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General Discussion > eBook Popularity & Its Effect on DTBs (DeadTreeBooks)

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message 1: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments My hubby found an article the other night that had me imagining (or trying to) a world without "real" books. Eek! I couldn't do it, couldn't fathom it. How sad that would be.

Don't get me wrong, since the launch of eBooks, I've been there, grabbing offered freebies, buying favorites and I now read more frequently in eFormat than bound format.

But, I believe that I will always want certain books in their beautifully bound formats, now matter what. For a book addict, there's nothing like buying a new paperback or hardcover, admiring the (sometimes) beautiful cover, holding it with delicate care as you flip through the pages as the author's story unfolds and finally closing the book on a sigh when it's all done.

Of course, then comes the dilemma of where to store said book. Hence my main reason for buying so many eBooks these past couple of years. Storage is major issue for me and eBooks are the perfect solution. I can buy another external hard drive much easier than I can buy a bigger home or modify my existing one to accommodate all the bound books I've have otherwise.

I had to turn to my shared beau, Google, to see what he could find out about the possibility of "Life without Books". The first scary post he provided that caught my eye was this one, where MSNBC talked about the problems Borders and B&N are having and possible end of brick-and-mortar shoppes.

But, thankfully, he also found this article that put much of anxiety to rest. I realized, yes, the music industry has been dealing with the issues and they still sell CDs. Granted that then got me thinking about how CDs caused the end of albums (ahhh, LPs RIP, how I loved thee). But, books, real, hold in your hands and flip the pages books, will never die, right?? Worse case, brick-and-mortar shoppes might die (please don't!) and internet only shoppes, like Amazon, will grow, right??

What are your thoughts?

message 2: by Vivian (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 1934 comments I think there's a difference between books and music, and that difference is why books will continue to exist while cds might not.

Regarding music:
1. Whether you buy cds or mp3s, the listening experience is essentially the same for most people. Yes, there can be a difference in quality, but the average listener isn't going to be able to perceive that so the format doesn't matter much.
2. I know some of the younger generation, jr high and high school, view cds like I view 8-tracks. There has been an evolution in the way music is distributed, and each generation has their own things they're nostalgic about, tapes, albums, etc.

Now our beloved books:
1. The experience is different. To a lot of people, reading on a screen is just never going to compare to holding an actual physical book.
2. Books have worked in their current form for a long time, I don't see why they would change. They don't have to keep up so much with technological advances like other media (movies, tv, music).
3. Can you imagine a library without books? Okay, not really a valid reason, but still, can you?
4. There are casual readers who will never read enough to justify getting an e-reader and/or don't want to read on a tiny phone-sized screen or their computer screen. But they enjoy reading enough to buy the occasional book or keep libraries around.

Okay, kinda lengthy and hopefully makes sense. I tend to get wordier when I'm sleep-deprived :/

Awesomevegan (AKA JenReads) (awesomevegan) | 468 comments I love my Kindle and am even planning on getting a Sony Pocket for NetGalley and library books but I would never want all print books to be gone. I like to go into bookstores and some books I would just prefer in paper like cookbooks and anything with lots of pictures. I prefer the convenience of the lighter ereader and the savings in storage space. I also love getting ebook freebies and getting introduced to new series and access to public domain books for free.

message 4: by Literary Ames (new)

Literary Ames (amyorames) | 1854 comments Price will drive the ebook market especially with the free apps on phones. Sometimes they're cheaper than the DTB (which might change with agency pricing -same price across the board), easier to store and you have instant access to whatever you want. In response to this we might see a higher uptake of Print On Demand by publishers wishing to decrease costs.

Another thing, self-publishing is easier now and the royalties are better -just look at Amazon's author programme for ebooks. I'm not sure how that competition is going to end. It might mean even more ebook-only reads. Especially if they can keep their productions costs (e.g. proofreaders, cover artists, marketing) low.

We won't ever get rid of DTBs completely. Think about graphic novels (collector's items) and children's books and some non-fiction/text books. I've received e-textbooks in the past and I used them as much as the hardcopies.

Cheap ebooks and online stores like Amazon will mean fewer bricks and mortar bookshops. They're not feasible especially in small towns. This is all ready happening in the UK. Ottaker's is gone, Borders went bust, WH Smith stocks far fewer books and more magazines and stationary, and Waterstone's, our last large mainstream bookstore chain is in the middle of downsizing closing a number of stores due to the unprecedented snowfall which brought the county to a standstill. They make a loss all year round and their profits at Christmas. A bad Christmas could mean going bust.

But other places like supermarkets and a small discount bookshop chain are selling them extra cheap. There's too much competition.

Since receiving my Kindle, I prefer it to a DTB but I miss seeing the covers. I'd like to get all my favourites in hardcopy too but I don't have the money for that at the moment.

Jeez, sorry, that was long.

message 5: by Jlyates (new)

Jlyates | 32 comments For me, the difference between CD and books is that with CD you listen to it, you don't hold it in your hands, there is no tactitle aspect to it. Whether it is a CD, cassette tape or other form, it is strictly a hearing method.

