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  #1  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:55 AM
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Default Killing 8-bit Trees with E-Readers!

I know I'm not the only person with an e-reader on the forum. I have a Kindle 2 with free forever 3G (this is the last one with the keyboard). It's a nice little workhorse.

This weekend as the Missus and I begin looking to downsize before the move in the fall. I went through my books, anything that I could get for free on the Kindle went into a stack.

By the end of the day that stack had over 100 books in it!? Then I went through the stack and sold as many of them as I could back to Amazon, the rest went on freecycle.

I ended up shipping a 40pd box of books to Amazon for $80 worth of credit.

Has anyone else bit the bullet with their e-reader and started using it to replace their dead tree library?

Would some of you never do that even if you could?
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
Would some of you never do that even if you could?
I would not replace all of my books, just...just...

I would not replace my books.

I just can't. Books are physical things I enjoy (even if I don't read that much). It's not like games where you put your game in your system, install it and don't need to touch the game again until you're finished.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:27 AM
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I would not replace all of my books, just...just...

I would not replace my books.

I just can't. Books are physical things I enjoy (even if I don't read that much). It's not like games where you put your game in your system, install it and don't need to touch the game again until you're finished.
It's just like that! I still have all the information that was in the books that I got rid of. Now though their in bits instead of blots of ink on paper. The information hasn't changed the medium.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:28 AM
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Books take up a ton of space in my apartment and are a pain in the ass to move, and that's the way I like it!

I have a Kindle Touch. I've used it a bit, but I haven't latched on to it the way some people have. I'm annoyed that the lines are all right justified, and also that I can't flip through pages quickly (one of the books I read was a textbook), and that there isn't any cover. I tend to buy a lot of books used and loan them out constantly (I have multiple copies of some of my favorites), so I don't see myself actually getting rid of books on purpose. I feel like I have too many gadgets as is, between my iPhone, Macbook Air, DSi and Vita. I tend to just bring my iPhone with me and spend more time reading on the Instapaper app than the Kindle. And I had Instapaper articles sent to Kindle for a while, but the interface is considerably worse than the iOS app.

Sorry to come in here to crap on eReaders, it's not so much that I dislike them as they just don't fit into my life.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:36 PM
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Books take up a ton of space in my apartment and are a pain in the ass to move, and that's the way I like it!
X1000

I do like the kindle though. It's really really convenient and kind of fun. I'm not sure why e-books are so novel to me, but it's just kind of cool to use.
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:41 PM
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I've stopped buying paper books whenever possible. Between the Kindle and the iPad, I simply don't feel much need for them. The iPad is great for the ore graphically-rich stuff, the Kindle for anything that's just text. If you'd have asked me five years ago, I'd have said I'd never get the Kindle, that books were just too good.

But... Having gotten a Kindle, I find I read way more than I used to. The amount of effort involved in reading is way lower, since I almost always have it with me, it fits in my pocket, and it's got all my stuff on it. And I can read it in sunlight - which, let me tell you, is GREAT for my "I need to be outside more" moments. And when sitting up and reading in bed, I don't need to worry about the logistics of turning pages...
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Old 05-07-2012, 01:53 PM
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My wife and I have Sony Readers. Hers is amazing, which is good because I got it for her to replace the old touchscreen model that has shitty contrast (which is now mine). The best part is that we're both linked into the same account, so we can actually read books at the same time, instead of having to wait for the other person to finish.

Having multiple books on demand is amazing. I'm at the point where I'm starting to resent physical media of any sort, since anything digital is much easier to access. The only real advantage for books any more is that it's much easier to flip back a few pages (or more) if you want to reread a passage or reference something, even with ebook bookmarks.
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Old 05-07-2012, 02:40 PM
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i like living in a world where i can have a kindle AND still buy books. I hate the idea of having a series started in paper and finished electronically, plus i'm very attached to meeting authors and having them autograph things.

plus, for books that i like lending out or want my wife to read, physical just works better. I can finish a book and hand it off to her and start the next right away, rather than having to wait for her to finish with the kindle.

That said, there are tons of books i want to read but don't want to own, and for that, the kindle is a masterwork, especially with libraries and stuff.
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Old 05-07-2012, 03:22 PM
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plus, for books that i like lending out or want my wife to read, physical just works better. I can finish a book and hand it off to her and start the next right away, rather than having to wait for her to finish with the kindle.
Yeah, more publishers need to enable the Kindle Lending feature.

On the upside, the anti-DRM wave appears to have started. Tor's declared defeat in the War on Piracy, and they're not small"
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:38 PM
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Yeah, more publishers need to enable the Kindle Lending feature.

