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Author Topic: Books and Kindle  (Read 263 times)

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Offline LostInTheMistTopic starter

Books and Kindle
« on: May 22, 2014, 10:38:29 PM »
So I was talking to my Uncle last night, late, and we talked about reality vs. simulation, the allegory of the cave, etc. And I wound up stating what I think of Kindle (or other electronic book-reading formats). The fact is that Kindles (used to represent all ebook formats from here on out) don't feel real to me. I like to feel the paper of a book in my hands. I like the smell of them. I like the sounds they make. It's like Jazz. Jazz is best on vinyl because all the crackles and imperfections of the record only add to the experience.

Now, I'm not a crotchety old man. I'm 26. I'm grew up on the cusp of the internet era. My family were among the first ten thousand people on the internet, and I got my own access once I was in the third grade in 1997. So I'm not an old man shaking his cane at something I don't understand. I wouldn't be here if I were, now would I? But I find that I like BOOKS. Sure, I can get digital copies of books I can't get in physical form. Sure, I can hold 6,000 books on my Kindle (I barely have enough shelf space for the 3,000 books I own!) and I can carry ALL of them with me whenever I go somewhere.

What I'd like is an artificial book that is an actual book with liquid paper screens on every page and a screen on the front. I could "insert" a book or select a book off an online source, and the cover of the book would appear, and the text would appear within the book. So I could have the experience of reading the book, with the paper and the sounds and all that. (Plus, you could get scented or unscented.) This would nicely combine the reality of reading a book with the convenience of digital distribution.

This is just a general "stream of consciousness" thread, because I was thinking about it. Anyone else got an opinion?

Online Thesunmaid

Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2014, 01:49:37 AM »
I really enjoy my e reader. I have a sony. And I understand the feel of real books. I might be weird here but the smell of a new book makes me happy. Or the smell of an old one. The slight bit of dust knowing that this book was previously loved by someone. The smell of the new book knowing its just waiting for me to read it.

But on the other hand I also like a variety of books. Different genres and topics. Different authors...sometimes I will burn through a series sometimes I will read one book and need to cleanse my mental palate with something different which is why I love my e reader. I don't have to worry about filling up my purse with books.(which by the way I used to actually judge if I would buy a certain handbag with "Can I fit my wallet keys cellphone and a book in it with room to spare.) I am not a fan of a huge purse that can carry a severed head.(which incidentally tends to creep people out as a unit of measurement apparently*smirks*) But yeah I still love both. I have copies of books that are dogeared and well loved...and some I read once and then tossed on my shelf. (I have a huge book shelf my father made for me..6 feet tall 3 feet wide and shelves deep enough I can fit 2 rows of books into each of the 5 shelves.)

But I would so buy a reader that you just described...and I would prefer the scented version. Old book stores are some of my favorite places. My ex thought I was crazy when I would first walk in and take a big breath in and sigh happy at the smell of the books.

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Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2014, 02:03:34 AM »
Maybe it's my crappy vision, but there are several store types that I recognize by scent.  Craft stores, shoe stores, leather stores, and book stores.  Three of the four are happy smells - but shoes just... smell like shoes.

I like used books that might have notes in the margins (I have a copy of Godel, Escher, Bach like that).  Books that show evidence that someone read them and enjoyed them.  If they could fit that into the 'liquid paper' fantasy e-reader (imagine being able to read and write margin notes that anyone else who picks that book could choose to read!  And electronics would mean you weren't limited to the actual size of the margin - Fermat would have nothing to complain about.  ;) ) then maybe I'd add one to my 'dead tree' collection.