With books, it is a feel method. I love books, and I can't see DTB's ever going totally away. As others have stated, there will be a need for books due to the aspect of pictures, either for children's book, cooking books or books that show art pictures or other needs. You can't use an ereader to see the masterpieces, but a book can show pictures of these great paintings. Not everyone can go to where these great painting are being displayed.

As for brick and morter stores, I think that many will die out, Borders, and others. We will have the online stores, used books and even speciality stores to buy such books from.

I love the feel of a book, but my eyesight is getting where it is hard to read some books. The print is so small and sometimes the ink so light that I have to struggle to read it. Not that many books will avaliable in large print but getting an ereader where I can adjust the size of the font will allow me to continue the enjoyment of reading.

As for covers, well, I am glad to not have to worry about taking a book out in public and worry about the silly pictures on the front of a book.

message 6: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments You all make very good points. I agree, there's no comparing music vs. books b/c it's like apples and oranges. But, the comparison of the format trends coming and going was a good one, I think.

Another thing I thought of was schools. Do you foresee schools ever going to eReaders for their students to use vs. issuing DTB to be read throughout the school year? And too pricey, at least at this time, I'm sure. But, that would be wild.

I remember taking typing class in school .... on a typewriter! And now, my 5-year nephew is learning on a computer in kindergarten! LOL!

message 7: by Literary Ames (new)

Literary Ames (amyorames) | 1854 comments LOL! As for e-readers in schools, some are all ready doing this. It's perfect for English and Lit classes.

One school ordered 200 Kindles:

I could see tablets like the iPad being issued in the future (for pdf e-textbooks) just as laptaps are now.

message 8: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments WOW! Ok, now I feel old!

message 9: by Vivian (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 1934 comments Amy or "Ames" wrote: "LOL! As for e-readers in schools, some are all ready doing this. It's perfect for English and Lit classes.

One school ordered 200 Kindles:"

Interesting how that article said people retain more in DTBs than ebooks. I'd love to see more studies done on that and find out why. (that's the dorky researcher in me talking)

message 10: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments Forgot to say the same, but that I DID see an article on just that, Vivian. I looked around through my billion web bookmarks and can't find it. There is one though. Something about how people's sense of ownership isn't as strong with eBooks as with DTB or some such.

message 11: by Vivian (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 1934 comments I can see that, is it the same for a library book then? If you actually purchase a book, you treasure it more and want to get your money worth as opposed to just borrowing?

message 12: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments I think so. I'm certainly not worried about or feel any pressure to actually read the book. Sounds silly, I know, but I have borrowed a book from the library and returned it without having read it (ones I owned got read first) and/or checked out a book, read a bit and not liked it, no biggy. Now, if I'd bought the book, read a bit and not liked it, I want a refund on my time and money! LOL!

Did I get sidetracked or answer your question?

message 13: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 145 comments I taught elementary school for years; and while I can see a district investing in some eReaders to be shared among several classes, I can't see any district shelling out the money for every student to have access to one. My classes ranged in size from 20 to 35 kids over the years. One set of reading texts was used for 12 years before the district replaced them at a cost of a couple of million for the entire district (big district-10 elementary schools-one teacher's manual cost over $150-and that was almost 10 years ago). I really can't see eReaders being used as a replacement for classroom textbooks. I don't think they'd have the longevity a district would insist on. Besides, can you imagine trying to charge 25 eBooks at a time?

message 14: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments Sandra J wrote: "Besides, can you imagine trying to charge 25 eBooks at a time?"

LOL! True, hadn't thought about having to charge them all. What a hassle if the battery died in the middle of class? hehe

message 15: by Sandra, Kindle Operator Licence Required (new)

Sandra | 23518 comments Our previous Federal Govt gave a netbook to every yr 9 to yr 12 student. One of my nieces got one - avg quality, it died half way through yr 12 and her mum had to replace it for her. And she did very well in her exams too, yay!

Still it was a big commitment by the govt but of course the kids, boys particularly, were rough with them, forgot to charge them, broke them, lost them, you get the drift.

But nowadays high school kids have to have access to computers because they email their assignments in to the teachers and probably their homework too. I know they can't hand write homework cause it isn't accepted.

message 16: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments WOW! I'm SO out of touch with what's what these days with kids in school. I wonder what's happenin' in the US? Anyway, that's cool, pricey, but cool that they did that.

message 17: by Vivian (new)

Vivian (_vivian) | 1934 comments I think it depends on the district, or even by schools, and how much money they have. I worked in a district a couple years ago comprised of two cities, one high SES, one low SES. The elementary school I worked in had MacBooks for the students, and they would be working on ppt presentations and doing internet research in class. And I know that wasn't happening in the lower SES schools.
Oh, this is in California, btw.

message 18: by Literary Ames (new)

Literary Ames (amyorames) | 1854 comments @Sandra -My old school did that too but they allowed parents to buy them with monthly payments. They were used in classes and if you didn't buy them then they would hand some out in certain lessons.

message 19: by Mary C (last edited Feb 11, 2011 10:05AM) (new)

Mary C (marymaryalwayscontrary) | 2427 comments For me the major downside of ebooks is that I am not a rereader. I want to trade the book when I'm done for another book that I haven't read yet. Since I got my laptop, I've been checking out any free ebook links that I see and rarely find anything I want to read that's free. It's usually classics that I have already read or are easily available at the library, or those short little series romances which I don't read. It's rare that I find an actual full length book that I want to read for free. I do download them from the library if that's the only version they have, but there's usually a wait list and I don't like the 2wk limit and then having to rewait if I don't finish the book.

