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Blog post: E-Books Aren't Books

For discussion about electronic reading devices and related issues (pricing, formatting, accessories, comparisons, etc.)
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princess garnet
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Blog post: E-Books Aren't Books

Post by princess garnet » Sat January 14th, 2012, 6:59 pm

I came across this post on eBooks posted on the Public Library Assoc. (PLA) blog earlier this week. Although it's written for public librarians, I thought forum readers would find it interesting.

SGM
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Post by SGM » Sun January 15th, 2012, 9:33 am

[quote=""princess garnet""]I came across this post on eBooks posted on the Public Library Assoc. (PLA) blog earlier this week. Although it's written for public librarians, I thought forum readers would find it interesting.[/quote]

In some respects, the writer is correct. There are some issues which we have yet to truly understand about ebooks, particulary the increasing control it will give to publishers.

However, there are initiatives here in the UK which are simply trying to make it easier for people to borrow library books (or ebooks) so that more people read more books. There is agreement here between some libraries that you no longer have to go through the process of becoming a member but just turn up at any library and show them a utility bill as proof of address, which is great if you are away from home on holiday or travel a lot for work.

But one of the ways of increasing lending just has to be ebooks. If it gets more people reading more books because they don't actually have to get to a library to borrow or return books, then they have to go for it.

I am not convinced that eReaders are likely to encourage people who don't read real books to read ebooks but I might well be wrong.
Currently reading - Emergence of a Nation State by Alan Smith

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Sun January 15th, 2012, 10:19 am

Sounds like he mainly has a problem with DRM, which is fair enough, especially for library ebooks which do have a very limited amount of checkouts before the library has to repurchase them.

But I'm not going to boycott all digital media just because there's still some issues with DRM that I don't agree with it. And I'm not going to use inflammatory comments like "ebooks aren't books" when the issue is with the publishers, not the nature of ebooks.

I don't know if ereaders can get non-readers suddenly interested in reading... but I do know they've got me reading more heavily than I ever have in my life. Is that such a bad thing?

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SarahWoodbury
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Post by SarahWoodbury » Sun January 15th, 2012, 5:36 pm

"In this transitional time, public libraries should aim for the future and invest in toolsets and programming that help their communities produce and participate in new digital works, not simply consume them."

As an article, this is really forward looking. But what an ebook is, that is the same as a paper book, is a STORY. I gave my mom a kindle touch for Christmas because her arthritis is so bad she has trouble holding either paperbacks or hard covers (plus those are heavy). She loves it. Once you start reading a book on it, you're reading a book ... so I object to the inflammatory statement that an ebook isn't a book. An mp3 isn't a vinyl record, but it is a SONG, which is the important part.

I don't have DRM on my books and most indie authors don't. Traditional publishers are so concerned about piracy. I give away my books all the time and my sales increase because of it.

I read an article by Kristin Rusch that what ebooks have done is open up the world of reading to people who have been too busy or not acculturated to going to libraries and bookstores. Especially with so many school libraries closing or underused here in the US, many children have limited knowledge of libraries, even if they do learn to read. But if you can download a book on your phone as you're sitting in a doctor's office? Or on the train? Instant gratification and someone is reading a book who might never have made it to the library/bookstore.

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Alisha Marie Klapheke
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Post by Alisha Marie Klapheke » Thu January 19th, 2012, 12:31 am

I enjoyed your blog post about the blackout, Sarah. Sorry to be off-topic here. I'm glad things are going well for you! Your new covers rock.

Spartak
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E-Book Issues

Post by Spartak » Thu January 19th, 2012, 8:46 am

Hi All,
I'm very, very new here so a big hello to everyone.

I have major issues with e-books even though I've written a book and have it e-published. The problem I have is the touchy feely one. When I open a real book I get the feel and smell of it. It for me has weight and substance whereas the e-book can disappear at the press of a button or the whim of a virus. I even have the same problem with emails and e-correspondence. Same problems as aforementioned. Napoleon I read used to ignore his mail for a year and then if someone turned up he'd address the issues. Now I read that email writers expect as a matter of courtesy a reply within 24 hours.
I have previously had the pleasure of visiting the Greek/Roman historical sites in Libya (Sabbrata, Leptis Magna etc,.) and all my photo's were taken with my mobile phone. Guess what? Phone got a virus - lost the lot within a nano second.
Whether it be ebooks or any other form of electronic data storage I don't like it. What would you rather do a) eat a real burger or b) 'eat' a e-burger.
Regards :)
Spartak

Death in Holy Orders (A Historical Murder Mystery Book)
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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Thu January 19th, 2012, 11:04 am

[quote=""Spartak""]It for me has weight and substance whereas the e-book can disappear at the press of a button or the whim of a virus.[/quote]

Most ebooks from primary sources like Amazon/Kindle or B&N are all backed up to their servers in your account. So it's very difficult to lose an ebook forever with the touch of a button or virus.

