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#32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

[ Edited ]

Book Explorers:

 

Did any of you read "The Medium" column in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine about reading a book on a plane using a Kindle?

 

Virgina Heffernan took a trip and broke out her Kindle on the plane –- for the first time.  She was quickly enamored and now doesn’t know why she waited so long. She said:

“It’s ideal for book reading — lucid, light — but lately it has become something more: a kind of refuge. Unlike the other devices that clatter in my shoulder bag, the Kindle isn’t a big greedy magnet for the world’s signals. It doesn’t pulse with clocks, blaze with video or squall with incoming bulletins and demands. It’s almost dead, actually. Lifeless. Just a lump in my hands or my bag, exiled from the crisscrossing of infinite cybernetworks. It’s almost like a book.”

And I say: What’s wrong with a book? Am I missing something here?

 

I’ve discussed this before in this space and it’s time to discuss it again because I suspect many more of you using are using these handheld readers.

 

Question 1: What’s wrong with taking a book with you? Yes, the hand-held reader is more compact and can hold more words. But really: is a paperback that much more cumbersome?

 

Question 2: What are you loading into these devices? Maybe if you have a lot of professional reading to do it’s a blessing to get away from all the paper and paperclips. I would have loved to have one in the days when I lugged three tons of manuscripts around.

 

Question 3: Is it more fun to load the books onto these devices electronically than to browse in a bookstore?

 

Question 4: Are you using these devices in an effort to be green? No more paper books? No more bookstores?

 

As always, I am all ears, Book Explorers. Please talk to me – and each other – about this.

 

Ande

 

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by ande on 11-03-2008 06:20 PM
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

I did read that article yesterday! 

 

I don't have a Kindle (I think a few others do, though, so speak up! :smileyvery-happy:

 

Question 1: What’s wrong with taking a book with you? Yes, the hand-held reader is more compact and can hold more words. But really: is a paperback that much more cumbersome?

 

I can see both sides of this argument.  I'm the kind of person who usually carries at least two books along with several journals and lots of pens.  A Kindle could help reduce some of that bulk by combining my books down to the size of one medium-sized paperback.  But....I like to scribble in my books (bad habit from college....) and there really isn't a device yet that could handle that level of notation.

 

Question 2: What are you loading into these devices? Maybe if you have a lot of professional reading to do it’s a blessing to get away from all the paper and paperclips. I would have loved to have one in the days when I lugged three tons of manuscripts around.

 

I think I'd better leave this question to those people who have one :smileyhappy:

 

Question 3: Is it more fun to load the books onto these devices electronically than to browse in a bookstore?

 

This is sort of akin to shopping online and even though I do some shopping online, I much prefer browsing through the store.  It's much easier to wander the aisles, picking up things at random, than having to click through all the screens.

 

Question 4: Are you using these devices in an effort to be green? No more paper books? No more bookstores?

 

No more bookstores!!!! :smileysurprised:  Sacrilege!!!!


ande wrote:

Book Explorers:

 

Did any of you read "The Medium" column in yesterday’s New York Times Magazine about reading a book on a plane using a Kindle?

 

Virgina Heffernan took a trip and broke out her Kindle on the plane –- for the first time.  She was quickly enamored and now doesn’t know why she waited so long. She said:

“It’s ideal for book reading — lucid, light — but lately it has become something more: a kind of refuge. Unlike the other devices that clatter in my shoulder bag, the Kindle isn’t a big greedy magnet for the world’s signals. It doesn’t pulse with clocks, blaze with video or squall with incoming bulletins and demands. It’s almost dead, actually. Lifeless. Just a lump in my hands or my bag, exiled from the crisscrossing of infinite cybernetworks. It’s almost like a book.”

And I say: What’s wrong with a book? Am I missing something here?

 

I’ve discussed this before in this space and it’s time to discuss it again because I suspect many more of you using are using these handheld readers.

 

 

 

As always, I am all ears, Book Explorers. Please talk to me – and each other – about this.

