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Last post Author Topic: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better  (Read 8542 times)

Renegade

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Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« on: March 02, 2015, 06:54:07 AM »
For those that love the experience of reading books in print vs. digital, this may be of some comfort:

http://www.huffingto...4.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Quote
Don't lament the lost days of cutting your fingers on pristine new novels or catching a whiff of that magical, transportive old book smell just yet! A slew of recent studies shows that print books are still popular, even among millennials. What's more: further research suggests that this trend may save demonstrably successful learning habits from certain death. Take comfort in these 9 studies that show that print books have a promising future:

More at the link.

I read in both formats, but, when it comes to more serious reading, I do like jotting notes down on the page or highlighting.
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wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2015, 10:25:19 AM »
I do digital all the way.  I've gotten a few dead tree books, but I just don't read them; I go to my nook more than anything else.  Even my gaming books, I find that given the hard copy and the digital copy, the digital copy has been perused a few times- several of the hardcovers are on my gaming shelf untouched.

rjbull

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2015, 03:13:55 PM »
I prefer paper, but I'm trying to convince myself to add some digital capability.  Two reasons:
  • Owing to changes in the publishing world, some current authors are only able to get published at all via e-books.  E.g., Sarah Ash.  I suspect this may become the only way to keep extensive back catalogues in print, apart maybe from print-on-demand sites like Lulu.
  • Supposing I really do get round to reading them: Many of the blockbuster novels of the Nineteenth Century are fairly readily available, but usually as fat, heavy paperbacks printed in tiny fonts, e.g. the Penguin edition of Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White.  An e-reader would cut the weight and bulk while offering legible text.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 03:21:38 PM by rjbull, Reason: Spelling correction »

mouser

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2015, 03:16:31 PM »
I still much prefer reading academic articles on paper where it feels more real and i can mark things up.  old habits die hard.
Having said that, I have almost completely moved over to digital reading -- the practical advantages simply outweigh the negatives.

Deozaan

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2015, 06:14:46 PM »
I prefer digital for reading and especially for making notes.

I feel like I'm destroying something when I write in a paper book. But in a digital book I feel free to make all the notes and highlights I want. Not only am I no longer restricted by margin space, but I also won't lose my notes due to the book getting worn out and/or destroyed.


wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2015, 06:47:37 PM »
I feel like I'm destroying something when I write in a paper book. But in a digital book I feel free to make all the notes and highlights I want. Not only am I no longer restricted by margin space, but I also won't lose my notes due to the book getting worn out and/or destroyed.

This.  Very much this.  And the sound of opening a book to make it comfortable to read disturbs me.  It sounds like the binding is cracking.  And in some cases that's exactly what's happening.  But if I don't go to that extent, it's hard to read.

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2015, 09:06:40 PM »
I prefer digital for reading and especially for making notes.

I feel like I'm destroying something when I write in a paper book. But in a digital book I feel free to make all the notes and highlights I want. Not only am I no longer restricted by margin space, but I also won't lose my notes due to the book getting worn out and/or destroyed.

If I buy a book, (barely skipping DRM rants here), it's MINE. It's not meant for resale. So it's mine to underline, fold a few pages down, get pizza grease on page 76, rip the back page to trade phone numbers, and insert pages of matching notes. The only difference between pencil underlines and highlighting is "dialect". Plus it just feels like if I am serious about reading it, it doesn't need to "fight" other things on the tablet. If you're going to read it that day, you bring it along. Then you put it back on the table when you get home.


wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2015, 09:27:43 PM »
It's a matter of differences in what people view as the 'respect' due to a book.  Deo wasn't saying that anyone else is doing anything wrong (at least if I read it right, and from what my feelings are on the subject), it's just a subjective difference and a subtle nuance in the way that one views books.  And after working in libraries and bookstores, I tend to view the physical things as valuable beyond my use now.

elvisbrown

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 02:57:14 AM »
Ha Ha...try reading The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton in a real book....it is about 850 pages and weighs about 200 lbs....and when you are about a third or quarter of the way through and your wrist bone finally snaps....then try finding your page again while repeating this mantra, "These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better"

If a story is any good it will transcend the medium. If you cannot get beyond the medium you are not a reader!
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Curt

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 03:13:09 AM »
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2015, 04:07:56 AM »
Paper books all the way for me - spend too much time staring at screens as it is.

I can see the argument for going on holiday and taking a library of novels but for me that is all eBooks can replace. Anything with content other than text paper wins every time. Also anything that needs concentration seems to work better for me on paper.

Plus it is nice to lend then to people or give them away to friends or charity shops when you have finished with them.

wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2015, 07:21:38 AM »
Plus it is nice to lend then to people or give them away to friends or charity shops when you have finished with them.

