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aliceanne
02-10-2011, 03:28 PM
My all-time favorite book is the edition of Jane Eyre with the Fritz Eichenberg woodcuts. Before I was old enough to read the book I used to look at the pictures and imagine the story. Computer graphics just aren't the same as handcrafted artwork.

For the past couple of years I used to exchange books with a co-worker. Some of the ones we were excited about got passed around the whole office. This year a friend gave her an e reader. She won't be able to share her books anymore.

When I go into someone's home I like to look at their collection of books. It tells me more about them.

On a practical note, if I bought an e reader I would never be able to find it when I wanted it. (I have books stashed everywhere).

gkelly
02-10-2011, 03:31 PM
Do you often go for days without electricity?

Actually yes. With the storms we had last summer, I have been without power for a couple days at a time. And overnight through morning a couple weeks ago.

Didn't you have a similar situation recently?

In the summer I was able to spend a whole afternoon reading by daylight and finished a book I'd been getting through very slowly with all the electronic entertainment/time-wasting options that usually distracted me.

Portable electronic devices can also be valuable in power outages if they can work on battery power for a few hours, but their use has to be rationed. Better to use nonelectronics during daylight hours where possible.

I now own a Kindle and one of these days I'll figure out how to use it and get some books that may not be available in my local library or bookstore.

I think there is value to both forms of delivery. Some users will undoubtedly prefer one, others the other.

I don't think writing by pen on paper will ever go away completely. It's too useful in everyday life. Some forms of communication are already carried out more electronically than in hard copy and undoubtedly the kinds of communication of which that is true will continue to expand. But I think we always need some access to the skills and resources of the low-tech versions as backup.

OK, back to work, marking up a printout of the manuscript I'm editing before I make the changes in the electronic document. :)

jcopper
02-10-2011, 03:33 PM
Given the scope of the question, it's important to consider more than just the Developed World. Regardless of how ubiquitous e-readers become in the DW, there are still going to be places where books will have a place because they don't the basic essentials of an information society. As long as the world is an unequal place (and that is not going to change anytime soon), there will be books.

gkelly
02-10-2011, 03:35 PM
When I go into someone's home I like to look at their collection of books. It tells me more about them.

Very true. That's one reason I've kept a lot of my books from grad school even though I ended up not working in that field and needing them for continued use.

All the books that already exist, and that are valuable enough to their owners that they don't get pulped, will continue to exist as relics, even if new ones don't get printed.

In another generation or two even most avid readers may tend not to own hard copy printed books. They'll have to display their personalities in other ways.

But there will probably still be antiquarian bibliophiles who collect the darn things as relics.

rfisher
02-10-2011, 03:48 PM
I wont be buying ebooks until the prices go down. I have yet to figure out why the cost is so high when it is in digital format. Too much for me to pay, if I am going to spend that much then I want a physical copy to put on a shelf.

This is the same for movies on iTunes and such. Why am I paying $4.99 to rent a new movie on iTunes??? It probably costs them $ .10 to send that movie over the internet. Are licensing fees that expensive?

Because a lot of people are involved in the sale of a book. It's not the paper costs. Authors, editors, publishers all are compensated. Same with movies. It's not the physical entity. It's the intellectual property rights.

My only concern is loss of some new books with the change in technology if a book is published only on some ereader format. This is a big issue in many fields. Remember all that stuff on floppy discs that can no longer be read? A hard copy isn't going to be obsolete with technical changes. Ebooks have not dominated the market as was predicted several years ago, but that doesn't mean they were just slower. I'm certain I'll get an ereader when the time comes.

DAngel
02-10-2011, 04:08 PM
Reading the different threads on eReaders as well as some other stuff online, what do you think the future of books will be?

I can see a world without books, but maybe not in the near future (definitely not in 5 years :lol:). And maybe not until those who are raised reading books are gone. The new generation though, raised reading e-books will not miss books. IOW, it's only a matter of time ;), and I don't even have an e-book reader or read e-books :slinkaway :shuffle:


I don't think books will become obsolete. You cannot duplicate those "Coffee Table" pictures books, for example, with eReaders ...unless in the future the entire surface of your coffee table is an HD screen that allow you to look coffee table books while you sit.

Maybe by then, HD screens the size of coffee tables would be dirt-cheap. Or maybe the e-book readers will project the content of the books into a 3D hologram. :P

myhoneyhoney
02-10-2011, 05:20 PM
I would hate to live in a world without books. Like others I LOVE flipping old worn pages, even the smell of books (as long as it's not a raunchy smell, that is) appeal to me. That said I can understand if regular "beach reading books" types turn into digital to save earth's natural resources.

znachki
02-10-2011, 05:22 PM
I can see a world without books, but maybe not in the near future (definitely not in 5 years :lol:). And maybe not until those who are raised reading books are gone. The new generation though, raised reading e-books will not miss books. IOW, it's only a matter of time

Except that if you use vinyl as an analog - and it kind of is, kids raised on iPods, still want vinyl. It's having a bit of a resurgence.

I've heard that page numbers are being added to ebooks because people don't like not having them. The not knowing where you are, or how much you have left in your "book", is an issue.

Until one can: 1) Use an ereader in the bathtub or other places without worrying about damaging it 2) Sit on it or drop it with no damage 3) Afford to replace it if it gets left somewhere or worry about it being stolen re same 4) Take it to no electricity land - there will be a place for physical books.

