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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 76
    More: Obvious, Amazon, Kindle  
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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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Archived thread
2012-11-18 11:01:34 AM  
8 votes:
E-ink is what matters.

Not nook, or Kindle (Nook person myself)

E-Ink means massive portability and reading on the go.

I love books, and always will... Will E-Ink Kill books? fark no.

But it will mean there will be less printed books in the future, rather then doing a run of 100,000. It will be a print run of half that. There will likely always be printed books.

Now, E-Ink Books need to start coming down in price. 14.99 for a new E-book on release because the hardcover is 16.... fark you, I'll pirate it, or just wait for the paper back price at least.

Publishers are again. clueless much like music labels, and Movie industry are.
2012-11-18 12:30:14 PM  
6 votes:
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.
2012-11-18 10:46:55 AM  
6 votes:
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!
2012-11-18 01:18:42 PM  
5 votes:

RandomAxe: Disclosure: I manage a used book store that's perpetually on the verge of going out of business.

Amazon is not why bookstores go out of business. Mismanagement of bookstores and the idiocy of the US publishing industry are among the top reasons that bookstores go out of business. Amazon is terrible in many, many, many ways, as anyone bright who shops with them frequently will notice, but that's beside the point. And they stay in business because they're very convenient and have few real competitors.

Ebooks are also not why bookstores go out of business. That said, current e-readers are terrible -- their design is driven by marketing crap, not technology or usability, and consumers will continue to get stuck with crap readers if they never hold out for something better. In fact, the trend that seems likely is that tablet computers will eat the reader market whole, and a few years from now you'll be slightly embarrassed to admit that you shelled out actual money for a Nook or Kindle.

I never liked Steve Jobs, but if he were still alive very few people would be buying a Nook or Kindle. Or paying as much as $5 for a typical ebook. I'm just saying.


You're right - we would all be paying $12.99 for a book from Apple's bookstore then a few years later, an additional $2.99 to make it DRM free.
2012-11-18 11:30:10 AM  
5 votes:
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
2012-11-18 03:33:32 PM  
3 votes:

RandomAxe: All_Farked_Up: Amazon is actually one of the better ones as individuals can sell their own books without a publishing contract.

Yes, but this is ridiculous on its face. You ought to be able to buy content directly from the individuals, online, or through any licensed third-party merchant. Piracy is obviously an issue, but proprietary formats that consumers are slaved to are bullshiat. Kindle owners, for instance, generally don't realize how they've tied their genitals to Amazon until Amazon decides to drive off in a huff.


I own a Kindle. I don't have a damn thing on it tied to an Amazon account. Even if I DO buy something from Amazon rather than any of the other e-retailers I could choose from, it's trivial to modify the file once I've downloaded it so they can't remove it remotely.

This sounds a lot like people claiming that iPods were "proprietary", not realising they played literally any .mp3 file you put on them, and you weren't in any way obliged to use iTunes. I also have an iPod nano, and have never bought a damn thing off iTunes, either.

Their shops are proprietary. Their hardware is NOT. And nothing, nothing forces you to use their shops.


dmax: Oh, I've had three version of the Kindle. But people don't seem to understand that their computer based art, writing, photography, etc. is all temporary. Not tinfoil-hatty, but a lesson that some people will learn too late.

Already, things creating in AppleWorks, etc., are only partially retrievable. Imagine format changes in 30 years, trying to get back something that you worked on. Text might be the most safe, but one day the power will go out. (Or, alternatively, how can a society without adequate, consistent power participate in the art/literature/education?)

I've been on the net since Telnet and Mosaic, but we shouldn't confuse computers with permanence.


Books are anything but permanent, either. Fires, water damage, loss of the physical item in some way, etc. Format changes aren't really much of an issue; if there's a demand, it will be relatively trivial to create a conversion system. They already do this, entirely open-source for the most part, with software emulation of video games; you can emulate plenty of games for which the physical technology is dwindling. The ROM files are often not LEGAL, for copyright reasons, but that's a different issue; format changes, particularly backwards for something as simple as text files, is relatively simple.

And the power will never "go out". You might lose power in certain areas, or the generators might go down, but private generation will always be available. The only circumstance where it would not would be if we were facing such apocalyptic events that society has utterly collapsed. The kind of events that would ALSO see physical books being burned as tinder just to keep warm. If it ever were to occur, physical books are in no way better suited to survive.

