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Tara Stone
10-16-2009, 06:07 PM
I've seen a few discussions here about ebooks lately, and it's gotten me curious about how people here prefer their books. Do you prefer ebooks to paper? Will you only read an ebook if there is no paper edition available? Do you read ebooks at all?

I regularly read both, but I prefer ebooks, and I buy more ebooks than paper books. I don't look down on paper books, of course, and I have a lot of them, but the convenience and versatility of ebooks has sold me on them. And I don't find reading on my ebook reader any colder or less satisfying than reading a paper book. I suspect, however, that I'm in the minority.

Calla Lily
10-16-2009, 06:22 PM
I voted Other, because I only read ebooks if there's no paper edition available.

I stare at a computer screen at work all day. I write and sometimes edit on my computer. Ofen, by the end of the day, my eyes hurt. Paper is much easier for me to read. I like the feel of paper in my hand. I like pulling out a book late at night and reading in bed.

ebooks are fine, just not my preference.

kct webber
10-16-2009, 06:23 PM
I prefer the paper.

ishtar'sgate
10-16-2009, 06:53 PM
I stare at a computer screen at work all day. I write and sometimes edit on my computer. Ofen, by the end of the day, my eyes hurt. Paper is much easier for me to read. I like the feel of paper in my hand. I like pulling out a book late at night and reading in bed.


Exactly. I work on the computer much of the day and sometimes into the evening. When I finally get time to relax I read a book in the tub or in bed. I don't want to look at another computer screen. That's not relaxing.

Mr Flibble
10-16-2009, 07:05 PM
I don't care which format - as long as the story is good.

I read both equally. However if an e-book really grabs me, I'll buy the print too( if available), to keep on my shelf

If I don't like it, it's a damn sight less money wasted than a paperback I don't like...

JamieFord
10-16-2009, 07:07 PM
I don't mind e-readers, as long as they're functional. If you ever see me trying to read a book on my phone, please, shoot me...

Dermit
10-16-2009, 07:11 PM
Vastly prefer to read on my kindle. More comfortable, more enjoyable, more convenient...but if I already have the paperback on hand, I'm not going to rebuy the ebook just to because I find it a more enjoyable experience. Much too cheap for that.

maestrowork
10-16-2009, 07:22 PM
For those who talked about eye strains with computer screens, just want to point out that the eInk technologies in eBook readers now (Sony, Kindle, BN) won't hurt your eyes since they are not LCD or LED screens. I just want to be rid of this persistent prejudice since it's no longer true.

Just want to point that out if eye strain is your only concern. Because it would be like saying "I won't take a plane ride because I am afraid of biplanes."

---


After getting the Kindle, I'm a complete convert. Before that, I only read eBooks if they're not available in paper format (out of print, for example) but now I buy mostly eBooks because a) they are cheaper (from $0 to about $10), b) they're available immediately through wifi -- no more waiting, c) it's actually much easier for me to read, especially in bed, and d) I can put hundreds of books in the device and take it anywhere I go -- it tremendously improves the way I read.

I still prefer printed books for the look and feel and quality of typesetting, etc. But now I'd only buy prints I want to KEEP, such as photo books, or special editions. But when it comes to pure reading, I prefer eBooks now because of price and convenience. It's also easier on the eyes for me because I can increase the font size.

Are eBook readers perfect? No. But neither were MP3 players just six or seven years ago. It's an evolving technology and I can't wait when Apple finally comes out with a tablet or whatever device that does eInk. I think that would be the killer device much like iPod was to MP3 players.

maestrowork
10-16-2009, 07:31 PM
Not to mention with the Kindle, at least, I can read my own mss. on it. It's a HUGE benefit especially when I'm editing. Also, with the text-to-speech functionality it's great for editing. Plus with T2S, I get audio-books, too, for the price of one.

ChaosTitan
10-16-2009, 07:37 PM
I voted Other, because I only read ebooks if there's no paper edition available.


Ditto. One of my favorite authors is an ebook author with Samhain, and I've bought a handful of other ebooks this past year because they weren't available as anything else.

But I don't have an eReader and I don't like taking my laptop to bed with me when I want to read something.

I want to invest in an eReader of some sort, so I have a more convenient way to read those e-only books I want. But I doubt I'll start buying books in e-formats exclusively. There's something lovely and tangible about seeing books lined up on my shelf. I love getting a box of books in the mail from Amazon or BN. And I can't find obscure or out-of-print ebooks for sale at my local thrift stores/flea markets.

Calla Lily
10-16-2009, 07:39 PM
eInk sounds interesting, maestro. I wasn't aware of that technology.