My problem is, I'm never finished with them.

zenzai

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2015, 07:45:09 AM »
I definitely prefer ebooks. Here's why (from a purely practical point of view):

1. Learning programming and other stuff from paperbooks just doesn't work - you can't search the book or scroll quickly though the pages, you can't change the size of the pages/font, you can't copy-paste code or take screenshots etc.. And if it's a paperback, good luck with keeping the book on the page you're on, or even keeping it open, without keeping one hand on it all the time (impossible if you're learning programming or stuff like that). And if you don't have much space on your desktop it gets in the way of the keyboard. With an ebook, just alt+tab to shift between ebook and IDE. Or keep them side by side, or use two monitors.

2. You can put as many high quality pictures as you like in an e-book without it getting more expensive to produce. Paperbooks are much more expensive to produce if they contain high quality color pictures.

3. You can produce as many copies of an e-book as you like at practically no cost. Each paperbook costs to produce, and the less copies, the more each copy costs.

4. You can send an ebook from one part of the world to another in an instant, at practically no cost. A paperbook has to be packed (well packed, if you want it to arrive undamaged), you have to go to the post office to send it, it often costs a lot to send, and it can take a long time before it arrives. Then there's customs fees - if I order a book from outside EU that cost more than $12 I have to pay a $25 VAT/customs processing fee for the first book and $5 for any additional books each. No such thing on ebooks.

5. If a paperbook gets lost, or if you spill coffee on it, you can't just get a new free copy from a backup. You have to pay for a brand new copy - if it's still available, and you can afford it (rare books can be very expensive).

6. Dogs, rodents and insects don't eat ebooks (viruses do sometimes, but then you have your backups, right? ;) ).

7. Paper books take up a lot of space, which not everyone have a lot of. They weigh a lot - one million average paper books would weigh about 250 tons, one million ebooks on a DVD weigh less than 20 grams.

Paperbooks do have their advantages - you don't need en electronic device to read them, and people are less likely to steal them than to steal your Notebook, iPad or Kindle if you're on the beach or some other public place. It's also hard to make illegal copies of them, which is an advantage to the author. But that's all, at least for me. :)


zenzai

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2015, 07:46:43 AM »
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.


Why not? Put them on a DVD, box it, and place it on the bookshelf. ;)

wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2015, 10:01:04 AM »
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.


Why not? Put them on a DVD, box it, and place it on the bookshelf. ;)

DRM and changing formats is one reason.

Vurbal

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2015, 01:27:17 PM »
I like ebooks for reference material, although you have to have a larger screen to use some material effectively. I don't mess with DRM on anything I buy, but I don't buy much. Most of my acquisitions have been public domain novels, and what I buy is mostly Oreilly or RPG ebooks.

I put up with DRM infested books from the public library. I've worked my way back through the first several Spenser books, by Robert B. Parker, and caught up on The Dresden Files. For reading novels, I prefer even my wife's inferior (compared to a dedicated ereader) 7-inch Android tablet to dealing with a book. For absorbing mass amounts of technical information, paper and ebooks both have their advantages. I'd prefer a well indexed, annotated, and cross-linked epub to paper, but if given the choice I'd have both.

Of course, when I say absorbing mass amounts, I generally mean reading them cover to cover, or nearly so, in a single sitting. That's usually followed by re-reading individual sections at least once each, and most of them numerous times. I read Managing the Windows NT Registry on the plane to Cleveland and Essential Windows NT System Administration on the way to and back from Alabama. Both are still on my bookshelf, along with the 1995 edition of Aeleen Frisch's original (Unix oriented) Essential System Administration.
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wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #16 on: March 03, 2015, 02:37:18 PM »
Speaking of RPG books... on DriveThruRPG they watermark the PDFs with the users name/e-mail address.  Some consider this a form of DRM... but is it?  It's not managing digital rights in any way that I can see...

Vurbal

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #17 on: March 03, 2015, 04:36:56 PM »
Speaking of RPG books... on DriveThruRPG they watermark the PDFs with the users name/e-mail address.  Some consider this a form of DRM... but is it?  It's not managing digital rights in any way that I can see...

I bought a few watermarked PDFs from them, and I had to give that quite a bit of thought. On balance, it comes down to intrusiveness into the reading experience and tracking - for me anyway. There's no tracking, which is by far the most significant factor, but also no reliance on third party servers or services. If I really wanted the watermarks gone, it's simple enough to do with a free PDF editor. Considering the discount I was getting, and the fact 1 or 2 of them were out of print, the watermark didn't bother me.

The primary company I buy PDFs from (and man I wish they were available in epub) is Hero Games. Their early PDFs were watermarked with the purchaser's name, followed by non-watermarked, but partially feature hobbled editions, until they eventually started working with a layout and authoring guy who refuses to enable any feature that might annoy the consumer/reader.
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Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
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It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #18 on: March 03, 2015, 07:29:50 PM »
The epub format really is a different format when you deal with layout and such, which is probably the reason that they don't have it.  When I was helping Evil Hat test out their epub versions of their books, it was apparent that they had to put real work into making it available in epub.

