Books Are Dead

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Books Are Dead

Post by Godot on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 2:59

After fighting an uphill battle for quite a while now, my favorite bookstore, Borders, has finally been put out business for good. It started with them closing down Waldenbooks, then select Borders stores all over, but now they're completely finished. I painfully watched it struggle and die every step of the way. All because of these damn e-readers. It won't be long before these things put pretty much all bookstores out of business, putting thousands out of work, all for the sake of some damn convenience. Ah, technology.

I also find it ironic that Barnes and Noble, which I was never too fond of, is selling their own e-reader. How long is it going to take for the Nook to make their own brick and mortar stores obsolete and put the very people who sold it out of their jobs?

I'm reading the out-of-business letter the CEO sent out right now and I'm reminded of a salesclerk at Waldenbooks I've known for around 7 years. He was moved when Waldenbooks went out of business, and he might have been moved again when Borders started withdrawing. Needless to say, he's probably out of a job now. To whoever has bought an e-reader, I hope it was worth it.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by TTIO on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 3:34

Hey, this is the perfect opportunity to link to Defective by Design's e-reader campaign Smile

Kindle: http://www.defectivebydesign.org/amazon-kindle-swindle
Nook: http://www.defectivebydesign.org/nook

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by NeverSleep on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 6:35

Nah, they won't die this easy, like CDs, DVDs, or BDs, maybe they will be replaced someday, but the point of books and disk is that they are durable and can maintain the data engraved into it for a larger time span.
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Rex Invictus on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 8:09

I much prefer reading a book than a e-book.
The pleasure of reading a book is unique, I buy all the books I need.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by TTIO on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 10:59

Agreed with all three - ereaders are great for fanfiction or unpublished authors, but nothing beats a real book if you can get one Smile

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The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Entropy on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 11:16

I might not make any lifelong friends saying this, but really, the whole book industry has asked for what they're going through right now. That could really be extended to music as well. E-books/readers have surprisingly little to do with it, but they haven't been inconsequential. E-books have been around for a long time, though, and just in the last few years have we seen an influx of E-Readers, in reality it was a last-ditch effort to revive the book industry, not a mechanism to destroy it. Borders only got crushed because they failed to keep up with that trend early enough.

But the problem for a long time has been ridiculous prices on physical books. I only realized the extent of this ridiculousness when starting to buy books from Japan, and seeing how cheap their books were in comparison. My whole family buys and reads books avidly, but very rarely from new book dealers. A used book is just as good as a new one, and you're not paying a ridiculous ~10 dollar cover price for a paperback. In reality this isn't Borders' or any other store's fault, but rather the publishers' fault for paying famous authors like rock stars (because we all see what that did for the music industry). Those publishers will keep making money regardless of whether people buy physical products or not.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by maverick375 on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 12:01

Just remember that when the bombs start dropping and we as a race are back to stone knives and bearskins, there's going to be stacks of rubble filled with physical books that will be the only remnants of an incredibly stupid species.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by crazyidiot78 on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 12:41

Dang Maverick thats kinda dark. TTIO I read and agree somewhat with those articles. While it will be a long time coming before I get any sort of E-reader I can see where some of their benefits lie as you can read/ carry multiple titles on one device. Nothing beats a book or magazine and how else am I going to copy pages out of them to use in the classroom.
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by theprodigalson on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 13:17

The progression to e-books seems natural, honestly, but for me you cant beat the feel of a turning page, or the weight of a book in your hands. I'll always pick up a book if I can.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 4 Aug 2011 - 14:30

When I am at home, a physical book is a nice thing.

But when I am just about anywhere else, I find the convenience reading on my iPad to be a nicer thing.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Alfisti on Fri 5 Aug 2011 - 9:59

Honestly I don't think books will ever die... perhaps out of the mainstream, but at the end of the day there's a certain feel that the printed page has which an e-Reader can't match. While I think it's a shame Borders and the like have gone out of business, it doesn't overly suprise me either. However, I think there's a bright future for smaller, specialist bookstores. Take Folio Books in Brisbane for example, it's only one little store the specialises in design books, but spend enought time around the city and you're assured to see at least one or two Folio bags walking around the place. In some ways it was viewed as a way to identify people who may be interested in the same stuff you were. More to the point, I know that the vast majority of people you talked to at Uni in the design faculties would far prefer to buy from Folio than online or at one of the bigger retailers (like Borders... who, lets be honest here: was kind of viewed as the enemy.)



