Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

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Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Caspian » Mon Mar 22, 2010 8:35 pm

What do you think about ebooks? Anyone have a Kindle or one of its imitators? What about reading ebooks on your computer? Anyone do it? Is it so awesome you want to burn all your paper books immediately and go running through the street naked, listening to an audiobook on your ipod, or is it a terrible experience that sends you into convulsions that can only be fixed by reading an rare manuscript book?

Or somewhere in between?

Are books on their way out, as a technology? Why, or why not?

And yeah, I know there's already a thread about e-book readers. But that thread was about recommending a specific reader. This thread is about either justifying their existence and ringing the death knoll for paper books, or else proving them to be abominations against God and nature, and inciting riot. Or discussion, or whatever.

... and go.
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Postby megxers » Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:10 pm

I am not a huge fan of ebooks, except to use them to get to know a work before I read it in print. Baen's Universe CD collections of ebooks so I can see if I like the writing style/etc of a certain author? AWESOME. Amazon's search inside feature? I love! I am very, very picky about what I read and do make quick decisions about whether to read certain books, but I have only actually finished like 2 ebooks, even though I have checked out like 20 from the library. I have used electronic texts in school with some success, but if I am really reading something, I greatly prefer paper.
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Postby human. » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:07 pm

I really like audio books. My dad introduced them to me when I was in 4th grade and he didn't want me reading The Hobbit in the dark with a flashlight while we were on a road trip. So I got to hear about half of it and read about half of it. But I love the idea of being read a story in general, I think. Plus the guy who did it had a great voice and sang and did really great character voices for the book. It gave the book more life and more image in my mind.

Not a fan of reading on the computer, though. It really hurts my eyes.

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Postby buckshot » Mon Mar 22, 2010 10:52 pm

I love audio books ! I bought them for years and now download them all the time. I also use the kindle quite a bit , but my eyes do tire of it after some time.

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Postby buckshot » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:07 pm

I don't consider e-books or audio books part of my colection or library. I have many books and don't want to be without them, i can't see trusting some damn computer with something so vital to me ! 8)

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Postby Eddie Pinz » Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:50 pm

My preference is that I would much rather read a plain old book. Something about the feel of the paper and the smell of it (is that weird?). I also feel that I more perceptive of what is going on in the story.

That being said, I have read books on my computer. Mainly because I was reading instead of working. It is not all that terrible, but I also stare at a computer screen for a living. The only thing was that I had to concentrate a lot hard because most of what I read on the computer (articles, message boards, email, etc.), I skim through and I found myself doing that with the books.

With a good narrator, audio books can be quite enjoyable. Not bad to listen to on a long, lonesome road trip or a long commute.

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Postby Young Val » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:51 am

E-books definitely have their place. I don't understand the backlash against them. It's just another delivery method for the same content. People assume books have always appeared in the form we recognize them in now, but it isn't so. Novels used to appear as serials in newspapers. Long before printing was even invented stories were shared orally.

Personally, e-books will never replace physical books for me. If e-books had been around when I was in college I'd have snapped one up in a heart-beat. Anything so I wouldn't have to lug around a million textbooks. We also used them professionally in publishing, to download manuscripts in Word docs and PDFS. (In answer to one of the questions in the original post, yes, I read books on my computer entirely too often). I'd also love one if I traveled a lot, or if I am one-day lucky enough to have a summer home on the east coast (unlikely).

But for me, I'll always love the physical weight of a book in my hands.
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Postby Wind Swept » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:16 pm

I just purchased my first ebook on Sunday. I turned on the radio to discover an author discussing his book about unconscious human biases. The book sparked my interest, and as I was about to hop in a friend's car for the eight hour trip back to Moorhead, I thought I'd kill both my boredom and my curiosity by downloading it and reading it on my iPod Touch.

Alas, my pirating whims were foiled by the lack of a torrent. Instead, I spent an hour deciding on whether to purchase the eBook from B&N or Amazon. I ended up going with the B&N copy, as my girlfriend has been eyeing up the Nook for months, and I figure it's only a matter of time before she actually picks one up.

Now, personally, being able to quickly throw a book onto my iPod Touch–which is always with me–is an incredibly useful feature. A Kindle/Nook/Sony-reader-thingy might be better on the eyes, but it really didn't bother me a bit after I switched the display to white on black, which has always been easier on my eyes.

The downside is, I very much enjoy the image of my future house having filled bookshelves lining a high percentage of the walls, and ebooks do not contribute well to that dream.
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Postby Rei » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:17 pm

I've read a number of books on the computer. I think that there's a very important place in the world for e-books and audio books, and that it is not to replace paper books.

What I do react against are the claims that e-books will replace paper books and the push that some have made to develop that mindset.

I really want to see textbooks being made available in e-book form, though, as well as out of print books. These things would make me interested in getting an e-book reader.
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Postby Caspian » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:40 pm

For myself, I like books. I read academic articles online, but I have never been tempted to read an entire book on an electronic device. That may be because I have never used any of the good e-book readers, I only read articles (and sometimes small sections of books, which is about all I can handle) online on my laptop.