As for more technological issues like EMP weapons or the like, we're on the cusp of a technological revolution with the rise of cloud computing. I don't want to call it "the cloud" as if it were some single thing, but the idea is distributed wireless backups. Once we incorporate it with satellite technology serving as additional clusters (we have the tech for this, it's just not fully established due to cost and such), then the US could get nuked into radioactive glass, and all (or at least, most) of our data would survive.

On a personal level, our data is FAR more protected now than it ever has been. I can back up my entire e-book library to multiple devices (it's on my PC as well as the Kindle, right now). My own work, I frequently back up to Google. If my entire house were to burn down, all my physical books would be toast. I'd still have a lot of my electronic data available. The issue about future compatibility doesn't really apply, since we're not talking about lost archives suddenly rediscovered; you'll be updating your data as technology changes. And really, recovering data in an older format isn't any more difficult than recovering data in a forgotten language. Easier, more likely, since we have better records and such.


Yes, if we went through a new collapse of society like the one after the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, a lot of our literature and such would vanish. It did then, too. We're still missing famous books of that era that we know of through references, but of which no copies are known to survive. You're overestimating the resilience of books as a medium, and underestimating the strength of electronics.
2012-11-18 02:16:43 PM  
3 votes:

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.


I just want to find out here. Are you copying books you don't have in another form? Or you just going out and getting what you want without compensation for the content owner?

If you have a book, but not in any epub format, I am ok with it. That is fair use in my book. Same for stripping DRM from it so you can copy it to multiple readers you own. Fark the DMCA. Shifting the content you have purchased from one medium to another so that you can use shouldn't be illiegal.

Now where I have a problem is when people want something for free that they haven't otherwise paid for. (which is why I have problem with toll roads: use the farking tax money you have already taken, if it isn't enough raise taxes. Roads are public infrastrucure, but I digress) When someone (or someone's dog) wants steak, should they just walk down to the grocery store and take what they want without paying for it? How about gas? Or a car? What about walking into a book store and walking out with the physical copies?
2012-11-18 01:33:10 PM  
3 votes:
Gutenberg Project has an amazing collection of copyright free books in various formats.

http://www.gutenberg.org/
2012-11-18 11:27:56 AM  
3 votes:

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?


A lot of Kindle books are crap. Poorly written, poorly edited, poorly formatted. That's the tragedy of removing the gatekeeper.

However, if you sample liberally before you buy, you can usually avoid the stinkers. As an author myself , I'll sample any book I see. I just send them to my phone and see what I'm dealing with. I've found some really excellent books for really cheap; you just have to have the patience to discard 80% of what you sample in order to find the gems.
2012-11-18 02:40:00 PM  
2 votes:

RandomAxe: buttcat: You're right - we would all be paying $12.99 for a book from Apple's bookstore then a few years later, an additional $2.99 to make it DRM free.

Well, it's optimistic of me, but I think that competition and greed would keep the ebook prices lower.


You'd be wrong to think that. The Big Four publishers, with the help of Apple, stripped e-tailers (including Amazon) of the ability to set their own prices by using the "Agency Model". But, since Apple and the publishers recently lost a price fixing lawsuit we, the book buying public, may see a return to Amazon's predatory pricing (yay!).
2012-11-18 02:26:00 PM  
2 votes:

RyansPrivates:
Now where I have a problem is when people want something for free that they haven't otherwise paid for.


Reasons I am occasionally OK with getting one for "free" that isn't already free include:

I already own one or more copies of the physical format of it
The book is completely out of print and cannot be purchased in any way (same here regarding music).
If the author sends me a copy of the e-Book for free (they aren't normally allowed to do this)

Outside of that, I think it's kind of ridiculous to steal books. I know people will make the same jumping jack gyrations mentally to explain why it's OK, how they'd never have paid for them anyway, and all other such nonsense.
2012-11-18 02:07:45 PM  
2 votes:
I searched all the local used book stores for a specific out of print book. Several of them would give me a call if they ever got it in.

Ten years later I picked up a Kindle. After a short search I had the book i was looking for.

I've been sold on e-readers since that time.

/I still love the used bookstores
2012-11-18 01:53:31 PM  
2 votes:
Oh, and epublishing? Please god get some editors.
2012-11-18 01:38:22 PM  
2 votes:

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.
2012-11-18 01:37:07 PM  
2 votes:

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 01:30:06 PM  
2 votes:

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!


