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(Salon)   "I knew Amazon was evil and is killing bookstores. Then, I got a Kindle...and suddenly, I loved Amazon"   (salon.com) divider line 220
    More: Obvious, Amazon, Kindle  
•       •       •

9318 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Nov 2012 at 1:03 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-18 01:30:31 PM  
Are authors even killing widows and orphans anymore? I have a Nook and love it, but... some books just *have* to be printed page books. Samuel Delany's Dhalgren, for example, which requires a lot of flipping back and forth, e.e. cummings poetry. I'd hate to see what an e-reader would do to that.
 
2012-11-18 01:30:35 PM  

Raharu: Girion47: I disagree, I have no interest in a tablet, I have a laptop with a real keyboard and that I can hook a real mouse into. I also don't want to read long things on anything that's backlit, it sucks.

This.

E-Ink is easy on the eyes, and color is around the corner.


The greatly improved resolutions on the LCD tablets has really started to take away this advantage from e-ink, though. The problem with reading on something like an iPad without the Retina Display, or even the first-gen Kindle Fire, was that the text could be a little fuzzy. That's been taken care of.
 
2012-11-18 01:32:19 PM  
My hierarchy has remained unchanged:
1) Used-book stores
2) Amazon
3) Independent book stores
4) Chain book stores

I suppose if I were into E-readers, I might bump Amazon up. But I really like combing through used books and finding little gems tucked into the shelves. I found an anthology of quasi-science essays from Analog magazine at a used-book store for $6 and it was a terrific read. Just got a copy of How to Lie With Statistics for $4. The esoteric collection at a used-book store is great.
 
2012-11-18 01:32:29 PM  

Raharu: Girion47: TuteTibiImperes: I have a nook, but I still prefer real paper books. eBook prices are far too high, oftentimes very close to the price of a real physical book.

My preference overall is still the library. I can just log onto my county library site, request the book I want, and depending on if it has to be transported from another branch or not, walk in anytime from an hour to three days later to pick it up at the counter, all for free. It's a beautiful thing.

That's why I pirate. The only problem is getting files converted to work on my Kindle in a format I can read it. Even harder is getting the file names to be searchable on the Kindle menu. If it's part of a series I've found I'll have 3-5 files that all start the same and I can't tell the book unless I open it and back out.

Calibre.
http://calibre-ebook.com/
http://calibre-ebook.com/
http://calibre-ebook.com/


Maybe I haven't mastered Calibre, but I'm still unhappy with how it's acting on my Kindle 2.
 
2012-11-18 01:33:10 PM  
Gutenberg Project has an amazing collection of copyright free books in various formats.

http://www.gutenberg.org/
 
2012-11-18 01:35:36 PM  
Maybe if the author spent more time reading the contents than fetishizing the medium, he wouldn't have this moral dilemma. But that might be too compicated for someone so intellectually lazy that he just assumes "big company == bad".
 
2012-11-18 01:37:05 PM  
I work at Barnes and Noble. I used to work at Borders.

Want an e-reader? buy a nook. They are better, and will maybe let me keep my job. maybe.
 
2012-11-18 01:37:07 PM  

skinink: mr_a: I love my Kindle. I find it easier on my eyes than books, and much more convenient.

But for the love of Guttenberg, how hard could it be to run a spell checker on Kindle files?

I recently bought "The Picture of Dorian Gray" from Google Play. In the book his name is continuously misspelled as Dorian Cray, among other mistakes in the text. Google would not refund my money.


The Picture of Dorian Gray is free on Kindle and also spelled correctly. Pretty much all of the 'classics' are available on Kindle for free.

I don't get why a few people in here say ereaders are 'crappy'. What more do you want from them? To me an ereader should have A. eink screen B. a bookstore C. Books. My Kindle does all of those things perfectly, there is nothing I can think of to improve it other than make it cheaper. It shouldn't be a full computer, we have tablets or laptops for that.
 