But I haven't ever heard a compelling argument for the existence of e-book readers, let alone for the likelihood of them replacing books. Some people do argue that books are obsolete, or soon will be, but I just don't find it a convincing argument at all. It seems to me that e-books do what books do, but not as well.

Those of you who like e-books, what does it give you or do for you that a physical book can't or doesn't?
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Postby Game Room Wannabe » Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:46 pm

eBooks, too easy to lose. Audio books... well, maybe the audio person talks funny, or else, it might bug other people. NO

The regular books are good...
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Postby Young Val » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:09 pm

Those of you who like e-books, what does it give you or do for you that a physical book can't or doesn't?
It's a way to make your entire library portable. For students, people in the publishing industry who read for a living, or people who travel frequently, that's a very attractive feature. I'll never give up my physical library, but I have to admit the notion of not having to pack and unpack all those books the next time I move is an appealing one.
you snooze, you lose
well I have snozzed and lost
I'm pushing through
I'll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
so fascinating and
I'll slug it out
I'm sick of waiting
and I can
hear the bells are
ringing joyful and triumphant

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Postby Sonikku13 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:22 pm

Going off on a tangent, will the iPad affect the eBook market?

The iPad does have a larger screen, 9.7" compared to 6" for a Kindle and a nook, which means more real estate to read on, and it has Apple's marketing prowess, which means it'll sell. With it's iBookstore, eBook sales might just take off. In the first day of iPad pre-orders, there were 120,000 sales.
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Postby Jayelle » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:26 pm

I don't really think a bigger page makes you want to read more. Do you like bigger books just because they're bigger?
I prefer to read a paperback because the pages are small.
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Postby human. » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:29 pm

Do you like bigger books just because they're bigger?
I actually do.. It's sort of embarrassing. But isn't the Kindle not lit the same way so it's easier on your eyes? I feel like I've heard that somewhere.

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Postby Sonikku13 » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:29 pm

Well, you wouldn't want a book that has size 1 font, right? And I don't like how tiny the Pweb site is on an iPod touch, which is one point in favor of the iPad. Besides, I think my Ender's Game HC is about the size of an iPad, so one book or 1000+ books?
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Postby Game Room Wannabe » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:36 pm

Those of you who like e-books, what does it give you or do for you that a physical book can't or doesn't?
It's a way to make your entire library portable. For students, people in the publishing industry who read for a living, or people who travel frequently, that's a very attractive feature. I'll never give up my physical library, but I have to admit the notion of not having to pack and unpack all those books the next time I move is an appealing one.
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Postby Caspian » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:38 pm

I don't understand the words you are using.

Or rather, I understand the words, but not as you are using them.
It's not "noob" to rhyme with "boob". It's "newbie" to rhyme with "boobie".

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Postby Luet » Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:46 pm

Wow, that actually made me laugh, Caspian. Good show!
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Postby Rei » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:26 am

I like the idea of cheaper copies of books that I might not want to invest money in, but might want to have on hand for reference.
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Postby buckshot » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:55 am

When traveling or driving tractor I love the kindle. And if I get tired of reading I listen to the audio reader for a while .

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby v-girl » Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:57 pm

Overdrive is now offering Kindle books. I just downloaded my first one and I am hooked. It takes an additional step or two but so worth it to be able to borrow free books. Previously, Overdrive books were available on most other e-readers including the Nook, as well as the iPad/iPhone/iPod.

Also, anyone seen the advertisements for Kindle Fire? I just got my kindle a little over a month ago and I'm not looking to upgrade anytime soon. Especially to any kind of touch screen or something backlit. If I wanted that I would get an iPad. Kindle Fire looks to be most like a Nook Color, but it seems that you can download movies, TV shows, and music from the amazon website. I'm not familiar enough with Nook Color to know what exactly you can do with it so I'm not 100% sure this is a new feature, although obviously amazon seems to offer a lot more in the ways of tv/movies and music.




p.s. I accidentally hit "save draft" instead of "preview" and had to find my post again. That was weird.

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Mich » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:39 pm

Hey, I've been meaning to post about the Fire! Thanks for finding the thread for me.

I've been thinking about getting some sort of tablet for some time, and when the Kindle Fire was announced it seemed like just the thing. My second-runner-up was the latest Nook Color, but I figured "what the heck, why not be an early-adopter for the first time?" so I preordered it.

Main advantages:
  • Multi-touch, full color, 7-inch and thin awesomeness.
  • Uses the cool new Silk browser, which uses magical cloud technology to cache webpages, split page loading between your in-tablet browser and the cloud, and other stuff. You can apparently also turn this off if you worry about privacy, which is awesome.
  • Custom version of Android, which is great because it uses Kindle Apps, Amazon Apps, and standard Android Apps.
Main disadvantages:
  • Missing a few things we're used to in decent tablets, like a camera.
  • Also doesn't have the "free internet anywhere!" thing that most Kindle stuff has.
  • Custom version of Android, which is bad because it probably has a bunch of aggravating proprietary stuff.
I'm very excited for it to come in the mail. It also comes with 90 free days of Amazon Prime, meaning my Christmas shopping will be super-easy once again!
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:43 pm

I used to think that I'd never use an e-reader, mostly because I hated reading documents on a computer screen. I loved the feel of a physical copy in my hand, I own more books than I know what to do with, etc.

