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

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

Postby Luet » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:11 am

Here is the reason that I have never considered an e-reader but maybe you guys can give me more info: I rarely ever buy books. The only time that I do is if it is something that I have already read, know I love, and know that I will be rereading many times in the future. Or at a library book sale where I pick some used for under $1.

Now, almost all books that I read are from loaned from the library. So, those of you that do have an e-reader and get e-books from the library (I obviously know nothing about this), what is the selection like? Do they get new books and what are the release dates like? That would be my main concern.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Jayelle » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:43 am

I haven't used eBooks with the library personally, but the software most libraries use is Overdrive. You can search there to get a sense of what books they have.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Bean_wannabe » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:11 am

On a slightly related note, getting used to being in a city containing ONE HUNDRED AND THREE libraries is a tad difficult. As is living in the same building as a library. Technically they're all sub-libraries of the Bodleian, but it's still somewhat overwhelming.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Luet » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:25 pm

Technically they're all sub-libraries of the Bodleian, but it's still somewhat overwhelming.
This reminds me of The Doomsday Book!
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Wind Swept » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:39 pm

The girlfriend loves her new Kindle. Definitely my most successful birthday gift to date.

I had no interest in a Kindle up to this point--I'm quite happy reading eBooks on the iPad--but seeing how small and light and sexy the new Kindle is, I'm experiencing a bit of eReader envy.

I may have to pick up a Kindle Touch when it comes out at the end of November...
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby v-girl » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:30 pm

Here is the reason that I have never considered an e-reader but maybe you guys can give me more info: I rarely ever buy books. The only time that I do is if it is something that I have already read, know I love, and know that I will be rereading many times in the future. Or at a library book sale where I pick some used for under $1.

Now, almost all books that I read are from loaned from the library. So, those of you that do have an e-reader and get e-books from the library (I obviously know nothing about this), what is the selection like? Do they get new books and what are the release dates like? That would be my main concern.
Well, I don't think you would be satisfied with the borrowing from Overdrive. As Jan said, you can look through the selection through the Overdrive website and connect to your library. I still use the main library from my hometown which has a fairly good selection of books, but I can't speak to other library systems.

Most of the books are relatively new books, written within the last 5 years or so when e-books became popular. I have a list right now of about 30 books I want to read and about 20 were available as e-books. However, the waiting lists are LONG. I can see how many users are waiting and how many copies are offered, similar to any paper books I reserve through the library. Also, I can't put a reservation on a book that's not out yet. I don't know specifically about how quickly books get posted after they are released.

Personally, I wouldn't have bought an e-reader if I was absolutely never going to buy books, because I don't think library books are sufficient. I guess it depends on how much you read. I am fine spending a little money if it means I have quick and easy access to the books I want. If I had time to go the library regularly, I would probably prefer that in terms of getting the books I want in a timely fashion. Right now I like my system - I'll get any books through the library I can, although I have to be on long waiting lists, and buy an occasional book too. Prices for the books I want tend to be between $6-10.

p.s. The Bodleian is mentioned in Willis' Blackout as well since it's set in Oxford.

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

Postby Luet » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:21 pm

Thanks for the info on library e-books!

And yes, that's actually where I've read about the Bodleian most recently. :)
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby OSCjunkie » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:16 pm

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?

I haven't really tried audiobooks since books on cd were the fad. Now that they can be on my iPod, I'm interested again. OSC thinks that's the only way to go and has glowing remarks about audiobooks on Hatrack. IDK though. I like to listen to my iPod while I'm busy, but I like to read when I'm not doing anything else that can distract me. Books don't work as background noise the way music does. Reading needs focus.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:38 pm

I love my Audible subscription. But part of that may be influenced by the fact that I have a 8 hour (round-way) drive every other weekend.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:57 pm

When I left my previous school last June my colleagues in the science department surprised me with a Kobo Touch as a going away present.

At the time I was one of those, "I'll never read an e-reader over a physical book!" types, but I soon fell in love with it. It's pretty awesome having my entire library in the palm of my hand and being able to take it with me anywhere. But at the same time, I still love owning physical books and packing my shelves with them.