2012-11-18 01:37:08 PM  

HempHead: Gutenberg Project has an amazing collection of copyright free books in various formats.

http://www.gutenberg.org/


I used to read that when I did tech support at an ISP. I got in trouble once because a call on which I was reading Count of Monte Cristo was reviewed. Had the dude fixed in 2 minutes(goal time is 4) and my supervisor tried to destroy me. That and a few other incidents my team and I were able to get her fired for being a racist, sexist, biatch.
 
2012-11-18 01:38:22 PM  

Kimpak: skinink: mr_a: I love my Kindle. I find it easier on my eyes than books, and much more convenient.

But for the love of Guttenberg, how hard could it be to run a spell checker on Kindle files?

I recently bought "The Picture of Dorian Gray" from Google Play. In the book his name is continuously misspelled as Dorian Cray, among other mistakes in the text. Google would not refund my money.

The Picture of Dorian Gray is free on Kindle and also spelled correctly. Pretty much all of the 'classics' are available on Kindle for free.

I don't get why a few people in here say ereaders are 'crappy'. What more do you want from them? To me an ereader should have A. eink screen B. a bookstore C. Books. My Kindle does all of those things perfectly, there is nothing I can think of to improve it other than make it cheaper. It shouldn't be a full computer, we have tablets or laptops for that.


I think it's mind-boggling for some people that you have a battery-powered device that can't play Angry Birds or have an Apple logo on it.
 
dh2
2012-11-18 01:39:04 PM  
Trailing edge for me:
-Sony PRS-505 Reader for $50 on eBay with 6" E-ink display and memory card expansion,
-Calibre, to store, organize and convert formats.
No bells, whistles or lock-in.
 
2012-11-18 01:39:10 PM  

BarkingUnicorn: Arthur Jumbles: FTFA: This drives many independent bookstores-which rely on profits to stay afloat-out of business, taking with them the entire culture of book buying I value

Businesses rely on profits to stay afloat? You don't say!

Unless they're too big to fail, of course.


In which case Obama gives them trillions of his dollars. Oops, I meant our tax dollars. Print that money!
 
2012-11-18 01:39:34 PM  
People still read? I guess they haven't heard of books on tape. Sure, a box of 20 tapes may be a little bit bigger than a paperback, but you can absorb an entire book with your hands free. Besides, I only really need to carry around one tape in my walkman and the next sequential tape. When I'm rollerblading around the park it's unlikely that I'll get farther than that.
 
2012-11-18 01:41:11 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay:
I suppose if I were into E-readers, I might bump Amazon up. But I really like combing through used books and finding little gems tucked into the shelves. I found an anthology of quasi-science essays from Analog magazine at a used-book store for $6 and it was a terrific read. Just got a copy of How to Lie With Statistics for $4. The esoteric collection at a used-book store is great.


Not sure about the first one since a title isn't provided, but the second is available in e-format on Amazon. Understandable that sometimes you don't know what you want until you see it, but you can't really consider it a fault of Amazon. Especially when they have a browse feature.
 
2012-11-18 01:42:03 PM  
Raharu - thank you for that link. My husband got a free Kindle at work and ended up giving it to me since he never used it. I have about 25 books in .rtf that I bought when Baen publishing opened their entire backlog for purchase a la 'Humble Bundle' pricing. Amazon of course won't let me just transfer them over, I have to send each one separately to be converted or some horse-shiat. Hence why I haven't gotten around to it yet.

That link looks like a god-send.

As to e-readers, I still like actual books better - because Amazon can't reach into my library and revoke the license. I only get either stuff like the .rtf files, or things that are in public domain on it. Since I haven't read a lot of old literature, there's a huge catalog of stuff I'd like to read that's perfectly free, and that works for me. I'm certainly not going to re-purchase any books I already bought once in dead tree edition, that's just stupid if you ask me (not that anyone ever does).

