Jump to content

Recommended Posts

A colleague has bought a Kindle. I was playing with it yesterday.

 

Although it's ugly and I don't like the look or feel of it, it is a credible piece of technology. I can absolutely see the benefits of it, for example travelling or commuting sans books is quite appealing.

 

So is the book destined to die, or simply become a niche, prestige item no longer mass-produced (not yet, but in a generation)? What does it mean for publishing as an industry, as a generation who don't see why they need to pay for anything much in terms of entertainment media comes of age?

 

Discuss.

sonsofgygax.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kindle is useless, IMO. The pc-like tablets you can use both reading books and stuff like browsing teh interwebbs, watching TV shows and films, chat, talk with people through skype with full video and so on are really interesting. Hideously expensive, but really useful.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up a Kindle for my mother about a year back, joint problems in her hands means she has trouble holding books of any significant size..but the kindle is something she can hold and finds really easy to read.

 

I've swiped it a couple of times and found it not too bad. If you've already got electronic books on your computer it isn't usually too hard to put them in a format the kindle can read as well.

 

The thing is, the ipad and a lot of those multifunction items will let you read e-books passably but aren't that great for it. The kindle is geared around the one thing..reading books. and it's pretty good at that.

 

Personally I feel that being able to feel/smell the pages of a book as you read is an important aspect of a good book. If I have a choice, I'll take a "real" dead-tree book over an electronic one to read. But in a lot of situations these days its a pain to have access to a book in certain places. I know if I sit down to read I can get through a normal 400 page paperback in couple of hours, which means if I'm travelling anywhere and I know I'll have time to read.. I've got to take a bunch of books and find space.. or just end up re-reading the same book.

 

(Also, if you're partially addicted to an authors series, publishers like Baen do things where they release pre-edited versions of the latest work on e-format half a year or so in advance of the actual book being published..)

 

I don't think we'll loose real books. There's that balance of effect, creating enough "ebook readers" and keeping them powered constantly isn't going to be totally economical and ecological to replace books worldwide...

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kindle is already really cheap. Think of it this way, it costs about as much as a bookcase, but allows you to take all the books you store on it everywhere you go. Plus getting books 2 bucks cheaper just by owning one isn't bad either. I really want one, got to play with one a month or so ago. I think eventually they'll figure out a way to combine e-ink and tablet displays so you get the benefits of both.

The area between the balls and the butt is a hotbed of terrorist activity.

Devastatorsig.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kindle is an excellent piece of kit, if like me you really do read alot, I'm pretty much out of shelf space, between the kindle apps on PC/Phones etc... and the kindle itself, well I'm mighty happily impressed with the one I picked up for my g/f. I'm planning on getting one myself.

I came up with Crate 3.0 technology. 

Crate 4.0 - we shall just have to wait and see.

Down and out on the Solomani Rim
Now the Spinward Marches don't look so GRIM!


 

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think you've missed the point. In a couple of years the Kindle will be extremely cheap. ipads etc will not.

 

 

I think the Kindle is still far too limited to compete with slates/tablets. It's a pager in a world of cellphones.

DISCLAIMER: Do not take what I write seriously unless it is clearly and in no uncertain terms, declared by me to be meant in a serious and non-humoristic manner. If there is no clear indication, asume the post is written in jest. This notification is meant very seriously and its purpouse is to avoid misunderstandings and the consequences thereof. Furthermore; I can not be held accountable for anything I write on these forums since the idea of taking serious responsability for my unserious actions, is an oxymoron in itself.

 

Important: as the following sentence contains many naughty words I warn you not to read it under any circumstances; botty, knickers, wee, erogenous zone, psychiatrist, clitoris, stockings, bosom, poetry reading, dentist, fellatio and the department of agriculture.

 

"I suppose outright stupidity and complete lack of taste could also be considered points of view. "

Link to post
Share on other sites

Sometimes you just want something that does one job very well.

