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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrushka View Post
    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! 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.

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    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).

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    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.
    Last edited by aka_gerbil; 02-11-2011 at 05:36 AM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka_gerbil View Post
    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/2010/0...se-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.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  5. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    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.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by modern_muslimah View Post
    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 school principals. And librarians.

    Last year, Amazon sold more e-books than hardcover books. This year, e-book sales have overtaken paperback sales. And overall, "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.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    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!

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    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.
    I'll go today!
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  9. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    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?
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    And just think--you're not feeding your addiction.

    You are on a holy mission to save a venerable institution!
    It's a quest!
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

  11. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    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 school principals. And librarians.

    Last year, Amazon sold more e-books than hardcover books. This year, e-book sales have overtaken paperback sales. And overall, "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 ).
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  12. #72

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    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.........
    Gone crazy. Be back soon.

  13. #73
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    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.

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    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.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormy View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    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 or The Ohio e-Book Project.

    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.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    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".

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    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.

    "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.

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hannahclear View Post
    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.

    "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/

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannahclear View Post
    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.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    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.

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    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?

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