EBooks -- Love/Hate

Discuss products and their reviews in Genii.

Postby Matthew Field » 09/04/02 11:46 AM

You've got books. You've got ebooks. How do they stack up?
User avatar
Matthew Field
 
Posts: 2467
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Hastings, England, UK

Postby Guest » 09/04/02 01:54 PM

Interesting poll topic, Matt, but the questions were too pointed too allow me to answer; that is, the way they were framed didn't provide me with a choice.

Perhaps the choices "not relevant" or "neither" or "does not compute" could be added to the choices.

--Randy Campbell
Guest
 

Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 09/04/02 02:09 PM

I think that books will always exist as a tangible, more classy artifact. Sure, magicians want "content" in almost any form they can obtain it, but a hard-cover book has such beguiling substantiality.

I'm not sure there is an analogy in what follows, but I'd be interested in how others reply:

If it was possible and you had to choose, would you prefer to travel by "teleportation" (Beam me up, Scotty...) or by train, plane, or car?

Onward...
Jon Racherbaumer
 
Posts: 816
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: New Orleans

Postby Earle Oakes » 09/04/02 03:29 PM

Matt-Jon,

Real books to read.

Teleportation to travel.

Earle
Earle Oakes
 
Posts: 87
Joined: 03/11/08 07:14 PM
Location: Philadelphia,PA USA

Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/04/02 04:24 PM

At the moment, e-Books rate unfavorably. That will change as technology improves. Eventually, of course, it is possible that we will be forbidden from using any trees as the source for paper, and that may push technology along a little quicker. Either that or we will all die as the results of massive logging take their toll on the environment. Anyone for an ice tea as the temperature reaches 115 degrees routinely on the East Coast in the next ten or twenty years?
Turn up the AC!
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine
User avatar
Richard Kaufman
 
Posts: 20530
Joined: 07/18/01 12:00 PM
Location: Washington DC

Postby Brian Morton » 09/04/02 05:24 PM

Richard, I think by that time we will have artificial cellulose substitutes that will look and feel like paper. Of course, they will be found to give us cancer.

I still think books will win out for any number of reasons:

No operating system.
No need to worry about Al Qaeda wiping out our library with an EM pulse weapon.
No need to worry about Microsoft buying the platform, buying/bullying all competitors out of the markeplace and then charging us fees per each perusal of the material (you laugh, but it could happen. Science Fiction is built on paranoia :D )
No need to worry about losing your merchandise when you drop your e-book in the toilet , bathtub or in the ocean during vacation.
Book: reliable service for over 550 years. e-book: slightly less than that....

brian :cool:
User avatar
Brian Morton
 
Posts: 387
Joined: 03/12/08 11:43 AM
Location: Bawlamer, Merlin

Postby Jamie Badman » 09/05/02 01:15 AM

To answer Jon's question, I'd take the train when I could afford the time. Then while I'm on there I'll read my books.

Jamie.
Jamie Badman
 
Posts: 159
Joined: 02/29/08 01:00 PM
Location: London

Postby CHRIS » 09/05/02 07:35 AM

I guess by now most know my opinion about ebooks. I love them, not because I sell them (I sell them because I love them), but because they make me more efficient. I discover new things through searching. I can make much better use of my printed library as well. I can take my electronic library on my travels. And the fact that now I can have text, illustrations and videos in one place lets me learn these knuckle busters much faster and easier.

Simply said, ebooks allow me to do things I couldn't do before. That doesn't mean that I don't buy or read books anymore. For me the best is to benefit from both worlds. I use my ebooks mainly to search and find things. Once I know where this routine or move hides that I want to study, I go back to my books, pull out the book, turn to the exact page and read in my favorite chair.

Of course, I also do geeky stuff, reading Bob's Coin Magic on my Palm Pilot or exploring text-to-speech applications with my ebooks.

One final reason why I spend all these long hours converting old magic books is to make these gems and hidden treasures available for a new young audience, and to preserve this knowledge for eternity - or so I hope.

Chris Wasshuber
preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Guest » 09/05/02 10:59 AM

Check this Ebook out:
Jump-O-Ring
Guest
 

Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/05/02 04:44 PM

As a guy who analyzes sales data all day, I find the increase in the eBook preference from question to question most compelling. Note that as the value issue increases in importance within each question, so increases the preference for eBooks. In analysts' parlance, that's what we call a "trend" (I get shivers when I get to talk in "biz speak").