 

Ande

 

 

 

 

 

Message Edited by ande on 11-03-2008 06:20 PM

 

Melissa W.
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

Question 1: What’s wrong with taking a book with you? Yes, the hand-held reader is more compact and can hold more words. But really: is a paperback that much more cumbersome?

 

Nothing's wrong with taking a book.  But isn't it better to take fifty books?  Then if your mood changes, or the book you thought you would enjoy reading you don't, you can switch to something more enjoyable.   Also, you have a dictionary on your Kindle if you come across unfamiliar words -- do you really want to lug a dictionary onto the plane, too?  And if you have reference works on your Kindle, you can look things up as you go.  Sometimes when I come across a passage from a poem, for example, I like to go back and read the whole poem.  With a book on the plane, no way.  With my Kindle, if it's in one of the poetry collections I have loaded on my Kindle, such as the Oxford Book of English Verse (pretty fat to carry onto the plane), I just zip over, read it, then back to the book.  Or if there's a Biblical reference, I can go look that up, since I have the whole Bible loaded.  I used to lug four or five books onto the plane for cross-country trips just to make sure I didn't run out of reading.  No more!

 

One more very important thing -- the Kindle allows me to adjust the print size, so when I'm reading in dim light as on a plane at night it is much more comfortable to read on the Kindle with the print size moved up than a paperback.  And actually, the Kindle open with the cover folded back takes up less room than an open paperback, and is easier to handle in a crowded middle seat -- no need to move your arms to turn pages.  

 

More satisfactory in several ways than carrying on a book.

 

Question 2: What are you loading into these devices? Maybe if you have a lot of professional reading to do it’s a blessing to get away from all the paper and paperclips. I would have loved to have one in the days when I lugged three tons of manuscripts around.

 

I load almost entirely classics and reference works.  I have the complete works of a number of favorite authors -- Austen, Scott, Dickens, Tolstoy, Thackeray, Hawthorne, Poe, Shakespeare, the Brontes, Cooper, Longfellow, Blake, Tennyson, Plato's Dialogues, plus a ton of individual classics.  Plus I have the complete Harvard Classics -- all 51 volumes.  If I can't find something in that assortment to fit my mood, it's a really weird mood!  When is the last time you tried to lug the complete Harvard Classics set onto an airplane???

 

And almost all of this was free.  The completes sets I did pay for -- I think it was about  $30 for the complete works of about twenty classic authors in one huge download.  

 

Question 3: Is it more fun to load the books onto these devices electronically than to browse in a bookstore?

 

Since I read principally classics, yes!  What with Gutenberg and all the various other free sites I can browse to my heart's content in the books that are of interest to me.  Most bookstores don't have very extensive collections of classic books, so they really aren't that much fun to browse in.  What bookstore today carries the minor novels of Scott, Dickens, Hardy, or Trollope?  Trollope wrote 47 novels and 5 volumes of short stories.   But even a major bookstore today is doing well to carry six or eight of his titles.  What bookstore carries Chesterton's Ballad of the White Horse?  More than three or four titles of Scott?  More of Collins than The Woman in White and maybe The Moonstone?  The Castle of Otranto?  Thackeray's Book of Snobs or Barry Lyndon or The History of Samuel Titmarsh?  Found them all, and tons more, browing the free sites, and got them all on my Kindle without having to pull out my wallet, credit card, or checkbook!

 

 Question 4: Are you using these devices in an effort to be green? No more paper books? No more bookstores?

 

None of the above.  To summarize most of what I've said above, I use mine:  1), to have a large number of works easily available and accessible to me wherever I am, 2) to have most of this reading free or at very low cost, and 3) to have it all in a convenient package with adjustable typeface to be most readable under the widest possible conditions.  

 

Since I don't live in a place where their free internet is available I don't use that, but another great attraction when I'm travelling in areas where is is available is to be able at any time I'm reading along to go over to Wikipedia or the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica or any other web source and look up any obscure reference I want to.   All without moving from my seat.  

