The rise of e-reading

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lunk
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Tue Aug 09, 2016 12:44 pm Post

Some books have to be physical. I recently got a copy of the Discworld Atlas, together with a fairly large map. It's made for jumping back and forth, looking at several pages more or less simultaneously, and comparing with the large map. I can't see how anyone could make an electronic version that could be used like that.
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yosimiti
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Tue Aug 09, 2016 3:05 pm Post

the kindle app allows a sort of 'god mode' that quickly allows you to look at many pages at once, to imitate the experience of flipping through pages.

anyways, just wait until holographic books come out....that'll be a game changer.

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pigfender
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:55 am Post

I've got another vacation-slash-research-trip coming up, and the prospect of packing (i.e. carrying) 10-15 books, plus the release of the Kindle Oasis makes me revisit this question.

Has anyone tried the Oasis yet? I love the experience of reading a paperback (and hate the experience of reading a hardback), but the conveniences of eBooks are certainly appealing. Is the Oasis good enough to tempt someone who doesn't use an e-reader yet away from their beloved print books?
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Sanguinius
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Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:47 pm Post

pigfender wrote:I've got another vacation-slash-research-trip coming up, and the prospect of packing (i.e. carrying) 10-15 books, plus the release of the Kindle Oasis makes me revisit this question.

Has anyone tried the Oasis yet? I love the experience of reading a paperback (and hate the experience of reading a hardback), but the conveniences of eBooks are certainly appealing. Is the Oasis good enough to tempt someone who doesn't use an e-reader yet away from their beloved print books?

It seems a little expensive for what it does, and I've read a few bad reviews about it that make me think it's not worth the price tag, but maybe that's just me. I like e-readers in general, though, if that helps. It's way more convenient than lugging around all the books.

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pigfender
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:20 am Post

I don't use an ereader at the moment. I don't like them. They're awkward. They flash when the pages turn. They don't have the organic feel of a paperback. They don't have the 'disposable' quality a paperback has that makes me feel I'm experiencing a unique moment in time when I read them. They feel like I'm still staring at a screen working instead of relaxing. They take all the fun out of browsing in bookshops. I can't use them during takeoff and landing on many flights.

But... They are much lighter than carrying 10 books on vacation, and I can always download more if I run out.

Amazon seems to have pitched the Oasis at me: someone who doesn't hasn't been tempted to make the switch yet. I can totally see why (as the Internet reviews tend to say), it's not worth the extra money over, say, the Paperwhite if you're already someone who uses and appreciates a kindle. I'm really interested if -- ignoring price -- the new device is enough to satisfy someone who historically has decided kindles rob the beauty from reading.
"Some dice only have sixes." nom, 19 Oct 2013
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Ahab
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:50 am Post

The trick is to get over the "beauty" end of the equation and focus only on the utility. I have a Kindle Gen2; my daughter-in-law has a Paperwhite. Mine has all the aesthetics of a wall switch; hers is more a glowing light-dimmer. Both, however, are equally capable of performing their sole task, at least from our point of view: packing a lot of reading material into a very small, very portable package.

In my requirements, being a writer and not a lawyer, economics enter into the equation as well. In my writing research I'm often face-down in obscure, out-of-copyright books. These are often available on the Kindle for very little--the complete Anthony Trollope, nicely formatted, was $2.99. Once you get outside the usual suspects--the Barsetshire Chronicles, the Pallisers--you could spend a thousand bucks stocking a Trollope library.

Now that Scrivener is available for iOS, I expect to buy an iPad on the theory that it may replace the Kindle and do all it does--including run the Kindle reader--but extend its capabilities to other types of e-reader docs which, in the obscurer corners of my interests, are simply unavailable on the Kindle. In addition, your actual working document in Scrivener or Pages or whatever is right there alongside the book you're marking up.

Of course this isn't an aesthetic experience--no sound and smell and feel of paper, no ghosts of previous readers in a sixty-year-old book. It's all about efficiencies, and economies, and expediency.

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lunk
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 11:11 am Post

Ahab wrote: It's all about efficiencies, and economies, and expediency.


.... and age. :roll:

I really appreciate the ability to magnify the text when my eyes are getting tired and not even my reading glasses help.
I am a user, writing non-fiction and science, using:
* Mac Scrivener 3 on a Macbook 12”, MacBook Pro 13”, and iMac 27”, all running the latest MacOS
* iOS Scrivener 1 on an iPhone 8, iPad Air 9.7”, and iPad Pro 12.9”, all running the latest iOS

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JimRac
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 4:50 pm Post

lunk wrote:Some books have to be physical. I recently got a copy of the Discworld Atlas, together with a fairly large map. It's made for jumping back and forth, looking at several pages more or less simultaneously, and comparing with the large map. I can't see how anyone could make an electronic version that could be used like that.

This is very true. Kindle has made some improvements recently, but it's not the same. If I have to jump back and forth, or view lots of graphics, physical book is still the way to go.

pigfender wrote:I don't use an ereader at the moment. I don't like them. They're awkward. They flash when the pages turn. They don't have the organic feel of a paperback. They don't have the 'disposable' quality a paperback has that makes me feel I'm experiencing a unique moment in time when I read them. They feel like I'm still staring at a screen working instead of relaxing. They take all the fun out of browsing in bookshops. I can't use them during takeoff and landing on many flights.

But... They are much lighter than carrying 10 books on vacation, and I can always download more if I run out.

Amazon seems to have pitched the Oasis at me: someone who doesn't hasn't been tempted to make the switch yet. I can totally see why (as the Internet reviews tend to say), it's not worth the extra money over, say, the Paperwhite if you're already someone who uses and appreciates a kindle. I'm really interested if -- ignoring price -- the new device is enough to satisfy someone who historically has decided kindles rob the beauty from reading.