Which brings us back to the original point- there are features available in e-ink, digital formats, dead tree publications... devices, content, and functionality converge to create a unique experience when you switch up any of the variables.  As such, I don't think there's better or worse- especially for every situation.  Just like with the OS wars and the browser wars and all the other tech wars- they're pointless.  Use the tool that is best for the given situation, and don't let anyone dictate which you should use.  And especially with books- it doesn't matter how you read, just *that* you read, IMO.  Live outside the confines of your own mind by reading the thoughts, ideas, imaginings, and information you can only get from that experience.

Vurbal

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2015, 09:00:11 AM »
That's definitely true, and
The epub format really is a different format when you deal with layout and such, which is probably the reason that they don't have it.  When I was helping Evil Hat test out their epub versions of their books, it was apparent that they had to put real work into making it available in epub.

Definitely true. In fact, the layouts in the Hero System books are particularly unsuitable for direct epub conversion, since they tend to have lots of embedded bits like charts and images, not to mention examples and details provided in a separate sidebar on the page.

What epub really needs IMO is robust javascript support. It wouldn't help in every case, but if you could include content that's normally hidden, but available through some simple interface, it would go a long way. Javascript would also make it relatively easy to add cool features to something like a coding book. For example, you could have selectable code formatting styles, using relatively simple CSS, to customize examples for the reader.

Of course, there's no substitute for having the right size display, or just having a physical book in some cases.

Quote
Which brings us back to the original point- there are features available in e-ink, digital formats, dead tree publications... devices, content, and functionality converge to create a unique experience when you switch up any of the variables.  As such, I don't think there's better or worse- especially for every situation.  Just like with the OS wars and the browser wars and all the other tech wars- they're pointless.  Use the tool that is best for the given situation, and don't let anyone dictate which you should use.  And especially with books- it doesn't matter how you read, just *that* you read, IMO.  Live outside the confines of your own mind by reading the thoughts, ideas, imaginings, and information you can only get from that experience.

Exactly right. Ebooks open up the options for reading, which has, in fact, drastically increased the amount of reading many people - especially kids - do today. It's not a substitute for physical books, so much as a supplement. Neither is objectively better than the other, but each has subjective benefits you have to consider for yourself. As long as you're reading, you've got the important bit down.
I learned to say the pledge of allegiance
Before they beat me bloody down at the station
They haven't got a word out of me since
I got a billion years probation
- The MC5

Follow the path of the unsafe, independent thinker. Expose your ideas to the danger of controversy. Speak your mind and fear less the label of ''crackpot'' than the stigma of conformity.
- Thomas J. Watson, Sr

It's not rocket surgery.
- Me


I recommend reading through my Bio before responding to any of my posts. It could save both of us a lot of time and frustration.

zenzai

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2015, 04:47:35 AM »
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.


Why not? Put them on a DVD, box it, and place it on the bookshelf. ;)

DRM and changing formats is one reason.

OK, yea DRM and lack of conversion options is a stopper.


wraith808

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2015, 12:11:33 PM »
In the last maybe five years I have purchased at least ten times as many eBooks as paper books. But each and every time I buy an eBook, I get a little frustrated, even angry!, because I know that if it had been a paper book, someone would inherit it after my death, but no-one will be getting the virtual books.


Why not? Put them on a DVD, box it, and place it on the bookshelf. ;)

DRM and changing formats is one reason.

OK, yea DRM and lack of conversion options is a stopper.



Well, to be fair, there are conversion options for the main DRM (not sure about the others, as I don't have any DRM'd books other than from Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

J-Mac

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2015, 11:04:16 PM »
I love printed books! And I own a good many of them. I also own several hundred ebooks - actually I think I'm almost up to 1,000 ebooks. Several hundred printed books.

Many of the printed books I own are old and out-of-print. Those aren't available in electronic format for the most part. All of my printed books that also have ebooks available, I also own the ebooks. It’s the best of both worlds! While I love to sit in my easy chair and curl up with a big old printed book - I have hundreds of really neat bookmarks! - I also love - even a bit more perhaps - the ability to open the ebook version on my computer and copy a reference or a favorite passage. Or print out the next few chapters I want to read so I can take it with me to places where I don’t have digital access and I do not wish to carry a few big books around with me.

I guess I'm old enough to still love a good hardbound book and yet also love the convenience of having digital access, particularly for the same books.

Jim

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2015, 11:32:58 AM »
For reading novels, I prefer even my wife's inferior (compared to a dedicated ereader) 7-inch Android tablet to dealing with a book.

Vurbal, what makes it inferior? The hardware or the software experience? Not much you can do about the hardware except lay out money for a new tablet, but if it's software then there are many, many different ereading apps available. It's just a matter of finding the right app that does the things you want.

Innuendo

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Re: Sorry, Ebooks. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2015, 11:35:40 AM »
I originally came in here to make the point that I'd rather have 1,000 ebooks in my pocket than try to move 1,000 physical books across town or across the country. However, it now occurs to me the digital format also has to be quite the boon for students, especially college students. Each class text book is usually quite massive and sometimes being able to do a Ctrl-F to find something is a lot quicker than what you'd have to do with a physical volume.