 

I still read plenty of paper-and-glue books, don't get me wrong.  When I'm at home, about 90% of the time I'm reading a "real" book.  But as my eyes get worse, sometimes it's just a lot easier to read a book on the Kindle than on a book with smallish print.  (The Mysteries of Udolpho is exactly one such book.  It's long, and all the available editions I could find have fairly small print.  So while I have the book, I do most of my reading of it on the Kindle.)   And when I travel, or when I want to read something that I don't have on my bookshelf and want to read NOW, not waiting until I can get to a library or bookstore or get it by mail, the Kindle is a blessing.  For example, we're reading the Mysteries of Udolpho for one book group, and just before I started it I thought I should first read Walpole's Castle of Ontranto.  And I wanted to read it pronto so I could get on with Udolpho.  So within five minutes I had found it online for free, downloaded it into the Kindle, and was starting to read.  Try that with your local bookstore!  

 

It will never replace "real" books.  But then, the computer will never replace handwriting, but do you want to go back to handwriting everything the way Shakespeare and Trollope had to?  

 

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

But....I like to scribble in my books (bad habit from college....) and there really isn't a device yet that could handle that level of notation.

 

Um, sorry to disabuse you, but the Kindle allows you to bookmark pages so you can come back to them, highlight passages so you can easily return to them, and make marginal notes (stored not in the margin but in a separate book file) attached to any line you want to annotate. And as far as I've found, there's no limit on how long your note file can be, up to the limit of your memory (and the Kindle takes huge memory cards!)  The keyboard isn't quite as easy to use as a pencil, but you can make many more notes than your margin could ever hold.  

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

But can you write sideways and on the end-papers so you can see it all at once along with the text?  I played with one once and it didn't seem to represent my notes graphically, but more like a footnote (or like the "display edits" function in word where everything lists out in the margin).


Everyman wrote:

But....I like to scribble in my books (bad habit from college....) and there really isn't a device yet that could handle that level of notation.

 

Um, sorry to disabuse you, but the Kindle allows you to bookmark pages so you can come back to them, highlight passages so you can easily return to them, and make marginal notes (stored not in the margin but in a separate book file) attached to any line you want to annotate. And as far as I've found, there's no limit on how long your note file can be, up to the limit of your memory (and the Kindle takes huge memory cards!)  The keyboard isn't quite as easy to use as a pencil, but you can make many more notes than your margin could ever hold.  


 

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

No, you can't write sideways.

 

But one benefit is that your notes are legible.  That may not be an issue with you, but it sure is with me!

 


pedsphleb wrote:

But can you write sideways and on the end-papers so you can see it all at once along with the text?  I played with one once and it didn't seem to represent my notes graphically, but more like a footnote (or like the "display edits" function in word where everything lists out in the margin).


Everyman wrote:

But....I like to scribble in my books (bad habit from college....) and there really isn't a device yet that could handle that level of notation.

 

Um, sorry to disabuse you, but the Kindle allows you to bookmark pages so you can come back to them, highlight passages so you can easily return to them, and make marginal notes (stored not in the margin but in a separate book file) attached to any line you want to annotate. And as far as I've found, there's no limit on how long your note file can be, up to the limit of your memory (and the Kindle takes huge memory cards!)  The keyboard isn't quite as easy to use as a pencil, but you can make many more notes than your margin could ever hold.  


 


 

 

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

There are two ways you can see your notes while you have a book open in your Kindle:

  1. You can click "My Notes and Marks" and see all your notes for that book at once and then click on any one of them to go to the place in the book where the note belongs.
  2. When you are on a page in the book, you will see a little notepad in the margin at just the right place. You click "Edit Note" and voila, you can read your note.

You can also transfer your notes to your computer and have them for editing. copying and pasting,  or printing out. It's not perfect yet, but it works really well.

 

I have thousands of books on my Kindle, counting the volumes in the complete sets that Everyman pointed me to. For me, it was either buy a Kindle or buy a bigger house. I chose the Kindle--much cheaper, and easier on the shoulders. I use crutches to get around, and the less I have to carry, lift, or take down from a shelf the better. Now I just carry my library around with me in a little across-the-body bag and I don't have to wander around asking my cats, "Now where did I put that book?"