Normally I would complain about that, too, but the author's argument is that Amazon can afford to sell hardcopy books at a loss in order to drive brick-and-mortar competition out of business. In this case, the statement that the independent booksellers need to sell at a profit is a relevant distinction.
2012-11-18 01:21:25 PM  
2 votes:
I predict that when they finally develop the Orgasmatron, the publishing and motion picture industries will be given last rites.
2012-11-18 01:16:31 PM  
2 votes:
Meh, I like my kindle for traveling or for $2 novels, but there's nothing like sitting down with a real book at night. They're two totally different experiences; like listening to music on MP3 and live in concert. I pay city taxes of around $100 a year towards the public library, and if i bought every book I borrowed from them I'd be spending easy five times that on books, most of which you only read once. They both have a place, and they both have pros and cons.
2012-11-18 01:12:46 PM  
2 votes:
Disclosure: I manage a used book store that's perpetually on the verge of going out of business.

Amazon is not why bookstores go out of business. Mismanagement of bookstores and the idiocy of the US publishing industry are among the top reasons that bookstores go out of business. Amazon is terrible in many, many, many ways, as anyone bright who shops with them frequently will notice, but that's beside the point. And they stay in business because they're very convenient and have few real competitors.

Ebooks are also not why bookstores go out of business. That said, current e-readers are terrible -- their design is driven by marketing crap, not technology or usability, and consumers will continue to get stuck with crap readers if they never hold out for something better. In fact, the trend that seems likely is that tablet computers will eat the reader market whole, and a few years from now you'll be slightly embarrassed to admit that you shelled out actual money for a Nook or Kindle.

I never liked Steve Jobs, but if he were still alive very few people would be buying a Nook or Kindle. Or paying as much as $5 for a typical ebook. I'm just saying.
2012-11-18 11:55:00 AM  
2 votes:

Shostie: 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!

Oh, wow. I was just coming in here to gripe about that sentence.


Guys, he was countering the assumption that Amazon doesn't rely on profits when it sells books at a loss, which gives it an unfair advantage in the book selling game.
2012-11-18 11:32:55 AM  
2 votes:

kronicfeld: I've read a few books on my iPad, but I really just can't stay focused on them. Maybe it's what I've read, but I find it much easier to sit and plow through 100 pages of a bound book than an e-book.


Ipad, huh? Well there is your problem friend.

E-Ink is different from LCD Tech. Its far easier on the eyes. I cant read long bits of texts on my PC, or Phone, but on my nook, not a problem.
2012-11-18 07:35:36 PM  
1 votes:

patternmatch:
I am well aware of the one-sided "licensing" crap that prevails in the industry. My point is that retaining an electronic copy of a work in defiance of such one-sided licensing crap is not morally equivalent to stealing.  And it should not be legally so, either...perhaps one day the pendulum will swing back in favor of the people.


Not only is it "not stealing", in a lot of nations (like my home country, Canada) it's your explicit right to do whatever the hell you want to your media for your own personal use. It only becomes an issue if you start distributing it in some fashion.

Just like you could always record a radio broadcast of a song onto a mix tape, you can change your ebook files to whatever format you like. Portraying that as "stealing" is beyond ridiculous.

And yes, if I could download a goddamn car, of course I would. If that means car companies go bankrupt; so be it. We've got freely downloadable cars; we don't need the car manufacturers any more. Kind of like how farriers aren't in high demand lately, either. Your business being archaic and unnecessary does not mean you have the legal right to force people to use it rather than the better, cheaper alternative.
2012-11-18 05:36:43 PM  
1 votes:
And it doesn't matter when Amazon randomly deletes all your ebooks remotely without reimbursement. After all, the basis of our economy is that any seller always has the right to take their product back at any point after the sale has been made.
2012-11-18 05:28:10 PM  
1 votes:
The thing I love most about my Kindles and Kindle apps is that no matter which one I use, it's almost instantly at the right place in whatever book I'm reading at the time. Words cannot express how awesome it is to be able to pull out my phone when I'm stuck waiting somewhere and start reading the same book (in the same place) I was reading the night before in bed on the e-ink or tablet.
2012-11-18 03:53:37 PM  
1 votes:

patternmatch: RandomAxe: I never liked Steve Jobs, but if he were still alive very few people would be buying a Nook or Kindle. Or paying as much as $5 for a typical ebook. I'm just saying.

