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Karina1974
02-11-2011, 09:37 PM
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.


Heh... I said the same thing about DVDs, mostly because I thought that by separating the scenes into tracks like on a CD, that there would be gaps in the movie. Now I have a sizable DVD collection.

I don't want an e-reader because I get tired of staring at a screen all day. I'm on the computer all day at work, and then on the Internet when I come home... plus, I don't need everything in my life to be digitized or "connected".

Hannahclear
02-11-2011, 09:38 PM
I think whatever is going to happen is inevitable. Most likely, this will mean more and more e-books, though I could be wrong. Complaining about it will probably do as much good as monks who wondered what they were going to copy all day after Gutenburg invented his press. :lol:

"Oh but the printing press won't be able to fill the page with such vibrant, hand-mixed inks!."

How'd that work out?

I'd love to see textbooks go the way of the do-do bird. I'd also love to have an interactive e-book, where students could answer reading checks and other such things, then the results are instantly transmitted to the instructor. Perhaps a way to make homework for the K-12 set more useful.

Prancer
02-11-2011, 09:46 PM
Complaining about it will probably do as much good as monks who wondered what they were going to copy all day after Gutenburg invented his press. :lol:

"Oh but the printing press won't be able to fill the page with such vibrant, hand-mixed inks!."

How'd that work out?

Seriously, read this article. You'll love it. It's one of the most interesting pieces I have ever read in a newspaper (if you are a book and library nut, anyway):

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/id...e_early_years/


I'd love to see textbooks go the way of the do-do bird. I'd also love to have an interactive e-book, where students could answer reading checks and other such things, then the results are instantly transmitted to the instructor. Perhaps a way to make homework for the K-12 set more useful.

That's all in the pipeline.

znachki
02-11-2011, 10:42 PM
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.

Yep - more and more libraries are going together in consortia to not only provide wider access to databases, but also to keep their licensing costs down and increase their clout with the vendors.

What worries me most about all of the electronic media (ereaders, databases - heck, even radio and TV etal), has its basis in the ever-conglomerating media. Fewer providers of content with tighter control over its dissemination is scary.

PDilemma
02-12-2011, 12:19 AM
What about the "digital divide"? If everything is an ebook that requires an ereader, tablet computer, etc...to read, we are heading for a society where access to reading materials is only for certain segments of the population. People who are living hand-to-mouth are not going to have access to the technology necessary to read. People who live in isolated areas without access to broadband internet are going to be left out of the digital revolution as well.

Today, it is inexpensive to have book drives to get books into the hands of poor children. "Ereader drives" are not going to be feasible. And when we talk about places like Native Reservations, the problem of not having printed material and needing to rely on ereaders or other technology is an even more difficult issue. Poverty and lack of basic resources is rampant on reservations--how much will education and opportunity be impacted in those environments if reading necessitates possessing expensive technology?

modern_muslimah
02-12-2011, 12:42 AM
What about the "digital divide"? If everything is an ebook that requires an ereader, tablet computer, etc...to read, we are heading for a society where access to reading materials is only for certain segments of the population. People who are living hand-to-mouth are not going to have access to the technology necessary to read. People who live in isolated areas without access to broadband internet are going to be left out of the digital revolution as well.

Today, it is inexpensive to have book drives to get books into the hands of poor children. "Ereader drives" are not going to be feasible. And when we talk about places like Native Reservations, the problem of not having printed material and needing to rely on ereaders or other technology is an even more difficult issue. Poverty and lack of basic resources is rampant on reservations--how much will education and opportunity be impacted in those environments if reading necessitates possessing expensive technology?

I think this might be a legitimate concern. For populations on fixed incomes such as senior citizens (a lot of senior still live primarily on Social Security alone or maybe SS), people on welfare or SSI, and the working poor, eReaders are definitely a luxury. Even PCs are luxuries for some. Having the majority of information and books in electronic form might really pose a challenge for them. If we do get to a point where the majority of books are in electronic form, my one hope will be that by that point maybe eReaders will be like cell phones in that no frills eReaders will available and cheap enough for poor people to buy.

