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Old 12-21-2008, 02:39 AM   #1
iamback
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Default Is the book dead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George View Post
As soon as a decent electronic reader comes along, books are gone.
If you define "decent" as:
  • doesn't need electricity (so it can be used where neither batteries nor electric outlets are readily available)
  • can be used by a 1-year old (upside-down, of course)
  • allows bookmarking pages - permanently (like folding over corners)
  • provides a way to make corrections and annotations on each page
  • allows sharing your books with family, friends and colleagues (bookmarks and annotations included)
  • provides permanent storage of all your books
  • allows using several books at the same time, putting pages side-by-side
  • provides cataloging (classifying your books your way and finding them that way)
  • can be used to prop something up (like a keyboard)
...then, maybe.

But I don't think so.

There are too many use cases for books that a kindle and their ilk doesn't cover - and too many books that will never stand a chance of being converted to it.

   
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Old 12-22-2008, 01:59 AM   #2
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And you forgot, "can be easily read in bed and doesn't matter if it falls on the floor when you drop off mid-paragraph".
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
And you forgot, "can be easily read in bed and doesn't matter if it falls on the floor when you drop off mid-paragraph".
Usually even survives a drop in the bathtub — once it dries out it is still readable, if a bit funny to feel.

   
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:27 AM   #4
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Oh, I daren't read there: as soon as I lie back in the warm water, I'm off in the land of Nod. Which is OK unless I stay there long enough to wake up in tepid water, looking like an old prune!
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
Oh, I daren't read there: as soon as I lie back in the warm water, I'm off in the land of Nod. Which is OK unless I stay there long enough to wake up in tepid water, looking like an old prune!
And cold, no doubt! <g>

But even if you don’t drop it in the bath, a book collects some little dings and dents, or scraps of paper, or other marks that later will remind you of where (and what) you were when you first read it. Try that with a Kindle!

   
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel View Post
And cold, no doubt! <g>

But even if you don’t drop it in the bath, a book collects some little dings and dents, or scraps of paper, or other marks that later will remind you of where (and what) you were when you first read it. Try that with a Kindle!
And you can share them in a way you can't do with a kindle. A real book gets passed on carefully, one-on-one. Usually with verbal notes from a friend who understands the recipient's reading habits.

   
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Old 12-24-2008, 04:43 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by LoisWakeman View Post
And you forgot, "can be easily read in bed and doesn't matter if it falls on the floor when you drop off mid-paragraph".
Oh, right! Especially the last part is something I very regularly do (or fall asleep on top if it).

   
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Old 12-24-2008, 11:05 AM   #8
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I know you're not very fond of eBooks/eBook readers for good reasons.
I'm quite taken with the idea for other reasons.
I have a Kindle that I'm pleased with.

Will it kill books? I very much doubt it.

For some things you need a screwdriver. For some things, a hammer works better.
For some things, the Kindle's wonderful. For some things it's a total dud.

eBook readers are a new tool that allow us to enjoy books in perhaps different ways; they may partially replace books in some ways, but not all.

Long live the book (both e- and regular)!

Oh, and you left out a "decent" criterion or two.

- High resolution, at least the equivalent of current coffee-table books

- Good quality, full-color support

Current eBooks give us neither and neither is on the near horizon, as far as I know.

   
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:01 PM   #9
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I guess I’m not fond of them, but to be fair, I have never held one in my hands, never tried to read that way.

It seems likely that I will remedy that some day, maybe soon.

You make a good point: they are useful for some kinds of reading though not all, at least not now or anytime soon.

I was thinking just the other day that it would be a cheap and easy way to get new mysteries, which are books I would usually prefer not to own. They are caltrops already — you can barely traverse some rooms in this house for all the one-read (or maybe two-read) books.

What to do with them? It goes very much against my grain to destroy a book, maybe better to read a digital version, much better than being responsible for it ever after.

Then I could save my book space (not to mention cash) for books I use repeatedly.

   
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Old 12-24-2008, 03:33 PM   #10
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kt: What to do with them? It goes very much against my grain to destroy a book, maybe better to read a digital version, much better than being responsible for it ever after.
There are book sharing sites online--there was an article in The Washington Post a few weeks ago about them (there were 3-4 of them mentioned in the article). You ship books to someone and people ship books to you--it's sort of a pain to have to do the shipping but...

Alternatively, if you have a local freecycle group, I'll bet someone would come and take them all off your hands--what people on my local group do is to say, take all of whatever it is that's being offered (no hunting through taking just some) and then pass on the rest...

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