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zhenya271
02-11-2011, 04:01 AM
I also wonder if looking at things on a screen all the time is bad for your eyes too.Another point for real books.

But what about all the hours some people spend on their laptops, that's probably just as much as some spend on an eReader and at least you don't have that glare and backlight.

I do worry about my kids' eyes. Before we got my daughter a Kindle, I got her 100 Classics for her DSi. My husband was the one that suggested the Kindle and I mentioned the brand new100 Classics. He noted that, that had to be miserable reading! :lol: But he was right, I personally don't want them reading for a lengthy amount of time on their DSs, phones or iTouches. I know that I personally find it uncomfortable to read a lot of articles on my phone.

Bonita
02-11-2011, 04:19 AM
I love books. I can't imagine looking at a screen of a book after spending my entire work day on a computer. My biggest technology has been to switch from buying books to reserving them on line through my library because I read so much it was becoming too expensive to buy them, even used.

And, knock on wood, I'm still awhile away from reading glasses, according to my eye doctor (I'm 43). I'm blind as a bat, but I have been since I was 8 (I can read fine, just can't see far without my contacts).

aka_gerbil
02-11-2011, 05:25 AM
I can say we tried electronic textbooks 3 years ago and the students hated them. I was really surprised. We haven't used them since.

I know if I'd had an electronic textbook in college or grad school, I would have hated, hated, hated it. An electronic book wouldn't have worked well at all with how I went about studying material, and that's before we get to not being able to highlight and make notes in the margins about stuff. I also have a lot of problems with eyestrain when trying to read large amounts of text on screen. In grad school, I printed off just about every single paper I read or looked up for my research and writing. This was partly due to the eyestrain issue and partly, as crazy as this sounds, due to it seeming like I was able to better comprehend and remember what I was reading if I wasn't reading it off the screen. I'm thinking that has a lot to do with the fact that I'd highlight, underline, and make notes as I went through things.

ETA: On another note, there are several activities I participate in that I just would not want to take an expensive electronic devise with me in order to read something. There are some enviornments that electronic devices just don't mix that well with. If you damage a paperback, that's one thing. They're fairly inexpensive to replace. If you tear up an eReader, it's not trivial to replace it.

Also, what about books for very young kids? You're not going to give a toddler an eReader the same way you'd give them a little golden book or a board book. You're not going to give a Kindergartner learning how to read an eReader either. Granted, people should be teaching kids to take care of their books, but kids are still kids and things happen. At the end of the day, a traditional book, IMO, can and will hold up better than an electronic device.

Prancer
02-11-2011, 05:54 AM
that's before we get to not being able to highlight and make notes in the margins about stuff. I also have a lot of problems with eyestrain when trying to read large amounts of text on screen. In grad school, I printed off just about every single paper I read or looked up for my research and writing. This was partly due to the eyestrain issue and partly, as crazy as this sounds, due to it seeming like I was able to better comprehend and remember what I was reading if I wasn't reading it off the screen. I'm thinking that has a lot to do with the fact that I'd highlight, underline, and make notes as I went through things.

You can highlight, underline and make notes in electronic textbooks, both on e-readers and in other digital formats. In fact, if you use some electronic textbooks, you can turn your highlights and notes into your own outlines and study guides with a click or two.

If you have an e-reader with e-ink, it is nothing like staring at a computer screen. It is just like reading a book, at least in terms of looking at a page. E-ink is no harder on the eyes than print; in fact, for a lot of people, it's easier, because they can adjust the text size for readability. There is no backlighting with e-ink; that's why you can't read a Kindle in the dark.

Even if you read on an LCD screen, however, the pain you feel in your eyes after staring at a computer screen isn't usually from the computer screen, but from the staring.

I already posted this link, but I'll post it again: http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/do-e-readers-cause-eye-strain/

And here's another one, with a different doctor saying pretty much the same things: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-20021227-82.html

The comprehension thing, however, is apparently a common problem, although no one knows exactly why.

modern_muslimah
02-11-2011, 11:47 AM
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.

IA. I read on a blog recently that 400 libraries might be closed in Britain. That would be terrible if that occurred. Even where I live, library hours and staff are being cut. While I know that this is being driven by budget cuts that are affecting different sectors, I can't help but to think that some politicians might think that eReaders and computers can take over the tasks of library. There was a piece done by a local Fox affiliate a while back that asked if libraries were necessary because of eReaders like the Kindle. I thought it was absurd because libraries provide so many services, borrowing books being just one of them.