The other little bookstore that sees a good bit of business is Pulp Fiction... which does sci-fi and fantasy. But in a way I think this sort of demostrates the first point: these are little places which can survive and even be profitable on sales to a specific market... large stores can't survive on only those sales, they need to sell to the general populace.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Rex Invictus on Fri 5 Aug 2011 - 14:04

The books will not end, perhaps in a hypothetical future, very far away ....
The libraries are full of books.
Yesterday my university library has been updated, thousands of new books.
The bill very large publishers with books. I can not wait to go get my collection of Tolkien!

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Awinnell on Fri 5 Aug 2011 - 14:17

the demise of the bookstore started long before the advent of the E-reader,Amazon and the other online bookstores started their downfall,the cost overheads of a chain of stores versus a large warehouse and mail delivery service are obvious,on top of which people are lazy,why bother driving to a bookstore when you can get it delivered to your door by the mailman after you order it online ?



I like paper books but my town has only one bookstore of note, ( a Waterstones) when 5 years ago it had 3,on top of which i have run out of storage space despite clearances to charity shops etc, as a result i have moved with the times and bought a Kindle

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Cherubino on Sat 6 Aug 2011 - 2:25

Books and magazines will never die. If there is one thing Fallout has taught me it's that even after a nuclear apocalypse, books will still be around and of value.

But in reality, book and magazines need to be around. Magazines are like texts or engraved stones of the past. Some day (once we humans FINALLY succeed in killing each other) an alien species will discover the ruins of earth and find a playboy magazine. Books and magazines may disintegrate over time, I understand that; however, if we make everything electronic won't it all be lost if the future technology can't read it? Electronics are just metal. Books are paper. They can be studied and decoded you know? Yeah I'm sure my Cd's can be too but... To really get an insight on the human mind, the book and magazine are the only true ways.

And nothing beats the smell of my books. Very Happy I love my Dracula book especially because is smells like new book still even though I've read it several times.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by rusty-spring on Sat 6 Aug 2011 - 15:52

I agree that books won't disappear. There are just too many people out there who enjoy them and will continue to do so.

I love flipping pages just as much as the next guy, but I can't deny the absolute convenience of having an entire library's worth of reading material in an e-reader. The ability to get a new book that I want to read within minutes of purchasing it online without having to so much leave the house is also a nice bonus.

It also keeps me reading when I otherwise might not. There's no way I'd pack my carry-on with a stack of books (since I hate checking luggage) when I can easily just bring all of them I want in a small portable package.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by maverick375 on Sat 6 Aug 2011 - 16:50

Some day (once we humans FINALLY succeed in killing each other) an alien
species will discover the ruins of earth and find a playboy magazine.


And on that day someone will actually be reading it for the articles.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by TTIO on Sun 7 Aug 2011 - 11:55

@Cherubino wrote:Electronics are just metal. Books are paper. They can be studied and decoded you know? Yeah I'm sure my Cd's can be too but... To really get an insight on the human mind, the book and magazine are the only true ways.

You're nearly right - slight correction. CDs have a filesystem, but they store data in a nearly raw format. Once you work out the filesystem (which is well documented and not too complex), and work out that you have to shine a laser on it to read it, you can extract the data without too much difficulty.

On a Kindle, however...
Firstly, you've got to recognise the storage (I assume it's a solid state hard drive, in which case it won't look much different from most of the chips on the board), then you've got to work out how to read from it (if you apply the wrong voltage here or there, you may blow the chip!), and work out it's filesystem.
After all of that, you finally have read access to the system, only to find out that the books are encrypted. Okay, a futuristic civilisation may have quantum computers, in which case they'd be able to break the encryption with relative ease, but once you transfer these books off of the device (which you've done by now, breaking it to get at the SSD), you find out that actually, not only is in encrypted, but you've also got to be using the same device that you just broke in order for the filesystem to let you read it.

Therein lies the problem. Yes, by their nature ebooks are going to be harder to extract information from. However, Amazon and other companies are putting up artificial barriers, which might make short-term financial sense (or they may not, as some studies imply), but they restrict access for the people of the future. Even if it's us in 50 years trying to get this information, we can't.

Some of the details of this may be wrong, but I'm just trying to show how much of a difference DRM can make - this is only supposed to be the gist of it (if anyone knows more about Amazon's DRM, feel free to correct me Smile )

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The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Alfred Tennyson - 1851
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by CiCiClaw on Sun 7 Aug 2011 - 13:19

I think that many of you are right, books won't die, it is simply a bad idea, considering that many people come to rely on it. Textbook companies will never go under because many people can't have digital copies. Blind people are stuck with the brial which is paper bound, there are new devices used by them to make even written books into it. But again, we rely on books in general.