GarrAarghHrumph
02-12-2011, 12:45 AM
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.

NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I rely on inter library loan. In fact, I mourn the fact that where I live isn't part of my old library system, which was part of NYC's system - even with inter library loan up here, my choices are constrained. If we had no inter library loan, I don't think I'd use my library, period. It's tiny and it's got nothin'.

PDilemma
02-12-2011, 12:47 AM
I think this might be a legitimate concern. For populations on fixed incomes such as senior citizens (a lot of senior still live primarily on Social Security alone or maybe SS), people on welfare or SSI, and the working poor, eReaders are definitely a luxury. Even PCs are luxuries for some. Having the majority of information and books in electronic form might really pose a challenge for them. If we do get to a point where the majority of books are in electronic form, my one hope will be that by that point maybe eReaders will be like cell phones in that no frills eReaders will available and cheap enough for poor people to buy.

Even if the cost goes down to that level, we still have to make sure people have access to broadband and wireless technology in order to be able to use them. And will families be able to have multiple ereaders even at low prices to allow children adequate access to reading outside of school? And if we start talking about the world beyond the U.S., it gets even more complicated.

I truly shudder to think of a society where knowledge through published words is not easily accessible to everyone.

Prancer
02-12-2011, 01:48 AM
What about the "digital divide"?


I think this might be a legitimate concern.

You both do realize that we're talking evolution, not revolution, yes?

When books were first published, most people couldn't afford them. It was a long time before they could. Not that a lot of people could read, then, either. Aren't you glad that mass printing forged ahead anyway?

No one is going to pack up all the books and burn them. Publishers are still printing, libraries are still open, bookstores still sell books. Even if the publishers stop printing, there will still be millions of print books around for people to read. They won't vanish. It's going to take a while. As technology improves and people upgrade, they will donate their used e-book readers just as they donated books, and there will be groups that underwrite e-readers to schools and organizations--there already are.

The same is true with internet access. In my lifetime alone, we've gone from parts of the US unable to have a landline in the home (and we didn't have any reason to call it a landline) to 91% of the population owning cell phones. Most people already have regular internet access. The more common technology becomes, the more affordable it gets.

E-books will not be the only delivery system for text for a long time, and even if they are, that doesn't mean that e-readers will be. You don't have to have an e-reader to read an e-book. I think dedicated e-readers will be dead before print, for what it's worth, and multifunction devices will take over, for several reason. You are all thinking in terms of devices; you have to think digital. If we have digital TVs, then we have potential digital text delivery systems already in the living room. You don't want to read on a TV screen? That's just one option. Any digital device that handles text can be an e-reader.

I was talking to a research librarian a while back who told me that the day that she realized the library needed to step up and deal with e-books was the day that she saw a little old lady reading a Kindle in Panera. When grandmas are using the same technology that the grandchildren are, you are no longer talking about something that might happen. It already has. We just haven't reached saturation yet, and even after we do, there will still be some transition.

The question for me is not HOW people will read in the future, but IF. It may very well be that we have no reason for books in any form because no one reads them.

PDilemma
02-12-2011, 02:07 AM
If we begin to see some publications available in e-formats only, we are in a precarious place regardless of how many are still around in print. Those materials will be something available only to certain segments of the population.

And I'm in grad school for a history degree, I'm not a moron and I do know that it took a long time for print to be accessible to everyone.

As for the internet, where I live, I may just be too aware of that portion of the population that does not have easy access to it. It is especially an issue for Natives. We live near the Winnebago and Omaha reservations; the Pine Ridge reservation is on the other end of the state. There are still people on the Pine Ridge without plumbing. And you're solving the digital divide problem with their supposed digital televisions? Seriously?