 

I have a confession to make, though: I still buy dead tree books, and there's a pile of them on the floor by my computer as we speak.

 


pedsphleb wrote:

But can you write sideways and on the end-papers so you can see it all at once along with the text?  I played with one once and it didn't seem to represent my notes graphically, but more like a footnote (or like the "display edits" function in word where everything lists out in the margin).



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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

I made a mistake.  I said I thought that the classics collection was about $30.  I just checked the site and it's actually $19.99.  Here's a list of the authors you get, in most cases teh complete works, though with Christie you only get two books (perhaps because those are all that's out of copyright). 

 

  1. Louisa May Alcott
  2. Jane Austen
  3. Charlotte Brontë
  4. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  5. Anton Pavlovich Chekhov
  6. James Fenimore Cooper
  7. Agatha Christie
  8. Charles Dickens
  9. Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. Arthur Conan Doyle
  11. Alexandre Dumas
  12. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  13. Elbert Hubbard
  14. Washington Irving
  15. Jack London
  16. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  17. Herman Melville
  18. Lucy Maud Montgomery
  19. Edgar Allan Poe
  20. Sir Walter Scott
  21. William Shakespeare
  22. Robert Louis Stevenson
  23. Harriet Beecher Stowe
  24. Alfred Lord Tennyson
  25. William Makepeace Thackeray
  26. Leo Tolstoy
  27. Mark Twain
  28. Jules Verne
  29. Lewis Wallace
  30. Oscar Wilde
  31. Émile Zola

The links above are all clickable, if you want to see what they have of that particular author.   Here, for example, is a list of what you get of Charles Dickens.  

 

American Notes
Barnaby Rudge
The Battle of Life
A Child's History of England
The Chimes
A Christmas Carol
The Cricket on the Hearth
David Copperfield
Doctor Marigold
Dombey and Son
George Silverman's Explanation
Going into Society
Great Expectations
Hard Times
The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain
Holiday Romance
The Holly-Tree
Hunted Down
The Lamplighter
The Lazy Tour of Two Idle Apprentices
Little Dorrit
The Loving Ballad of Lord Bateman
Martin Chuzzlewit
Master Humphrey's Clock
A Message from the Sea
Mrs. Lirriper's Legacy
Mrs. Lirriper's Lodging
Mudfog and Other Sketches
Mugby Junction
The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Nicholas Nickleby
No Thoroughfare
The Old Curiosity Shop
Oliver Twist
Our Mutual Friend
Perils of Certain English Prisoners
The Pickwick Papers
Pictures from Italy
Reprinted Pieces
The Seven Poor Travellers
Sketches by Boz
Sketches of Young Couples
Sketches of Young Gentlemen
Somebody's Luggage
Speeches: Literary and Social
Sunday under Three Heads
A Tale of Two Cities
To Be Read at Dusk
Tom Tiddler's Ground
The Uncommercial Traveller
Wreck of the Golden Mary

 

A House to Let: Going Into Society
Let At Last
The Manchester Marriage
Over The Way
Three Evenings In The House
Trottle's Report

 

Miscellaneous Papers:
Adelaide Anne Procter
The Agricultural Interest
A Betrothal
Capital Punishment
Chauncey Hare Townshend
Crime And Education
A Marriage
In Memoriam--W. M. Thackeray
On Mr. Fechter's Acting
The Spirit Of Chivalry In Westminster Hall
Threatening Letter

 

Some Christmas Stories:
A Christmas Tree
The Child's Story
Nobody's Story
The Poor Relation's Story
The Schoolboy's Story
What Christmas Is As We Grow Older

 

Three Ghost Stories:
The Haunted House
The Signal-Man
The Trial For Murder

 

Try taking all THOSE books on a plane ride!  And that's just one author -- check out Arthur Conan Doyle's list!

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

Question 1: What’s wrong with taking a book with you?