Huh? The Kindle and the Nook were both released, and sold like gangbusters (with $10 ebooks), well before Jobs's death. Why do you think any of that would have drastically changed in the last year?


So many tech pundits were crowing about about how the iPad was going to revolutionize electronic publishing. Yeah, no. All Apple did was help raise prices.
2012-11-18 03:53:27 PM  
1 votes:

RandomAxe: For that matter, I should add that far superior e-ink technology has existed for well over a decade now. Commercially available readers are really crappy. Never mind that they ought to be full computers; their displays should be capable of very nice full-motion video, and at about the same price point.


What are you basing this on? Are you saying there was 60Hz e-ink technology available 10 years ago, which cost no more than what Amazon is using for the Kindle, and for some reason Amazon just didn't use it? If this tech is available at the same price point, why hasn't any company adopted it to blow the existing competition out of the water?
2012-11-18 03:45:44 PM  
1 votes:

RandomAxe: I never liked Steve Jobs, but if he were still alive very few people would be buying a Nook or Kindle. Or paying as much as $5 for a typical ebook. I'm just saying.


Huh? The Kindle and the Nook were both released, and sold like gangbusters (with $10 ebooks), well before Jobs's death. Why do you think any of that would have drastically changed in the last year?
2012-11-18 03:29:00 PM  
1 votes:

MikeMc: museamused: I've had a Kindle for a few years. It is easy onnthe eyes and good formatting but I find it much easier to go back and find a passage in a book in print.

The fact that Kindle books use "locations" instead of page numbers sucks. It makes it very hard to move back and forth if you don't bookmark everything.


Maybe I'm reading books wrong, but I've never had to flip back and forth while reading a book except in the case of choose your own adventure novels.
2012-11-18 03:26:55 PM  
1 votes:

museamused: I've had a Kindle for a few years. It is easy onnthe eyes and good formatting but I find it much easier to go back and find a passage in a book in print.


The fact that Kindle books use "locations" instead of page numbers sucks. It makes it very hard to move back and forth if you don't bookmark everything.
2012-11-18 03:25:10 PM  
1 votes:

ladyfortuna: MikeMc: exvaxman: After the big EMP bomb goes off nothing will be in print. The modern printing industry relies heavily on computers (including the presses themselves). Nobody sets lead type by hand anymore.

*ahem* some us still do. It is a hobby. It does scare me that there are a few newspapers that still set up with an older "mainframe" dedicated to the process that I was selling and developing for in the early 80's.

You'll be busy after the big Chinese EMP bomb goes off. I hope you have a steam plant to run your platen presses...

A couple of years ago, I looked at a house being sold by the third generation of the original owners. It had a small printing press in the basement with tons of accessories (I don't know the names for them, but there were several boxes of stuff along with it and parts strewn around the basement room). I believe it was non-electric.

If the house hadn't been too big and too expensive (along with a shiatty location on a main road), that actually would have been a selling point for me, because it was pretty cool. The house was boiler heated, too.


That would be cool (I've been involved in the printing business in one form or another for ~30 years).
2012-11-18 03:22:27 PM  
1 votes:

MikeMc: exvaxman: After the big EMP bomb goes off nothing will be in print. The modern printing industry relies heavily on computers (including the presses themselves). Nobody sets lead type by hand anymore.

*ahem* some us still do. It is a hobby. It does scare me that there are a few newspapers that still set up with an older "mainframe" dedicated to the process that I was selling and developing for in the early 80's.

You'll be busy after the big Chinese EMP bomb goes off. I hope you have a steam plant to run your platen presses...


A couple of years ago, I looked at a house being sold by the third generation of the original owners. It had a small printing press in the basement with tons of accessories (I don't know the names for them, but there were several boxes of stuff along with it and parts strewn around the basement room). I believe it was non-electric.

If the house hadn't been too big and too expensive (along with a shiatty location on a main road), that actually would have been a selling point for me, because it was pretty cool. The house was boiler heated, too.
2012-11-18 03:16:16 PM  
1 votes:

MikeMc: Kimpak: Useful books like textbooks are always going to be in print.

After the big EMP bomb goes off nothing will be in print. The modern printing industry relies heavily on computers (including the presses themselves). Nobody sets lead type by hand anymore.


lol, touche. However, I meant that up to the point of the EMP books will continue to be printed. After the EMP, well printing books is but one of the many problems society would face.

