The end of books?

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  • The end of books?
  • Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    I watched the Imagine programme last night about the eBook revolution, with many comparing it to the invention of the printing press.

    I really can’t see books dying out, paperbacks may will be affected most of all. But there’s nothing like a really well printed tome on your favourite subject (motorsport being mine). The main benefit of iPad type books seemed to be their interactivity, but surely then they are no more than websites in an app?

    I can see the advantage of Kindles for people who travel a lot or read on the train etc.

    What do you all think, will you be ditching your paperbacks and coffee table books for eBooks and iPads?

    Real books are easier to flip forwards and back, just to clarify and check

    5thElefant
    Member

    My mrs is a bit of a technophobe and loves books. I bought her a kindle. She hasn’t bought a book since. It’s not that the kindle is more convenient, it’s just easier to read.

    I didn’t need converting. Books will go the way of film cameras. They’ll virtually disappear overnight and the few left will be for nerds and the pathologically contrary.

    Premier Icon jameso
    Subscriber

    No chance. Can’t be arsed with any more technology than is necessary and I love a good book, especially tatty well-read / second hand ones. I can’t imagine loving an electronic piece of plastic tat.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    It’s not that the kindle is more convenient, it’s just easier to read.

    It’s not that the kindle is more convenient, it’s that you don’t need a gods damned spare room to house all your books.

    john_drummer
    Member

    real books:
    1) don’t need a battery to be kept charged
    2) still work if the dog chews them a bit
    3) still work if the dog pees on them
    4) still work if you drop them
    5) still work if you drop them in the swimming pool
    6) can be borrowed from a library
    7) can be lent/given to somebody else when you’ve done with them

    gadget for gadget’s sake IMO

    kevj
    Member

    I am not a reader as such but use technical guides and codes at work daily.

    I cannot get away with reading on screen for work and tend to print off and work from this as it is easier to flick back and forth or make notes.

    That said, I have no problems with reading on forums and other online content.

    MTFU time??

    Don’t agree 5th – just like CDs (and now the re-emergence of vinyl), digital isn’t going to replace the real thing anytime soon.

    Premier Icon miketually
    Subscriber

    Despite TV, we still listen to radios. Despite the internet, we still watch TV.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    I was looking at getting a tablet PC, mainly as a book reader, I thought that it would be better for diagrams in technical books than a kindle, but when I looked at the price of ebooks it hardly seems worth it.

    They are clearly exploiting the market, like music and movies, instead of enticing users in with reasonable prices and services they are driving the consumer to illegal markets.

    kevj
    Member

    Actually, another salient point.
    My Bro in law works at a local junior school and they have bought a kindle per pupil as apparently it is easier for them to read from, bookmark etc.

    Maybe it is the end for books? Who has recently had a photograph printed (Or a full ‘film’ of photographs, not just the good ones?)

    emsz
    Member

    7) can be lent/given to somebody else when you’ve done with them

    got a book off the GF that’s at least 10th hand. shabby but still readable (and it’s got handwritten notes on it)

    5thElefant
    Member

    Don’t agree 5th – just like CDs (and now the re-emergence of vinyl), digital isn’t going to replace the real thing anytime soon.

    Have a look at vinyl sales now compared to their peak, the pathetic trickle of sales are the just nerds and the pathologically contrary. 🙂

    Premier Icon Coyote
    Subscriber

    No chance. Can’t be arsed with any more technology than is necessary and I love a good book, especially tatty well-read / second hand ones. I can’t imagine loving an electronic piece of plastic tat.

    This.

    However, ebooks have their place for travelling where it would just be impractical to carry a case of books.

    CaptJon
    Member

    CharlieMungus – Member
    Real books are easier to flip forwards and back, just to clarify and check

    this

    JamesO and John Drummer – + Many

    Also, if I leave a book on an aeroplane, I rather hope someone has a good read. If I left an e-book reader, I’d be very out of pocket and rather miffed.

    Books are ace.

    ebygomm
    Member

    As much as I see it would be great to have something compact to take on holiday with you, I wouldn’t fancy leaving a kindle on the beach whilst I went for a swim. No such problem with a paperback

    noteeth
    Member

    Electronic hyper-availability isn’t going to kill the book – if anything, it’s made yer actual old-school reading even more of a pleasure.

    noteeth
    Member

    Edit: I had to say it twice, for good measure.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    I think the comparison between Vinyl / CD and Books / eReaders is a bit different.

    Most people didn’t own decent record players back in the 80’s so the difference in sound quality between vinyl and CD was night and day. It was also easier to access tracks and skip between them – and you didn’t have to get out of your seat every 20 minutes to flip sides!

    Books are a visual, touchy feely thing though, which electronic devices can’t replicate.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber

    Friend of mine who devours ebooks tells me he can’t remember who wrote any of them or even what they were called, because he doesn’t have the cover/spine in his face or lying about around the place for a week while he reads.

    Books won’t die out, if anything it might mean less pulp paperbacks but I predict an increased demand for beautifully presented and bound volumes to provide for our asthetic whims and satisfaction.

    Have a look at vinyl sales now compared to their peak, the pathetic trickle of sales are the just nerds and the pathologically contrary.