I also love the feel of a print book. I love being able to easily go back and reread part (not all that easy on an ebook unless you bookmark), I love being able to skim ahead if I'm losing interest which is also harder to do on an ebook.

message 20: by Jlyates (new)

Jlyates | 32 comments I will date myself, LOL, I was taught to use a typewriter on the ones that had the carriage return; they weren't electric typewriters. That was when we had to reach up at the end of a line and shove the roller back to the start. If we made a mistake, we had to roll the paper up, hopefully be able ot erase it or use white-out and then roll it back down and start typing.

Keys would stick together and you would get ink on your fingers, and we had to put in rolls of ink. Sheesh, that really makes me feel old now!

As for schools, I can see some in the higher SES areas getting them for students and having them where they can use them at the school, but in lower SES, such as the school districts where I live, I can't, at least right now, see that happening.

Also, if you don't re-read the books, I can see how an individual can see them as not only unncessary but wasterful money wise. With paperback books you can join such sites as Paperback Book Swap and trade a book for one you would like to read.

message 21: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments Jlyates wrote: "I will date myself, LOL, I was taught to use a typewriter on the ones that had the carriage return; they weren't electric typewriters. That was when we had to reach up at the end of a line and s..."

No worries, Jlyates, me too! I remember how happy I was when they came out with those little typewriter correction strips that allowed you to correct and re-type without pulling the paper out.

message 22: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) | 2883 comments Steph wrote: "WOW! I'm SO out of touch with what's what these days with kids in school. I wonder what's happenin' in the US? Anyway, that's cool, pricey, but cool that they did that."

One of the schools in my town (purchased by the PTO), all the kids have tablets at the desk (at a certain grade) and the teacher has a smart board. So that she doesn't have to get up from her desk, she can just right on her board and it appears on the "chalk board" (which no longer uses chalk) and then the kids can respond by writing on their tablets -- and it appears on the board. Our school (same district, also purchased by the PTO), each room has a high tech projetor and there are computers in the rooms, but nothing like computers or tablets for everyone.

You all hear about Borders? I hope they come through Ch. 11 and are able to grow. It sounds like they made a series of really bad business decisions. I love Amazon and really don't like B&N, so I hope Borders survives this. I am glad I live in a place that has a variety of book stores (BAM, Barbara's, plus the big box stores) and we have a few local stores. But it is interesting to see what will happen in a few years. But I just so rarely go into a book store unless it is to get a last minute gift or buy a kids book at our local kids books store (which is a really cool place): If I buy books (and it has been the same in the past 10 years), I buy from Amazon, or check out from the library (and I do so from my computer). I rarely browse at the library, I browse online. I wonder how this will effect people's reading habits and how kids fall in love with books.

message 23: by Sandra, Kindle Operator Licence Required (new)

Sandra | 23518 comments Jlyates wrote: "I will date myself, LOL, I was taught to use a typewriter on the ones that had the carriage return; they weren't electric typewriters. That was when we had to reach up at the end of a line and s..."

Me too Jlyates, I remember the rubber and all those carbon copies. LOL. I also remember what a godsend it was when whiteout was invented by Mike Nesmith's (from The Monkeys) mum.

I love being able to browse my library from the computer, and luckily Borders here in Aussie is owned by a different company and is still OK at this point.

message 24: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments Regina, that's awesome! I wish I could play with those gadgets. Although, that's not really going to help with America's obesity rate if no one ever has to get up outta their seat except to go from one class to the other. LOL!

I did hear about Borders. The article my hubby was reading was about them and their financial problems. I love Borders, so much more than B&N. But, neither are here. I tend to browse the base libraries online too. Each base (most) on the island has their own library, but they are all connected online. Since they are so spread out and each carries different books, I appreciate the opportunity to search online. Just wish I could request and reserve online, like I could do in Australia. That was the best!

It'll definitely fall on the parents to help kids develop a love for books, taking them to the library and such. Hopefully that will not change.

message 25: by Regina (new)

Regina (reginar) | 2883 comments I just think there is something about browsing that creates and fosters a love for books. When I was a kid I loved to go to our local mall (which had only 7 stores) and spend hours at Waldens browsing and picking out books. Now, my hometown has no more book stores as Borders closed that Waldens. Libraries are great, but sometimes they don't inspire the same excitement, especialyl small libraries (like the one in my hometown). :(

message 26: by Steph, Just keep swimming … (new)

Steph (angel4492) | 28446 comments I whole-heartedly agree, Regina "Libraries are great, but sometimes they don't inspire the same excitement, especially small libraries". I don't find wandering my little library(s) fun b/c they either don't have anything I'm into or it takes a couple hours to find one book that looks worth the effort. Now a book store ... leave me for hours and do your thing, I'll be smiling and ready to stay longer when you return. :)

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