I love books. The feel, smell, everything. There isn't anything like having a fresh brewed cup of coffee, a full pipe, and a good book. But... Ebooks are so easy to get! With programs like Adobe viewer, Microsoft literature, and Google books it's easy to read them. I have the G1 phone from Google, it lets me read any book in the public forum, for free, from my phone. I also have an Ipaq pocket computer that holds about 1000 ebooks on an SD card. I own many, many books but I don't want to take many of them out of the man cave. I still feel lazy somehow, convenience for nostalgia. Many things, even here in 'The Art of Manliness' its mentioned, haven't gotten better with time and technology, just more convenient. For instance blade shaving vs an electric razor. I've yet to see an electric razor that shaves as close but I can't blade shave on the way to work. Are ebooks just another electric razor? Change for the sake of convenience. Does anyone else share this guilty pleasure?
I do the same thing at work. Amazing how typos slip through when the document is left in "e-format" only. (I had one supervisor who required everybody to "default activate" the spell/grammar checker for our email.) I proof read from hard copy. I also print a lot of documents at work...funny how many computer-savvy, tech-enabled co-workers always seem to need to borrow my hard copies for reference.
Last year I read To Kill a Mockingbird for the first time on my iPod Touch. One of the most striking differences than reading the book in paperback was that I had no concept of when the end of the story was coming. When reading a printed book, as I near the end, I start thinking of ways the story could end with the amount of pages left. I did no such thing when the end of my eBook approached because I did not realize I was nearing the end and I saw this as an improvement to the reading experience. It kept the story pure, if that makes sense.
Now that you mention the industry...I think this electronic distribution thing is going to ruin the book industry just like it has the music industry. i don't think people will be boot-legging books at the same rate as songs, but the potential for file sharing and the associated loss of revenue could be catastrophic like it has been to the music industry. My brother has been a music producer for the last 10 years...mp3, ipods and social networking has been a great distribution tool and the user interface has been convenient...but the guys who actually make the music are getting raped every day as people find illegal ways to get stuff for free. It has forced the music industry to start cranking out fast-food songs for quick, easy distribution.
Only if tightly controlled like iTunes...but if it ever catches on like Limewire or Napster did, it will cause great losses in publishing. But I don't see this replacing old-fashioned books like iTunes replaced CDs. Gees, when's the last time anyone went to a record store? I don't even know where one is where I live other than the CD section at WalMart.
You are probably right. How many 14 year old kid are actually reading books compared to how many have 8,000 songs downloaded on their mp3 device? The people who are really in to reading and willing shell out $$$ for a e-reading device are probably not going to be illegally downloading books.
I agree almost completely. When it comes to a good novel there's nothing that replaces opening up the cover and immersing yourself in a book. When it comes to technical reading I prefer electronic copies.
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