Yeah they're a pain when I move, but it's worth it, I think.
 
2012-11-18 01:42:05 PM  

Girion47: TuteTibiImperes: I have a nook, but I still prefer real paper books. eBook prices are far too high, oftentimes very close to the price of a real physical book.

My preference overall is still the library. I can just log onto my county library site, request the book I want, and depending on if it has to be transported from another branch or not, walk in anytime from an hour to three days later to pick it up at the counter, all for free. It's a beautiful thing.

That's why I pirate. The only problem is getting files converted to work on my Kindle in a format I can read it. Even harder is getting the file names to be searchable on the Kindle menu. If it's part of a series I've found I'll have 3-5 files that all start the same and I can't tell the book unless I open it and back out.


As stated somewhere above, calibre. For the files that calibre can't handle get mobipocket creator. It's the original kindle format.
 
2012-11-18 01:42:44 PM  

FirstNationalBastard: See, I can't throw support behind a device that will allow someone to delete books I paid for on a whim.

No one will be deleting my paperback copy of a novel because some bullshiat terms of service changed or a licensing agreement ran out.


Or because you stopped paying a subscription fee
 
2012-11-18 01:42:58 PM  

louiedog: People still read?


This is like being proud of .. well, not reading. There is no analogy here.
 
2012-11-18 01:44:15 PM  

Tourney3p0: louiedog: People still read?

This is like being proud of .. well, not reading. There is no analogy here.


Oh, I get it. Your joke is about people not reading when you clearly didn't read my comment. Very meta of you. I love it.
 
2012-11-18 01:44:24 PM  

Tourney3p0: Not sure about the first one since a title isn't provided, but the second is available in e-format on Amazon. Understandable that sometimes you don't know what you want until you see it, but you can't really consider it a fault of Amazon. Especially when they have a browse feature.


I don't recall blaming Amazon for anything. Used-book stores are great for finding things that went out of print a while ago and aren't likely to have been picked up again, even with the proliferation of E-books. And they tend to be local businesses, which is always nice.

As for E-readers, I just personally don't really care for them.
 
2012-11-18 01:44:51 PM  
I read almost exclusively on my iphone / kindle app. I love it.
 
2012-11-18 01:45:22 PM  

saintwrathchild: Pipe down, Moses.


>:-/

*says something disparaging about the Steve Guttenberg printing press from afar*
 
2012-11-18 01:45:25 PM  
I bought a nook a few months ago. I hate the farking piece of shiat. It displays foreign fonts horribly....and purchasing rare or out of print texts which a lot of Mom and Pop bookstores offer? Forget about it.

The douchey-ness of this writer makes me want to vomit.

/Fark e-books
 
2012-11-18 01:46:52 PM  

LouDobbsAwaaaay: Tourney3p0: Not sure about the first one since a title isn't provided, but the second is available in e-format on Amazon. Understandable that sometimes you don't know what you want until you see it, but you can't really consider it a fault of Amazon. Especially when they have a browse feature.

I don't recall blaming Amazon for anything. Used-book stores are great for finding things that went out of print a while ago and aren't likely to have been picked up again, even with the proliferation of E-books. And they tend to be local businesses, which is always nice.

As for E-readers, I just personally don't really care for them.


Have you used one to read an entire book? Every single person I know who said they didn't like the idea of ebooks, but then actually used one to read a book, finally understood. That's just people I personally know. I'm sure there are people who have owned a Kindle and tossed it aside because they just couldn't get into it.
 
2012-11-18 01:47:03 PM  

DoctorCal: FirstNationalBastard: See, I can't throw support behind a device that will allow someone to delete books I paid for on a whim.

No one will be deleting my paperback copy of a novel because some bullshiat terms of service changed or a licensing agreement ran out.

Or because you stopped paying a subscription fee


Or, you could...you know back up the file from your kindle. If amazon pulls the licence you just load the thing back on from your back up and turn wireless off till you finish it.
 