As books grow more expensive due to production costs (raw materials and human resources) and thus out of the reach of the "common man," eBooks will rule the roost. It may take several more generations, but there will be a time when books will have gone full circle: There was a time when only the rich and privileged could obtain them; that time will come again.

Dustin
(Likes everything - travel, reading, living - to be as long and luxurious as possible.)

"I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." – Ray Bradbury
User avatar
Dustin Stinett
 
Posts: 5779
Joined: 07/22/01 12:00 PM
Location: Southern California

Postby CHRIS » 09/06/02 09:33 AM

Dustin,

if you check out the other poll books/ebooks you will see that almost 80% consider buying ebooks in the future. Another indication of the trend you were talking about.

Chris Wasshuber
preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Terry » 09/07/02 11:27 AM

There was a time when only the rich and privileged could obtain them
Talking about Lorayne's books again huh? :D

I also do geeky stuff, reading Bob's Coin Magic on my Palm Pilot
Chris, isn't the print too small to read comfortably?
Terry
 
Posts: 1243
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Kentucky

Postby CHRIS » 09/08/02 12:35 AM

Originally posted by Terry Terrell:
Chris, isn't the print too small to read comfortably?
Depends on your personal preferences. For me it works. Yes, the screen of a Palm Pilot is small and so one has to frequently 'page down' or scroll. But the font size itself is fine for me. You can also change the font size and make it larger.

And since iSilo (the reader for my Palm ebooks) supports horizontal as well as vertical scrolling for images, I didn't need to scale the images to unrecognizable small blobs.

Here are two screen shots from a Palm Pilot showing Bobo's Coin Magic.
http://www.lybrary.com/index.html?goto= ... Magic.html

Chris Wasshuber
preserving magic one book at a time.
CHRIS
 
Posts: 678
Joined: 01/31/08 01:00 PM
Location: las vegas

Postby Terry » 09/08/02 06:48 AM

Chris,

From your photos, the print looks pretty standard and readable. I just found out that I will be a future candidate for bi-focals and am concerned with font size. On the other hand, my stigmatism hasn't changed much in 3 years and the Doc said I am the type they look for for the laser correction procedure. Only problem is it runs about $1000 per eye and the greatest joke/ripoff to the American public, otherwise known as insurance, won't cover even a part of it.

Thanks for the info!!
Terry
 
Posts: 1243
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Kentucky

Postby Dave Egleston » 09/24/02 10:36 AM

Take a look at THE PAPER ENGINE and tell me how that can translate to ebooks- The feel the weight - People who live to read can't fathom ebooks for reading enjoyment - maybe for a quick research while on the road - I bought an e-book - downloaded a couple of novels from B&N
HATE IT!!!!!!!!! Gave the Ebook away

Maybe I'm too old to appreciate it

I went home to Upstate New York a year ago - Saw more trees than I ever saw when I was growing up - Forest depletion?

In Oregon/Washington - More trees than there were 100 years ago

Let's concentrate on the Rain Forest depletion - Pulp forests are more plentiful than ever

Of course it depends on who's propaganda we're willing to believe

Dave
Dave Egleston
 
Posts: 429
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Ceres, Ca.

Postby David Alexander » 09/24/02 10:41 AM

One of the benefits to a publisher of ebooks is the reduced cost of production. An ebook publisher can actually "manufacture" his product to order instead of having to lay out a huge amount of cash to produce an inventory large enough to obtain a low, per-unit price so that, over time, a profit can be realized. Having owned a small publishing company I know the drill.
Ebooks are especially valuable for the servicing of niche markets, where the potential sales are a few hundred units, perhaps a couple of thousand units, as opposed to mass markets where tens or hundreds of thousands of units are sold. Until ebooks became feasable the republishing of niche market titles was not financially viable, except for a few titles.
Lower production costs should be reflected in a lower cost per sale for an ebook. This is not often the case with large publishers who want to maximize every bit of profit possible. Chris's operation seems to reflect the realism of ebooks with what I consider reasonable charges for a downloadable title.
This, of course, will not be viewed favorably by book sellers, especially those who deal in second-hand books, often sold/collected as artifacts as opposed to containers of information.
The convenience of ebooks will improve as reading/viewing devices improve and become cheaper. Had I been running Rocket eBooks I would have produced a dirt cheap reading pad and directed it towards the college market. If a student could buy and download the entire reading list for any given class, then textbook publishers would save millions on the cost of printing and distribution, not to mention the millions saved by students.
Perhaps epublishers like Chris will serve as a model.
David Alexander
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Aurora IL

Postby Guest » 09/17/07 07:38 PM

E-books are also great for technical instructions. With an e-book, a publisher can include enough detailed color photos to make a move super easy to learn, where doing the same with a physical book would be too cost prohibitive.

