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Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Is This The Next Great Retail Turnaround?


bobstro wrote:
deesy58 wrote:
[...] If a book retailer had to rely on a total market space of only 0.6% of the US population, it might be able to survive, but not at the levels enjoyed by book sellers for the past thousand years or so.
Ah, but the discussion was whether ebooks would completely replace paper books as suggested by TnTexas, not whether booksellers will continue to flourish as in the past. You seem to be answering a question that was not asked.

Okay, I guess you didn't understand my point.  Let me try again.

 

I agree with TnTexas that, eventually, e-books will completely replace DTBs as a source of content for readers, just like the automobile has replaced the horse as a mode of transportation.  That does not mean that there will not be a very small group of collectors who would be willing to pay what others might be convinced are extravagant prices in order to be able to feel a DTB in their hands, and look at it on their bookshelves.

 

If less than 1% of the population continues to demand DTBs, haven't they effectively been replaced by e-books?  I don't know how long it will take, but I'll bet it will be sooner than you expect.

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: So the world has gone paperless after all?


bobstro wrote:
deesy58 wrote:
bobstro wrote:
With the advent of computers, the age of the paperless office was surely just around the corner. Hasn't exactly happened yet, and cheaper printers have produced an explosion of paperwork (TPS Reports). [...]
You are a bit mistaken. 
No, actually I'm not.
I worked at an aerospace manufacturing firm in California that had eliminated about 90% of the paper involved in a manufacturing enterprise.  The company employed "workflow" technology and electronic QA testing capture to keep almost everything within its ERP system. 
You are able to cite some companies that have been successful in doing so. Had I written that "no companies have made it to paperless", you would be correct. I did not state that, however.
Enlightened firms can, and some actually do, eliminate great volumes of paperwork by using computer technology wisely.
"Can" and "some actually do" underscore my point. While the expected promise was for most businesses to go paperless, that hasn't actually happened yet.
You seem to be responding to a comment that I did not actually write.
 

You are splitting hairs in order to avoid admitting that you are mistaken.

 

Today, in 2013, how many health care providers and hospitals have moved to entirely electronic systems?  All of my health care providers (physicians, hospitals, pharmacies, radiologists, specialists, etc.) have moved 100% to electronic record-keeping.  The manufacturer where I worked that had incorporated almost all of its processes away from paper and into its ERP system was more than thirteen years ago.

 

Are you asserting that businesses, for whatever reason, are rejecting the benefits of computerized record-keeping in order to cling to their familiar paper records?  Are they still in business? 

 

I don't know what industries you work in, or where you live, but is it possible that they might be a bit behind the times? 

 

The assertion that you made, and that I quoted and responded to, was quite explicit.  You asserted that, contrary to the assumptions that the age of the paperless office has not happened, on the contrary, there has been an explosion of paper as a result of cheap printers.  Not in any place that I have seen, or that I am aware of.  I do not believe that it is true that we produce more paper in business today than we did 15 years ago. 

 

You might not have said that "no companies have made it to paperless" explicitly, but you implied as much in your assertion that it "hasn't exactly happened, yet."  Maybe you didn't intend the statement to be misleading, but it was.

 

I try to be precise in my assertions, so I usually avoid sweeping generalizations.  I wouldn't include a hot dog stand, a one-man pool cleaner, a newspaper delivery person, and any number of other very small businesses in my assertions, even though I owned and operated a very successful business of automating the financial and cost accounting functions (including purchasing and inventory control) for small businesses more than twenty years ago.  If you noticed, even small restaurants and bars have electronic Point of Sale (POS) systems these days.  I believe that the paperless office might be a whole lot more prevalent than you think.

 

Since I quoted the comment, I believe that you did make it.  :smileywink:

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012
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Re: Speaking of exceptions...


bobstro wrote:
deesy58 wrote:
Dare I say that sailboats are used, primarily, for entertainment these days, and not for transportation.  When was the last time you saw a container ship or oil tanker that was sail powered? 

