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Sarah
02-14-2011, 09:54 PM
If I had a nickel.......

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..

My university isn't there yet but its the direction we're heading. In the last year alone I believe we've purchased thousands of e-books and only handfuls of print books. Now if only all the librarians were on board with this transition... E is the way libraries are going and librarians NEED to embrace ebooks/resources if they want to stay relevant (or employed). Unfortunately, some oppose this shift. When I got my MLS, I rarely ever visited the library (unless you count the times when my class met in the classrooms housed in the library). Our curriculum focused on the digital age. Also, I finished my degree partially online (I took at least 1 class online a quarter and all classes online over summer term). The ability to access resources without needing to visit the physical library made the process so much easier (granted, I would print out all the articles I needed to read as I can't read from monitors too easily). For all the distance students, the e-library was a lifesaver.

I'll also add that despite this, I love books and don't think e-readers can replace them...at least not completely. I never wanted and e-reader and my boyfriend's family bought me one as a library school graduation gift. I love that thing. It's easy to use, easy on the eyes, great battery life (I can go weeks without charging if I keep the wireless turned off). But I'll still by print books too and have my own library. Why can't I have both?


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.

I hate Overdrive with a passion.

gkelly
02-14-2011, 10:44 PM
Like how the entire Egyptian language was lost until the Rosetta stone was found? It's not a new problem. But it's simpler to upgrade from a floppy disk to a CD to a whatever...as information gets more compact, it should be easier to save more data. After-all paper rots, and books needed to be recopied. Even in ancient times, only the content that is valued gets recopied. Nobody bothered to copy the tax documents from the Roman Empire, and historians would love to read one now, just so they can find out how the different providence were governed.

All true. But...

If I find an old notebook that I wrote notes to myself or my friends, or stories, in 30 years ago, I can read exactly what I wrote with no outside assistance.

Unless I wrote in pencil so it's faded into illegibility, or something got spilled on the paper or it otherwise got soaked and became illegible.


If I find an old floppy disk I saved notes to myself or my friends, or stories, on 15 years ago, I need to go find a computer with an appropriate disk drive to see what's on it (aside from what the label might tell me, if anything). That's a lot of effort for something that I don't know whether I want to retrieve the contents or trash the whole thing until after I go to the effort.

It's also possible that the content on the disk has been made illegible by magnetic exposure or whatever, but again I won't necessarily know that it's illegible until I hunt down an appropriate device to read it with. And I might damage the device in the attempt.

Spinner
02-21-2011, 02:06 AM
Resurrecting this thread because of a great experience I had today...

I was riding the train home from my day out and about, reading my book as usual (Their Eyes Were Watching God this particular time). An older couple entered my car, sat down near me and the woman happened to notice what I was reading. She mentioned to me how her mother read it with them when she was a child and that she read it again as a young woman, rediscovering how much she loved it. We chatted a bit more about it and I had to tease her a few times not to spoil it for me. :) I didn't read much more on that ride, but didn't mind at all as I was really enjoying the spontanaeity of that moment and the great conversation. Call me a luddite if you want (Prancer already has :P), but that would never have happened with an e-reader. ;)

Prancer
02-21-2011, 02:19 AM
Call me a luddite if you want (Prancer already has :P), but that would never have happened with an e-reader. ;)

Well, you're sort of right about that; no one can see my book title unless they are practically on top of me. But I have the novelty factor going for me. Everywhere I read in public, someone will say "Is that a Kindle?" and we will discuss my toy and whether I like it and how it compares to the Kindle. If I hand it over or share the display, as I nearly always do, they usually go through my library and talk about all kinds of books with me--'cause I have lots of books for them to look at. :D

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

rjblue
02-21-2011, 02:26 AM
My son is up in bed right now, reading his grandfather's copy of Call of the Wild. I really hope paper books do not get replaced, because to some extent, they are like the difference between a painting and a photograph of a painting.

I think the biggest book market- bestseller novels and self help books will move almost entirely to e-readers. They just aren't the kind of books that most people want to keep.

The rest of the books will probably become more expensive, because the industry won't be able to underwrite their cost with the profits from a few titles.

Spinner
02-21-2011, 02:43 AM
My son is up in bed right now, reading his grandfather's copy of Call of the Wild.
What a great image. :) I recently bought 2 copies of a new favorite book, The Shadow of the Wind, to give to friends. I was careful not to mix them up with my own copy. Not because I'd marred mine somehow, but moreso that *I* had read it. I lost myself into that particular copy. If you ever read this book, you'll know exactly what I mean. I know it sounds weird, but there you go.

And I'll add I have nothing against e-readers. I just hope the world will always have a place for e-books and tree-books. :)

rfisher
02-21-2011, 03:07 PM
We should all hold on to our tree-books (I like that) as their value may increase if they become scarce. Wouldn't you all love to own one of those hand printed books the Monks spent years copying?