There's another roadblock to ebooks for me, at any rate: the price of the reader. Most of my (and the hubs') reading material comes from the library right now. With one kid in college and one in HS--the library is the only solution for us now, and that equals paper.

maestrowork
10-16-2009, 08:23 PM
There's another roadblock to ebooks for me, at any rate: the price of the reader.

This.

I think the Kindle needs to, say, come down to about $150 (about the price of an iPod) for it to be viable. And eBooks should further come down in price -- maybe 40-65% of paperback prices, for them to be REALLY attractive. There's really no reason eBooks should be priced above mass paperback prices, since there's almost no "production" cost (other than turning them into electronic formats). Taking royalties and publisher's profits into consideration, eBook could be priced at $5-6 each and still make everyone happy.

DRM is also another issue. I should be able to take my eBooks with me from device to device as long as those are registered to my name. I do understand it's a tricky issue because electronic files are so easily transferred and shared.

maestrowork
10-16-2009, 08:27 PM
BTW, here's a writeup on eInk/ePaper:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_paper


Because of its disadvantage (refresh rates), I think the BN reader's approach (eInk + LCD) is in the right direction, to support both eBook reading AND applications/media. And that may pave the way to a true multimedia eBook reader/handheld unit such as the much-rumored Apple tablet.

stormie
10-16-2009, 08:30 PM
I wouldn't mind reading ebooks, as long as they could show color. Don't know why that matters to me....
And they have to come down in price.

ChaosTitan
10-16-2009, 08:37 PM
There's really no reason eBooks should be priced above mass paperback prices, since there's almost no "production" cost (other than turning them into electronic formats).

For my own clarity -- by this, I assume you're referring to books that are simultaneously releasing in either hardcover, trade, or mass-market print formats, and not about books produced solely in e-format?

maestrowork
10-16-2009, 08:40 PM
For my own clarity -- by this, I assume you're referring to books that are simultaneously releasing in either hardcover, trade, or mass-market print formats, and not about books produced solely in e-format?

Correct. Obviously there are costs for editing, typesetting, and all that stuff that goes with production and marketing. I'm talking strictly the costs associated with printing, binding, warehousing, transportation, distribution (stores, distributors...) etc.

Right now, the price differences between the hardcover and digital formats are pretty good: $21 (HC) vs. $9.50 (eBook). But if you compare the eBook prices to trade paperbacks, the difference isn't something to write home about. To me, eBook prices need to come down to at least 40% of print, or something comparable to mass market. So, a $15 trade would have a $6 eBook version.

Drice
10-16-2009, 08:48 PM
I've read a few books on my iPod touch with an app called Eucalyptus. I really like it. It's way better than I expected. Easy controls to zoom the text size. turn a page backwards or forwards with the flick of a finger or thumb for one handed operation. The interactivity and animation for page turns is wonderful and has the 'feel' of a real page turn. Fantastic mobility and tons of books available. Have not looked but there may be other apps that are as nice to use.

But as maestrowork said, I really want to see what Apple might come up with. A rumor I've heard is that it might be the first to use color eInk.

DeleyanLee
10-16-2009, 08:55 PM
I'm with the "other" also because of cost concerns and wanting to be able to read any book I buy on whatever platform I happen to have available to me. I really don't like proprietary formats and the limitations that puts on the consumer. IIRC, my daughter's Sony can't read Kindle books, for example.

Mr Flibble
10-16-2009, 08:55 PM
Right now, the price differences between the hardcover and digital formats are pretty good: $21 (HC) vs. $9.50 (eBook). But if you compare the eBook prices to trade paperbacks, the difference isn't something to write home about. To me, eBook prices need to come down to at least 40% of print, or something comparable to mass market. So, a $15 trade would have a $6 eBook version.

That's something the trad publishers need to get sorted - and why I primarily buy my ebooks from other publishers, where a standard length ebook is the about the price you state (mine for instance is $6.50 e, $16 print)

If it costs more to buy the e-book, I'll buy the print. Maybe just a sneaky way for those publishers to say 'Oh, well we tried e-publishing, but no one was buying'?

Richard White
10-16-2009, 09:10 PM
Currently, I have never bought an e-book in my life and don't see myself doing so anytime soon.

Which is weird, since my first Star Trek work was for an e-series. Course, I got .pdf copies of all the work in front of mine and since as reference material for my one published work and my one approved (but unpublished) story.

Nothing against e-books, but I still prefer wandering in a bookstore and finding stuff. I just have no interest in searching out books on line when there's a ton of paper books I have waiting for me to read and new ones every week at the bookstore.