Somewhat off topic but I think there's enough people out there with skills in how do to things without electricity, that society will survive after an initial shiatty period of time. A different world to be sure, but I feel like eventually power will be restored and people will start over. We're not going to just forget how to generate electricity, but it may take a generation or three to get it back.
2012-11-18 03:15:10 PM  
1 votes:

exvaxman: After the big EMP bomb goes off nothing will be in print. The modern printing industry relies heavily on computers (including the presses themselves). Nobody sets lead type by hand anymore.

*ahem* some us still do. It is a hobby. It does scare me that there are a few newspapers that still set up with an older "mainframe" dedicated to the process that I was selling and developing for in the early 80's.


You'll be busy after the big Chinese EMP bomb goes off. I hope you have a steam plant to run your platen presses...
2012-11-18 03:08:29 PM  
1 votes:
After the big EMP bomb goes off nothing will be in print. The modern printing industry relies heavily on computers (including the presses themselves). Nobody sets lead type by hand anymore.

*ahem* some us still do. It is a hobby. It does scare me that there are a few newspapers that still set up with an older "mainframe" dedicated to the process that I was selling and developing for in the early 80's.
2012-11-18 03:04:14 PM  
1 votes:

Kimpak: Useful books like textbooks are always going to be in print.


After the big EMP bomb goes off nothing will be in print. The modern printing industry relies heavily on computers (including the presses themselves). Nobody sets lead type by hand anymore.
2012-11-18 03:01:08 PM  
1 votes:
The funny thing is that Amazon paid publishers wholesale for the books they were selling for $9.99. The publishers weren't losing any money, Amazon was. The Big Four were pissed that they couldn't set the pricing throughout the book's life-cycle and that Amazon was reducing the perceived value of their product. Publishers actually make less money under the price model they have imposed but they have greater control, or so they think. They obviously learned nothing from the music industry. If you make content affordable and portable (DRM free) people will buy, you try to charge the same for digital content as physical media and lock it down (First Sale doctrine anyone?) people will pirate. Morons.
2012-11-18 02:54:38 PM  
1 votes:

FitzShivering: Also might be worth pointing out that the fun thing about books is things like "average hardcover price" per year are available if you do some research, and you'll see quite clearly that the average hardcover price has been decreasing over the last decade or so (with the additional point that books have been further discounted, not to mention the lack of need to even leave the house to buy them), while wages have been going up. Books _are_ cheaper than they have ever been, with all the options available. It's hard fact. You're going to find a genre where it isn't true, or find some moron who goes to B&N and pays list (though with all the 10% off stickers, that might be a chore), but there's very little logical argument to be made that books are more expensive now.


A counterpoint to this would be the view that hardcover books years ago were too expensive for what they were, and while prices may have declined, are still too expensive.

For example, I would not consider any novel hardcover book worth more than $10. That they have apparently gone down to $20 means it is still 100% overpriced.
2012-11-18 02:51:51 PM  
1 votes:
dmax: One piece of unabashed genius that will never make the transition to eBook.

Why? A good e-reader could display that in HTML, one page or several pages at a time, in any arrangement, properly formatted, in ways germane to the text but which a standard paper format can't match.
2012-11-18 02:47:53 PM  
1 votes:

MrHelpful: FTA: "It started when I was eighteen and decided I'd never eat at McDonald's again, claiming they were too big, too greedy. This was hard to explain to my friends, who liked cheap food, but they humored me and we ate at Burger King instead. "

Wow. The author actually typed that with a straight face. What an idiot.


I'm sure he also fights the good fight against commercialized coffee franchises by skipping Starbucks and getting his coffee at Dunkin Donuts instead.
2012-11-18 02:46:18 PM  
1 votes:
One piece of unabashed genius that will never make the transition to eBook.

upload.wikimedia.org
2012-11-18 02:44:27 PM  
1 votes:
FTA: "It started when I was eighteen and decided I'd never eat at McDonald's again, claiming they were too big, too greedy. This was hard to explain to my friends, who liked cheap food, but they humored me and we ate at Burger King instead. "

Wow. The author actually typed that with a straight face. What an idiot.
2012-11-18 02:43:19 PM  
1 votes:

Kimpak: 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.
--

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.


Oh, I've had three version of the Kindle. But people don't seem to understand that their computer based art, writing, photography, etc. is all temporary. Not tinfoil-hatty, but a lesson that some people will learn too late.