 

Not an overexpensive piece of equipment that does a whole bunch of things passably.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although I agree with Kaftan that the Kindle is an inferior product to a tablet, the fact is that it is cheap, effective and appealing to non-technically minded early adopters. The people I know who are buying into Kindle are the type of folks who would be unlikely to buy into a relatively complex piece of technology like an ipad. Especially older people.

 

It will get cheaper, more feature-driven and hopefully more aesthetically pleasing.

 

I like the pager v cellphone line, but I think it still misses the point. The popular appeal of this device, along with clever marketing and its ease-of-use means it is a game-changer for the world of books and publishing.

sonsofgygax.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

You'll have a hard time getting me to switch. In a static position books are attractive clutter. On teh hoof, books get even more useful.

 

You can read it, sit on it, use it as a pillow, tear it up and light fires, leave notes, or wipe your arse. I've even used a book to hit someone in the nose to enormous effect. And all for the bargain price of 50p second hand. Plus it doesn't matter if they get bent, sat on, singed, wet, and never run out of batteries.

 

Take your kindle and sod off. :ermm:

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is something to be said for the simple low tech solution we have been using these last thousand years or so. Easier on the eyes than the best flat screens out there, resolution only limited by your eyes, no AC adaptors required. portable... up to a point, but you can only read one at a time anyway.

 

No, I think in these tablety thingies are mostly for people with the attention span of a 12 year old, they like to pretend that they read, but also can't do it without checking facebook, home banking, whatnot, every 10 minutes.

Na na  na na  na na  ...

greg358 from Darksouls 3 PVP is a CHEATER.

That is all.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The kindle's screen isn't backlit and is actually very easy to read from without the potential eyestrain situation... So I wouldn't make that much complaint on it.

 

As I've mentioned, my mom has joint problems and can't hold books easily, but she can get those chunky sized books downloaded to her kindle and she can hold it with no problems and a simple press of the thumb turns the page. I've seen her struggle to hold hardbacks and and large paperbacks to read them without fumbling, so the ease of use the kindle provides certainly proves its worth there.

 

For people who want the portability, but don't want to surf the internet, or check on facebook, but who just want to keep a whole bunch of books for access on the go.. That's what the kindle is for.

 

Comparing it to the Ipad and such seems quite silly. It's not aimed at that market. Sure, you can use an ipad to read some electornic books but that's more a sidefeature of the ipad.

 

The printing press begat the hardback, the hardback begat the paperback, and the paperback begat the kindle.

The kindle isn't for the tech geeks and the people who have to have the flashy techtoys. It's for the booklovers who want to be able to move around with around 1,500 books in their pocket.

 

I've got around 7,000 books in my room (not counting non-fiction) and I wouldn't get rid of them just because of the kindle, but I think the kindle makes a great thing for taking around a bunch of books when you travel. When you can just stuff it in a bag or a pocket and you know you've got your comfort reading whenever you want.

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Also the Kindle give your features which you just can't get from a regular book. Like you can look up any word in the dictionary, or more important for me resize the text to a comfortable size. Vs Ipad it's probably easier on the eyes for reading, a lot cheaper, has a battery that's super long lasting, and most importantly fits in your pocket.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is already talk in schools of moving towards Kindles as a replacement for textbooks. Some schools are already piloting it. I'd say in about 10 years it will be cheaper to supply students with Kindles than it is to adopt new textbooks.

Link to post
Share on other sites
There is already talk in schools of moving towards Kindles as a replacement for textbooks. Some schools are already piloting it. I'd say in about 10 years it will be cheaper to supply students with Kindles than it is to adopt new textbooks.

 

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about, stuff I hadn't thought of. Educationally, the Kindle is revolutionary. In developing countries, for example, you will be able to provide students with a library's worth of books without having to actually build a library and store thousands of copies.