But I've had my Kindle DX for a few years, now, and I can't imagine my life without it. (I also love the fact that I can pick up reading on my ipod if I forget my Kindle at home.) It's so easy on the eyes, I can adjust the font to be larger or smaller, I have so many more options when travelling for work, etc.

My Kindle is one of my most prized possessions.

ETA: Mich, the Fire doesn't use e-ink, does it? That'd be a huge drawback for me.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Platypi007 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:47 pm

Correct, Kindle Fire is full-color, not an e-reader but a tablet.

If I did much travel I would probably own a Kindle already. As it is, I can usually get hardcover books cheaper used than I can get Kindle editions, and I love books. I'm very tempted by the new lowest-end Kindle model with its $79 price tag.

Edit:

And yeah, I'm not really interested in getting a tablet any time soon. The way I use technology a tablet just doesn't fit me. I've got a laptop, and I've got a smartphone. I like what they both do, and they do it well. I don't really want something in between them that does a few things well and tries to do stuff that the other two already do but doesn't succeed as well at it. I understand why people like them, but I just don't think I need one.
Last edited by Platypi007 on Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby v-girl » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:49 pm

The Fire isn't e-ink, it's typical LED touch screen much like that of iPad/nook Color.

If I was looking for a tablet, then Fire would be fine. It's probably more of a Kindle color plus some extras (i.e., "souped-up" Kindle) than a true tablet, but for the price you can't go wrong as compared to an iPad. However, if I do end up going tablet, it would most likely be an iPad for a number of reasons.

But, like I mentioned before, the e-ink of Kindle is perfect for reading. The backlighting on my iPhone hurts my eyes if I try to read on it after awhile, so I know I wouldn't like reading on something bigger and backlit. I never thought I would go e-reader either, and did it mostly for the convenience of having any book at my fingertips. Now that I have it, I find holding heavy books and especially anything hardcover really uncomfortable.

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Platypi007 » Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:51 pm

Not only is the backlighting not the easiest on the eyes, but the e-ink display is SO MUCH more energy effecient, only drawing power when changing states, so you get weeks of battery rather than hours.

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Wind Swept » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:11 pm

I just ordered a Kindle for my girlfriend's birthday. The most basic of the new lineup, without ads. I wanted to get her a Kindle Touch, but they're not shipping until November 21, and as her birthday is today...
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby powerfulcheese04 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:35 pm

I have a Nook 3G. I love love love love love it.


I don't even really miss reading physical books. I love being able to have a bunch of books at my fingertips whenever I want without having to take them all with me!
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby v-girl » Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:38 pm

I don't understand Kindle touch. How does the e-ink work with a touch screen? I watched a video for it and it still seems so weird. I did notice that the screen refresh is just slightly quicker than the 3rd edition Kindle, which is nice.

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Platypi007 » Wed Oct 05, 2011 7:59 pm

Touch screens aren't dependent on the display, they are an overlay to the display.

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Claire » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:58 am

Was just browsing the Overdrive selection for kindle library lending and was mostly disappointed with the nonfiction selection...but then I saw that Eric Greitens' book The Heart and the Fist is on there! I just downloaded it. I met him when I was living in St. Louis (ugh...I hate that past tense :cry:), and was so impressed. Can't wait to read it!

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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Yebra » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:31 am

I've always read a lot and I had no idea how many problems I had with books until I had a Kindle. I have problems reading off white paper so the black on grey is easier for a start and on it's side with the font size dialed up, I can read comfortable without my glasses. I got through some hefty biographies and a song of ice and fire during commuting, whereas if I had the paper copies I wouldn't have even attempted that. By the same token reading the paper on the kindle is a million times easier than trying to read a physical newspaper on a packed train. It's lighter, and you only need one hand to hold and turn the page so it's far easier to find a comfortable position to lie down and read. If God reads, and we can only assume he does while lying down on trains, he uses a Kindle. It's a million tiny reasons why I will never buy a real book again if I can help it.

For people who like 'the feel of the paper' and 'the smell of new book' maybe we can get them to print a few empty books every now and again for you to touch and smell, but actually, I think the thing you like is reading the book. And this is better for that. The only thing I can't do is leave all my pretentious books lying around to show off, so I might have to make a fake cardboard shelf for that.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Wind Swept » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:41 am

The only thing I can't do is leave all my pretentious books lying around to show off, so I might have to make a fake cardboard shelf for that.
This. Perhaps there's a growing, new market for fake bookshelves...
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Young Val » Mon Oct 10, 2011 9:46 am

“If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't f*** 'em!”
― John Waters
you snooze, you lose
well I have snozzed and lost
I'm pushing through
I'll disregard the cost
I hear the bells
so fascinating and
I'll slug it out
I'm sick of waiting
and I can
hear the bells are
ringing joyful and triumphant


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