TnTexas suggested that ebooks might completely replace ebooks. None of the responses implied that paper books would remain the primary source of reading material. Had anybody suggested that paper books will remain the primary means of reading for the vast majority of the world, you'd have a point. Nobody did.

 

Citing an exception does not make it a rule. 

 

Isn't this the same Deesy that just cited a handful of companies that have made it to paperless?


You're still splitting hairs in order to avoid admitting that you are wrong about this issue. 

 

TnTexas is right.  e-Books will eventually, indeed, entirely replace DTBs.  Just because you might be able to purchase something some day that closely resembles a book doesn't mean that it would be considered by others to be a "book."  It might be considered by most people some day to be a "collectible," an "antique," a "curio," a "curiosity," an "oddity," or even a "rarity." 

 

I have cited the entire healthcare industry, along with the majority of modern manufacturers.  I think that's a few more than "some." 

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
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Re: Things powered by warm breezes


bobstro wrote:
deesy58 wrote:

[...] The answer to your question about a small, niche book publisher would probably be yes.  But there might be only one or two, and their products would probably be very expensive and not to be found on the NYT Best Sellers List. 

 

The discussion hasn't been about the relative size of the market, but rather whether ebooks will eventually replace printed books. Much as sail-powered boats are still around, and have not yet completely replaced by powered boats, I see no reason to expect paper books to be completely replaced any time soon. Indeed, much as innovation continues to be made in sail, I can't think why innovations won't happen with print.

 

If you'd like to change the topic to the relative size of such an as-yet hypothetical market, you might find some who'll find it interesting enough to argue about.


Aren't you the one who likes to call other posters "pedantic"?

 

You are deliberately trying to narrow definitions so that you can be right.  That sounds a bit pedantic to me.

 

Why would you believe that innovations will happen with print?  It is an obsolescent technology that is in the process of falling by the wayside and being replaced by electronic media and the readers to access that media.  Do you also believe that innovations in saddles and bridles will help the horse to make a comeback and replace automobiles as a primary source of transportation?

 

Give it up, bobstro.  Your logic is so tortured that readers will need to take an aspirin for the pain.  :smileywink:

 

Inspired Bibliophile
deesy58
Posts: 2,486
Registered: ‎01-22-2012

Re: Things powered by warm breezes


Mercury_Glitch wrote:

I'm not so sure Bobstro, print would need to keep innovating at a significantly advanced rate once eprint catches up.  And lets not pretend eprint wont catch up to print in the capabilities of text manipulation seen in some books.  Ebooks are still in their infancy and have already gotten a firm (for their age) hold on the book market. 

 

I can see a day when ebooks will come with multiple fonts embeded and in use, changing the overall font would select two (or more) fonts from a table to replace the fonts used.

 

To make that a bit more clear, an author uses Times New Roman, and Helvetica, TNR being the primary and Helevtica as a secondary to draw attention to the text.  The user changes the font to Garamond, which replaces TNR, Helvetica would then be changed to say Dante.  The font names I chose were at random, I can see authors choosing fonts for their artistic value relative to each other. 

 

It's my understanding that publishers already practice some of that, typeface selection plays a part in the production of DTBs. 

 

I can see the manipulation of other parts of the epage as well as the technology advances. 

 

 

Will ebooks replace printed books entirely?  Probably not.  Mankind has shown it is very much a sentimental group, we like to remember the past and feel it enriches us in some way.  Does everyone have equal need to do so?  No, but to one level or another I would argue we all have held on to something for far longer than was needed because of the memories associated with that item.  However I do feel that ebooks will replace printed books in common use.

 


You make excellent points, Mercury_Glitch. 

 

Another thing we need to keep in mind are those pesky Laws of Supply and Demand.  Most people focus on the Law of Demand, and forget the Law of Supply.