E-readers are convient, yes, but not 100% good and do carry problems. For many reasons I don't really want one, though it would help my fiance with carrying around his D&D books considering those things weigh more than a standard textbook does.
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by TTIO on Mon 8 Aug 2011 - 13:48

I carry around my D&D books :p
I have an app on my ipod touch for reference, but it's only useful for obscure stuff that's not in either the DM guide or Player Handbook. Even when searching frantically for a table, book over ereader every time Smile

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The Eagle

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ring'd with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

Alfred Tennyson - 1851
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by JameyoftheMegacosmos on Fri 19 Aug 2011 - 0:18

This topic actually reminds me of the novel, Fahrenheit 451. Let's just hope it doesn't end up like that. In case anyone is confused, I'll explain.

There was a monologue where the antagonist, Captain Beatty described how technology considered books worthless. That and minorities who were favoring self-censorship helped result in a huge banning of books by the government. This led to a dystopian, mindless society and when houses became fireproof, firemen were given the job to burn books and arrest those who kept them.

In the end, the technological world got destroyed and only books were remaining to help the survivors learn from their mistakes.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Nagneto on Fri 2 Sep 2011 - 0:41

I'm wasting my breath, but I boycott e-books because they're killing the industry. Not to mention only an idiot drops 200 bucks on a cheap third world slave labor made apple piece of plastic that breaks in less than month. I despise their company with every fiber of my being. Cheap bastards haven't donated to charity in over ten years.


Last edited by Nagneto on Fri 2 Sep 2011 - 0:47; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : rage.)
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Guest on Tue 6 Sep 2011 - 0:46

Back in Modesto, the bookstore is Borders was closed. I missed bookstore.

There is also manga company called, Tokyopop is also closed in North America.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Godot on Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 3:43

I recently made my final visit to the last, dying Borders here in Chicago, which honestly felt more like a raid, with more people there now during liquidation than there were probably the entire year.

Along with the posts here, it has gotten me thinking: books may indeed never be completely phased out, but bookstores will definitely be. I'd give it 10 years. Most newer books will probably be available via Kindle/Nook/etc by then at a much lower price. Severely cut physical book sales would either push devoted bookstores to the online+shipping route or just straight out of business.

Bookstores are honestly half the experience for me. Browsing through the shelves, reading at the cafe, conversing with staff, the atmosphere, is something that can't be replicated by a Kindle or what have you. I used to plan out my visits to the bookstore; it was an event of sorts. I suppose that's not going to last much longer. Like many of you have said, I also like the feel of a book. At least I can have that for a little while longer.

Barnes and Noble is the only large bookstore chain left I can turn to for this experience it seems, although I have long since hated them. The Nook they're selling isn't helping either.

To think I actually thought Kindles were a good idea at first. Don't know how I didn't foresee this.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Alfisti on Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 8:04

@Godot wrote:Bookstores are honestly half the experience for me. Browsing through the shelves, reading at the cafe, conversing with staff, the atmosphere...
Well, if that's what you're after then second hand bookstores are where it's at.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by boomer_gonz on Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 11:07

@Alfisti wrote:
@Godot wrote:Bookstores are honestly half the experience for me. Browsing through the shelves, reading at the cafe, conversing with staff, the atmosphere...
Well, if that's what you're after then second hand bookstores are where it's at.

Agreed. There are three within my local area alone, one of them specializing in comics and graphic novels(vintage and current). Also granted it's not uncommon to see them with separate piles of boxes to be shipped via UPS, DHL, Fed Ex, or USPS right behind the counter.

I've been hearing this from a lot of other people in rural areas too and it seems that the ones most affected by e-readers are the bigger bookstore chains. Independent stores and second-hand shops seem to be thriving with the sudden lack of corporate competition.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Awinnell on Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 11:55

there was an interview on the BBC breakfast show yesterday,some pundit from a publishing agency said that as far as he could tell printed books were soon to be phased out as production costs versus ebook were staggeringly high,

he also said that bookstores were in danger but publishers were not ,in fact he said the number of books being published was rising, as with the reduced costs involved more risks could be taken in selection

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Tommygunner70 on Fri 30 Sep 2011 - 15:36

Well I own many of both. Ebooks can feel quite different when you first start using them but space and weight difference compared to a book is a plus.
I read Ebooks on my PDA and its not much larger or thicker then a Cellphone.
So I can actually carry it without needing a bag, unlike a book, which I'll have to put in a rugsack lest I want to carry it in my hand the whole time which will just destroy the cover in the end (I get sweaty hands easily).