Already, things creating in AppleWorks, etc., are only partially retrievable. Imagine format changes in 30 years, trying to get back something that you worked on. Text might be the most safe, but one day the power will go out. (Or, alternatively, how can a society without adequate, consistent power participate in the art/literature/education?)

I've been on the net since Telnet and Mosaic, but we shouldn't confuse computers with permanence.
2012-11-18 02:39:27 PM  
1 votes:

FitzShivering: $20 straight off Amazon on.


That's still almost 2.75 hours at national minimum wage as opposed to your 1-2 in your original post, and you'd have to pay for shipping or shell out more money for Prime or buy something else for Super Saver and possibly wait a while for it.
2012-11-18 02:37:01 PM  
1 votes:

FitzShivering: Books are so historically cheap, I don't understand why anyone would steal them.


True for everything except textbooks. My God, do they gouge the living shiat out of textbooks. And E-textbooks still cost 90% of the hardcover book price for some reason.
2012-11-18 02:34:10 PM  
1 votes:

RandomAxe: All_Farked_Up: Amazon is actually one of the better ones as individuals can sell their own books without a publishing contract.

Yes, but this is ridiculous on its face. You ought to be able to buy content directly from the individuals, online, or through any licensed third-party merchant. Piracy is obviously an issue, but proprietary formats that consumers are slaved to are bullshiat. Kindle owners, for instance, generally don't realize how they've tied their genitals to Amazon until Amazon decides to drive off in a huff.


None of the content on my Kindle was purchased or processed through Amazon except a few web articles I emailed to my @free.kindle.com address so I could pull them over wifi instead of connecting the USB cable for a few hundred kb of data. This 'tying yourself in' stuff is nonsense.

And as for your gripes about how e-ink readers should be video ready by now: WHY? That's not what they're for. I have a full-color LCD display on my computer for that. The only things that I give a fark about with e-readers is that they're readable and the battery lasts longer than my cell phone's.
2012-11-18 02:31:56 PM  
1 votes:

Professor Horatio Hufnagel: fark Amazon. Proprietary ebook files and readers are some of the worst things to happen to publishing and the exchange of information since the Stamp Act of 1765. It wouldn't be so bad if we could trust companies like Amazon to keep their devices relatively open and compatible, but that's about as likely to happen as living on space colonies on the moon within the next five years. The very fact that people would actually support such regressive practices because it's "cheap" and "convenient" further highlights how hopeless our society is. Wonder what it'd be like to live in a world where you couldn't read anything without first buying some bullshiat device to read it? Keep purchasing your Kindle Crap, and sooner than later you won't have to wonder.


Soo.....all of these .pdf, epub and mobi files I have on my Kindle are just working by magic? I find that my Kindle is remarkably 'open' and not at all propitiatory.
2012-11-18 02:24:34 PM  
1 votes:
By the way, don't ever buy a cover for a Kindle on Amazon unless you find a steal. All the sellers wanted $15-$20 for decent ones, but I found a leather one (real as far as I can tell) from some guy in NJ for $6 with free shipping. It's lovely, and does a good job protecting the screen from the other crap in my backpack. He had about 100 more in stock, so that should tell you something about the markup on those damn things.
2012-11-18 02:08:34 PM  
1 votes:
kiyote: 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.

Yes, but, there's already a markup language specifically made to handle exactly such things brilliantly, and, in fact, it works brilliantly. The concept is called 'hypertext', and the markup language is called HTML. It's not perfect, but it's far superior to most of what's widely used today.

I know this sounds snarky, but I'm being flatly honest. If you've ever read a novel properly formatted in HTML and then had to hassle with something similar half-assedly rendered in bloated PDF or AZW or the like, you can probably see what I mean. But the paranoia over DRM and whatnot, added to the rabid stupidity over content-free bells and whistles, has largely buried HTML.
2012-11-18 02:07:27 PM  
1 votes:

ladyfortuna: 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.


LibreVox does free audio versions of public domain works if you do need one. I'm not a big fan of audiobooks, but when I do need "free" is a really good price point.

Link

Like Project Gutenberg for your ear holes.
2012-11-18 02:02:27 PM  
1 votes:
The Kindle Paperwhite is pretty awesome

/had 3 versions of Kindles now
//have more books than most small libraries
///Kindle != no more books
2012-11-18 01:57:26 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:57:23 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:48:58 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:48:26 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:44:24 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:42:58 PM  
1 votes:

louiedog: People still read?


