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eBooks vs Dead Tree... round 1


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View Poll Results: Books, electronic vs dead tree form, which do you prefer?
eBooks, because they are cheaper and kill less trees. 2 7.41%
eBooks, because there is no life beyond my work desk. 1 3.70%
Dead tree, because literature has more value when I can hold it in my hand. 7 25.93%
Dead tree, because it feels more comfortable not to view text illuminated by a backlight. 17 62.96%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

eBooks vs Dead Tree... round 1
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-02-20, 00:59

How many years ago was it when the computer was piped out as the single key to a paperless office? It's was big news, electronic information was sweeping across most businesses and the need for paper filing was soon to be no more.

But it never happened, paper in the office space grew in expenditures instead of decreasing. The consumable printing market exploded and we are still surrounded with more paper in the office then most people could count without going insane.

Which brings me to my question:

Books, electronic vs dead tree form, which do you prefer?

I ask because I recently realized that I truly dislike eBooks, and I'm considering the purchase of a laser printer just so I can print them for later (and much more enjoyed) reading.

I did try to meet the 'electronic revolution' half way. My laptop is tablet convertible so reading an eBook in tablet mode is much more enjoyable on the couch vs at my work desk. But I still don't think it's enough.

EDIT: Now with poll!

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!

Last edited by Wickers : 2006-02-20 at 01:19.
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DMBand0026
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chicago
 
2006-02-20, 01:19

I picked the value one. However, I really don't think I could deal with reading an entire book sitting at my desk on a backlit screen. I don't think the day is too far away where paper will actually be used less, but for now, I like being able to hold a paper book.

Come waste your time with me
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torifile
Less than Stellar Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Durham, NC
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2006-02-20, 01:27

Until I can take ebooks to the Can without having to worry about power or dropping it in the toilet, they are dead to me.
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BlueRabbit
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denver, CO
 
2006-02-20, 01:34

Yeah, holding a paper book is just a lot different than using an eBook. I find that my eyes strain a bit after using a computer screen for a while, but not so much with a book or newspaper.
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Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2006-02-20, 01:35

Maybe when OLEDs become commonplace I'll start using some sort of digital format for casual reading (provided the content is available). Until then, dead trees for me!
Quote:
Originally Posted by torifile
Until I can take ebooks to the Can without having to worry about power or dropping it in the toilet, they are dead to me.
Yeah, power is a huge problem that I don't see being solved any time either. I don't want to have to periodically recharge my book. If the power requirements can get really low, maybe a reader could work with solar cells like many handheld calculators use. Of course, that's just a pipe dream right now...

The quality of this board depends on the quality of the posts. The only way to guarantee thoughtful, informative discussion is to write thoughtful, informative posts. AppleNova is not a real-time chat forum. You have time to compose messages and edit them before and after posting.
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-02-20, 01:38

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
(provided the content is available).
You'd be surprised just how many books have become public license over time.

Project Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad
Yeah, power is a huge problem that I don't see being solved any time either. I don't want to have to periodically recharge my book. If the power requirements can get really low, maybe a reader could work with solar cells like many handheld calculators use. Of course, that's just a pipe dream right now...
In all hopes, eInk should be the tech that takes care of this sort of thing.

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!
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AsLan^
Not a tame lion...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Narnia
 
2006-02-20, 02:25

I'm not sure how many ebooks I've read, but I know at least 12 and probably more than 20.

I really enjoyed reading ebooks on my palm IIIx and my palm zire 71 both now broken Well, actually the zire still works but has this weird manufacturing flaw that stops the screen working (the touch screen comes away from the contacts and you need to squeeze the frame to get it to work).

I really liked ebooks because I could read them anywhere, and I was also in the military which meant I could easily bring several books with me on one deployment (training exercises, I never deployed to combat). Additionally, I was often sharing sleeping quarters, and with the ebooks I could read at night without bothering anyone else.

My preferred formats for all the stuff I read is as follows...

Fiction - Palm sized ebook reader
Reference (regulations, laws etc.) - Workstation
Manual (progamming, other technical things) - Paper
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Majost
monkey with a tiny cymbal
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Lost
 
2006-02-20, 02:42

Every single eBook or eReference I get for a class, I immediately print it out. And for many reasons beyond what you have there. I enjoy writing on my books, making notes, highlighting.

As far as pleasure reading goes, I don't know that I could wean myself away from the paperback. It has such a marvelous shape, size, and I've enjoyed reading with a paperback so much that I don't know that I could move to a palm sized reader from a purely emotional point of view. Resolution and typography make a difference, as does "paper size." I've never seen a handheld screen that I would want to read a whole book from.

The only place I might see value in the electronic book is reference - and there only due to the fast searching methods and lightweight form factor of thousands of pages of work.
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scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
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2006-02-20, 03:01

When reading I want to relax with easy to read text and an easy to carry non-expensive package I can shove in a back pocket, or a bag..

All these toys that read e-books are too damn easy to lose, break or get mugged for, and they are still not as convenient as turning pages in a lump of dead tree..

I hate myself for saying it as I love gadgets, have tried really hard to use everything fom my Newton to my Treo to read books on, and I hate the needless destruction of trees.. I prefer to hug trees.

But at the end of the day a bok is a book is a book, and I think our generation will always feel more comfortable with them..