I can create Ebooks so I mostly convert fan-fictions into such.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 19 Jan 2012 - 14:31

@CiCiClaw wrote:I think that many of you are right, books won't die, it is simply a bad idea, considering that many people come to rely on it. Textbook companies will never go under because many people can't have digital copies.

Apple today announced iBooks 2.0 and have partnered with some of the largest textbook companies - Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and DK Publishing - to release their textbooks in an iPad-compatible format (with full multimedia) for $14.99. Considering what some of those books cost in physical form, in digital form - even with the iPad's cost - it probably comes in cheaper. Razz

Traditional publishing is dying (in large part by it's own hand). Amazon and Apple coming to control the digital publishing market might very well end up being a good thing for authors. Right now, the publisher gets 70% of the price of an e-book sold on Amazon or the iBooks Store and you can be sure they don't split that 50-50 with the author. When Amazon and Apple own the market, they'll take the 70% share, but the 30% share will go direct to the author, so they'll likely end up making more money than under the current split.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by rusty-spring on Sat 21 Jan 2012 - 13:24

Recently I prefer e-books over physical copies. The only downside is that I can no longer feel like a superior snob with a fully loaded bookshelf. Razz

Now I'm just waiting for "tablet finger syndrome" to become a common ailment.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 21 Jan 2012 - 17:03

@rusty-spring wrote:Recently I prefer e-books over physical copies. The only downside is that I can no longer feel like a superior snob with a fully loaded bookshelf. Razz

You're covered.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by crazyidiot78 on Sun 22 Jan 2012 - 17:45

The use of E text books is going ot bring some big changes to education or at least the possiblity
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by MadHatChemist on Sun 22 Jan 2012 - 23:34

@Kiskaloo wrote:
Apple today announced iBooks 2.0 and have partnered with some of the largest textbook companies - Pearson, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and DK Publishing - to release their textbooks in an iPad-compatible format (with full multimedia) for $14.99. Considering what some of those books cost in physical form, in digital form - even with the iPad's cost - it probably comes in cheaper. Razz

Traditional publishing is dying (in large part by it's own hand). Amazon and Apple coming to control the digital publishing market might very well end up being a good thing for authors. Right now, the publisher gets 70% of the price of an e-book sold on Amazon or the iBooks Store and you can be sure they don't split that 50-50 with the author. When Amazon and Apple own the market, they'll take the 70% share, but the 30% share will go direct to the author, so they'll likely end up making more money than under the current split.

It's a good idea for a rental, or for those who don't plan on keeping the book. But it's still lousy for keeping good reference material for the long term. A book is still a book, while both file format and media storage formate can change.

It reminds me of when in the 1980's they "digitized" the Domesday book. The technology fell to the wayside and the ability to read is was lost before dedicated researchers were able to figure out how to access it again. The original Domesday book, on the other hand, was and remains perfectly readable. Now, imagine something like that happening to books that don't have that huge of a historical significance. Considering how many lost silent films there are, I can see the problem being even worse with digitally filmed movies in combination of BD/DVD's falling to online streaming.

There is also the benefit of owning a physcial copy which is very much yours, vs. digital files that the company you "bought" them from decide to delete or change.

Just my 1/200 of a gold Stella...
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Awinnell on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 7:25

the only real benefit is you can run searches on a digital book

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by taerKitty on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 12:01

This won't win me many friends, but I view dead-tree editions as deserving to die. As others have noted, prices are too high for the average person to afford, and profits too low for any but the few 'superstar' authors to make a living off it.

I disagree with "the only real benefit" statement above. My spouse has very poor eyesight, and the ability to zoom and reflow text is a godsend. "Reflow" is key here - you could always zoom text, it's called a magnifying glass. But you would then have to move either your body, or the book, back and forth. Here, the page metaphor is kept, and you can 'turn pages' with a single action. Granted, you will have more 'pages' to turn, but this at least makes books again accessible for those with failing eyesight.