Similarly, some sleights are easier to learn when they are seen in action. An e-book can include embedded video files, offering yet another advantage over a traditional physical book.
Guest
 

Postby Harry Lorayne » 09/17/07 08:38 PM

Hey TerryTerrell: My advice? Stick to the cheap e-books! HARRY LOAYNE.
Harry Lorayne
 
Posts: 953
Joined: 01/22/08 01:00 PM
Location: NY

Postby Rick Ruhl » 09/17/07 09:17 PM

When does The Clasic Collection come out in an ebook, Harry? ;)
Rick Ruhl
 
Posts: 561
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Tampa, FL

Postby Guest » 09/18/07 02:52 PM

Matt, I've found the solution, which may be on the legal borderline, but I hope will not upset any of the authors and is in my view clearly on the right side of the moral borderline.

I have loaded my favourite eBooks to lulu.com (for my private use) which allows me to produce a beautiful hardback or paperback book of up to 800 pages at a reasonable price FOR ME ALONE. This allows me to buy the best eBooks and enjoy them in the way I most enjoy - as a hard copy in my hands.

Regards

Alexander
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 09/19/07 01:36 AM

One benefit for the publisher of ebooks I have used recently a few times is that one can update an ebook and allow prior customers to download the updated ebook for free.

For example, I have done that recently with The Amazing World of John Scarne where we found a number of conversion errors which slipped through. Now these are corrected and everybody who purchased this ebook at the Lybrary can go back to his digital shelf and download the PDF again - free of charge.

Or say we convert one of our HTML ebooks to PDF, as we have done with Annemann\'s Practical Mental Effects . Anybody who purchased the HTML can download the PDF anytime they like.

Certain ebooks such as Whaley\'s Encyclopedic Dictionary of Magic should in my opinion only be published as ebook because there will be constantly things to add, change and correct. And the only way to efficiently distribute such updates is via digital means.
Guest
 

Postby Tom Cauble » 09/19/07 03:32 PM

Originally posted by Chris Wasshuber:


Of course, I also do geeky stuff, reading Bob's Coin Magic on my Palm Pilot or exploring text-to-speech applications with my ebooks.

I have the card book equivalent to this-- Roy's Road to Card Magic.
Tom Cauble
 
Posts: 7
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM

Postby Guest » 09/19/07 03:38 PM

Interestingly enough, just yesterday I went to Mike Close's site to buy his ebook on the side steal. I love his work and the book sounded great. He's done it right - no wretched copy protection - fully printable pdf, but when it came time to pull the trigger, I couldn't do it.

For some reason, I wanted something I could hold for 20 bucks. My brain tells be the price is fair, but my gut objects.

Must be an age thing.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 09/19/07 04:09 PM

While I may have to learn some calligraphy for a project ...

I also enjoy the portable and searchable aspect of ebooks.

Really depends on the purpose of the item... to learn or for historical connection.

I believe it was Brain Eno who posited that sometime soon folks may want get all nostalgic for the tactile experience itself.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 09/19/07 08:44 PM

That's a particularly sneaky idea. I may try that one day :)


Originally posted by Alexander Crawford:
Matt, I've found the solution, which may be on the legal borderline, but I hope will not upset any of the authors and is in my view clearly on the right side of the moral borderline.

I have loaded my favourite eBooks to lulu.com (for my private use) which allows me to produce a beautiful hardback or paperback book of up to 800 pages at a reasonable price FOR ME ALONE. This allows me to buy the best eBooks and enjoy them in the way I most enjoy - as a hard copy in my hands.

Regards

Alexander
Guest
 

Postby Tom Stone » 09/20/07 07:41 AM

I prefer regular books, 10 times out of 10. The information contained doesn't seem "real" if I can't hold something physical. The tactile touch, the texture of the paper etc. Essential things to me.