 

I will mourn the passing of the book, personally, then again I'm sure in the 1500s monks mourned the passing of illuminated script.

sonsofgygax.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
I will mourn the passing of the book, personally, then again I'm sure in the 1500s monks mourned the passing of illuminated script.

I will mourn the passing of public libraries.

 

Although I can see the advantages (or at least, lack of major disadvantages) for reading fiction and narrative-structured nonfiction, I think I would find it awkward to use an e-reader for textbook purposes. It has been a while since I read a textbook other than a law school casebook (which is rather a different animal), but I recall doing a lot of flipping about (checking endnotes, referring back to previous text, diagrams, charts, maps, what-have-you) that would be more challenging on an e-reader. But I imagine that readers, authors, and technology will adjust (e.g., for texts with less narrative structure, use something more like a web browser, where the reader can have different pages open as tabs) to accommodate these kinds of concerns.

Edited by Enoch
Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't really used mine yet, but I think navigation would actually be easier than a paper book. Like you can go read a footnote without losing your place in the main text.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

Link to post
Share on other sites
I will mourn the passing of the book, personally, then again I'm sure in the 1500s monks mourned the passing of illuminated script.

I will mourn the passing of public libraries.

 

 

The libraries in my neck of the woods have already changed dramatically. They aren't just a place to find books, they are filled with computers, children education centers, and so forth.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I will mourn the passing of the book, personally, then again I'm sure in the 1500s monks mourned the passing of illuminated script.

I will mourn the passing of public libraries.

 

 

The libraries in my neck of the woods have already changed dramatically. They aren't just a place to find books, they are filled with computers, children education centers, and so forth.

Well, that's true here, too. I suppose I meant more specifically that I'll miss being able to borrow books that I'm interested in, but not quite so interested in that I want to lay out $$ for them.

 

Is there a way to "lend" books via e-reader? Publishers are probably huge proponents of e-readers because they reduce their production and shipping costs, but also because they help rein in the thriving secondary market for their products-- libraries, person-to-person lending, used book shops, garage sales...

Link to post
Share on other sites
Is there a way to "lend" books via e-reader? Publishers are probably huge proponents of e-readers because they reduce their production and shipping costs, but also because they help rein in the thriving secondary market for their products-- libraries, person-to-person lending, used book shops, garage sales...

 

There are a few publishers that have established free online libraries , most notably Baen.

 

They put up a selection of books by various authors that they publish, add new ones, rotate old ones.. Let you download the books in various electronic formats or read online via html setup for chapters... http://www.baen.com/library

 

But then Baen are a big believer in giving a taste to get people interested in authors and series. They also have a tendency to include a cd library with a whole bunch of other books in some of their hardbacks.

 

On the other way, I know a couple of people who "share" a kindle account. They've both bought a kindle, but link them to the same account. They can buy books seperately, get them put in the that account so they each have access to it... Amazon seems okay with families doing that, I'm not sure how it would shift or whether they could really track it for non-family members.

Edited by Raithe

"Cuius testiculos habeas, habeas cardia et cerebellum."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think this will kill the book industry anymore than mp3 players killed the CD industry. They will have to adapt to a new business model, but paper texts will still have a marketplace.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another big advantage is that all the stuff before 1920 or so is out of copyright. So if you can find it online (like project Gutenberg) you can read it on the Kindle for free, without needing a computer. Amazon maintains their own library of free stuff as well.

"Moral indignation is a standard strategy for endowing the idiot with dignity." Marshall McLuhan

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ditto what Enoch & Monte said. I would not use an e-reader for textbooks or manuals, or even cook books because I write in them, post-its etc. But I did buy a Kindle a few weeks ago and I must admit I do like it. I have over 2000 books in my house, two whole rooms have bookshelves for wall decorations (and they don't look that good). Something had to give. If I'm going to keep buying books at least the ones on the kindle don't take up space.

"The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, makes slaves of men, and of the human frame a mechanized automaton."

P.B. Shelley

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...