*shrug*

C.M.C.
10-16-2009, 09:42 PM
I already spend enough time staring at screens. I don't need books to be another thing annoying me.

Matera the Mad
10-17-2009, 03:34 AM
I've taken to reading e-books -- when I can get them -- because my eyesight has gotten so messed up that I can only read comfortably on a large enough computer monitor. Hard copy and I parted company several years ago. I'll read what I have to on paper, but I read what I want to on the screen.

Unfortunately, that means I can't read a lot. Used print books are cheap, even free from reading friends. E-books cost money, and they are low priority on my budget.

One reason I like beta reading, heh-heh ;)

Smish
10-17-2009, 03:42 AM
I will eventually spring for an e-reader. I think I'd like e-books a lot, really. I just haven't been intrigued enough yet to take the plunge.

I am also waiting for a water-proof e-reader. I like to read in the pool in the summer, and the bathtub all year long. When you drop a $15 book in the pool, it's not that big a deal. :D

maestrowork
10-17-2009, 03:45 AM
I will eventually spring for an e-reader. I think I'd like e-books a lot, really. I just haven't been intrigued enough yet to take the plunge.

I am also waiting for a water-proof e-reader. I like to read in the pool in the summer, and the bathtub all year long. When you drop a $15 book in the pool, it's not that big a deal. :D

There are always zip-lock bags. :ROFL:

Smish
10-17-2009, 03:47 AM
There are always zip-lock bags. :ROFL:

That could be a new zip-lock commercial. Not just for food... :D

Ravenlocks
10-17-2009, 04:16 AM
I'm always one of the last to pick up a new technology, so I won't be jumping on the e-reader bandwagon until all the kinks are ironed out and the price comes down. Way down.

Until then, I don't enjoy reading for-pleasure novels on the computer. I just don't.

But even if I do pick up an e-reader at some point, I'm pretty sure nothing will ever be able to beat browsing in a real, physical bookstore. That's where I discover books I would never come across online. You just can't browse the same way on a web site.

maestrowork
10-17-2009, 04:20 AM
II'm pretty sure nothing will ever be able to beat browsing in a real, physical bookstore. That's where I discover books I would never come across online. You just can't browse the same way on a web site.

I go to book stores, browse, and pick out the books I want to read, then go to the cafe and take out my Kindle and buy them right there (wirelessly). :D I'll have all the books I want before I even walk out of the store.

The problem is, I don't usually find what I want anyway -- limited by what the stores stock. For example, I can't find any of the AWers' books.

Linda Adams
10-17-2009, 04:25 AM
I voted other because I'd try ebooks if the reader was far less expensive, and the books weren't overpriced. I have a hard time buying an ebook--no paper, no ink--for more than what I pay for a paperback.

Ravenlocks
10-17-2009, 04:50 AM
I go to book stores, browse, and pick out the books I want to read, then go to the cafe and take out my Kindle and buy them right there (wirelessly). :D I'll have all the books I want before I even walk out of the store.
That's a good way to ensure bookstores will eventually disappear.


The problem is, I don't usually find what I want anyway -- limited by what the stores stock. For example, I can't find any of the AWers' books.
If I'm looking for something specific, I usually check the bookstore's stock before I go. The kind of browsing I meant was scanning the shelves for books I'm not looking for and have never heard of before. I can't find these books on Amazon or other online sites because I don't know I'm looking for them.

When I find them, I also don't have to worry about whether there's an excerpt available (I rarely buy books without reading a bit first). I can open up the book and take a peak.

Saskatoonistan
10-17-2009, 04:59 AM
I don't have a preference though paper has a huge edge when it comes to good cover art - eBooks can't compete.

maestrowork
10-17-2009, 05:26 AM
That's a good way to ensure bookstores will eventually disappear.

If they can't compete, then they will disappear. Consumers have no obligations to support a business just because. Why should anyone buy from a store if they can find a better deal, with better distribution and services elsewhere? I will buy at the stores if they give me a better deal -- I still buy deeply discounted (print) books, for example.

And if you feel bad for Barnes & Nobles, remember they've been doing that to indie bookstores, pushing them out of business, for years. Now, you can't even find niche books or small publishers unless you shop online. Like I said, I couldn't even find some of AWers' books, even from the big publishers, because shelf spaces are reserved for big names like Dan Brown and NYT best-sellers. I almost always have to buy them online anyway. The chain stores are already discriminating against smaller presses and authors, and the result is they're pushing people to buy only the big names.

I certainly don't feel particularly loyal to them. I'm a consumer. I find the best deal I can find.