Prancer
02-11-2011, 12:37 PM
IA. I read on a blog recently that 400 libraries might be closed in Britain.

I read about that, and about the read-ins. But if people want to save libraries, they have to use libraries.


I can't help but to think that some politicians might think that eReaders and computers can take over the tasks of library.

A few politicians have brought this up over the past couple of years, but there are others who think so as well, some of them surprising.

Like (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/11/lamar_highs_library_ousts_book.php) school (http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/headmaster_says.html) principals (http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/headmaster_says.html). And librarians. (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/11/06/library)

Last year, Amazon sold more e-books than hardcover books (http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/07/amazon-more-e-books-than-hardcovers/). This year, e-book sales have overtaken paperback sales (http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/27/technology/amazon_earnings/index.htm). And overall, "Print Book Sales Fall, E-Book Sales Rise, and E-Books Will Soon Join the New York Times Bestseller List." (http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2010/11/15/print-book-sales-fall-e-book-sales-rise-and-e-books-will-soon-join-the-new-york-times-bestseller-list/)

If you love books, go buy them--and pay retail. For hardcover. I think the writing is on the wall, but if anything is going to save books, it will be sales.

Meredith
02-11-2011, 01:00 PM
But I spend so much of my time on computers that I see reading as a way to get far from the electronic, plugged-in world.

As far as music goes, I love the availability to get songs online, but I still buy cds. I like albums, I like cover art and liner notes. I bought a bunch of songs on iTunes the first year I had an iPod, but I can't remember the last time I did it. And I only listen to my iPod when I'm travelling. I do like having music on my computer though - I just rip cds to my laptop when I buy them.

^^ This and this. While it would be great to wait out airplane delays and long flights by downloading another book, I don't travel often enough to invest in a reader - yet. I do tire of seeing screens of any type and avoid my home computer when I return from work.

As far as music goes, when I download from iTunes, I miss the cover art. The only reason I download is to rip music to CDs to play in my car. The preference for cover art is a personal thing, I know.

Someone upthread identified him/herself as a book hoarder, and I can relate. I used to be one, too, until books threatened to take over my home! Now I own a handful of books, those I will read again and again, and gifts from loveds long gone. The rest I donated to our library at work. Many of us donate our books, and the selection is fascinating!

rfisher
02-11-2011, 02:40 PM
If you love books, go buy them--and pay retail. For hardcover. I think the writing is on the wall, but if anything is going to save books, it will be sales.

:cheer2: I'll go today!

Prancer
02-11-2011, 03:06 PM
:cheer2: I'll go today!

And just think--you're not feeding your addiction.

You are on a holy mission to save a venerable institution!

People do realize that e-readers show cover art? Some of them in full color?

rfisher
02-11-2011, 03:07 PM
And just think--you're not feeding your addiction.

You are on a holy mission to save a venerable institution!

It's a quest!

modern_muslimah
02-11-2011, 03:35 PM
I read about that, and about the read-ins. But if people want to save libraries, they have to use libraries.



A few politicians have brought this up over the past couple of years, but there are others who think so as well, some of them surprising.

Like (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/hairballs/2010/11/lamar_highs_library_ousts_book.php) school (http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/headmaster_says.html) principals (http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2010/05/headmaster_says.html). And librarians. (http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2009/11/06/library)

Last year, Amazon sold more e-books than hardcover books (http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/07/amazon-more-e-books-than-hardcovers/). This year, e-book sales have overtaken paperback sales (http://money.cnn.com/2011/01/27/technology/amazon_earnings/index.htm). And overall, "Print Book Sales Fall, E-Book Sales Rise, and E-Books Will Soon Join the New York Times Bestseller List." (http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2010/11/15/print-book-sales-fall-e-book-sales-rise-and-e-books-will-soon-join-the-new-york-times-bestseller-list/)


It's one thing to update libraries and even to make most books electronic (although I admit I was weirded out by what the principal did to the Houston library). I think it's another to use the argument that eReaders and computers can replace libraries. That's what I object to. I know most of the books at my local library are collecting dust (although there are a lot of good books) but patrons use the computers a lot. In my neighborhood, there are a lot of people who don't have personal computers and the library (and maybe their prepaid phones) is their only access to the internet and computers in general. There's also the multimedia collection as well.