    But there is still a market (which is growing again). And CDs still outsell downloads.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    There was an excellent article in one of the national papers recently about the philosophical problems with the Kindle. IIRC, these include the nature of ownership (you don’t actually own an ebook on a Kindle), and interactivity.

    From an academic point of view, you can’t really engage the book in a ‘dialogue’ if you don’t have margins. That makes something like an ebook less than ideal. Many of the books I use are marked up with pencil – something that really does enable a type of ‘conversation’ with the text.

    In fact, I have an entire library’s worth of books in PDF form on my hard drive, but I will still buy many of the same volumes in hard copy.

    And an eBook won’t fix a wonky table ( unless the adjustment required is the thickness of a Kindle).

    Premier Icon PMK2060
    Subscriber

    I have not read from a kindle but when reading complex documents at work i always prefer to print them off rather than read from the monitor.

    I can see the advantage of kindles etc for travel but will still continue to buy books.

    I have stopped buying dirty mags however and now view all my porn online 😆

    CaptJon
    Member

    +1 saxonrider

    We have lots of e-textbooks for undergrads. But when i need to read one of the chapters i print it out so i can annotate it. We use iPads in seminars sometimes, and it is much easier to search for keywords electronically, but when you’re looking across more than one page it is so frustrating to do electronically.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    I will all ways have books – many of my books will not be available on a kindle having been out of print for decades. I will probably get a kindle tho for backpacking. last backpacking trip we had over a kilo of books with us – two kindles would be lighter

    Ebooks will not be the end of books – there is so much a book can do that a klindle never can. Less book sales perhaps

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    TBH as soon as they offer some sensible way to get your existing books onto an ereader, I’m sold… I do like books and they’ll still have their place but I don’t have room for the books I own now, and I’m still buying more… And I read fast, so hauling a pile of paperbacks around on holiday is a total pain.

    I have stopped buying dirty mags however and now view all my porn online

    But that’s only because the standards are higher online 🙂

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    I’ve been reading eBooks for years. (I’ve just realised it’s almost a decade! God I’m old.) I’ve used various devices, and whilst I love the convenience of electronic reading, it’s not killed my love of printed paper books. I like them both, they each have their pros and cons.

    In contrast, the number of CDs and vinyl records I’ve bought in the last few years has to be down in the double digits, and I buy a fair amount of music. I’d be the same with movies etc if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a lousy DSL connection and it would be a massive pain to download digital video regularly. The difference is that you need a CD player or a DVD player to use those things, and when you have a computer you can just cut out the middle-man and go directly digital. A book, though, stands by itself. All you need is your eyes and (unless you’re reading Dan Brown or something) a brain.

    The unit cost of printed books will probably go up over the next few years due to reduced demand, and there will probably be far fewer titles available, but I don’t think the book will go away completely in the way that, say, magnetic cassette tapes or floppy discs pretty much have, and the way that CDs and DVDs will. The book is far too elegant an invention for that to happen.

    simonralli2
    Member

    Well for me the kindle version outsells my paperback by around 3 to 1, but then the kindle version is around 1/3 of the cost of the book right now.

    For me reading a story on a kindle is fine, but for academic works I really feel the need for marking sections, adding notes and flipping back and forth and I can’t see myself giving up books any time soon. Maybe a few which are not so important to me I would read on a Kindle.

    Maybe if interfaces improve in the coming year it may get better, and there is the advantage of space when travelling, but I also have a dream of having a mini library in my home one day with all my books finally on shelves.

    GW
    Member

    john_drummer – Member
    real books:
    1) don’t need a battery to be kept charged
    2) still work if the dog chews them a bit
    3) still work if the dog pees on them
    4) still work if you drop them
    5) still work if you drop them in the swimming pool
    6) can be borrowed from a library
    7) can be lent/given to somebody else when you’ve done with them

    gadget for gadget’s sake IMO
    er.. dog pees on my book = book goes in bin
    dog pees on expensive electronic toy = dog goes in bin

    you’ve put me right off librarys too

    noteeth
    Member

    I rarely buy new books… again, I doubt kindles etc will see the death of 2nd hand bookshops. Or for that matter, libraries.

    samuri
    Member

    I’d never take my kindle to the beach or on the bog or in the bath.

    But really, there’s nothing quite as nice as holding a real book. Maybe once old fogies like me all die off and the new generation who have only know ebooks are in charge, then your revolution will happen.

    And then of course these chaps will turn up.

    Don’t say I didn’t warn you. And if anybody doesn’t know who those chaps are, you need to read more books.

    samuri
    Member

    Or for that matter, libraries.

    Not many left now….

    Premier Icon Nick
    Subscriber
    noteeth
    Member

    Not many left now….

    Tis true, unfortunately. I suppose I meant that the demand is still there… judging by what I see in Bristol’s central library, anyway.

    derekrides
    Member

    Funny only the other day we were putting a load of the old kids books up in the loft, the bread knife not wishing to chuck them away cos of the memory’s they hold for us, each of the kids had a favourite they’d demand read over and over.
    It’ll be the grandchildren next she said… Nah said I, grand kids if and when they come will have ebooks, probably won’t even have to read them, they’ll just plug right on in. They’ll have digital ipaper for pictures nobody will need to read the info will get delivered as a memory. You never know what’s coming. But they’ll probably not need these books ever again.

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