I *never* thought I'd be an ebook fan. I hated reading PDFs or whatever on a PC. But on a lark I bought a Paperwhite 2 in Dec last year, and have not looked back. Part of my choice now in deciding which book to read next is whether I can get it in ebook form. I've got 300+ books on the device, many of them classics in the public domain, so either free or very cheap. It was fun reading the collected Sherlock Holmes again!

The Paperwhite 2 is awesome. In the store the flashing made me think the demo version was broken! But I don't even see the flashing anymore - it's a non-issue. The screen is 95% glare-free, as compared to say an iPad Air screen. Most of the time I have the backlighting turned off, but do use it at night for reading in bed if I want the lights off so to not disturb my wife.

As I read I can highlight, annotate, look up words. (For some reason, I am not a person to "mark up" paper books, so highlighting an ebook gives me a way to document nice writing that I wouldn't do before!)

One advantage of ebooks that I didn't anticipate is I can borrow them from libraries. I am in California, and have access to the Los Angeles public library system. They have tens of thousands of ebooks available, and I can download directly to the device without having to visit a branch.

By the way, I have flown with the Kindle quite a bit (domestic US and international), and have never been asked to turn it off. I put it in airplane mode and am good to go for the flight.

If you are reading mostly text - fiction, or non-fiction that doesn't contain much diagrams - the Paperwhite 2 is a great way to go.

By the way, your point regarding "browsing in bookshops" is so true! I haven't set foot in one in months. :)

Jim

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Sanguinius
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:22 pm Post

pigfender wrote:I don't use an ereader at the moment. I don't like them. They're awkward. They flash when the pages turn. They don't have the organic feel of a paperback. They don't have the 'disposable' quality a paperback has that makes me feel I'm experiencing a unique moment in time when I read them. They feel like I'm still staring at a screen working instead of relaxing. They take all the fun out of browsing in bookshops. I can't use them during takeoff and landing on many flights.

I don't understand the "flash" comment. Most ereaders have pretty decent transitions when "turning pages." Some slide the page across the screen, some fade from one to the next. My ereader app actually simulates the pages being turned back and forth. And it allows me to zoom the text if my eyes are tired, or change the font if my eyes are bored, or change the background if my eyes...well, it has nothing to do with my eyes. But I can make an ebook look exactly like a printed book, as though the words are on a piece of paper.

I still go to bookstores, and I still buy physical books. But I use my ereader because it works so well. It allows me to carry more than one book with me wherever I go, without bulk. While reading, I can highlight passages, and add notes and comments (and sync these to other devices), and I can select words or phrases and instantly look them up in the device dictionary or wikipedia. I can share books with a friend halfway across the world, instantly. There are some books that don't work well with e-readers, namely those that rely more on how the content looks then what the content says. My personal favorite book of all time, House of Leaves, is this way. But if it's about a story being told via words and not images, then just about any other book will work just fine.

Hopefully you find a solution that works for you. There are some damn fine devices out there, most of them not very expensive.

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JimRac
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 5:41 pm Post

Sanguinius wrote:I don't understand the "flash" comment.


For some reason, the screen on the Kindle Paperwhite 2 flashes every few pages. Something to do with how they implemented the e-ink technology. I'm don't know if all Kindles share this "feature". Below is a video of it, on prior version of Paperwhite. I don't think my version flashes quite this often.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXOVczAMBHo

When I saw the demo model doing it in the store, my first thought was "This is a problem." When the sales person told me that's just the way they work, I bought it anyway although I made sure I understood the return policy, because I wasn't sure that I would be able to deal with it.

But as mentioned in my post, I don't even see the flashing now. Complete non-issue for me. But YMMV - this is one of those things that may really bug someone.

ETA: I have an iPad Air 2, and that is fine to read on as well. The screen is beautiful. But for me the Paperwhite 2 with its e-ink is closer to the experience of reading on a paper book - particularly if I'm outside.

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JimRac
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Thu Aug 18, 2016 6:29 pm Post

One other point.

I am reading A Storm of Swords.

Last night I read it for an hour on my Paperwhite 2.

This morning after I parked my car, while walking from the parking lot into the office, I launched the Kindle app on my iPhone. It picked up where I left off from the Paperwhite and I read a few more pages. Over lunch I will likely read some more on the phone, or maybe on my PC using the Kindle app for Windows. And certainly will read more on the phone later while waiting to get my hair cut.

While cooking dinner, maybe i'll get in a few pages on my iPad. And finally, back to the Paperwhite prior to bed.

So while I prefer reading on the Paperwhite 2 over the other devices, the book is always with me, even if the Paperwhite is not.

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Blewitt
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Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:34 am Post

I have a tomcat who pees on books. For this reason I buy e-books almost exclusively. Another reason I buy e-books is that they are cheaper, and I don’t have much money. Recently I bought the paper version of Victor Thorn’s “murder volume” of his Clinton series, but that was only because I thought Thorn might have been murdered and an e-book version of this book was not available. (I think whenever they murder a writer one should purchase his books in protest.) Anyhow I do almost all my reading on e-book readers, and I have been doing this since 2012, when I bought a used Kindle on e-bay. (I have subsequently purchased a Nook and a Sony Reader to go with the old Kindle.) Reading on e-readers has worked out fine with me. I don’t miss paper.

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PaigeElizabethTurner
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Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:51 pm Post

I love both forms, and each has their purpose.

But I cannot imagine clearing out all my 'proper' books to leave my Kindle Paperwhite sitting on the centre shelf of a floor-to-ceiling bookcase!