2012-11-18 01:47:16 PM  

louiedog: People still read? I guess they haven't heard of books on tape. Sure, a box of 20 tapes may be a little bit bigger than a paperback, but you can absorb an entire book with your hands free. Besides, I only really need to carry around one tape in my walkman and the next sequential tape. When I'm rollerblading around the park it's unlikely that I'll get farther than that.


The only time I can deal with audio books is when I'm on a long drive. Otherwise I eventually tune it out unless it's a really great story, and sometimes even then. Something about working at the mall all those years, I think. Also I read far more quickly than any audio book can deliver a story, so there's that as well.
 
2012-11-18 01:47:53 PM  

Raharu: For you E-Reader Folks, if you don't have Calibre on your PC you are doing yourself a great disservice.


One of the Simple and best things Calibre does for me is to convert just about anything into Epub for my Nook. Texts, Docs, PDFs, etc...
It can also convert entire Comic book reader files into Epub so I can now read comics and manga on my nook.


http://calibre-ebook.com/ 

http://calibre-ebook.com/about


Right, Raharu, I think we've had this discussion before over that shiatty software. I used it before and it damn near used up all my CPU power for several just to convert an out of print book into a poorly formatted e-text.

Fark E-books!!!
 
2012-11-18 01:47:59 PM  
My daughter gave me a Kindle last Christmas.

1. Games are fun; game$ not so much
2. Web browsing sucks
3. Watching movies and TV is pretty good and the screen size is not a problem
4. Magazines are horrible to read
5. Books? Wonderful if they do good e-book re-formatting.

For what it is, it's great. For what it's not, it obviously sucks.
 
2012-11-18 01:48:20 PM  
I bought a kindle when:

1. Kindle fire came out (books + videos on something I can read/watch in bed, whooo!!)

2. Kindle started working with my local library to offer library loans

3. amazon offered the kindle lending library to prime users/prime videos to kindle users.


Reasons I love my kindle:

All of the above.

reasons I hate my kindle:

The technology is frankly a piece of crap. My asus eeePC cost the same amount of money 2 years before that, and weighed less and was better technology. the OS is a piece of crap. Amazon's app store is crap. half the programs I want to use on it don't work. the browser sucks, half the websites don't load properly. My smartphone works better. I can't even borrow books from my library on it, because the farking browser thinks I'm on a mobile device and only loads the half-assed mobile site. However, I've tried it from an ipad and you CAN use the website to borrow books.

Basically, Amazon, please, you already won me over with all the things kindle does with books/video, please just make me a piece of technology that WORKS.

/no, I'm not rooting my kindle. I'm sorry, I'm just not that tech savvy, however "simple" you think it is
//I have not tried the kindle 2. I don't want to spend money for a new one, and I'm not currently convinced that the new one fixes any of the problems I listed above.
 
2012-11-18 01:48:26 PM  
ANy 'browse feature' in the world won't allow me to find hidden treasures, though. So far my best find has been a first edition of Dune in mint condition...for $13.
 
2012-11-18 01:48:44 PM  

louiedog: Have you used one to read an entire book? Every single person I know who said they didn't like the idea of ebooks, but then actually used one to read a book, finally understood. That's just people I personally know. I'm sure there are people who have owned a Kindle and tossed it aside because they just couldn't get into it.


Yeah, I have. I owned one early on. I'm sure there are plenty of converts, but I'm not one of them. I just don't like them. *shrug*
 
2012-11-18 01:48:58 PM  
Look forward 500 years. Electricity may or may not be plentiful.

Things "written" on computers will be lost. Only things on hard copy would remain, just like we read the ancient grocery lists of our ancestors.

There's something about computer-based creation that makes it less meaningful. Absolutely less permanent.
 
2012-11-18 01:49:18 PM  
I used it before and it damn near used up all my CPU power for several just to convert an out of print book into a poorly formatted e-text.

