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Old 08-27-2010, 04:23 AM   #1
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P-book vs. E-book

I had a Kindle 2i for about two weeks before returning it because the Kindle 3 was announced. That would leave me several weeks without my E-book reader, so I decided to treat myself to my "last" P-book. A hardcover book for a change. Since I now had the experience of reading from an E-book reader I decided to see how they compared. Te E-book reader being the future, I decided I should read the P-book the same way I would use my Kindle. Here is what I discovered.

1. Windbreaker
Kindle wins hands down. Reading outdoors when the wind is blowing was a tad frustrating with a P-book and a piece of Kindle with an E-book.

2. Page turning
A brand new hardback will at times have pages sticking together. Luckily this one didn't require a knife to separate them. Sometimes the Kindle would require an extra tap on the Next Page button before it would turn a page. I guess it is a tie.

3. Returning
With the hardback I insert the flap of the protective cover on the page I left. I usually take the front flap if I'm on the left page and the back flap if I'm on the right page. Sometimes the book is too thick to do that. So when I return to reading it takes a couple of seconds before I find my place. Kindle has only one page and it brings you back there when you slide the On-switch. Advantage Kindle.

4. Olfactory component
My nose is an abomination to the French perfume industry. Lets call it a tie.

5. Bed reading
A fair amount of reading takes place in bed. I can hold the hardback resting on my underarm with two fingers over the back and then extending over the top to separate the pages. This is a comfortable way for me to hold a book. Doesn't work with the Kindle. The Kindle is however much lighter and the leather from the jacket is smooth on my hand and fingers. However, I suppose I can get leather covers for P-books as well, so I'll leave that part out and say advantage for P-book until I find a better way to hold the Kindle while being vertical.

6. Reading novels
I noticed my reading pattern began to follow the pace of the novel with the Kindle, fast paced and I would push Next Page button while beginning the last line of a page. Do not have the same reaction with a P-book. Score one for Kindle.

7. Reference reading
This one is really difficult. With a P-book you have two huge pages often with color photos or graphs explaining and clarifying. With the Kindle you have instant search and look-up functions. Undecided.

8. Multiple books
I like to read several books at a time. I have four or five on my nightstand at any given time. With the Kindle you switch books in absolutely no time. With P-books you close them, put them at the bottom of the pile, open the next one, have to find your place etc. No-brainer; Kindle.

9. Language selection
This is the clear advantage of the P-books. I read in several different languages, some that aren't even supported by the Kindle (however the K3 claims support, we'll see). Once a book is printed you can read it, no matter what language. With an E-book reader you need to have language and font support, some languages have very long words, so without support for hyphenation you get some odd looking pages.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:31 AM   #2
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You've made some interesting points, Kumabjorn.

Of course, you're comparing the Kindle with a new paper book - and one that you own yourself. If you ever take books out of the public library, you'll see another advantage of the Kindle: it's more hygienic. Many library books have dirt marks, stains, and worse.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:35 AM   #3
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I hate the people who write in library books. I don't even write in my own books so why would you in a book that is not yours ?? So that's also a benefit of the ebook.
No annotation of readers
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:52 AM   #4
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How about the cover pages, you don't get colour on the kindle ... and the image quality will be better on paper.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:55 AM   #5
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How about the cover pages, you don't get colour on the kindle ... and the image quality will be better on paper.
Very true, but I don't think I have ever purchased a book based on its cover. Hence, it didn't enter my mind as something worthy of comparison. That however doesn't mean that it isn't a valid point.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:56 AM   #6
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How about the cover pages, you don't get colour on the kindle ... and the image quality will be better on paper.
True, but how often and how long do you look at the cover pages of a book?
Even in a bookshelf the cover is hidden and all that one can see is the spine.
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:58 AM   #7
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You are , obviously , a youngster too , not needing a font size changing option !!!!
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Old 08-27-2010, 04:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumabjorn View Post
Very true, but I don't think I have ever purchased a book based on its cover. Hence, it didn't enter my mind as something worthy of comparison. That however doesn't mean that it isn't a valid point.
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Originally Posted by Tomsk View Post
True, but how often and how long do you look at the cover pages of a book?
Even in a bookshelf the cover is hidden and all that one can see is the spine.

I don't disagree, but some book covers can be works of art, deserving of appreciation too .... even if only for a wee while ...
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:15 AM   #9
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You are , obviously , a youngster too , not needing a font size changing option !!!!
Although flattered, these days any man's attention is welcome, I never did change font size on the Kindle. I see that more as a long term advantage but by the time I'm blind as a bat we will probably have E-readers with holographic projections so I can have a 8" x 12" image on my ceiling.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:28 AM   #10
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All this will depend a lot on what, how, when and where you read. I don't read in bed much, but when I do, I find holding my Opus much easier than I would holding a hardback. (But I never read harbacks anyway. Hate them.) Mostly I read in the métro or train, and for that the Opus is much better than paper.