Much of what is currently in a physical format, will not become an ebook either. It is too cost prohibitive. Best sellers are one thing, the say - Russian History section at the University library won't.

And what are the textual studies folks going to do? I wonder about that.

aliceanne
02-10-2011, 05:51 PM
It will be interesting to see how e books evolve. We already have interactive video with Wii. What if you could go to the ball at Netherfield or follow the white rabbit down the rabbit hole, or even interact with some of the characters? Movies in one sense are an electronic version of books, in another sense they are a throwback to the oral traditon of telling and acting out a story.

I don't drop old technology as soon as new comes out. I bought a tiny flash drive Mp3 player to listen to my program music while I skate (I can play it as many times as I want and no one else has to hear it), but I still have records, tapes, CDs, walkman...as a matter of fact I can't find the mp3 player right now so I'm glad I have all of that! I use the walkman during power outages, easier to change the batteries.

julieann
02-10-2011, 05:59 PM
I don't think books will become obsolete. You cannot duplicate those "Coffee Table" pictures books, for example, with eReaders ...unless in the future the entire surface of your coffee table is an HD screen that allow you to look coffee table books while you sit.

I love those books!


I'm not sure that I want to live in a world that doesn't have books.:( Libraries with shelves filled to the brim with wonderful books. The feel of the pages as you turn them. Using a favorite bookmarker. The faint, musty smell of a vintage book.

Some of the best friends I have ever had have been books. I enjoy looking at my bookcase and seeing them all there - somehow, it's very comforting...

I agree! :D


On a more personal note...with all the e-readers and such, are we all going to go blind at some point? I'm not yet 38 and I find myself either pulling my head way back to see something in small letters or putting it two inches from my eyeball...is it time for granny glasses already? :yikes:

PS - I pray they never get rid of movie film, I love digital films too but there is something special about big screen movies on actual film!

Cheylana
02-10-2011, 06:03 PM
On a more personal note...with all the e-readers and such, are we all going to go blind at some point? I'm not yet 38 and I find myself either pulling my head way back to see something in small letters or putting it two inches from my eyeball...is it time for granny glasses already? :yikes:
My Lasik guy told me that reading glasses would be inevitable as we move into our forties (I'm currently 35).

modern_muslimah
02-10-2011, 06:41 PM
PS - I pray they never get rid of movie film, I love digital films too but there is something special about big screen movies on actual film!

We're getting there. Digital movies are cheaper than movies on film. The movie theater near me has switched completely to digital films.

I saw an article in USA Today about the future of the bookstore. With the recent fears that Borders may soon go under, a lot of analysts are beginning to wonder what the future of bookstores, big and small, may be. I love bookstores and would be sad to see them go. Independent bookstores are already incredibly rare now. I would hate to see all bookstore become a rarity.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/2011-02-10-1Abookstores10_CV_N.htm

IceAlisa
02-10-2011, 06:51 PM
I would have death in my soul. Really.

Prancer
02-10-2011, 07:33 PM
I imagine that the publishing industry will follow a trajectory similar to that of music industry.

That's the most common prediction.


This year a friend gave her an e reader. She won't be able to share her books anymore.

Sure she will, but only with people who also have e-readers.


Actually yes. With the storms we had last summer, I have been without power for a couple days at a time. And overnight through morning a couple weeks ago.

Didn't you have a similar situation recently?

Yes, I did, and my e-reader lasted all four days of it, even though the one I have doesn't have a particularly good battery life. Your Kindle will stay charged for about two weeks without any rationing.


My Lasik guy told me that reading glasses would be inevitable as we move into our forties (I'm currently 35).

Is that new? Because I am 49 and still don't need bifocals, which makes my eye doctor all giddy. When I told her that my parents didn't get them until they were in their mid-50s, she said that's pretty unusual. My parents would have been in their mid-50s about 30 years ago.


a lot of analysts are beginning to wonder what the future of bookstores, big and small, may be. I love bookstores and would be sad to see them go. Independent bookstores are already incredibly rare now. I would hate to see all bookstore become a rarity.

I'm actually much more concerned about the future of libraries than bookstores. I do love bookstores, but libraries are much more important, IMO, and they are threatened, too, although the threat is not as imminent yet.

GarrAarghHrumph
02-10-2011, 08:29 PM
Given the scope of the question, it's important to consider more than just the Developed World. Regardless of how ubiquitous e-readers become in the DW, there are still going to be places where books will have a place because they don't the basic essentials of an information society. As long as the world is an unequal place (and that is not going to change anytime soon), there will be books.

As I've read, this is one of the reasons why the University of London International Programme (their distance learning degree program) still sends their materials out via mail, in hardcopy, rather than teaching their courses online - so many of their students are in regions where web access may or may not be reliable or available; electricity may or may not be reliable or available, or web access is only via cell phone, and can you imagine reading a textbook on a cell phone screen?

That said, I teach online classes at a university where the entire experience, even the textbook, is online, not hardcopy. There are real advantages to electronic texts - ability to search, accessibility from any computer, etc. But still, a lot of my students, and I myself, will buy hardcopy editions, because it's just *easier* to really read masses and masses of academic lingo in hardcopy.