 

If demand is insufficient, supply will decrease, and so will price (temporarily).  In order to decrease the supply of DTBs, publishers will have to decrease the quantities of their press runs, which will increase their unit costs.  Publisher profits will decline.  Eventually, many publishers will simply stop printing books and transition entirely to e-books in order to survive.  Before somebody can purchase a hardcover book, somebody has to print it, bind it, store it, and ship it.  Who do we imagine might be willing to do this for anything near current DTB prices?

 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
Posts: 3,777
Registered: ‎01-01-2012
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Re: eCronomicon, anybody?

[ Edited ]
Mercury_Glitch wrote:

I don't think the music comparison is fair, both accoustic and electronic music have benefits that the other can't claim.  They both sound different even when producing the same song.  The gap is getting narrower, but I suspect it's going to remain for quite some time.  There is, afterall, a reason different materials are used for the strings in string instruaments.

 

Just to be clear: I'm not trying to make an analogy between electronic music and electronic books. I'm just pointing out that there's still a fair amount of demand for "dead" technologies. There are all sorts of nuances (e.g. a digital recording of an accoustic performance). There's a "feel" to instruments, even if playing the same notes. I think there's a "feel" to reading as well.

 

I'd agree with your observations about studying, but perhaps that's because of the way we were taught.  Highlighting is only part of the process, getting to the page that has the highlight in a print book is very different than in an ebook and while it's easier in an ebook that doesn't mean it's better for those who are already accoustomed to the print way.

 

What amuses me is that I'm the ebook nut in the family. My 20-something sons are still heavily entrenched in paper books. I do prefer ebooks for many things. The ability to search is very important to me. In a perfect world, I'd have both paper and electronic versions of reference titles. Casual reading can be ebook only. Paper for "important" (to me) books.

 

In a novel you typically go from A to B to C and so on, but in a textbook you can go from A to E to C to R to B, and that process will feel different.  I suspect that the generations growing up with ebooks will be more comfortable studying in ebooks.

 

The truth is, they probably won't have a choice. The local high school that my sons graduated from a few short years ago has now issued iPads to all students. Whether that's the best thing for those students I don't think we can say yet. I wonder if any studies have been done on whether it's easier to transition from paper to ebook, or the other way around?

 

As to your feeling of remembering where you were when you read something in print versus an ebook, I think it's the flaw in ereaders.  Every book you read will look and feel the same.  The weight, the font, the 'paper', the cover (unless you muck around on the Nook to get it to display the cover of the book as the screensaver which I have heard is possible but have not seen done.  Sure the story is different, but that's only part of the memory.  With so much else being the same maybe the mind just starts to blend it together. 

 

I don't know if that's a shortcoming a device can readily overcome. As you said, the cover image can be displayed (hopefully).

 

I'm not a music snob (which is code for "I have bad taste in music"), nor am I a book snob. I'll gladly listen to a variety of music, and read on either format. There's just a visceral difference. Some stuff I'd rather read on paper, much as some music I'd rather listen to on accoustic instruments.

 

I think books are more akin to music in some ways (there's a different "instrument" for delivery) than cars (one is better, faster or safer than the other). I don't think it's a coincidence that the most popular ebook readers emulate printed books with features such as artificial page turns, sounds and covers (to varying degrees).

 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
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Registered: ‎01-01-2012
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Re: Is This The Next Great Retail Turnaround?

[ Edited ]
deesy58 wrote:
Okay, I guess you didn't understand my point.  Let me try again.

I understood it. I don't see how you interpreted my comments as any more than they were. I certainly wasn't implying that the size of the printed book market wouldn't change.

 

I agree with TnTexas that, eventually, e-books will completely replace DTBs as a source of content for readers, just like the automobile has replaced the horse as a mode of transportation. 

 

If you're stating that ebooks will replace printed books as the primary method of delivering published written titles, I said as much early on. However, I suspect you'd take just as much issue if I stated that "powered craft have replaced sail" when speaking about boating unless I provided further qualification. I'd certainly expect anybody who sails to speak up. As a primary means of transport and commerce? Sure. Altogether? No. If you want to qualify your response, you have to clue the reader in as to what you mean. If by "completey" you meant "mostly", then perhaps we do agree. Mostly.