It is entirely possible to make Braille 'eReaders'. The blind already have tactile 'displays'. Braille books are hideously expensive, and selection is limited. however, a Braille eReader could accept any non-graphical input (TXT, PDF, EIEIO) and open the wealth of digital material we have.

eBooks are a easier to pack, store, travel, and peruse than dead trees. However, they (currently) suck in extreme lighting conditions: 'digital ink' can be read in bright sunlight, but can't be backlit, and LCD (soon LEDs, I'll wager) displays suck in sunlight, but are backlit. I'm sure that will be fixed eventually. However, I can toss a bookshelf's worth of reading material in a small tote, and enjoy whatever, whenever, (hopefully soon) wherever.

eBooks are "the poor man's publisher." Publishers for those struggling to break into the market are con men. I've read about contracts where they give you the 30%, but you have to pay for what they spent on marketing out of it. Sure, they'll market it for you (which could be as little as listing it on their web site), but they'll charge you for it, on top of taking 70% of the gross.

Like the 'desktop publishing revolution' two decades ago, the current state proves Sturgeon's Law - 80% of self-epubbed work it is crap. However, like 'desktop publishing', part of it will go by the wayside, part of it will be integrated into the next generation of existing consumer software, and part of it will create new types of jobs.

As aspiring fanfic writers, ePublishing is your friend. Think of how hard it would be to get your work into dead tree form? You're either fighting against the numbers to get a true publishing house to notice you, or you're at the mercy of the vanity press, which is little more than a glorified photocopy shop (another extinct relic in technology's wake.)

With ePub, we have FF.net. For those who actually can get their act together sufficient to actually finish a story (which does not include me, sadly), you have various means to convert your work to PDF, some of them free. Then, by word-of-mouth, the blogosphere (hate that word), or actual online marketing, you can see your words in the hands of real readers, not just on their computer displays.



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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 16:36

Bring back stone/clay tablets. Kids think their bookbags are heavy now! Just wait!

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by crazyidiot78 on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 18:54

@ElfenMagix wrote:Bring back stone/clay tablets. Kids think their bookbags are heavy now! Just wait!

LMAO

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Godot on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 19:03

All the bashing off "dead-tree" books is killing me over here. All the criticisms about them do ring true, and as a student, I could appreciate the colossal savings e-textbook offers. Being able to search for text within a book is also incredibly useful, and not having to carry these 1000+ page behemoths around sounds good to me.

I still feel really depressed by all this though. Bookstores as we know it will eventually disappear in the future, going the way of the CD store, so as much as I disliked Barnes and Noble in the past, I'll unfortunately be eventually left with nothing as far as bookstores go. It will certainly be a while before they become a rarity, but it will definitely happen. What with Borders going out of business, I'm thinking an eventual casualty of e-books might be libraries, and that definitely worries the hell out of me.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by crazyidiot78 on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 19:19

You know I didn't think of that one but I know school librarians have been hard hit these past few years in my area
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 23 Jan 2012 - 21:22

@Godot wrote:I'm thinking an eventual casualty of e-books might be libraries...

Our libraries have added e-books to their catalog.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Cherubino on Tue 24 Jan 2012 - 0:44

I don't own an e reader and I never will. Am I the only one who can't read 22 page long documents on a computer screen? Or can everyone else do that? I hate when my teachers post long works online because I just end up printing them out anyway...

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Godot on Tue 24 Jan 2012 - 1:03

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Godot wrote:I'm thinking an eventual casualty of e-books might be libraries...

Our libraries have added e-books to their catalog.

I don't see how having a virtual collection will keep a library afloat or relevant as a brick-and-mortar institution though. No point in going there if its available for download right?

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by taerKitty on Tue 24 Jan 2012 - 3:22

The form of a library has varied, just like the format of a community. You all are a community, one I hope eventually to join. Few have actually met, though.

There was a time when people would think you odd for claiming your close friend to be someone who you never met, never heard the voice, never held anything tangible, such as a letter.

These days, 'online communities' have almost full parity with 'real communities.' No one thinks a person odd for proudly proclaiming membership in a 'virtual community'. (Now, what common thread binds the members may be thought odd, but that's a digression.)

Likewise, a library will still exist, thought it may become something that is online-onlly. The core behind a library is to share books, to be able to join it (usually for free) and borrow a set number of books for a limited time, then to fulfill one's obligation to make those volumes available for others. Or, to be a place where one can peruse books, enjoy them in quiet and peace.

As an example of a successful for-pay eLibrary, look at my.safaribooksonline.com. I'm sure Professor Voodoo knows of it.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Alfisti on Tue 24 Jan 2012 - 7:02

@Godot wrote:...as a student, I could appreciate the colossal savings e-textbook offers. Being able to search for text within a book is also incredibly useful, and not having to carry these 1000+ page behemoths around sounds good to me.
The problem with an eReader, particularly as a text book is that you can't scribble all over an eReader (though I'm sure someone will eventually come up with a way to). Similarly, I know half the time looking through text books I rarely knew where the bit of text I wanted actually was... so I flicked through untill I found something which looked familiar.