 

 Nothing at all.  And I especially enjoy glancing around to see what my fellow travelers are reading.  But I, too, end up packing several books – just in case.  So, although I don’t have an electronic reader now, I am really thinking about getting one.  We are traveling much more now with our grandson, his mommy and daddy and new baby (in March) in Colorado. 

 

Question 2: What are you loading into these devices?  

 

Probably just about anything I can get for free.  Can you load library materials on?  That would be a big plus for me as I get most of the current fiction from the library. 

 

Question 3: Is it more fun to load the books onto these devices electronically than to browse in a bookstore? 

 

Definitely browsing bookstores.  I love the smells from the espresso bar, the displays, watching other folks (especially the kids) to see what’s caught their eye, not to mention a sales person in case I need some help.  When I shop online, I go straight for what I want and order, it’s just too much work just looking around. 

 

Question 4: Are you using these devices in an effort to be green? No more paper books? No more bookstores? 

 

No, I’ll have to go green in other ways.  No more books or bookstores?!!  Bite your tongue, girl!  My husband would buy me a Kindle and pay for any books I wanted this very minute if it meant that he could get rid of all my books and bookshelves.  (He’s a non-reader.)  But I love a real book and bookshelves make a house feel so personal.  No, as long as I’m at home, it will be a real book for me, but a Kindle for travel would be great. 

 

 

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

[ Edited ]

I actually participated in a focus online group about this very subject about 6 months ago (maybe longer).

 

I, myself, prefer the good ol'  book.  For example I had to serve jury duty a couple months ago. I just got my tote out of the closet,  grabbed a few of my favorite books and was out the door.  I got called on a trial right away, but the books still came in handy during the long lunch hour and while we were waiting for the lawyers to get ready. I suppose one of these days I will get a kindle, but for now it is the old fashioned way for me.   In the focus group we were divided about half and half in electronic vs. the old fashioned way.  There is no right or wrong answer; just one's personal preference.

 

 

Message Edited by LindaEducation on 11-05-2008 07:53 PM
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

People make some good arguments for the Kindle. It would make sense for me to get one. I have almost no space left for books and I like the idea of free downloads. Maybe someday. But I do love my books. I love buying them at the store, buying them online and getting a big box delivered, the smell of a new book, the pretty covers. I like tossing them in my bag, having a pile by the bed, a pile downstairs. I like to look at my bookshelves all full of books, hardcover, paperback, different fonts, different types of paper. I'm not sure if downloading a book would give me the same kind of "fix" as buying one.

If I go away for a weekend, I need to take several books with me. So if I traveled alot I could see a kindle being very handy. But for now, I'll stick with paper.

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

In the focus group we were divided about half and half in electronic vs. the old fashioned way.

 

But since you had never used a Kindle or other e-reader for any length of time, was such a comparision really valid?  I was a bit skeptical at first myself; up to a month or so before I decided to try one, I would have been firmly in the old fashioned way.   

 

Also, it's not an either-or, it's a both-and.  I read old-fashioned about 80% of the time, but the other 20% I love my Kindle for wnat it can do for me that books can't.   

 


LindaEducation wrote:

I actually participated in a focus online group about this very subject about 6 months ago (maybe longer).

 

I, myself, prefer the good ol'  book.  For example I had to serve jury duty a couple months ago. I just got my tote out of the closet,  grabbed a few of my favorite books and was out the door.  I got called on a trial right away, but the books still came in handy during the long lunch hour and while we were waiting for the lawyers to get ready. I suppose one of these days I will get a kindle, but for now it is the old fashioned way for me.   In the focus group we were divided about half and half in electronic vs. the old fashioned way.  There is no right or wrong answer; just one's personal preference.

 

 

Message Edited by LindaEducation on 11-05-2008 07:53 PM

 

 

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

But I do love my books. I love buying them at the store, buying them online and getting a big box delivered, the smell of a new book, the pretty covers. I like tossing them in my bag, having a pile by the bed, a pile downstairs. I like to look at my bookshelves all full of books, hardcover, paperback, different fonts, different types of paper.

 

I love all those things, too.  I'm still buying books, still have floor joists groaning under the weight of thousands upon thousands of books. 

