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eBooks vs real books
Posted: 27 March 2011 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi

I bought the eBook “Mad in America” by Robert Whitaker. I’m reading it on my iPhone and Mac, with the Kindle software.

While I’m finding it convenient in some respects I think the menu is rather inconvenient. Plus I’m concerned about DRM and how long the Kindle format, for example, will last. I’m thinking of buying the paper back version of this book as well. The eBook version does have it’s conveniences like fitting in my iPhone and being able to look up words. But I’m annoyed with the way it syncs between my iPhone and my Mac.

I think the world needs a universal eBook format so you’re not tied to one software app. At least with physical books you don’t have to worry about the change in format by software companies. Maybe I’m just showing my age? What do other people think?

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Posted: 27 March 2011 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Eventually there may be a universal app for ebooks, but using three devices to receive the material seems redundant to me since the Kindle, which we have, is designed to give a unique, easy and gentle approach to reading.  Trying to read a book on a small phone monitor would be difficult for a lot of people just as trying to type on a phone is now reduced to thumb and VERY abbreviated messages. 

My experience with the Kindle has been superior:  no glare, adjustable font size, page orientation, no content page to deal with (unless you need to go that route) since it goes to the page you closed out on when you stopped reading the last time or are sharing two books with two people etc.; light and easy to hold no matter if you’re standing, sitting, or laying down; small enough to carry in a small purse, attache, backpack etc.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 09:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I was able to read about 4 chapters on my iPhone. Although I don’t know how long I can keep that up.

I hear what you say Huli. The Kindles do look good for that price but at least with a real book I don’t have to worry about the hardware no longer being made at a future date.

I’ll have a think about it.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Peter I also like regular books, but some of my authors write books that are well over 1,000 pages and 3 inches thick.  Maneuvering them to read comfortable is difficult to impossible if I’m in bed or need to hold it up or want to carry it while waiting in a doctor’s office, standing in line etc.  Once it was put upon a Kindle I am able to read these more effectively. 

Getting periodicals can also be useful on a Kindle when you are in situations where arm space may be limited as well.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I believe most ebooks will read PDF format, but that unfortunately lacks proper amounts of DRM for most publishers to be happy about. Still, for convenience sake, it’s a known format that will be unlikely to go away any time soon.
Of course, the various readers want you to use *only* their format, because that funnels money back to their parent company, as opposed to buying it from a (possibly cheaper) competitor.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I wonder if any of those ebooks will hook up to a printer?

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Posted: 27 March 2011 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I don’t think there’s enough money in the world to get me to use any form of eBook.  I don’t like trying to read large amounts of text with the backlighting, and with a regular book I don’t have to ever consider loss of battery power or anything.

That said, I can understand the convenience aspect that Peter and Huli have mentioned.  They’re just not for me. smile

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Posted: 27 March 2011 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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My girlfriend has a B&N Nook.  I can’t read a book on my computer screen, but I find that the Nook is easy on the eyes and not terribly uncomfortable to hold while lying in bed.  Plus the battery life on a b&w e-reader is fantastic.  However, though I found that purchasing books on it is fairly fast and easy if you’re connected to a wifi hotspot, the cost of the books is ridiculously high.  You end up paying the same as you would for a paper or hardback copy, and there’s no way in hell I could ever justify that.  The ease and speed of purchase doesn’t offset the lack of utility a hard copy has.  After all, I can always take the hard copy to the used book store for store credit and recoup some of my costs.  And while the Nook does allow you to share a book, you can do so only to other Nook users and only if the publisher allows it.  Considering it costs essentially nothing to produce extra copies of an ebook the cost turns out to be a major scam.

I would still like one for public domain books on Project Gutenberg or Google Books though.  Freely downloadable books are about the only case where an e-reader would be ideal.  I could download tons of free books and read them in the comfort of my own bed, which is where books should be read.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Peter - 27 March 2011 10:04 AM

I think the world needs a universal eBook format so you’re not tied to one software app. At least with physical books you don’t have to worry about the change in format by software companies. Maybe I’m just showing my age? What do other people think?

I think the ePub format is trying to be that, but you know how companies love their DRM.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Crafty Dragon - 27 March 2011 06:22 PM

I don’t think there’s enough money in the world to get me to use any form of eBook.  I don’t like trying to read large amounts of text with the backlighting, and with a regular book I don’t have to ever consider loss of battery power or anything.

That said, I can understand the convenience aspect that Peter and Huli have mentioned.  They’re just not for me. smile

There is no backlighting on a Kindle.  It’s like looking at a normal paper book page.  That’s why there is no glare (I’m light sensitive anyway so anything other than a Kindle would blind me).  However, having said this, if the lighting in the room gets dark you have to use a light to read the Kindle the same way you’d need one to read regular books!

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Posted: 27 March 2011 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Accipiter - 27 March 2011 06:19 PM

I wonder if any of those ebooks will hook up to a printer?

Some of them have WiFi or Bluetooth, but I don’t think they hook up directly via cable, no.

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Posted: 27 March 2011 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Give me a paper book any time.  It won’t care if I leave it open for 3 days, drop it on the floor, stuff it in my back pocket or take it on a backwoods camping trip.

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