This is like being proud of .. well, not reading. There is no analogy here.
2012-11-18 01:42:44 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:42:05 PM  
1 votes:

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 01:42:03 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:37:05 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:32:19 PM  
1 votes:
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 01:30:13 PM  
1 votes:
The only real problem, to my mind, is the fact that as electronics squish older things (like books) into tiny reservations of decoration and collection they contribute (in a tiny, tiny way) to the problem we still haven't solved. I.e. energy economics.

We're still burning extra-finite resources to power this stuff and we don't have controllable fusion or widespread green.

Though from what I understand a lot of e-readers could probably run on little tiny solar panels as well as those cheap-o solar powered calculators do.
2012-11-18 01:25:22 PM  
1 votes:

jaytkay: Anybody have informed opinions of the Kobo ereader?

I hate the way Kindle is chained to Amazon content. Yes, I know there are workarounds. But the average user has no idea how that stuff works and always pays the Amazon premium.

My local independent bookstore is offering Kobo books, and I will always buy from them if possible.


Kobo is not bad but its not great either.

Go Nook, It reads Epub (Which is the universal standard everyone but amazon uses). You can use the B&N, Pirate, or other Ebook stores, like Baen and such.

Also did I mention Calibre... I think I may have.
2012-11-18 01:24:54 PM  
1 votes:
We are still in the infancy of digital content. The large publishers are still holding most of the cards. Amazon is actually one of the better ones as individuals can sell their own books without a publishing contract.
2012-11-18 01:23:59 PM  
1 votes:

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/
2012-11-18 01:22:10 PM  
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-18 01:21:51 PM  
1 votes:
FTA: Is Amazon the lessor of these two evils?

You call yourself a writer???
2012-11-18 01:21:51 PM  
1 votes:

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.


I do the same thing, with my Nook. Most Libraries are also featuring Epub copies of books.
2012-11-18 01:21:00 PM  
1 votes:
Kindle is a fantastic device as far as I m concerned. At any moment of the day when boredom strikes I need merely ease out my kindle from my butt pocket and nearly 1,000 books are within the reach of my stubby digits. Love it, even have a special plastic bag to allow bath time reading.
As for paying amazon their exorbitant prices, a few moments perusing any decent torrent site and you can have all the books your heart desires, scott free, aaarrrrrrggggghhh a pirates life for me.
2012-11-18 01:19:49 PM  
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-18 01:17:55 PM  
1 votes:
For that matter, I should add that far superior e-ink technology has existed for well over a decade now. Commercially available readers are really crappy. Never mind that they ought to be full computers; their displays should be capable of very nice full-motion video, and at about the same price point.
2012-11-18 01:14:27 PM  
1 votes:

RandomAxe: Disclosure: I manage a used book store that's perpetually on the verge of going out of business.

Amazon is not why bookstores go out of business. Mismanagement of bookstores and the idiocy of the US publishing industry are among the top reasons that bookstores go out of business. Amazon is terrible in many, many, many ways, as anyone bright who shops with them frequently will notice, but that's beside the point. And they stay in business because they're very convenient and have few real competitors.

Ebooks are also not why bookstores go out of business. That said, current e-readers are terrible -- their design is driven by marketing crap, not technology or usability, and consumers will continue to get stuck with crap readers if they never hold out for something better. In fact, the trend that seems likely is that tablet computers will eat the reader market whole, and a few years from now you'll be slightly embarrassed to admit that you shelled out actual money for a Nook or Kindle.

I never liked Steve Jobs, but if he were still alive very few people would be buying a Nook or Kindle. Or paying as much as $5 for a typical ebook. I'm just saying.


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.
2012-11-18 12:43:02 PM  
1 votes:

alkhemy: Raharu: Publishers are again. clueless much like music labels, and Movie industry are.

Not all publishers. Many small publishers have a handle on this.

/ Owns a publishing company.

// All our ebooks are $4.99


Links please! I love affordable Ebooks!


Baen is another company that knows how this ebook think should work, they also have affordable prices
2012-11-18 12:31:32 PM  
1 votes:

Raharu: Publishers are again. clueless much like music labels, and Movie industry are.


Not all publishers. Many small publishers have a handle on this.

/ Owns a publishing company.

// All our ebooks are $4.99
2012-11-18 11:28:04 AM  
1 votes:

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.
2012-11-18 11:19:34 AM  
1 votes:
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?
 
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