 

Getting a Kindle has barely put a dent into my book buying.  And that's not about to change.  

 

Heck, I bet there was a lot of resistance when people went from the scroll to the codex (what we know of today as books).  "You won't catch me reading one of those new fangled codex things.  I'll stick with my cabinet of scrolls.  Yes, sir."

 


debbook wrote:

People make some good arguments for the Kindle. It would make sense for me to get one. I have almost no space left for books and I like the idea of free downloads. Maybe someday. But I do love my books. I love buying them at the store, buying them online and getting a big box delivered, the smell of a new book, the pretty covers. I like tossing them in my bag, having a pile by the bed, a pile downstairs. I like to look at my bookshelves all full of books, hardcover, paperback, different fonts, different types of paper. I'm not sure if downloading a book would give me the same kind of "fix" as buying one.

If I go away for a weekend, I need to take several books with me. So if I traveled alot I could see a kindle being very handy. But for now, I'll stick with paper.


 

 

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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

If we could go back in time....

 


Everyman wrote:

I bet there was a lot of resistance when people went from the scroll to the codex (what we know of today as books).  "You won't catch me reading one of those new fangled codex things.  I'll stick with my cabinet of scrolls.  Yes, sir."

 



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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

[ Edited ]

Yep, that's probably just about the way it was!

 

The older generation just never did get it.   It took the younger generation growing up with those things called books before they began to have any real impact on the literary world.

 

And even then, it was mainly the early adopters for quite awhile. 

 

(Actually, the part where the book was turned over and he couldn't open it was not only funny but true -- my grandchildren, 15 adn 17 months, have the same problem. they can open their board books when they're placed correctly in front of them, but if you put them with the opening on the left, they have problems!)

 


Laurel wrote:

If we could go back in time....

 


Everyman wrote:

I bet there was a lot of resistance when people went from the scroll to the codex (what we know of today as books).  "You won't catch me reading one of those new fangled codex things.  I'll stick with my cabinet of scrolls.  Yes, sir."

 




 

 

Message Edited by Everyman on 11-06-2008 12:45 PM
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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Jon_B
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

Some of us still prefer scrolls for some purposes :smileyhappy:

 

 

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Melissa_W
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

I found this at the NYTimes site today - it mostly concerns the result of the Google suit but talks about digital publishing in general, too.
Melissa W.
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Deltadawn
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

I don't have a Kindle - and didn't really plan to get one soon but after reading Everyman's descriptions of them I can definitely see the attraction and benefits  - and maybe someday will purchase one for myself . . . My answers to Ande's questions are below..


 

 

Question 1: What’s wrong with taking a book with you? Yes, the hand-held reader is more compact and can hold more words. But really: is a paperback that much more cumbersome?

 

NOTHING at all wrong with a good old fashioned book in my opinion! that's what I take with me!

 

Question 2: What are you loading into these devices? Maybe if you have a lot of professional reading to do it’s a blessing to get away from all the paper and paperclips. I would have loved to have one in the days when I lugged three tons of manuscripts around.

 

don't have one...can't say....

 

Question 3: Is it more fun to load the books onto these devices electronically than to browse in a bookstore?

 

Again, don't have one- but I imagine that browsing in a bookstore or library is more fun.... :smileyhappy:

 

Question 4: Are you using these devices in an effort to be green? No more paper books? No more bookstores?

 

Going green is very important - and we should all work hard at being environmentally responsible, but I can't imagine a world without bookstores or books!

 

 

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Laurel
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

When Rabbit said, `Honey or condensed milk with your bread?' [ Pooh] was so excited that he said, `Both,' and then, so as not to seem greedy, he added, `But don't bother about the bread, please.'
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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jayne08
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Re: #32 Electronic reading: Is it just me or what's wrong with a book?

I think that the kindel is good in the sense that you can have many books without taking up alot of space. I have tons of books and have no way of storing all of them so i have acess to them at all times. I though do not like reading off a screen for long periods of time, and since I often read for hours so i prefer paperbacks.  I also love to wander around bookstores looking at things ramdomly.