I bought all the special edition copies of Harry Potter and left them in their shrink wrap to increase their future value. And people laugh because I have the special edition, the regular HC edition and the CD audio books. :drama: Some day, I'll be rich and I'll be the one laughing. Mawahahahaha

aka_gerbil
02-21-2011, 03:51 PM
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.)

My degrees are in science, and while I can see while it might be nice to have animated illustrations, etc., I know I wouldn't have been happy with eBook versions of my textbooks.

I'm also having a really, really hard time pictuirng the use of eBooks for lab manuals, etc. in a real, functioning lab environment where there are chemicals, liquids, and other things that could get spilled and do major damage.

ETA:

The 3G service went from 30 countries to 100 countries and territories in the last year.

Neither high speed internet nor 3G are available everywhere in even the US yet. I'm from a rural area (which I'm currently stranded in while I look for a job). There is no cable access outside of town. DSL is spreading out a little bit, but I have several relatives who live far enough out that this is not a possibility. Some technically have access to dsl, but the phone lines are so old and in such bad shape that it's not really feasable. There's satelite internet, but it's still crazy expensive. For the crazy expensive plans, limits are still usually capped at 5GB/month (which, if you're doing a lot of downloading of large files, really isn't much). The only cell phone providers in this area are AT&T and Verizon. Verizon has 3g here, but it's 50/month for 5GB (not exactly for the budget-conscious). AT&T does not have 3G here and, as I learned from their customer service department last month, have no plans to build any towers here.

moojja
02-21-2011, 04:53 PM
All true. But...

If I find an old notebook that I wrote notes to myself or my friends, or stories, in 30 years ago, I can read exactly what I wrote with no outside assistance.

Unless I wrote in pencil so it's faded into illegibility, or something got spilled on the paper or it otherwise got soaked and became illegible.

Different generations. B/c I'm more likely to find an old email or a story save to an archive that I forgot about, then any in notebooks.

moojja
02-21-2011, 04:54 PM
Resurrecting this thread because of a great experience I had today...
Call me a luddite if you want (Prancer already has :P), but that would never have happened with an e-reader. ;)

That's why I like my e-reader, people can't see what I'm reading.

sk8pics
02-22-2011, 12:36 AM
So, I love to read, though I don't read as much lately, and I am looking forward to getting an iPad soon, and one of the main reasons is to use it as an e-reader. But today a friend gave me a book as a gift. He wrote a little inscription to me inside the book and that made it all the more thoughtful and sweet. And of course, that's not possible in quite the same way with an e-book. I'm still going to get the iPad but I'm sure, as long as they're available, I'll buy some actual books made from trees, too.

triple_toe
02-22-2011, 01:11 AM
I'm always :confused: about the commercial with people reading e-books at the beach. Maybe I'm just careless, but when I take a book to the beach, it gets sand all over it. Maybe water too. I'd never take an e-reader to the beach for fear of wrecking it, or at the very least getting scratches all over the surface from the sand. What about reading a book while taking a bath? No one is going to take an e-reader in the bath with them.

Prancer
02-22-2011, 02:29 AM
If I were concerned about my e-reader or tablet (I think tablets will be what gets used in labs and classrooms in the immediate future, not dedicated e-readers, which IMO have a very limited audience and I doubt will be produced at all in another few years) getting wet, I would buy it a waterproof cover (http://www.amazon.com/TrendyDigital-WaterGuard-Waterproof-Reader-Barnes/dp/B002XOYCFK), exactly as I have done for my cell phone and digital camera. And since both my cell phone and digital camera have survived beaches, whitewater rafting, tubing, swimming pools and snorkeling, I guess my e-reader would make it through a day at the beach, too.

I don't take baths and I don't read in the tub, so it's not something I've given a lot of thought to. OTOH, if I did and I wanted to read on my e-reader at the same time, I would get a waterproof cover. If I didn't want to spend the money and fool with it right now, I'd just read a print book and wait until the e-book evolution comes up with some type of reader I can get wet.

kwanfan1818
02-22-2011, 03:14 AM
One of the points of the Kindle is that you can read it in the sun without screen glare. The iPhone/iPod-like screens have the advantage of keeping you out of direct sunlight because of the glare.

I don't understand reading in the bathtub except for junk novels. The tub and I are a recipe for wet books.

kwanfan1818
02-23-2011, 08:04 PM
Cary Tennis writes an advice column for salon.com, and he is now in remission for a type of cancer, chordoma. He occasionally gives updates on his health, and today (http://www.salon.com/life/since_you_asked/index.html?story=/mwt/col/tenn/2011/02/22/me_and_my_chordoma&source=newsletter&utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Salon_Daily%2520Newsletter%2520%2528P remium%2529_7_30_110) he wrote:


And now can I just say that many, many people were extremely kind during my illness. Friends got together and bought me a Kindle and I read many books on Kindle during my illness when I was unable to sit in a chair and had to lie down. Kindle is good for reading lying down. I read Diane Johnson novels. I liked the Diane Johnson novels. I also read Jane Smiley novels and liked them too. I read a lot of other stuff. I read stuff about chordoma, trying to figure out if I was going to die or not.