On the upside, the anti-DRM wave appears to have started. Tor's declared defeat in the War on Piracy, and they're not small"
Tor's stance is a really good start.

The problem with borrowing digital books is that publishers are leasing them to libraries for a certain number of loans, and there are restrictions on how many people can borrow them at once. So there are wait lists for things where there isn't a technical need for there to be. Also, once X number of people have read the digital copy, it's totally gone and the library has to re-buy the book to loan it out again. Basically, it's more restrictive and expensive than physical books, even though it is cheaper for the publishers amd they are completely unrestricted in how many they can sell for no extra investment. It's some real bullshit, is what I'm getting at.
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:43 PM
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The problem with borrowing digital books is that publishers are leasing them to libraries for a certain number of loans, and there are restrictions on how many people can borrow them at once. So there are wait lists for things where there isn't a technical need for there to be. Also, once X number of people have read the digital copy, it's totally gone and the library has to re-buy the book to loan it out again. Basically, it's more restrictive and expensive than physical books, even though it is cheaper for the publishers amd they are completely unrestricted in how many they can sell for no extra investment. It's some real bullshit, is what I'm getting at.
Oh yeah, that's bullshit and no mistake. But I'm referring to Lending Kindle Books, which is for user-to-user lending.
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  #12  
Old 05-07-2012, 06:30 PM
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"Kindle" and "lending" is a disaster in any context. The number of hoops you have to go through to check out a library e-book on a Kindle every single time, relative to absolutely any other reader on the market, is absurd. Yes, Amazon, we know you want us to just buy everything from you directly, but you don't need to be that obvious!
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:59 PM
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I just got a Kindle and while I don't see myself replacing my books with digital copies, I love the thing. I love actually holding a book, physically touching it and turning the pages, but there is no beating the convenience of an e-reader.

I am fairly certain that I'll do nearly all of my classical reading my Kindle from now on, since they are free and right there. In fact I am working my way through some Dickens and Austen right now. But I can't see ever buying books, at least ones that I am anticipating, brand new digitally.
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Old 05-07-2012, 11:17 PM
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All I have to do to check out books on my Reader is to go down to the library and renew my card. And I can't even be assed to do that much.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:47 PM
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I've been buying new releases as e-books. It's pretty ideal for big fat fantasy or sci-fi tomes, though it's sad I no longer have complete hardback runs of Bujold or Brust or G.R.R. Martin. On the other hand, I'm out of shelf space. I still get physical copies of books for my kids most of the time.

I also like that you can read an e-book in parallel, since we have multiple Kindles. You don't have to wait for your wife to finish, just make sure to turn off wi-fi so it doesn't sync you to her location.

I did some book purging the past, so I'm actually repurchasing stuff I used to own. I had the first five WoT books in hardback (well, 3-5 in hardback, 2 in trade, and 1 in PB) and sold them off when the series obviously wasn't going anywhere soon and I've picked them up again as they've been reissued. I've repurchased some Barbara Hambly books I used to own Way Back and the Dragonbone Chair books.

There was no way I could have ever physically stored every book I've ever read but now e-books have made that possible.

Anyone know how I can get pottermore to sell me the UK version of the Potter books even though I'm in the US?
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:46 AM
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Like shivam, I enjoy owning both and am glad I don't have to choose. I dream someday of having a library of my own in my little house, and plan to have a stand for the kindle (or whatever e-reader I have by then) there among the paper books. The kindle is great for traveling - both living abroad and shipping less stuff, and just taking it on the train/bus with you - and the instant ubiquitous search/buy/download is nice and convenient as well. Plus free e-books through Gutenberg etc. NOT TO MENTION, I read my friend's book's first draft as a kindle e-book - great for self-publishing or even just passing around to friends.

That said, I do like a good book in my hands. You'll never get to enjoy the cinnamon-vanilla smell of an old kindle. On the other hand, I may just be married to tradition. The more I read on a kindle, the more attached to it I become, and don't feel much of a difference. I certainly wouldn't have to lug that fucking tome around to keep reading 1Q84...
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Falselogic View Post
free forever 3G
For as long as there is a 3G. Currently, the 2G networks are being scrapped in order to provide spectrum for 4G and I suspect the same will happen in the next generation.

And I love my e-reader! But it's more for convenience of carrying a library around with me, not looking to replace real books. I feel the same about digital comics, the experience is tied to the physical media unlike music, movies, tv, etc.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:50 PM
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I've considered buying an e-reader, but I don't think it would be worth the investment for me. I already read a lot, so maybe the extra portability would increase that, but probably not by much. And I borrow most of my books from the library/friends/family nowadays, so I don't think it would save me much money. I also suspect that if I were to get an e-reader I would start a whole bunch of books without finishing them and that's not something I need.