So, I sort of cheat. I continue to purchase physical books, but I acquire digital copies online via torrent sites. That way I get to continue stocking my book shelves, support the publishing industry, and enjoy the convenience of an e-reader.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Gravity Defier » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:37 pm

Books don't work as background noise the way music does. Reading needs focus.
They weren't audiobooks in the traditional sense but I've been read to on a few occasions and I have to say, I lost almost all comprehension of what was going on in the story in all cases and that was despite doing nothing but lying there listening. For me, "reading" not only needs focus, it needs to be direct from eyes to brain.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby v-girl » Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:42 pm

I actually really like audiobooks when I'm driving any sort of distance. It's much better at keeping me awake and engaged than listening to music. I wouldn't listen to an audiobook when I can read for myself though, because I definitely zone out sometimes while listening and have to rewind occasionally. Also, the narrator's voice tends to directly affect my view of the book, whether it be positively or negatively.

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

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:42 am

I'm wondering what people think of this generation of eReaders such as the Kindle Fire and the Kobo Vox.

They're essentially devices which fall somewhere in between an eReader and a tablet computer. Sure they're cheaper than traditional tablets but I don't think that they'll have the same amount of apps and overall functionality. Similarly, they can do much more than traditional eReaders but they've lost the easy on the eyes, highly energy efficient, e-ink displays. Is it the best of both worlds or the worst?
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Caspian » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:06 am

I'm inclined to think the worst of both worlds. But that might just be my jealousy talking, since I JUST bought a previous generation Kindle.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:28 am

I can see how they're appealing if you want a simple tablet device without paying upwards of $500, but if you really just want an eReader, why get a device with all the extra bells and whistles including an LCD screen that only lasts for about 6 hours instead of a simple e-ink screen that can go for weeks between charges? After all, one of the advantages of physical books over eBooks is that you don't have to recharge them, so eReaders that consume more power seem like a step in the wrong direction. I think the best way to describe these products is "portable media device". Not really a tablet or an eReader.

Of course, I just got the Kobo Touch a few months ago, so I'm not looking for an upgrade yet either.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby buckshot » Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:19 pm

I like the nook it has a long legged battery and I use it way more than I ever thought I would, but I gotta get the new kindle! It does everything!

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

Postby Mich » Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:22 pm

Like I said earlier, I mostly went for the Fire when it was announced because I've desperately wanted some way to have a portable device since my laptop died a year ago, didn't want to shell out a lot of money for a "real" tablet, and all of the features sounded awesome. When I first read about it (and I still find reports of this around) it said it will have access to both the Amazon App store AND the Droid App store, Silk sounded like a pretty awesome idea that can enable a privacy mode, and it meant I could read color PDFs wherever the heck I want. Perfect for when rolling those dice.

I'll have more to report in three weeks when mine arrives!
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:18 pm

I'll have more to report in three weeks when mine arrives!
Please do. I'm debating whether I want to buy one or spend twice as much on an ipad. I think the Fire will do everything I'd use it for, and I already have a DX for reading. But I'm still on the fence.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Platypi007 » Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:40 pm

Yeah, I doubt many people will be buying the Fire to use as an e-reader. They'll be buying the Fire to use as a cheap tablet to supplement a smartphone and/or computer.

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

Postby OSCjunkie » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:21 am

The line between tablet and eReader gets fuzzier and fuzzier. When someone (probably Kindle or iPad) finds a way to switch between backlit and e-ink technologies so you can browse in color and then read books without glare, then I will consider buying one. Or rather, I'll wait till the next brand releases a cheaper version and then buy it since I'm perpetually broke. Have they fixed the battery problems that earlier models had? I read reviews that with average use the Kobo readers would last you about two years and then you'd have to buy another all over again because there was no way to change the battery. This seems like a handicap. Not all of us can afford hundreds of dollars just to get the reader and then add the cost of books to it. If I'm on a budget and have to decide whether to spend a hundred dollars on an e-Reader but no new books, or buy a hundred dollars worth of books... guess I'm going old school paper.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:11 am

My Kindle DX uses a Lithium Polymer battery, which doesn't really lose any significant capacity until after 500 or so charges. (15-20% capacity lost after 500 cycles.) I use it nearly every day and charge it about once every ten days or so. (Sometimes longer if I read less.)

Assuming I'm losing about 0.03% - 0.04% of capacity with every charge and so my total time between charges is reduced accordingly, I'll have about 4,510 days before I hit 500 cycles. That's a little over twelve years. To get down to needing to charge it every 8 days instead of every 10. To get down to need to charge it every 5 days, I'd need almost 26 years. To run the battery down to needing to charge it every day, I'd need almost 34 years.