Heck.. When I needed to get up to speed on C++ I could have got it all free from the internet, but I still went a bought a $50 book as I could drag it into the bedroom, stack it on a shelf, stifk it in a bag, and lay it open on my desk while I use it as a reference next to the computer I was working on.... I have more than 1 monitor and still I'd reather get information from a book. If I do download literature of any sort from the internet I invariably print it out!

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London
 
2006-02-20, 03:36

I'm a big book fan but I think audiobooks need to be included in the discussion. EBooks are too close a replacement for the real thing, so the incremental value add currently looks low.

Audiobooks are quite different though - now we've moved away from Walkman cassette players, I've found there are certain topics I prefer to listen to rather than read (such as the recent Google books) and iTMS / Audible have an ever improving selection.
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AsLan^
Not a tame lion...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Narnia
 
2006-02-20, 03:45

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franz Josef
I'm a big book fan but I think audiobooks need to be included in the discussion. EBooks are too close a replacement for the real thing, so the incremental value add currently looks low.

Audiobooks are quite different though - now we've moved away from Walkman cassette players, I've found there are certain topics I prefer to listen to rather than read (such as the recent Google books) and iTMS / Audible have an ever improving selection.
Can you recommend any good audiobooks ?

I meant to try that format but they are more expensive than real books and I wasn't sure if I would like them or not. The one I wanted to try out was cryptonomicon but its only "unabridged excerpts" so not only would I be paying more, I would be getting less... so I decided not to try it. Perhaps unabridged excerpts are better though, from a lot of the reviews of that particular book online, its supposedly pretty long winded and could be a lot shorter, so... meh.
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London
 
2006-02-20, 04:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^
Can you recommend any good audiobooks ?
Depends what your taste is Aslan^ . I generally go for unabridged books.

I like the Goggle books (John Battelle, David Vise) because the topic is of interest to me. Michael Palin is an excellent narrator (great voice ) so I have Pole to Pole, Full Circle, Around the world in 80 days etc. If you like travel he's first rate. I also like Deutschmann's the Second Coming of Steve Jobs - good chapter on Pixar, very topical. Douglas Adams - the Salmon of Doubt is a good read (listen?) too.

Re value, I find I often listen to chapters more than once which I would never do with a real book and because I would probably not buy most of the books I listen to as audiobooks anyway, the value proposition works for me.
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scratt
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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2006-02-20, 04:17

With audiobooks I am so used to tuning out and using music as background I tend to do the same with audiobooks..

About 20 minutes later I wonder what this annoying chat is going on while I do something else.. I would rather half watch the tv to be honest.. Unless it's a really really great narrator, like say, Michael Palin..

'Remember, measure life by the moments that take your breath away, not by how many breaths you take'
Extreme Sports Cafe | ESC's blog | scratt's blog | @thescratt
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-02-20, 04:27

scratt,

I find the same thing happens to me with audio books. If I listen to them instead of music while I'm working at something else. I just can't multitask to take advantage of audio books like that.

However, I love to listen to them while I'm on the subway, bus, walking the dog, etc... times when I'm not preoccupied with a more important task in front of me. Then they really start to show their worth.

Audio book wise, I'm into the recorded lectures, some by The Teaching Company aren't that bad.

no sig, how's that for being a rebel!
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London
 
2006-02-20, 04:29

On the whole audiobook / lecture theme, Stanford has some good stuff on their site - http://itunes.stanford.edu/ .
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Wickers
is not a kind of basket
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2006-02-20, 04:32

Oh that is just kick ass!
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AsLan^
Not a tame lion...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Narnia
 
2006-02-20, 04:36

I generally stick to sci-fi but I occaisionally read less geeky things. Yeah, I wouldn't listen to an audio book while working either, in fact I rarely listen to music when working unless I'm doing something boring or repetitive.

I was curious about audiobooks for the same reasons as you Wickers, for on public transportation, or possibly even exercising.

I looked at Audibles selection of sci-fi audiobooks and I must say, nothing really jumped out at me, I also dont like the way their website works so that irritated me too.
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Franz Josef
Passing by
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London
 
2006-02-20, 04:40

Quote:
Originally Posted by AsLan^
I also dont like the way their website works so that irritated me too.
There's no doubting that - they make it hard . Much prefer iTMS. One thing they do however, is they keep your books so that even if you are silly enough not to back them up and have a crash, you can re-download them.

Last edited by Franz Josef : 2006-02-20 at 05:50.
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Doxxic
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Amsterdam
 
2006-02-20, 04:54

When choosing from the poll, my answer would really be that it's more comfortable to hold it in my hand.

And oh yess what definitely adds up to the pleasure of reading is the smell of ink and dead trees. Like I go to the movie theatre especially because I like to accompany my movie with shiploads of caramellized popcorn from buckets with the American flag printed on them.

And oh yes you can't bathe as easily with a laptop on your lap.
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Barto
Student extraordinaire
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Canberra, Australia
 
2006-02-20, 07:03

Cory Doctorow has a podcast of him and others reading his books. My favourite, which also links to another audiobook podcast. I really like audiobooks (call me an illiterate dimwit if you must).

The sky was deep black; Jesus still loved me. I started down the alley, wailing in a ragged bass.
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bassplayinMacFiend
Banging the Bottom End
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
 
2006-02-20, 09:05

Personally, I haven't found a good way to dogear electronic info for easy retrieval at a later date. That and I want to be able to relax on the couch or in bed when I'm reading. I don't want to be stuck at the computer station.

Oh yeah, this study is a few years old, but it's still interesting nonetheless; email increases office paper useage by 40%.
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