But I do understand the appeal and it is very tempting.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:44 PM
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About a year after buying my Nook I find that I split Ebooks and physical ones pretty much down the middle. Though I tend to buy authors I am used to reading in physical form in that format and authors I am used to in Ebook on Ebook. In other words I just bought The Wind Through The Keyhole as a book but will almost certainly buy Redshirts as an Ebook.

Interestingly enough though this is shifting a bit, thanks to my new job whose employee discount makes physical books ridiculously cheap. If say Mucho Mojo costs me ten dollars for an ebook and three for a physical. Its not even a choice. Even if the rest of my Lansdale is electronic.

That being said, I fully intend to buy as many comics as possible in eformat. Right now that means mostly Marvel, I am collecting Grant Morrison's Run on Xmen. And picked up Ultimates and New Avengers in the wake of The Avengers. Its just way more convenient than shelves full of trades.

What I like about ereaders is the serendipity they allow for. I pick up a Peter Straub non fiction collection that had no idea existed for five bucks, and in it I read an excellent essay on Lawerence Blocks Scudder series. I go to Lawerence Blocks page and see that the first Scudder books are .99 cents a pop. The ease of purchase makes it somewhere beyond even an impulse buy. That being said the majority of pricing is nowhere near that reasonable. But its nice that the older catalogue titles are moving in that direction rather than being used to bolster arbitrary price points.
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:32 PM
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No. Absolutely, positively, definitively not. I collect video game books, man! They're one of a kind, and while I don't read them that often, I could never just give them up because I had them in a digital format. I feel the same way about my old fanzines. Again, I don't read them very often, but they're MINE, and I'll sit on them like a dragon on his horde 'till the day I die.

Having said that, I'd like to have electronic versions of all my literature as an option. It'd be nice to flip through the pages of Ken Uston's SCORE! Beating the Top Sixteen Video Games without the risk of harming my original copy. Same goes for Mastering Pac-Man (which isn't in great shape, but whatever) and the tons of old magazines I either have or once had. I'd love... just absolutely LOVE to have all the issues of Video Games and Computer Entertainment at my fingertips.

I don't currently have an e-reader, but the Android phone I've got coming in the mail can be used for that purpose. And likely will be once it arrives. It's got 24 gigs of total storage... might as well make the most of it!
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:09 AM
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I like how unabashedly anti-ereader this thread is. :3c

Personally I'm fascinated by the technology behind e-ink screens. The display works on a deceptively simple mechanism. I'm just waiting for colour e-ink to become a thing. Right now a few companies have pulled it off, but it looks very washed-out, like reading old newspaper comics.



I'd like to see colour readers in higher resolutions, in the hopes that comic book publishers will give them more support. I'd love it if Vertical started publishing to e-readers.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:40 AM
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I like how unabashedly anti-ereader this thread is. :3c
Here's the thing, though. Even as much as we love books, they fall apart. They go out of print. An e-book is pretty much just html, it's small and dumb and you can read it on almost anything.

Even as a kid trying to read things from the public library, there were always the dread words "not in print" and "unavailable for request." Ever since the government ruled that the unsold inventory of books was taxable, books have been destroyed by bookstores because of the costs of storing the stock. Libraries remove books that aren't checked out frequently enough because of the costs of maintaining inventory. E-books now make the long tail work in favor of the reader.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:09 AM
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I'm just waiting for colour e-ink to become a thing.
This is pretty much me. From time to time I really crave getting a Kindle, but I'm certain that we're close to some really nice color e-ink screens and I stay my hand.

I would never consider reading on any sort of backlit device, considering how much of my day is spent staring at backlit screens to begin with. I'd really like my eyes to last until I'm old.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:21 AM
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Here's the thing, though. Even as much as we love books, they fall apart. They go out of print. An e-book is pretty much just html, it's small and dumb and you can read it on almost anything.

Even as a kid trying to read things from the public library, there were always the dread words "not in print" and "unavailable for request." Ever since the government ruled that the unsold inventory of books was taxable, books have been destroyed by bookstores because of the costs of storing the stock. Libraries remove books that aren't checked out frequently enough because of the costs of maintaining inventory. E-books now make the long tail work in favor of the reader.
An e-book is HTML plus really restrictive DRM. You can't own an e-book, only lease it from the publisher. If a publisher goes out of business, the book is no longer available at all. The reason that books go out of print is not because of issues with physical media, but because of copyright law. No one can print a book except for the owner of the copyright, and copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years (for the most part, there are tons of exceptions). For a huge number of books, the owner of the copyright is unknown, and it is illegal for anyone to print new copies of them (and that includes creating digital copies).

