1. Pludovick
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    Pludovick Member

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    Will the e-Reader replace paper books?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Pludovick, Oct 7, 2012.

    I bought myself an e-Reader a few months ago, much to the displeasure of some of my more literary-minded friends. Apparently there's no suitable replacement for flicking through paper pages in an actual proper book- and to a certain extent, I'd agree with that.

    But despite that, I've quickly fallen in love with it. I'll try not to ramble too much but as a somewhat lapsed reader beforehand, the convenience of an all-in-one reader has completely rekindled my love for reading. In a way, there's very clear parallels between my experiences with e-literature and with music- I'd never particularly cared for music at all before the advent of the MP3 player, but having your entire music collection at your fingertips personally made it so much easier to appreciate, and I don't think I've gone outside without my Ipod since about 2008.

    Obviously there's differences- a book takes much more time to read in it's entirety than a song or even an album, so having an entire library in your pocket is certainly less immediately useful than having an entire music collection. Even so, there's similarities- and in the same way that high-street music stores have suffered in the advent of digital music services, what could the Kindle et al end up doing to high-street bookshops and paper books? I'd be curious to see what you guys think, as I've got no idea :p
     
  2. DefinitelyMaybe
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    DefinitelyMaybe Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't have an e-reader, but I have an Android Tablet which has the Kindle App installed.

    Personally I really like using it, and feel that swiping the screen to change page is an adequate replacement for changing pages. I also appreciate being able to buy a book or download a free one and have it immediately available.

    Zooming in and out to a preferred text size is also very good.

    The only real downside of my android tablet is that the screen is shiny, and it is extremely difficult to read outside when the sun is shining due to reflections and glare. If the e-ink screens are readable in sunlight as they claim to be, that would be great.
     
  3. cazann34
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    cazann34 Active Member

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    I bought up this very subject on another forum and the general consensus was, people were unwilling to give up paper books, they weren't ready for the new age. They said there was no substitute to having the feel of a paper book in their hands.

    And even though I can see the merits of an ebooks, I feel It will be very sad day if we have to give up paper books for technology.

    I also asked, the forum: can both the paper book and the ebook co-exist? But am still waiting for the answer. Sadly I think the answer may be no. Paper may have to step aside for progress, leaving the paper books nothing more than a collector item for the select few.
     
  4. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think there will always be paper books - or at least for a good many years. Reason #1 - not every one can afford (or wants to pay that much for) an e-reader. Reason #2 - even if the prices go down, not everyone is into technology that much (believe it or not, there are a lot of people who use their computer for email, period. And a lot of people who don't even own one.) Reason #3 - it limits the customer base for both authors and publishers. The majority of costs are the same for either format, and even if bookstores disappear (which I don't see happening), print books could still be sold direct from the publisher or online retailers.
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    There is something special in holding a physical book - that and not everyone trusts technology that much. I know I don't anyway, and it's not because I'm a technophobe. Physical books have, in a word, an 'authority' that e-books just don't have. That and have you ever tried to get poetry on an ebook? Most of the ones I've found, even those I've paid for, have had faults that just don't exist on paper.
     
  6. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    There are also libraries for hardcover and paperback books. I don't think those are going away anytime soon. A lot of people go to the library who can't afford e-readers, or even a brand new hardcover that was just released. Then there are the children who are too young for an e-reader but love to read. These days a lot of parents and daycares go to the library with kids because most libraries also have days for arts and crafts and that sort of thing. I know most of us don't write children's books, but there is a decent market for that, that I don't think will ever touch e-readers.
     
  7. idle
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    idle Active Member

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    I've had an e-reader for more than three years and since then it's my preferred way of reading - it's light, always remembers my last page, has a dictionary handy, I can select the font size and take notes without harming the book itself.

    On the other hand, an e-book as a gift just can't compare to a physical book, and what if you wanted to have it signed by the author? And it's still nice to have your favourite titles displayed on a bookshelf (even though that might be actually replaced by a virtual bookshelf on an online profile of your choice).

    I think that paper books and e-books will coexist. Maybe paperback will be replaced by e-book for casual reading, while those who want to own the book will get a nicely done hardback.
     
  8. Fairydust
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    Fairydust Member

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    I really hope not. i've already given up on buying actual cds and dvds, all I have left to put on my shelves now are books.
     
  9. mummymunt
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    mummymunt Member

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    I bought a Kindle last week, simply because in Australia it's often quite difficult to get your hands on books that are common in the US or the UK. I definitely prefer actual books, but if an e-book is my only viable and realistic option, then e-book it is. It won't change the fact that I have 10 bookcases overflowing with books, plus another newly purchased batch waiting to be taken out of the car :)
     
  10. moscowwoah
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    moscowwoah Member

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    I like the feel of a paperback book. I like flipping through pages. I like the way the book looks when I'm through with it. But someday, e-readers, and e-books will take over, but not in my lifetime.
     
  11. Kingtype
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    Kingtype Always writing or thinking things XD Staff Role Play Moderator Contributor

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    Never!
     
  12. marktx
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    marktx Contributing Member

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    e-Readers are important because they are not just a mechanism for reading books. They are also a mechanism for buying books. That's why Amazon continues to push its e-Reader out at cost--they are not trying to make money on the devices at all--they see it as part of the content-delivery infrastructure.

    The critical difference between an e-Reader (whether we're talking about the physical device or just some software on your smartphone) and a physical book is this: The moment you decide you want something to read, you scroll through a store, click a button, and almost instantly you have a brand-new book. Buying a book becomes an instantaneous, seamless process.

    Will it replace paper completely? I doubt it. Will it continue to grow as a major component in publishing? I believe it will.
     
  13. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    It will drive the price of printing up....
     
