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  1. #11
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    My brother gave me a Nook for Christmas. I've added and read so many different types of books, highlighted passages, bookmarked chapters, and converted word documents into pdf files to read. I'm reading more books than ever before, without any strain to my eyes -- but I'm reading more books at one time than I did before. I still buy and rent physical books, which I prefer much more than digital ones. There's something special about cracking open the spine of a book, peeling back the yellow pages, gripping the hard cover and sniffing the dusty old insides. Digital books are more efficient; you can re-download and erase books and build up an entire library on one reader. But I still cannot turn away from the high rows of red and yellow and blue books, piled sloppily on shelves. There's so much exploration inside a library or bookstore. I encounter authors I never knew, who died thousands of years before I was born. I stumble upon their ideas and become fixated. And the atmosphere of a bookstore is something I love; the aroma of coffee and the many people scanning the aisles and the noises of people chattering.

  2. #12
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I think a lot of people are afraid to lose their physical books and/or don't like e-books and the change involved, so they find some way to justify why e-books are bad.

    I think that the author of that article is really overreaching with the lack of permanence idea. I mean, many of the "classics" have been altered simply through translation. Plus, it's not like you can't save it in one form and not alter it. If you lose a physical book, it's gone. If you lose an e-book you have much less of a problem and greater distribution is possible.

    IMO, the real problem isn't e-book vs. book...it's any kind of book vs. faster access to information. To me, reading books has the ability to change the way I think about things because I'm more heavily invested in the ideas they present and I have time to digest it and stop and think while I'm going through it. Now, though, it seems like people are more prone to just read an article or headline than an actual book on a subject because it's so much faster. Much less thinking about the concepts behind the subject and much more regurgitating summaries and ideas made by other people. Even that, however, isn't a good enough justification against the increase in technology use.

    Also, I have yet to read a single e-book or by a reader but I'm sure I will eventually. I love having lots of physical books and book shelves but there is something to be said for convenience and safe keeping.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  3. #13
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I do love books, they are artifacts, little microcosms of the time and place they were created. But times change, and their artifacts change with them. When you buck the trend, you have pastiche.

  4. #14
    figsfiggyfigs
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    I prefer the real thing. E readers are definitely handy, and really useful storage wise as well.
    I had the Sony reader. piece of crap. I'm considering getting a kindle fire now.

  5. #15
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    Oh, I hate these luddite arguments.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  6. #16
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    Completely stupid. The guy doesn't even consider some very basic pratical issues. Example: I live in Italy and I can't even find books in english, french or german in most bookshops. Ebooks (via kindle) enable me to enlarge to the n-th degree the amount of books I can read. Such reasoning can be extended to any country where 3G networks are readily available but physical books are usually translated.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  7. #17

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    I agree with many of the previous comments. What a hysterical, this-or-that headline.

    Let's just hand this author a much-needed cookie and concede that change is scary.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I agree with many of the previous comments. What a hysterical, this-or-that headline.

    Let's just hand this author a much-needed cookie and concede that change is scary.
    I'll order him a cookie off eBay.

  9. #19

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    My personal preference is for physical books. I spend enough time looking at a screen without using one to read books as well. For me, the book is part of the physical experience. It's why I buy CDs. I like the tangible thing. Books never need to be charged, never break, and if you lose a book you only lose one and it's inexpensive to replace. Cookbooks especially are ill-suited to e-readers.

    All that said, I'm not so sure that e-readers are damaging society. I sympathize with Franzen in that I could be described as a luddite and I think technology generally causes more problems than it solves. But I think he's reaching to find a cause to justify his unease.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

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  10. #20
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    My personal preference is for physical books. I spend enough time looking at a screen without using one to read books as well. For me, the book is part of the physical experience. It's why I buy CDs. I like the tangible thing. Books never need to be charged, never break, and if you lose a book you only lose one and it's inexpensive to replace.
    I agree with FMW. I prefer physical books too, for all of these reasons and the reason that the book's *mine* -- to do with as I wish. I can give it to a friend, lend it, etc. without any special procedures or limitations. I'm not tied to the continual presence of a particular publisher (Amazon). If Amazon goes out of business and my device breaks, I haven't lost simple access to the last 20 years' worth of books I've bought. No worries about e-book file formats, etc. (just try to find a machine that can read a 1990-era electronic file with any formatting whatsoever -- you'd be lucky to find a system capable of handling the physical media, much less the file format -- you can pay to have information retrieved... for now, and for $$$, but that won't be the case for as long as a properly-kept paper book will last).

    E-books do have their advantages -- they're easy to carry around in almost any quantity, you can download them instead of going to a bookstore (although I love bookstores), it's easier to get niche-topic or other-language books, and particularly that people who have eyesight-related issues can easily make any old e-book into a "large print" book simply by changing the font.

    The author in question though, seems to be in rant-mode, though. Most of his criticisms are simply his subjective preferences, which hardly comes to the level of "damaging society".
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