My fail. That should read "...power for several [hours] just to..."
 
2012-11-18 01:49:28 PM  
Ebooks have a warmer, heavier sound.
 
2012-11-18 01:50:27 PM  
I'm still holding out for color e-ink tablet. When I can do all the things that can be done regular tablet + e-reader, all with an eyeball friendly screen, then I'm sold.
 
2012-11-18 01:51:54 PM  

skinink: mr_a: I love my Kindle. I find it easier on my eyes than books, and much more convenient.

But for the love of Guttenberg, how hard could it be to run a spell checker on Kindle files?

I recently bought "The Picture of Dorian Gray" from Google Play. In the book his name is continuously misspelled as Dorian Cray, among other mistakes in the text. Google would not refund my money.


I recently read a history book which had hundreds of references to that great WWI battle, the "Battle of the Mame". I think it as a Lucille Ball movie.
 
2012-11-18 01:51:59 PM  

louiedog:

Oh, I get it. Your joke is about people not reading when you clearly didn't read my comment. Very meta of you. I love it.


I read it. You think that having someone "read you a story" is the same as reading. It's not. Entirely different parts of the brain get stimulated.

If your goal is just to be entertained, great. No problem there. But in the end, you're still proud of not reading. Sad.
 
2012-11-18 01:53:19 PM  

Katie98_KT: I bought a kindle when:

1. Kindle fire came out (books + videos on something I can read/watch in bed, whooo!!)

2. Kindle started working with my local library to offer library loans

3. amazon offered the kindle lending library to prime users/prime videos to kindle users.


Reasons I love my kindle:

All of the above.

reasons I hate my kindle:

The technology is frankly a piece of crap. My asus eeePC cost the same amount of money 2 years before that, and weighed less and was better technology. the OS is a piece of crap. Amazon's app store is crap. half the programs I want to use on it don't work. the browser sucks, half the websites don't load properly. My smartphone works better. I can't even borrow books from my library on it, because the farking browser thinks I'm on a mobile device and only loads the half-assed mobile site. However, I've tried it from an ipad and you CAN use the website to borrow books.

Basically, Amazon, please, you already won me over with all the things kindle does with books/video, please just make me a piece of technology that WORKS.

/no, I'm not rooting my kindle. I'm sorry, I'm just not that tech savvy, however "simple" you think it is
//I have not tried the kindle 2. I don't want to spend money for a new one, and I'm not currently convinced that the new one fixes any of the problems I listed above.


Sounds like you're looking for a tablet computer, not an ereader. Kindle Fire kinda pisses me off that its trying to be both and doesn't do either very well. I think that if you or anyone would use a regular kindle or even the kindle touch and forget about the fire they'd be much happier.

Buy an ereader to read books.
Buy a tablet to do internetting, YouTubeing etc...
 
2012-11-18 01:53:31 PM  
Oh, and epublishing? Please god get some editors.
 
2012-11-18 01:53:44 PM  

dmax: Look forward 500 years. Electricity may or may not be plentiful.

Things "written" on computers will be lost. Only things on hard copy would remain, just like we read the ancient grocery lists of our ancestors.

There's something about computer-based creation that makes it less meaningful. Absolutely less permanent.


Thank you. I'm tired of the marketing for these substandard products. It seems like the author fell into the who I-Pad mentality, meanwhile books on print get pushed aside.
 
2012-11-18 01:54:44 PM  

Arthur Jumbles: FTFA: This drives many independent bookstores-which rely on profits to stay afloat-out of business, taking with them the entire culture of book buying I value

Businesses rely on profits to stay afloat? You don't say!

Another

one of the evils of Capitalism. They need to nationalize all bookstores! That way, taxpayer-supported bookstores won't have to worry about making profits and can carry thousands of books that otherwise would never be read.

