I only had print books. In fact, last Thursday night and Friday, all the way until 5AM Saturday morning, I was reading almost continuously and ignoring everything else, including lots of chores I needed to get done.

I had downloaded all 7 books of the Shadow Children sequence and read them back to back to back. I had actually read books 1,2,3 and 5 previously (I used to be a Junior High School teacher) but never got to finish so I was thrilled when I found them all available as ebooks. The trouble is, now I'm trying to catch up on work that I should have been doing then.

So I say again -- ebooks are dangerous. To my wallet and to my time. Even now I hear the siren call of my ebook reader with yet another book I'm in the middle of reading and want to get back to.

Oh, and for those wondering what it is, the Shadow Children series or sequence, as the author refers to it is a series of 7 books by Margaret Peterson Haddixx. The books are middle grade (i.e. written for the same age group as the Harry Potter series) and the focus is on third children. Very briefly, without giving away the whole plot, in some futuristic time, a country (we're never told which, but the local currency is mentioned as being dollars and the presidential mansion is mentioned as having a rose garden, so you be the judge) has suffered three years of severe drought resulting in famines and food riots.

After three years, the military takes over and imposes order, making sure people will no longer starve. However, in order to prevent the possibility of problems in the future, they pass the population law which says that no family may have more than two children. Anyone who has a third child will be subject to either a $5 million fine or death at the discretion of the judge and the child will be executed by the dreaded population police. The story begins by focusing on Luke, who is a third child and how he has to remain in hiding. He has all kinds of struggles in order to deal with the problems that come from that, but I won't say more since it may give away the plot.

I will say however that I love the way she has a great command of the human psyche. She shows you, in simple terms how certain ideas can develop in us as people. I especially liked the way she developed the end of the 7th book where she shows the danger of listening in sound bites instead of actually taking the time to learn all the details about an issue. I use a similar concept in my own novel and I often comment on that when I write about history. Especially in an era of television, most people can't be bothered to read what the facts actually are and instead love to focus on slogans and simple ideas. That said, the 7th book was the weakest of the bunch. . .but anyway, enough said. I need to try to get back to work instead of doing more reading.

Eric
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:19 PM   #2
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I am cheap.

I've downloaded a few library books since my reader arrived a few days ago, with an Overdrive wishlist of a dozen or so more. I plan on buying a few that are the same price (or lower!) than a print copy would cost me. My (existing) print and audio TBR piles are so backed up that that should keep for a while.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
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Gutenberg is my friend. And so are other free libraries and freebies here at MR.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prash View Post
Gutenberg is my friend. And so are other free libraries and freebies here at MR.
Yeah, that and other free places is how I built my library initially with several thousand free books. Then I started to see all these great deals like WH Smith and more recently, the Kobo deals and the deal at Fictionwise and my inner shopaholic (a book I got for free with a Kobo deal BTW) took over and I found myself buying all kinds of books. Mind you, I've rarely paid full price for anything I bought. I think the only thing I bought without a discount code was the new Artemis Fowl book, since at the time it was only available from the Sony store and it was only $9.99. Since then however, I've gotten lots and lots of other stuff, always at great bargain prices, but it does add up. . .

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Old 08-29-2010, 05:21 PM   #5
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And I am inches away from getting a PRS 600. So I presume, I'll be following your footsteps sire.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:00 PM   #6
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I agree. Can't resist any time there's a sale going on. I just have to maybe buy one or two.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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This has sort of being the case with me too. I read about a new book, and I see it on sale or I see a book I wanted and see it on sale and buy it. Because it's all digital you do not see how much you need to read. With a physical book, I saw how much I needed to read which stopped me buying books.
Finding http://ebooks.addall.com/ didn't help either.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:28 PM   #8
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Doesn't the page count of the print book description help you at all?
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:32 PM   #9
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Hmmm, I'm note sure about ebooks being dangerous, but I amd certainly enjoying reading on an eink device.I bought a Kindle 2 on Nov 20, 2009 and haven't looked back. I have read about 50 books so far -- which is about 49 more books than I've read every year for the past couple of decades. Before the ereader, I read a lot -- just not books.

The real gift is the rediscovery of my love of reading and fiction in particular. I was somewhat voracious in my teens but I lost track somewhere along the line. Between music, tv, movies and other past-times/hobbies, reading books fell off activity list.

And places like Gutenberg, Manybooks, Munseys and the 3rd but not least of the "m"s Mobileread, there is a treasure trove of interesting PD material to enjoy. I finally got around to reading more of the Chesterton Father Brown as an example. And I've discovered authors like Frank Froest, Hulbert Footner, Frederic Brown and Frederic Isham who wrote tons of credible, likable mystery tales which stand up well today.

It's not mentioned here much, but ebooks -- in spite of all the controversy -- are generally cheaper (and often a LOT cheaper) than mass or trade paperbacks. At least, that is my direct experience in Canada. It is difficult to find any books under $10 (other than remainders for which the author gets paid $0 royalties) ... can you imagine Rex Stout at $22? That's the price here in bookstores where you have to be present to shop around, picking them off the shelf yourself. Most of Stout's ebook titles are around $8 mark, some less, some a little more AND they are always in stock and ready for instant purchase and read. It's true you can buy most of these as pbooks at a discount going online to amazon or chapters ... but compared to bricks and mortar, ebooks are a tremendous savings.

And this is without consideration of another benefit: books I simply can't buy in a store which I can buy as an ebook. Gary Ponzo's Touch of Deceit (see: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...71&postcount=1) is a good example.

Nope, ebooks aren't dangerous but they are certainly a pleasure AND a net savings on the pocketbook, too.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:05 PM   #10
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I've always read a lot, ebook or hard copy. Ebooks are way easier to store a huge bonus for the space challenged
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:48 AM   #11
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I agree that it can be dangerous. It is too easy to hit "Buy Now" - especially when your credit card is preloaded against your account! I am trying to join a library so that I don't spend so much. And I am also reading far more than I used to, mainly because my e-reader is so much easier to throw in my handbag and I pull it out whenever I have a few minutes. I have to admit that I'm addicted - not sure if I need help for that or not!
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:21 AM   #12
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addictions can be managed, e-reading goes beyond addiction .... !
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwipippa View Post
I agree that it can be dangerous. It is too easy to hit "Buy Now" - especially when your credit card is preloaded against your account! I am trying to join a library so that I don't spend so much. And I am also reading far more than I used to, mainly because my e-reader is so much easier to throw in my handbag and I pull it out whenever I have a few minutes. I have to admit that I'm addicted - not sure if I need help for that or not!
That is the other thing I have noticed as well. Most of the books I read are 400+ pages so they're big, and my eReader is small so it fits into my any part of my bag without hassle. My books shouldn't fit in the front at all.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:16 AM   #14
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Hi. *glances about nervously* My name is C.E., and, uhm, ... I'm and ebook addict.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. Then again, we could all be wasting our money on far worse things!

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:06 AM   #15
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Oh definitely. I have cut down my e-book buying drastically after joining Philadelphia Free library. From 100 dollar a month, to maybe 20-30 dollar. My wallet is very happy! I wouldn't have bought any books at all if it wasn't for Wh Smith's sale.
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