@Godot wrote:I still feel really depressed by all this though. Bookstores as we know it will eventually disappear in the future, going the way of the CD store, so as much as I disliked Barnes and Noble in the past, I'll unfortunately be eventually left with nothing as far as bookstores go. It will certainly be a while before they become a rarity, but it will definitely happen. What with Borders going out of business, I'm thinking an eventual casualty of e-books might be libraries, and that definitely worries the hell out of me.
I think there will always be a space for bookstores, same way that even in the era of CDs, digital downloads and the like there's till a booming market for vinyl records. I think the difference is you'll see the big commercial stores fall by the wayside, but the smaller and more nieche ones will keep chugging along, not because paper books are better than eReaders but just because people seem to like them more. I think I mentioned it earlier, but there's a bookstore in Brisbane called Folio Books... and, if you're in any way related to the arts, litterary or design/fashion fields or interested in them; walking around with a bag from there is damn-near as good as walking around with a bag from Louis Vuitton.

As to the Libraries: I think the thing that's being forgotten is that half the reason for a library existing is as s repository of knowledge, not just for loaning books. Ok, so the local library might go, but things like the State Library will most likely stay. Again citing Brisbane, because it's the one I know, but the library there has newspapers from every day back to God-knows when, microfilm archives, runs exhibitions (including the very awesome retro-gaming one... loved the Missle Command machine), holds seminars (very good lecture spaces) and so on. In instances like that loaning out books is just a very small part of its function.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by crazyidiot78 on Tue 24 Jan 2012 - 7:16

I agree with alfisti that the book stores will not completely dissapear there is a record store here in town for poeple who collect vintage records but they also sell cds and otehre associated items. Plus the libraries will stick around because in addittio to storiing knowledge there will be plenty of people who want to read who can not afford e-readers.
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 24 Jan 2012 - 8:26

@Godot wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:
@Godot wrote:I'm thinking an eventual casualty of e-books might be libraries...

Our libraries have added e-books to their catalog.

I don't see how having a virtual collection will keep a library afloat or relevant as a brick-and-mortar institution though. No point in going there if its available for download right?

True, but it might keep them around that much longer because they don't need as much tax money. Wink

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by TTIO on Wed 25 Jan 2012 - 8:25

Problem with making a virtual library is, simply put, DRM. You cannot emulate a normal library digitally without some artificial restrictions which would have to be in the form of DRM. And then you've got to use an ereader they support, things break, etc. Just not worth it.
The alternative would be to simply have them available for free - but for ebooks this would never be accepted as it would be the equivalent of piracy.

@Cherubino wrote:I don't own an e reader and I never will. Am I the only one who can't read 22 page long documents on a computer screen? Or can everyone else do that? I hate when my teachers post long works online because I just end up printing them out anyway...

Generally ereaders use a different type of screen, called e-ink. It reflects ambient light instead of emitting its own - so it's supposed to be much easier on the eyes and quite close to ink on paper. Don't know how good it actually is though, having never used one.

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 14 Mar 2012 - 12:37

One more corpse for the mass grave that is print media:

After 244 years, the Encyclopaedia Britannica is going out of print.

Those coolly authoritative, gold-lettered reference books that were once sold door-to-door by a fleet of traveling salesmen and displayed as proud fixtures in American homes will be discontinued, company executives said.

In an acknowledgment of the realities of the digital age — and of competition from the Web site Wikipedia — Encyclopaedia Britannica will focus primarily on its online encyclopedias and educational curriculum for schools. The last print version is the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/after-244-years-encyclopaedia-britannica-stops-the-presses/

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by crazyidiot78 on Wed 14 Mar 2012 - 18:37

A sad day indeed. wikipedia will never be able to fill the void
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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Kiskaloo on Wed 14 Mar 2012 - 20:11

@crazyidiot78 wrote:A sad day indeed. wikipedia will never be able to fill the void

Britannica was the void and Wikipedia filled it. Smile

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Re: Books Are Dead

Post by Professor Voodoo on Wed 14 Mar 2012 - 23:20

@Kiskaloo wrote:
@crazyidiot78 wrote:A sad day indeed. wikipedia will never be able to fill the void

Britannica was the void and Wikipedia filled it. Smile
I weep no nostalgic tears for them. Every time I had any dealings with them (US division) they were a bunch of assholes.

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Re: Books Are Dead

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