Fair enough if you've tried ebooks or researched them and it's not for you... but there is so much misinformation and incorrect assumptions being made by people who dismiss ebooks without really understanding them.
I have previously had the pleasure of visiting the Greek/Roman historical sites in Libya (Sabbrata, Leptis Magna etc,.) and all my photo's were taken with my mobile phone. Guess what? Phone got a virus - lost the lot within a nano second.
Nearly all of the family photos on my dad's side were lost in a fire so while I have dozens of photos of my ancestors on my mom's side, I have only a few from my dad's side. Heck, almost the entire 1890 US Census was lost in a fire. Non-digital stuff can get lost and damaged too. Nothing is fool proof. Any important items, digital or not, should always be backed up somehow. All my digital photos are backed up and all my best photos on film have been digitally scanned too so I have back ups of those, just in case. If you don't back your important files up, it's really your own fault if you lose them. Or in other words:

Image

LOL, sorry, I love http://www.snorgtees.com

But having said that, digital technology comes with the benefit of possible recovery! With the right tools and knowledge, it IS often possible to recover lost digital files. With fire and paper, that's not the case. So actually, I would rather lose something digitally.

Yeah, it can be annoying to be so readily available on email, especially with smartphones making it even easier to access your email or social networking sites 24/7. But if it weren't for the same technology, I would not be able to keep in touch with my family so easily. I'm American, living in the UK - I miss my family back home in the US a lot. Being readily available over the internet also means feeling close to my family who I miss so much. Being the history fan I am, I often think how awful it would be if I lived in the past when keeping in touch with someone over long distances was so difficult and slow - or even in some time cases, impossible. I don't think I'd be able to cope.

As a photographer, I love digital photography... the turn around is so much faster than film so it's much quicker and easier to learn more and improve. And while I do miss working in a darkroom sometimes, Photoshop is an amazingly powerful tool.

Oh and let's also not forget what ebooks and digital technology has done for the public domain! There are so many free ebooks out there because they are out of copyright but which are not available free in print.

There are always drawbacks to any type of new technology - people used to say the same things about beepers and mobile phones that you have about email! But the reason they become a part of our everyday lives is because they also come with massive benefits. In some ways, I can understand the desire for a simpler time but I also find it a shame if you are unable to see any benefits in modern technology because they are there.
Last edited by Mythica on Thu January 19th, 2012, 11:13 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Thu January 19th, 2012, 2:15 pm

[quote=""Mythica""]
Yeah, it can be annoying to be so readily available on email, especially with smartphones making it even easier to access your email or social networking sites 24/7. But if it weren't for the same technology, I would not be able to keep in touch with my family so easily. I'm American, living in the UK - I miss my family back home in the US a lot. Being readily available over the internet also means feeling close to my family who I miss so much. Being the history fan I am, I often think how awful it would be if I lived in the past when keeping in touch with someone over long distances was so difficult and slow - or even in some time cases, impossible. I don't think I'd be able to cope.
[/quote]

But in the past people didn't know any different, and that was how things were. Of course you would still have missed your loved ones and got frustrated at the communication problems, but back then there was no alternative.

I agree with your comments on losing paper documents etc due to fire, bad weather, or just plain old disintegration, it just proves you should always keep a back-up of everything! I do think some people are too reliant on technology though, and expect everything to be done immediately. It'll be interesting to see how the generation who've grown up with all this technology at their fingertips cope in a powercut! When my friend's office had a power failure a few years ago, she just dug out their old manual typewriter and proceeded to type out some urgent letters. Her younger colleagues couldn't believe that there was an item of office equipment that you could use without first plugging it in. :rolleyes:
Currently reading: "Longstone" by L J Ross

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Thu January 19th, 2012, 3:58 pm

[quote=""Madeleine""]But in the past people didn't know any different, and that was how things were. Of course you would still have missed your loved ones and got frustrated at the communication problems, but back then there was no alternative.[/quote]

Of course. I was just speaking hypothetically. But had I lived in the past and had a choice of staying with my family or moving to another country, there's a good chance I would have stayed because as I say, I wouldn't have been able to cope with so little contact from them.
I do think some people are too reliant on technology though, and expect everything to be done immediately.
Too true! I saw a comedy once do a joke on how people freak out if their internet access goes off for a mere 10 seconds, like it's the end of the world. "Oh my God, what are we going to do?!" LOL
It'll be interesting to see how the generation who've grown up with all this technology at their fingertips cope in a powercut! When my friend's office had a power failure a few years ago, she just dug out their old manual typewriter and proceeded to type out some urgent letters. Her younger colleagues couldn't believe that there was an item of office equipment that you could use without first plugging it in. :rolleyes:
Haha, that reminds me - over Christmas, I was in Old Navy with my sis in law and for some reason, the credit card machine wasn't working... so the girl at the register pulls out this ancient manual card imprinter! I whispered to my sis in law "I didn't even know those still existed!" I was even more surprised the girl at the register, who was probably no older than 20, even knew how to work it! Maybe we don't give the younger generations enough credit (no pun intended).

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