Xelebes
10-17-2009, 07:49 AM
Paper for me but not for a real choice. All my books that I bought when I had money to spend on books were in paper, not electronic.

benbradley
10-17-2009, 08:23 AM
For those who talked about eye strains with computer screens, just want to point out that the eInk technologies in eBook readers now (Sony, Kindle, BN) won't hurt your eyes since they are not LCD or LED screens. I just want to be rid of this persistent prejudice since it's no longer true.
I'm old fashioned, I still use CRT monitors (because these 21" monitors are virtually free and still work), and am wondering how a CRT with a high refresh rate (100Hz for this computer, 85Hz for an older one I just set up) compares with LCD or LED computer monitors. Do these other screens flash with the refresh rate? I wonder if that's the main problem with computer screens causing eye strain.

Also, one would think there would be an "eInk" computer monitor for people who do a lot online reading. No doubt there's disadvantages, black-and-white only and blurry changing/scrolling. Is there such a thing yet?

maestrowork
10-17-2009, 10:14 AM
I'm old fashioned, I still use CRT monitors (because these 21" monitors are virtually free and still work), and am wondering how a CRT with a high refresh rate (100Hz for this computer, 85Hz for an older one I just set up) compares with LCD or LED computer monitors. Do these other screens flash with the refresh rate? I wonder if that's the main problem with computer screens causing eye strain.

Also, one would think there would be an "eInk" computer monitor for people who do a lot online reading. No doubt there's disadvantages, black-and-white only and blurry changing/scrolling. Is there such a thing yet?

CRTs, especially the older ones with slower refresh rates, can cause major eye strain. LCD doesn't have refresh rate because it's different technology. Here's what wiki says:


Much of the discussion of refresh rate does not apply to the liquid crystal portion of an LCD monitor. This is because while a CRT monitor uses the same mechanism for both illumination and imaging, LCDs employ a separate backlight to illuminate the image being portrayed by the LCD's liquid crystal shutters. The shutters themselves do not have a "refresh rate" as such due to the fact that they always stay at whatever opacity they were last instructed to continuously, and do not become more or less transparent until instructed to produce a different opacity. Most of the TFT LCDs used in portable devices and computer monitors need a continuous refresh. The driving voltage determines the transmittance of the liquid crystal.

So LCDs are better on your eyes. You can watch LCD HDTV for many hours if you want. Those who have laptops can tell you they can work on them much longer than a CRT monitor at work. But still, the problem with "reading" on LCD screens is the backlighting. After starring at a lighted screen for a while, your eyes need a break. LEDs, as I understand, emit less glare (which consume less energy) and are better for your eyes (the new MacBooks all have LED screens now), and they last much longer than LCDs.

eInk, on the other hand, reflects light the same way real ink on paper does.

But eInk does have its drawbacks. It uses less electricity (once the "ink" is set it doesn't need charge) so the battery charge lasts much longer -- so that's a good thing. The bad thing is the lack of colors (so far) and also the rate of refresh (redraw/rendering) is slow, so it's not really good for media, graphics or zooming, etc. At high zoom level, you will see pixelations. Also, contrast ratio is not going to be as good as computer screen simply because of the low-electricity property.

Basically, you want electronic ink on electronic paper and save your eyes? You will have to give up something such as vibrant colors and high resolutions (but no backlighting!)

thothguard51
10-18-2009, 04:55 AM
Several thoughts...

1...Why are e-readers proclaimed to be the green wave in publishing?

In reality, they are loaded with heavy metals and the batteries take a ton of energy to produce, on most electronic devices. I have read e-readers can be produced in less factories than print books, thus they are less harmful to the enviroment. Yet, they use and produce more toxic substances than most print houses do?

Trees are renewable and paper books are recycleable.

2...Now, despite item 1, I feel e-readers are here to stay, but not for the fictional market. What do I mean? Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, and other professionals that need quick references will move to e-readers as an on the go source of reference, just another tool of their profession. Even students are switching over to e-readers in many grad courses. Plus many newpapers and magazine are now available for e-readers. But these are all non-fiction related books and professional needs.

Most reasons I hear for not getting an e-reader are because a person who has spent hours at work looking at some form of electronic screen does not want to spend their pleasure time looking at another screen, of any sort.

Just a few more thoughts about e-readers. I am mixed on my feelings about this new wave of reading. I have read books on my computer and have mixed feelings about the experiences. I hate the fact that most do not include cover art work with the experience.

Nick Anthony

Fenika
10-18-2009, 05:02 AM
I prefer only to beta a novel on my computer, but I'll read (and enjoy) an e-book on occasion.

I strongly prefer print though, particularly since it can sit on my shelf or I can (potentially) give it away. Most ebooks are single reader only (understandably).