 

That does not mean that there will not be a very small group of collectors who would be willing to pay what others might be convinced are extravagant prices in order to be able to feel a DTB in their hands, and look at it on their bookshelves.

 

I think there will be more demand than that, since reading on a device doesn't inherently "improve" reading. A smaller audience that must be willing to pay a premium is a very likely outcome. Theater, operas and sailing events can be expensive compared to "modern" equivalents, yet lots of people still partake by choice, and not just luddites, the aged or the poor. Reading an old book isn't the same as being stuck driving a 72 Duster. Modern frabrics haven't replaced natural materials completely.

 

If less than 1% of the population continues to demand DTBs, haven't they effectively been replaced by e-books?  I don't know how long it will take, but I'll bet it will be sooner than you expect.

 

If you meant something other than "replace" (as in: to take the place of especially as a substitute or successor) when you wrote "completely", and you meant to imply "for most reading material" or "as the primary means of delivering written content", yes, you would be agreeing with the comment I made earlier regarding a reduced but still existant printed book market. I replied to TnTexas' post explaining exactly what I meant. Since you didn't actually make that point, it was a bit difficult to discern that's what you really meant.

 

As to your conclusion that we'll arrive at a state where "99% of the world population had actually abandoned print", I have no idea on what basis you've determined that this will come to pass. Do you mean 99% as a purely hypothetical situation? I don't see indications that 99% of the world population will abandon print any time soon. If it happened, then yes, it would have happened. It hasn't happened yet, and I'm far from convinced we'll be there anytime soon. Are you describing a time travel adventure to Planet Paperless?

 

A lot of predictions (computers in every home) do come true. Some on a much larger scale than we'd ever imagine (computers in our pockets). Other predictions don't turn out as we'd expect (real-time surveilance of every citizen can be done through opt-in GPS turn-by-turn directions rather than any Big Brother aparatus.) Others (flying cars, replacing food with pills) don't happen at all. I can't think of a future where I personally won't want to pick up a book now and then. Presumably, I'll have to buy such books. If I would buy something, there's a good chance somebody else might as well. Where there's a market, there tends to be someone looking to exploit that market. For that reason, I expect there to be a market for print books for the foreseeable future.

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
Posts: 3,777
Registered: ‎01-01-2012
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Re: So the world has gone paperless after all?

deesy58 wrote:
[...] Are you asserting that businesses, for whatever reason, are rejecting the benefits of computerized record-keeping in order to cling to their familiar paper records?  Are they still in business? 

You're trying to put words in my mouth again, Deesy. Where did I state anyting about "rejecting the benefits of computerzation" or words  remotely to that effect? I wrote that paper is still is pervasive. We are not in the age of the paperless office. Hey, don't take my word for it. A few seconds with Google turns up this quote: "... The average office worker continues to use a staggering 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year, according to statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. " (Sadly, the actual EPA web site is down, but you can find plenty of references to it.)

 

[...] The assertion that you made, and that I quoted and responded to, was quite explicit.  You asserted that, contrary to the assumptions that the age of the paperless office has not happened, on the contrary, there has been an explosion of paper as a result of cheap printers.  Not in any place that I have seen, or that I am aware of.  I do not believe that it is true that we produce more paper in business today than we did 15 years ago. 

 

There is apparently a downward trend in recent years, but until 2008, office paper consumption had been increasing. While the recent trend is downwards, current levels of office paper consumption still seem to be above the 1990's levels. And a lot is still wasted. It's not a uniquely American problem either.

 

Will a paperless office be the norm someday? I hope so. It makes good sense. It's just not the case today. As you so eloquently noted, I was referring to today.

 

Likewise, I'd expect paper usage for books to go down over time. I'm not altogether convinced that ebooks as we know them today will ultimately be what replaces them, but I think that's a different discussion.