And I don't know about other models, but my battery is replaceable.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby OSCjunkie » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:31 pm

That sounds much better. I think part of the original Kobo's problem was that it left the cover on when you "closed" the book so it never actually shut off all the way. Plus it was designed to be the cheapest so the battery probably sucked. I'm sure they are more competitive now. Good to hear about the life span though.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Mich » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:18 am

I've had my Fire for almost a day now, and I do like it. I'm pretty sure I mostly like it because I haven't had an official "mobile" device, ever. So now I'm finally catching up with everyone in regards to apps and "woah the mobile version of this site is cool" and such.

Websites definitely go a lot slower on it than anywhere else, and it was very frustrating finding out that it only natively reads PDFs that have been converted via Kindle's service, and the only way to convert is to email it, and, while they convert up to 50MB files, my email service only sends up to 25MB files. There are ways around it, but it's frustrating. However, its file system is very open and easy to play with, as it should be with any version of Android, and I bet I could even boot it pretty easily if I wanted to. I'll play with it a while longer before I make a decision.

The resolution is top-notch, but I have nothing to compare it to. I know that reading things on it is very comfortable, a lot more comfortable than I thought it would be.

I'll also probably have more fully-formed opinions on it in about a week. But for now: I love it, but it's probably not amazing to anyone who has a smart phone or something.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby neo-dragon » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:38 am

That sounds much better. I think part of the original Kobo's problem was that it left the cover on when you "closed" the book so it never actually shut off all the way. Plus it was designed to be the cheapest so the battery probably sucked. I'm sure they are more competitive now. Good to hear about the life span though.
Sorry for the late reply, but I thought I should point out that e-ink screens do not require energy to retain an image on them any more than paper pages need energy to old their ink in place. So the device is in fact fully deactivated even though the cover is on the screen.

I get about 2 weeks or more between charges on my Kobo Touch and if its battery is like most lithium-ion ones, as Syphon said, it should be able to endure several hundred charge cycles before there's a notable decrease in charge life.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:32 pm

Mich, if it's like any of the other Kindles, you can use a program (like calibre) to convert any .pdf into .mobi (which Kindle's .azw is based upon and reads just fine), then just transfer it over usb.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Mich » Wed Nov 16, 2011 8:39 pm

Mich, if it's like any of the other Kindles, you can use a program (like calibre) to convert any .pdf into .mobi (which Kindle's .azw is based upon and reads just fine), then just transfer it over usb.
It actually reads .PDFs just fine, apparently, no matter how I transfer them. I thought it was going to treat them differently, like maybe it wasn't showing their covers correctly because they weren't converted, but no, it doesn't show them for anything. I imagine your means lets me actually convert the individual words, though. So I'll probably check it out.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby OSCjunkie » Wed Nov 16, 2011 10:03 pm

Just found out Santa is thinking of bringing me a Kindle for Christmas because of a Kindle Fire commercial. I dig the tablet apps and gadgets of the new Kindle but I honestly think that I won't use it for reading unless its got e-ink technology. I hate reading on a computer. I get headaches and the glare sucks. Which Kindle should I ask for instead?
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Wind Swept » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:13 am

So, I sort of cheat. I continue to purchase physical books, but I acquire digital copies online via torrent sites. That way I get to continue stocking my book shelves, support the publishing industry, and enjoy the convenience of an e-reader.
Amazon/B&N should just copy the tactic Disney and others have taken with DVD/Blu-ray sales: Package a download code for a digital version with the physical book.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby LilBee91 » Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:52 am

So, I sort of cheat. I continue to purchase physical books, but I acquire digital copies online via torrent sites. That way I get to continue stocking my book shelves, support the publishing industry, and enjoy the convenience of an e-reader.
Amazon/B&N should just copy the tactic Disney and others have taken with DVD/Blu-ray sales: Package a download code for a digital version with the physical book.
Genius. Pure genius. This way I can steal my mom's physical books like I do her DVDs.