However, from the view of an amateur publisher, it's hard to top the comfort of making ebooks. I enjoy writing, are fond of doing illustrations and find pleasure in doing graphic design. But then it stops. When I'm done with it, I'm done with it, and want to find new goals. I dislike haggling over price with printers, find no fun at all in questions about distribution, feel ill at ease over most of the marketing aspects and just get annoyed over currency exchange rates, bank fees, national checks that can't be cashed etc.

Ebooks is like a dream in comparison. If a week is slow, and I have no rehersals, I can relax with things I enjoy, writing and drawing. And then, when done, just upload it and that's all. No boring things to bother with. And should there be any problems, too many computer support questions, the ebooks can all be taken down within seconds. Fast and simple.

Without ebooks, I would probably not have released anything at all in english during the last 7 years.
So it is a paradox for me. I prefer to make ebooks, but prefer to read normal books.
User avatar
Tom Stone
 
Posts: 1046
Joined: 01/18/08 01:00 PM
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby Guest » 09/20/07 08:10 AM

Tom's post raises an interesting point. (tom - this is no reflection on you, as I've never seen your work.)

The minimal commitment to produce an ebook, or DVD for that matter, is minuscule compared to a "real" book. While I'm fully aware that a high end ebook may take a greater investment of time than a physical book, there's no good way to separate them from the "thrown together this afternoon" junk.

I've read and bought plenty of bad books, but my instincts tell me I have a better chance of getting a good "real" book than a good ebook - or maybe just the opposite - I'm more likely to get a real turkey of an ebook than a physical book.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 09/20/07 09:23 AM

Originally posted by Steve Mills:
The minimal commitment to produce an ebook, or DVD for that matter, is minuscule compared to a "real" book.
www.lulu.com
www.cafepress.com

print you one off books very reasonably. you self publish and print on demand.

no commitment at all really :)
Guest
 

Postby Ian Kendall » 09/20/07 09:30 AM

For Steve; The electronic distribution of books makes things a lot easier for those of us living a long way away from the seller. There are a number of places, not just web based, who will print and bind ebooks for you.

I've got an e-stack of e-books that I've accumulated over the past couple of years, and the first thing I do with them is print them off and bind them at home (I have a spiffy colour laser printer, so they look very nice indeed). I've got Mike's three palming booklets in one binder, Tom's books in another and several binders of mix and match. And I get all the fun of a real book.

Don't let the lack of paper put you off! It's a minor and easily fixable problem...

Take care, Ian
Ian Kendall
 
Posts: 2117
Joined: 01/17/08 01:00 PM
Location: Edinburgh

Postby Guest » 09/21/07 04:31 PM

I think that e-books can serve a very useful purpose. I would have loved to have had all my college textbooks in e-book form. No lugging a lot of books around, an easy way to search text for items of interest, and the possiblity of video inserts to assist learning. I still like to curl up with a book but e-books fill a niche. I have several on my PDA and if I have to wait at the doctors office I can open up my PDA and read what I want without having to carry a book with me. For magic, the big addvantage that I see is the inclusion of video to show how a move or effect should look. Michael Close makes good use of this in his e-books. I think the pedulum will swing towards e-books when a decent sized, inexpensive reader is available. I'd like to see Genii and other magazine available in electronic form. Keeping the past ten years worth of issues is taking up too much shelf space.
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 10/02/07 04:48 PM

I find the answers in the poll are too "black and white" giving no gray area where my answers fell.

I didn't answer the questions because it would not have expressed my true feelings.

It isn't a matter of which medium is better. The problem with physical books is the space and weight issue. I simply do not have the space for an extensive library and couldn't move it if I had to for a relocation. Sure I like the feel of a real book but it just isn't convenient.

Ebooks are easier to take with you but are somewhat a pain to read. I don't necessarily enjoy gazing at a monitor but it is an evil that becomes easier with time.

Maybe the passing of information is more important than the mode of transportation.

I don't know.....I'm just a magician, retired at that.

Bryan
Guest
 

Postby Guest » 10/08/07 04:46 AM

I love books as objects, and have an extensive library at home, but now that I travel often enough I've come to appreciate the portable nature of ebooks.

--ns
Guest
 


Return to Light From the Lamp