Prancer
02-12-2011, 02:11 AM
If we begin to see some publications available in e-formats only, we are in a precarious place regardless of how many are still around in print. Those materials will be something available only to certain segments of the population.

As opposed to now, when all material is available to everyone?


There are still people on the Pine Ridge without plumbing. And you're solving the digital divide problem with their supposed digital televisions? Seriously?

Is that what I said? Seriously?

Anita18
02-12-2011, 02:18 AM
I think books might disappear...but literature won't. And is that such a bad thing? Books kill forests :P

I HATE books. I've moved 4 times in the past 5 years and books have become the bane of my existence. I love reading them, but I hate packing them and moving boxes and boxes of them. I'm in the process of selling off as many as I can on Amazon to buy an e-reader.

Well...I don't really hate them. I'm just not happy with them right now. Nor is my back ;)
Yeah, I don't have a lot of books because of that reason - I'm not settled in yet. Well, I do have some books, but they're all reference art books. :lol: I don't own many books for pleasure reading. I figure if I'm only going to read them once, I might as well borrow them from the library. :P

My dad has boxes and boxes AND BOXES of old textbooks in the garage, that we schlep around every time we move. I think in that case, having lots of books is a big pain in the arse. :P He did get an iPad from his company as a retirement gift, so he's been reading papers on that. My mom is partly relieved, but packages from Amazon still arrive on a regular basis. :rofl:


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.
No, I can see why having a physical textbook is preferable. It might be just me, but I have a very visual memory and can picture where something is in a book and how it looks on the page. You can't do that with an e-book, which is why I prefer having a physical book if I'm going to use one for reference.

barbk
02-12-2011, 02:21 AM
I hope that the e-materials, particularly magazines, get a whole lot more functional before too much longer. Our library no longer keeps back issues of most print magazines -- instead, you bring them up through one of the databases. The way they've managed to chop up Consumer Reports makes for a most unpleasant browsing experience, and there are many times when the image quality is far, far worse than the print image quality. I was doing my junk magazine (People) reading at the doctor's office the other day, and read the story on the fashions at the Screen Actors Guild awards -- and most of the gowns pictured I'd already seen in an on-line version. I was surprised at how much more detail came through in the real pictures vs. the ones on my computer, even though I've got a very good monitor.

barbk
02-12-2011, 02:25 AM
My D's university gave Kindles to students in a couple sections of a humanities class, and the feedback was not good. I think when textbooks are developed specifically for electronic devices they may be more functional, but for a humanities class where kids were trying to read and annotate it was not good. One of the gripes had to do with writing compare and contrast essays where they needed to be working from two different texts, both on the same Kindle. The other problem was margin notes, which weren't as easy as doing it with a pencil.

I did hear some suggestion that it might have been good for math or science textbooks. (And I think that carrying around a Kindle rather than an 8 lb. Organic Chemistry textbook would have to be an improvement.)

Anita18
02-12-2011, 02:28 AM
I hope that the e-materials, particularly magazines, get a whole lot more functional before too much longer. Our library no longer keeps back issues of most print magazines -- instead, you bring them up through one of the databases. The way they've managed to chop up Consumer Reports makes for a most unpleasant browsing experience, and there are many times when the image quality is far, far worse than the print image quality. I was doing my junk magazine (People) reading at the doctor's office the other day, and read the story on the fashions at the Screen Actors Guild awards -- and most of the gowns pictured I'd already seen in an on-line version. I was surprised at how much more detail came through in the real pictures vs. the ones on my computer, even though I've got a very good monitor.
Screen resolution is 72 pixels per inch, while print resolution is at least 300 pixels per inch. This is due to the lower resolution of screens compared to print. Even when you have a huge screen or the retina display on an iPhone, print has more. That's why some directors still use film, because you have more resolution that way.

And everyone's monitors are calibrated differently anyway, so I don't see art or photography books anywhere fast. :P