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

Postby neo-dragon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:24 am

So, I sort of cheat. I continue to purchase physical books, but I acquire digital copies online via torrent sites. That way I get to continue stocking my book shelves, support the publishing industry, and enjoy the convenience of an e-reader.
Amazon/B&N should just copy the tactic Disney and others have taken with DVD/Blu-ray sales: Package a download code for a digital version with the physical book.
That would be ideal. In fact, I can't think of any reason not to do that. It would create greater incentive to buy physical books, and isn't that what the publishing industry wants? It would also encourage people who are on the fence to buy an e-reader, like Amazon's own Kindle. It's win/win.
Last edited by neo-dragon on Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Nov 17, 2011 11:35 am

Just found out Santa is thinking of bringing me a Kindle for Christmas because of a Kindle Fire commercial. I dig the tablet apps and gadgets of the new Kindle but I honestly think that I won't use it for reading unless its got e-ink technology. I hate reading on a computer. I get headaches and the glare sucks. Which Kindle should I ask for instead?
I only have experience with the Kindle DX (mine) and what they're now calling the "Kindle Keyboard" (my wife's). The DX is still pretty pricey and it's a bit bulky (as far as Kindles go, anyway; it's almost as heavy as an iPad).

But if I were in the market, I'd probably go for the Kindle Touch. Longer battery life and more space, plus it's a little cheaper than the Keyboard (and I don't use the keyboard terribly often). Though I have no problem with the 5-way controller on my DX, so if you're not into touch screens, you might go with the 5-way controller or the Keyboard versions.

And I'd go WiFi over 3G. (Though, before I got my iPhone, the free 3G was somewhat useful if I was in an airport and needed to just check my e-mail. I've never downloaded a new book when I didn't have WiFi, so there's that.)

And I'd probably go with Special Offers over No Special Offers. It's somewhat cheaper and the offers just appear as the "cover" for the Kindle, so I suspect it wouldn't bother me much (especially given that I keep mine in a case when I'm not using it).

But I'd also ask Santa for the difference between the Fire and whatever version I wanted in a Kindle gift card. ;)
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Wind Swept » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:33 pm

Amazon has no Feedback form, so I sent them a support ticket, filed under Kindle > Issues with downloading purchased items.
I purchased a physical book which failed to download to my Kindle.

Now, I realize that sounds silly.

However, if you started packaging download codes for Kindle versions of each physical book purchased, I would buy all of my books through Amazon.

As it stands, I'm constantly torn between the convenience of buying a digital copy, versus the satisfaction of putting a physical copy of the book on my bookshelf.

Why not offer both, together?
I find the first line of the response I got rather amusing.
I'm sorry to know that you had trouble in downloading.

Kindle editions were developed specifically for reading on Amazon Kindle and are available for purchase as one of the many different format options we may offer for a specific title. Even if you own or purchase another available format such as paperback, hardcover, audiobook, etc., you'll need to purchase the Kindle edition separately.

However, I’ve forwarded your concern and suggestions to our development team and we'll consider your feedback as we plan further improvements. We regularly update our Kindle and Kindle application software with added features. I've let the Kindle team know you're interested in this feature.

We'll consider your feedback as we plan further improvements. It is always important for us to hear how customers react to all aspects. Your valuable feedback will help us to improve the selection and service we provide and we're glad you took time to write to us.

We do value the feedback of our customers and make every attempt to integrate their comments or suggestions into our stores and procedures.

As always, please feel free to contact us should you have future suggestions, questions or comments. We have team of experts who takes into consideration each and every feedback of our customers and brings them into practice.

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

Postby Taalcon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:57 pm

A key part of that is completely up to the publisher, and not amazon.

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

Postby Wind Swept » Thu Nov 17, 2011 2:10 pm

Heavyweights that they are, I would think Amazon or B&N could work something out with at least a few publishers.
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Re: Books, eBooks, Kindles, Audiobooks, and that kinda stuff

Postby Young Val » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:37 pm

Heavyweights that they are, I would think Amazon or B&N could work something out with at least a few publishers.

It has a lot less to do with the clout Amazon and/or B&N may or may not have, and a lot more to do with the way rights are sold within the publishing world. Physical books and digital books have different royalty rates (the royalty percentages on digital books are still a huge point of contention in the industry). Authors and agents won't want to see the two combined because they'll go from two royalty rates to one. Publishers won't want to see it go from two to one, either, because they want Authors to earn out their advances--otherwise, the house is losing money.

While the idea of a package physical/e-book deal makes sense on the outside, don't hold your breath for such a model from major houses. It's not logical within the publishing labyrinth as it currently stands (and publishing--as an industry on the whole--has BARELY evolved since the 20s. Don't fool yourselves). The small indie presses/agencies that are opening up their own e-book publishers might gamble on a switch like that, but the big boys won't.
you snooze, you lose
well I have snozzed and lost
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I hear the bells
so fascinating and
I'll slug it out
I'm sick of waiting
and I can
hear the bells are
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