Offline Inkidu

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Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2014, 07:13:37 AM »
If you're going to use the allegory of the cave then you should realize that traditional book or kindle they're both simulations, and I like my books. I just wanted to point that out. The content of a book is no more "real", it's a false perception of the same intellectual shadow. I've got nothing against e-readers and I love my traditional books, but believe me I will not stand on principle once I'm published. :P

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2014, 08:55:07 AM »
I might get a Kindle in time, and like many other people I've grown used to some on-screen reading, even full-length books sometimes, but I agree the casual manual interaction with a paper book, leafing through it, making notes sometimes, building a half-conscious bank of memory of where in a book you saw something, or in what book you saw a given phrase, is part of the experience of reading to me. When reading a book online, even if you're struck by some special part or some particular turns of phrase, it doesn't stick in your memory as to what part of the book it was - not as a "felt memory" (how much of the book you had to the left side,  where on the page, etc). When you're reading a paper book, what you read and recall becomes placed within the space of the book, though you won't even notice until you want to find that phrase again. or at least when your mind makes a quick, silent jump back to that recalled bit, that phrase...I'm not talking of hard science textbooks or that kind of thing, which tend to have solid indexes, but more like fiction, journalism, history, travel books and popular books.

Feeling that one's books, and the times I encountered them. read or re-read them, struggled with some of them, form a cloud of definite times and lines in the (well) spacetime continuum of my life, matters to me. It's really personal, and of course it carries back into the lives of other people of the family too - having been given a book as a birthday gift that used to belong to your mother, your uncle, a friend or someone else, or a book with somebody else's handwritten notes scrawled into the margins from a hundred years ago, or a letter or a review cutout tucked inside the cover. Or having talked to mother or grandfather about a book you've read, and which they had read and been impressed by (and perhaps the very same copy!) before you were even born. That kind of thing is really cool, and difficult to reproduce with a library of e-books. Sure, with e-books you can share notes and ideas with other people reading the same book, but even if you would presuppose a time when e-books as a medium will be two hundred years old, will individual copies of e-books (and their "enhanced content" - links, blogs, notes and facebook updates by past readers etc) normally be any more than twenty years old? With standards, reading software and platforms changing all the time, it's a bit hard to imagine that current epub will still be around and readable in any frequent way even sixty years from now.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 09:57:08 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Lilias

Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2014, 10:52:52 AM »
I read better on a Kindle; I suspect it has to do with the fewer and shorter lines per page (in print my eye tends to wander and, increasingly, skip over lines). Regardless, I remain an almost equal-opportunity book maniac. :-) There's a lot of overlap between my virtual and actual bookshelves, but I'm equally fond of my items that I can only have in one of the two formats.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2014, 11:13:51 AM »
I read better on a Kindle; I suspect it has to do with the fewer and shorter lines per page (in print my eye tends to wander and, increasingly, skip over lines). Regardless, I remain an almost equal-opportunity book maniac. :-) There's a lot of overlap between my virtual and actual bookshelves, but I'm equally fond of my items that I can only have in one of the two formats.

The lighting of the screen is different on a Kindle too, isn't it? On normal PC/Mac/Ipad screens the monitor has a fairly hard light coming from the back and the type standing out against it; if you're going to read a long stretch of text that's not divided into left-right-turnover pages (a newspaper piece, a pdf file or a Gutenberg download) it can feel really straining after a while. It really is like looking at a tv screen, close up. While Kindles have this e-ink surface, don't they? which adapts to the amount of light in the room nearby, so it feels much more grey-white and less pounding on the eyes.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2014, 11:14:52 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Lilias

Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2014, 11:29:45 AM »
My e-reader Kindle is from 2010 and doesn't have all the fine-tuning that more recent models have developed, although just adjusting the font size can make all the difference. On the Fire, beyond adjusting screen contrast and lighting, there is also the possibility to change the reader's colour scheme from black-on-white to black-on-sepia or white-on-black. The sepia is the most restful of all, at least for me.

On the other hand, reading anything more than a page long on a regular computer screen is likely to end up in a jumble.

Online Thesunmaid

Re: Books and Kindle
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2014, 01:54:13 AM »
I am thinking of buying a newer e reader. The one I have right now if I update it then it messes up with windows 7. I got it on sale and apparently when it was made the updates were for windows xp and vista. Not 7 and they have newer models now so they apparently have not bothered to update my model for 7. Sighs one down side of technology..books don't need to be updated.