  14. Tygress
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    Tygress New Member

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    My sister got one of those Kindle e-readers for christmas last year, and I honestly don't know why. Paper books are far better and more enjoyable than a piece of technology in my opinion. You get water on a book, it'll dry easy, get it on a e-reader, and it's finished. Plus the joy of passing on classic books from one generation to the next is something people can't live without. All my books are in paper form, not on an e-reader and I plan to keep it that way mostly because I enjoy flipping the pages and putting my bookmark in to save my spot (I usually make my own bookmarks, so with an e-reader I wouldn't be able to create any, and being an artist, that would just be very sad for me.
     
  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Paper books never run out of battery.
     
  16. TheLeonard112
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    TheLeonard112 Sūpākūru Senpai

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    People seem to usually have more of a bond to a book that is literally in there possession. And physical books should always have their place, due to the whole what if your power goes out and you can't charge your e-Reader. And a physical book we have had for a long time. And some people don't even like using tech that much. Like the Bible for example, people see having the actual book better. Because when you think of a Bible, do you think of a pad with the Bible on it. But in all honesty the will probably be gone in the next 10 years due to people getting higher and higher by technology and America and other places wanting to save paper.
     
  17. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Paper books will go the way of paper photographs. They'll be around, but won't be the norm.
     
  18. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    I love showing off what I am reading, and what I have read. This is not possible with Ebooks.

    I love going into peoples houses and nosing round their book shelves - always weird when people don't have any books, don't you think? I also used to like seeing what other people were reading on the Tube. I still feel slightly smug when people with Ebooks have to stop reading during landing and take off whilst on a 'plane, and I carry on with my paperback.

    That said I love ebooks. I used to read them on my Palm and could get away with reading novels during boring meetings (people thought I was checking my agenda).

    I hope there is a place for both.
     
  19. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I can understand the appeal of the e-reader but I'm a visual person. I like being able to fold my book and see how much progress I've made or how much I have left...the visual affirmation is what motivates me to finish a lack luster book or entices me to stay up a little later so I can finish an exciting chapter. Some e-books don't even have page numbers and that drives me bonkers! I have an android tablet/converted netbook with the Kindle and B&N apps, and while convenient, it's just not the same. Paper books offer a feel, a smell, a complete sensory experience and I will never part ways with them so long as they're available.
     
  20. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    There's a place for both. I have shelves of 'real' books which I'd never consider getting rid of. I also have a Kindle, which I love, but that doesn't mean I value my books any less, though it has meant that I'm more selective when I buy paperbacks or hardbacks. There are also gems of books on Kindle. Classics - I downloaded the entire works of Mark Twain for less than three pounds, reference - an abundance of language books, and yes, even those free ones by authors who have no track record. I've found some really enjoyable reads for a few pence, leading me to seek out several authors' later works.

    I'm planning on a Kindle Fire for Christmas - and have a couple of books on my wish list for that and another wish list for others for my bookshelves. Plenty of scope for both.

    Bit like did the telly ruin theatre? It is possible - and enjoyable - to do both.
     
  21. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Well, cinema. But yes, cinema destroyed the theatre industry, and now there are only remnants left. Successful remnants with the bigger shows, true, but that old grey mare ain't what she used to be.

    However.... that is two different mediums being compaired, not two different formats of the same media. Books and ebooks are both still literature. (while you could compare cinema and tv to theatre because of the stage and theatrical elements, they are considered different mediums)

    The better example is: did DVD kill VHS, or is digital downloading of music killing the CD? Yes, and so far no... but it's happening. Some formats survived in some way including vinyl, but many formats such as tape died.

    So I doubt that ebooks will kill off hard copies, just as paperbacks didn't kill off hardbacks. But it may reduce the number produced and drive up the cost, and it may make it harder to publish hard-copies as opposed to a cheap digital copy. Only the best might go paperback in the future, just as only the best go hardback now; whereas once all books were hardback. But then again, with the growth of print on demand, they may even make it up to the customer and let them decide. They may not do any print runs and give you the option upon purchase. It's up in the air, really.


    Just ma thoughts.
     
  22. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    But the 'cheap digital copy' is not that much cheaper to produce than print - the cost to print and distribute print books is only about 7-10% of the total cost of publishing it. Ebooks still have to be acquired, edited, formatted, have a cover designed, get marketed, etc. And it's not really a "copy" - it's a branch in the road at the formatting crossroads. The cost of ebooks will go up to where they should be (I hope, from the writer's POV) simply because the public will get better educated about the true costs and not continue to think (thanks to Amazon) that they are just 'cheap digital copies'.
     
  23. evelon
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    evelon Active Member

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    All true, but it depends on how you look at the outcomes. Theatre in UK is more accessible, cinema is thriving and even tv is as popular as ever. Add to that computer games and programmes, I pads etc., and rather than diminishing the markets and choices, they are all flourishing.

    I get the point about only 'good' books will be published and they will be a lot dearer. Ok. that all depends on what you call a good book. That's a matter of choice and there's so much out there that is poor quality, both printed and e books, that it may well be time for a bit of a rid out.

    I think e books will co-exist with printed books. It's just a matter of waiting to see how the sand settles.
     
  24. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Ok, fair enough. I mean successful. Fifty shades just went hardback. Hardly a 'good' book. :)

    Oh, and theatre in the UK isn't what it used to be, which was cheap entertainment for the masses. That's been cinema's job ever since. Now it is more cultural.
     
  25. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    All true, but after getting it ready, the more copies you sell does not drive up production needs, which will eliminate first and second edition print runs because all titles can be available for longer, and take up less storage space and eliminate physical distribution costs, such as trucking pallets or sending parcels. Digital infrastructure aside, of coarse.

    The public has a perception that they are paying for the paper, not the words. Hopefully that will change.
     

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