So, on a technical level e-books would allow libraries to store more books, and online bookstores are effectively infinite, but copyright issues and licensing agreements are going to create the same issues that you are complaining about.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:23 AM
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An e-book is HTML plus really restrictive DRM. You can't own an e-book, only lease it from the publisher. If a publisher goes out of business, the book is no longer available at all. The reason that books go out of print is not because of issues with physical media, but because of copyright law. No one can print a book except for the owner of the copyright, and copyright lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years (for the most part, there are tons of exceptions). For a huge number of books, the owner of the copyright is unknown, and it is illegal for anyone to print new copies of them (and that includes creating digital copies).

So, on a technical level e-books would allow libraries to store more books, and online bookstores are effectively infinite, but copyright issues and licensing agreements are going to create the same issues that you are complaining about.
Not all books are DRM crippled. Especially the ones that are in the public domain. Not to mention that DRM as ever is ridiculously easy to crack.

Tor and other publishers are beginning to move away from DRM as well.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:56 AM
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Public domain is great, but it's now life plus 70 years! Back when it was 28 or 56 years that was reasonable, but almost nothing that is written during our lifetimes will be in public domain before we die.

Even with DRM-free books or cracking DRM, it is illegal to use them in ways that are not agreed on in the license. Libraries won't be able to use them, and bookstores can't sell them. Pirating has the possibility of influencing the way that laws and licenses are formed, but it is not a solution in itself, except for the few people who are going to abuse it. Honestly, the idea of pirating books bothers me a lot more than it does for other media. The purpose of copyright is to provide authors a limited monopoly over their work so that they are encouraged to make new works. I think that our current laws are flawed, but throwing out copyright altogether would do a lot more harm than good. Authors deserve to be paid for what they do.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:57 AM
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Public domain is great, but it's now life plus 70 years! Back when it was 28 or 56 years that was reasonable, but almost nothing that is written during our lifetimes will be in public domain before we die.

Even with DRM-free books or cracking DRM, it is illegal to use them in ways that are not agreed on in the license. Libraries won't be able to use them, and bookstores can't sell them. Pirating has the possibility of influencing the way that laws and licenses are formed, but it is not a solution in itself, except for the few people who are going to abuse it. Honestly, the idea of pirating books bothers me a lot more than it does for other media. The purpose of copyright is to provide authors a limited monopoly over their work so that they are encouraged to make new works. I think that our current laws are flawed, but throwing out copyright altogether would do a lot more harm than good. Authors deserve to be paid for what they do.
We're not going to get into a copyright argument in this thread.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:11 AM
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We're not going to get into a copyright argument in this thread.
Fine with me.

I think that e-books have the potential to be more useful than physical books in most ways once readers improve. Right now they're being artificially restricted by copyright and licensing, which makes them, to me, much less useful than physical books. Pirating books would bypass a lot of these problems, but it's not something that I'm interested in. I think it is within the power of publishers to make better DRM (think Steam instead of GFWL), or to create a better system for selling books that is profitable without inconveniencing customers (think iTunes). I think that I would be fine with pirating if these were unfixable problems, but I don't think they are. Things are just kind of a mess right now and it's going to take some time for everyone to figure this stuff out.

One thing in particular that I think would help is if Libraries used their collective weight to force publishers into changing their licensing terms. Libraries and schools are among the book publishing industries biggest customers, they should have a lot more of a say in how this stuff happens.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:14 AM
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One thing in particular that I think would help is if Libraries used their collective weight to force publishers into changing their licensing terms. Libraries and schools are among the book publishing industries biggest customers, they should have a lot more of a say in how this stuff happens.
That is starting to happen!
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
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An e-book is HTML plus really restrictive DRM.
Not true! DRM is, in fact, an optional add-on to all presently extant Ebook standards. Yes, even Mobi!

Quote:
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You can't own an e-book, only lease it from the publisher.
Not true! This is a common assertion by publishers, but is based on an untested interpretation of copyright law. It's also far from universal - O'Reilly explicitly classifies your purchase as a purchase, even going so far as to permit resale and lending. I believe Baen does something similar, as do numerous "indie" DRM-free Ebook publishers, author cooperatives, etc.

Don't confuse the business practices of Apple and Amazon with the limitations of Ebooks as a concept. As the market grows, they'll be forced to shed their coercive practices, just like Apple was with iTunes Music.
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