For reference books, I think paper still wins, especially for me since my Opus does not have a search function. I suppose this will change some day, but publishers need to come up with well-designed e-books, not simply digitizing books that were designed for paper. I think the whole design of the book, probably from the writing stage, will have to evolve.

For books that require quality images, again paper wins hands down.

But for books made up mostly of text that I read from beginning to end (most of my reading), I don't miss paper at all.

When I have to read in paper, if it's a good quality paperback that I can carry in my handbag, I still enjoy it. But I have discovered, since I read e-books, that the print quality of paper books varies a lot, and some can be very bad. I had never noticed that before, but maybe it's just my eyesight getting older.
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:32 AM   #11
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you mean your eyesight is becoming more experienced ....
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:42 AM   #12
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This morning I had a classic example of finding reading easier with my e-reader. I was giving blood and had my left arm connected to the drip feed, but my prs300 sat nicely in my right hand with my right thumb changing the page. Now, I never mastered one handed reading with a paperback - for a few minutes I could keep the book sufficiently open to read and use my thumb to flick the pages, but then I always found the book starting to close together and I would need my other hand to readjust the book's position.

I also find reading in bed easier with the e-reader, since I love reading lying on my side - and simply having one page at a time presented in front of my eyes is so much easier, than adjusting the paperback book each time I move on to the facing page.

Finally, I have a fold over case for the 300, with a built in reading stand - so I am sat in my office with my reader presented "lectern" style in front of me as I eat my lunch and read. (At least I was, until the lure of this forum struck and I started browsing for today's postings).
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Old 08-27-2010, 08:57 AM   #13
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While the only functional e-book readers I have are my JBL and my computer, here is what I come up with in each category of Kumabjorn's (I added my netbook, boxes, and book shelves since they also are factors to be considered):

1. Windbreaker

Since most of the books I read are paperbacks, wind isn't really a factor since I have to hold a paperback open all the time no matter what. The JBL just lies there and my computer gets read indoors only. Moot.

2. Page turning

Page turning a paperback usually requires one hand to hold the book and the other to turn the page. This can be a bit of a problem if I'm also eating. The JBL is much easier to turn pages on since it only takes a simple finger press. JBL


3. Returning

Paperbacks usually don't have flaps on the cover. If I slip while holding the paperback open, I can usually kiss my place goodbye. Bookmarks can get lost too, especially if I drop the book. Of course, if I drop the JBL, I can kiss the JBL goodbye. The JBL remembers where it was when I shut it down. JBL

4. Olfactory component

If I can smell the book from where I'm holding it while reading, I don't especially want to touch it. The JBL has no oder I can detect. JBL

5. Bed reading

I have problems with my arms getting tired or going to sleep when I read in bed. If I nod off while reading a paperback, I'm in danger of losing my place. If I nod off while reading my JBL, I'm in dager of knocking it off the bed, requiring a new JBL. However, my 32" TV is positioned to be comfortably viewed from my bed. I have it patched into my computer so, when I'm in bed I read from my TV. I now read two books at once: one from my JBL when away from the house and another one from my computer/TV when at home. When I'm away from the house or on the road, I'm not likely to be reading in bed. Computer/TV.

6. Reading novels

The JBL turns pages fast enough, I don't need to anticipate the page turn as Kumabjorn apparently needs to. Same for the Computer/TV. Not possible with a paper book. Moot.

7. Reference reading

I haven't tried doing reference reading with the JBL yet, especially since many of the books I read on the JBL are page image only PDFs made from scanning paper books. Paper book referencing requires page turns, grabbing another book, or going to the computer. When reading with my computer/TV, I would have to go to the computer or grab a paper book to reference anything. Undecided.

8. Multiple books

Keeping multiple books on my JBL and my Computer/TV takes up so much less room than in my purse or in my home. JBL and Computer/TV (it was really no contest).

9. Language selection

I read only in one language so this is a moot point.

In addition to the above points, I have a few more:

10. Portability

When traveling or just away from the house, my JBL fits much better in my purse than most paper books. In fact, most paper books will not fit in my purse. If I want more than one book with me, I don't have to pack extra luggage to accomodate them; I can just put them on my JBL and my netbook. JBL and netbook.

10. Storage

Paper books eat a tremendous amount of space, space I have very little of now and will soon have none. I can fit my present paper book collection on a small portion of the small harddrives of my computers instead of 30-40 large boxes. Computer/TV and Netbook, hands down. JBL, poor second, unless I decide to also keep multiple SD cards, then it will move up to a stronger second. Boxes and book shelves, not even in the running.

11. Organization

Far, far easier on my Computer/TV using calibre. Netbook finishes a strong second. The JBL is too small to organize my collection. Poor third. Boxes and bookshelves?
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:23 AM   #14
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pbook .... no battery needed.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:27 AM   #15
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Maybe off topic but my main reason for getting an ereader was availabilty of books where I work.

I would refuse a job in a town without a library and the town I am in now does not even sell paperbacks anywhere.

Not a problem anymore although I live in fear of my ereader dying.
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