 

You might not have said that "no companies have made it to paperless" explicitly, but you implied as much in your assertion that it "hasn't exactly happened, yet."  Maybe you didn't intend the statement to be misleading, but it was.

 

Uhm, no. What I wrote was "... With the advent of computers, the age of the paperless office was surely just around the corner. Hasn't exactly happened yet, and cheaper printers have produced an explosion of paperwork." The post is still there. Once again, you seem to be trying to argue against what you wish I'd written.

 

I try to be precise in my assertions, so I usually avoid sweeping generalizations. [...]

 

As in your other post wherein you used the word "completely" to mean "mostly", "predominantly" or "largely"? You used the absolutes, not me.

 

Since I quoted the comment, I believe that you did make it.  :smileywink:

 

I have no idea what you believe to be reality. What I wrote is in this thread.

 

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
bobstro
Posts: 3,777
Registered: ‎01-01-2012
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Re: Things powered by warm breezes

deesy58 wrote:

Aren't you the one who likes to call other posters "pedantic"?

 

We do seem to have a few regulars who might fit that description, yes.

 

You are deliberately trying to narrow definitions so that you can be right.  That sounds a bit pedantic to me.

 

How is saying that I don't believe print will be completely replaced narrowing definitions? You are the one using absolutes, then trying to explain that you didn't mean absolutely. By not accepting what you wish I'd written, I am not being pedantic.

 

Why would you believe that innovations will happen with print? 

 

Why would I believe that innovations won't happen in print? Manufacturing is an old art, and yet the Maker movement and technologies such as 3D printing are making manufacturing available to the masses, cheaply. While consumer printers have been limited in terms of quality and capability in the past, why shouldn't we expect those capabilities to evolve simliarly? Is it unrealistic to think that a title printed at home might soon be at a level of quality equal to, if not better than titles put out by publishers? Why wouldn't forward-thinking publishers change their business models to account for these developments? Is it insane to think that readers might be able to select from a variety of print options for books they read?

 

It is an obsolescent technology that is in the process of falling by the wayside and being replaced by electronic media and the readers to access that media.  Do you also believe that innovations in saddles and bridles will help the horse to make a comeback and replace automobiles as a primary source of transportation?

 

Do you believe that innovations are being made in sailing craft, even though it is an obsolescent technology that has already fallen by the wayside and been replaced by motorized transport? (I do) Do you believe that innovations in hulls and sails will help sailing make a comeback and replace motorized craft? (For those trying to follow along at home, Deesy is apparently a fan of America's Cup racing. We've been having a discussion about it in another thread. Don't bother.)

 

For crying out loud Deesy, who ever said anything about "making a comeback" and replacing the newer technology? Oh, that's right. That's what you wish somebody had said. Gosh, wouldn't it be so cool if somebody, like. said something totally absurd and then you could be all, like, smart, and tell them how wrong they are?

 

Give it up, bobstro.  Your logic is so tortured that readers will need to take an aspirin for the pain.  :smileywink:

 

Anybody trying to discern my logic can follow it in my postings. I think I'm generally consistent from one thread to the next.

Wordsmith
TnTexas
Posts: 884
Registered: ‎10-22-2011

Re: Speaking of exceptions...

deesy58: TnTexas is right.  e-Books will eventually, indeed, entirely replace DTBs.  Just because you might be able to purchase something some day that closely resembles a book doesn't mean that it would be considered by others to be a "book."  It might be considered by most people some day to be a "collectible," an "antique," a "curio," a "curiosity," an "oddity," or even a "rarity."

 

We still call a scroll a "scroll" when we see one. But when someone tells us to find something to read, we generally don't think about looking for one. I think that's the dynamic we're looking at sometime in the future. A physical book would still be called a "book" and thought of as one. But I think that when told to imagine themselves reading their favorite book, almost all of them are going to imagine themselves reading from either a mobile digital device of one sort or another or a computer screen (in other words, ebooks). I think very few will picture themselves holding a physical book.