Plus, libraries are great places to read and study without a ton of distractions (like FSU :lol:).

pat c
02-11-2011, 04:06 PM
I think there is a way for both to exist. Ebooks aren't going to replace libraries anytime soon.

Technical journals that libraries have - maybe all digital for instance.
Best sellers - available on both.........

Stormy
02-11-2011, 04:25 PM
I'll agree with those that say they like the feel of a real book. I do too. I can't imagine reading a book on a Nook or Kindle and I refuse to get one. I just wouldn't use it.

I work for a company that makes digital magazines (http://www.fitness-digital.com/fitness/201102?fm=2#pg1) , and I often wonder if we're contributing to the death of magazines as well. I'd feel better about magazines going digital way more than books. I think magazines are a huge waste of paper, I don't know what happens to all the ones that never get sold but I can't imagine they're all getting recycled.

barbk
02-11-2011, 04:30 PM
I participated in the interview process for a new library director a couple weeks ago, and one of the candidates told us that at a new branch library that was just getting ready to open in his current city, they'd decreased the shelf collection (physical books) from 60,000 to 30,000 in just the past two years of planning, and tripled the number of patron-accessible power outlets along with adding a lot more single user tables to the library design, and doubled the number of patron use computers -- the patron demands are changing that quickly.

We had an interesting conversation about the challenges of collection design given the cost of electronic materials, and what's going to happen when a library can only afford one copy of something -- do you get the electronic version, or not? And do you make a different decision when some segments of your population only choose electronic materials, and a smaller segment only chooses print materials?

I also learned that unless licensing rules make a major change, we're witnessing the start of the end of inter-library loan, since the electronic resources can not be lent across systems due to those licensing restrictions. That is going to be a real problem, imo, particularly for patrons of smaller libraries. It is something I'd like to see Congress step up and mandate.

Prancer
02-11-2011, 09:26 PM
I'll agree with those that say they like the feel of a real book. I do too. I can't imagine reading a book on a Nook or Kindle and I refuse to get one. I just wouldn't use it.

If I had a nickel.......

IME, e-book readers are very much like cell phones. When cell phones first came out, no one wanted them, either, because they wouldn't need them and wouldn't use them. Look how that turned out.


I participated in the interview process for a new library director a couple weeks ago, and one of the candidates told us that at a new branch library that was just getting ready to open in his current city, they'd decreased the shelf collection (physical books) from 60,000 to 30,000 in just the past two years of planning, and tripled the number of patron-accessible power outlets along with adding a lot more single user tables to the library design, and doubled the number of patron use computers -- the patron demands are changing that quickly.

Yep, my college overhauled the main library a few years ago and it's all tables and computers. The books are still there, but you have to look for them and nearly all the buying money goes for digital resources. The books are aging out on the shelves; since they get used so little, they are rarely replaced, which further ensures that they don't get used.

I still have students use books for research papers occasionally, but it's kind of unusual.


I also learned that unless licensing rules make a major change, we're witnessing the start of the end of inter-library loan, since the electronic resources can not be lent across systems due to those licensing restrictions. That is going to be a real problem, imo, particularly for patrons of smaller libraries. It is something I'd like to see Congress step up and mandate.

Now that's interesting, because both of the systems I am most familiar with have gotten around that by providing one big system that anyone with a library card can access.

For example, all state college libriaries in Ohio are linked through OhioLink; if a person searches the OhioLink catalog, an electronic resource from any school will show up there, and any student or faculty from any school can check it out. It's one system, but it covers all those colleges.

All of the local libraries are part of OpLin, which has the same thing, as well as having a state-wide digital collection that can be accessed either through Digital Downloads (http://digitalbooks.moldi.org/59F1AC34-DAD2-46F8-A745-DD610AADE9AE/10/249/en/Default.htm) or The Ohio e-Book Project. (http://ohdbks.lib.overdrive.com/ACFEEB36-B4A3-4421-B2F7-E5C610077B49/10/364/en/Default.htm)

So while an electronic source cannot be lent across systems, the larger system covers everyone who is part of the smaller systems within. AFAIK, that's here to stay and isn't an issue with licensing issues.

The bigger issue with e-books is that Overdrive, the software that runs most library digital media systems, SUCKS, and the supply of e-books nowhere near equals demand.