(Well, actually, there would have to be another part of the plan. You would have to require that people BUY the books. Sort of like Obamacare, where you are forced to buy medical insurance.)
 
2012-11-18 01:55:07 PM  
Is Amazon the lessor of these two evils?

You know cupcake, if I'm going to lease two evils those aren't the two I'd pick. I prefer buying my evils wholesale.
 
2012-11-18 01:55:15 PM  

Kimpak: Sounds like you're looking for a tablet computer, not an ereader. Kindle Fire kinda pisses me off that its trying to be both and doesn't do either very well. I think that if you or anyone would use a regular kindle or even the kindle touch and forget about the fire they'd be much happier.

Buy an ereader to read books.
Buy a tablet to do internetting, YouTubeing etc...


No videos on a kindle. and kindle owners lending library with a non-kindle (and I'm pretty sure prime videos only works on kindles too).
 
2012-11-18 01:55:46 PM  

Kimpak: DoctorCal: FirstNationalBastard: See, I can't throw support behind a device that will allow someone to delete books I paid for on a whim.

No one will be deleting my paperback copy of a novel because some bullshiat terms of service changed or a licensing agreement ran out.

Or because you stopped paying a subscription fee

Or, you could...you know back up the file from your kindle. If amazon pulls the licence you just load the thing back on from your back up and turn wireless off till you finish it.


Oh. So....steal it? I don't need a kindle to do that.
 
2012-11-18 01:57:23 PM  
Now that Kindle books are priced at or even above physical book prices, I'll probably just buy physical books going forward.
 
2012-11-18 01:57:26 PM  

RandomAxe: I disagree, I have no interest in a tablet

I also have no interest in a tablet, but I still think the tablet market will swallow up the reader market.


I'm with Alton Brown with this one: I want a "multi-tasker" not a "uni-tasker." For that reason, I prefer my laptop and phone. I have no desire to be an e-reader or tablet.
 
2012-11-18 01:57:38 PM  

Tourney3p0: louiedog:

Oh, I get it. Your joke is about people not reading when you clearly didn't read my comment. Very meta of you. I love it.

I read it. You think that having someone "read you a story" is the same as reading. It's not. Entirely different parts of the brain get stimulated.

If your goal is just to be entertained, great. No problem there. But in the end, you're still proud of not reading. Sad.


You cracked it. My comment about listening to cassettes on a walkman oozed so much pride over not reading that it completely covered the ridiculous of the statement.
 
2012-11-18 02:00:20 PM  

Cyrusv10: dmax: Look forward 500 years. Electricity may or may not be plentiful.

Things "written" on computers will be lost. Only things on hard copy would remain, just like we read the ancient grocery lists of our ancestors.

There's something about computer-based creation that makes it less meaningful. Absolutely less permanent.

Thank you. I'm tired of the marketing for these substandard products. It seems like the author fell into the who I-Pad mentality, meanwhile books on print get pushed aside.


As the article pointed out, there will always be printed books. People will always buy them. ebooks won't kill that. I think that people get this notion in their minds that Kindle's and Nooks etc.. will be the end of the printed book culture and it will be forced underground a la Fahrenheit 451. Personally I think that's a little tinfoil hatty. In my opinion, I think people from now on will have a mix of physical books and ebooks. I like my kindle for when I'm away from home and don't want to risk damaging one of my physical books by lugging it around with me.
 
2012-11-18 02:00:49 PM  

FizixJunkee: I'm with Alton Brown with this one: I want a "multi-tasker" not a "uni-tasker." For that reason, I prefer my laptop and phone. I have no desire to be an e-reader or tablet.


Show me a tablet that I can also use to make my own ravioli, and I'm sold!

/loved his show
//WhyTF is it not on Netflix?
 
2012-11-18 02:02:27 PM  
The Kindle Paperwhite is pretty awesome

/had 3 versions of Kindles now
//have more books than most small libraries
///Kindle != no more books
 
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